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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched, and all the info. I found about serpentine belt tensioners referred to the JR and/or Comptech SC tensioners....

I just replaced my serpentine belt a week or two ago. The auto-tensioner arrow was pointing almost exactly in the middle of the "good" range before and after the belt swap.

Now, I notice today while cleaning the engine that the arrow has moved about 1/8", and there appears to be a gap that didn't exist previously between the tensioner assembly and whatever it is that it bolts up to. Maybe I'm seeing things, so I thought I'd post a photograph and see if anyone can look at their K20A3 and see if theirs has a similar gap or not.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me. Here's a shot of the gap.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump. Anyone? Does your tensioner have as big a gap as mine?

I'm about to drive to Iowa - ~800 miles each way - and I don't want to be stranded on the side of the road with a broken tensioner...
 

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hi i just replaced my belt today and i too have a gap but the arrow is within spec. today i took just the auto tensioner part to a mechanic friend and he said that there should be a small gap due to the spring. and if you look in the rsx helms manual the diagram for the auto tensioner shows a small gap. i will drive around for a few days and see if the gap increases and if the arrow falls out of spec. if any problems arise i will post another reply. by the way is your tensioner still holding up and is the arrow still within spec?

ganj
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whoa!! A response!

It's technically within specs, but I still think the gap is bigger than it used to be. And if I peer inside the gap, it looks like something (spring, bearing?) is out of whack.

I went ahead and ordered another tensioner just in case.

The indicator is farther away from center than it was with the original belt. Of course, a new and tighter belt is going to result in a different position of the tensioner......but the indicator is almost at the end of the "OK" range, so WTH. Cheap ($100, not that cheap LOL) insurance.
 

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Remember that the "TALL" indicator is an indication of a new belt, the "SHORT" portion of the indicator is a worn/longer belt.

Your pic shows a belt at normal length and tension. I wouldnt worry about the tensioner
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Too bad I didn't wait for responses - I ordered a new tensioner just before these replies started trickling in.

It arrived today - looks just like the original one, a little cleaner :laughing: but whatever I thought was twisted up inside is twisted up inside the new one too. Must be the spring coil I was seeing.

Stupid me. Anyone want to buy my old tensioner?

May as well put the new one on and try to sell the old one....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, how far is the tensioner supposed to move when relieving tension/removing belt? Mine only moves a small distance and then becomes impossible to move with a long-handled 14mm wrench.
 

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Too Soon Junior...

My saying is...it aint broke, dont fix it

or

Dont find your problems let them find you

if u were getting belt squeek or ne thing...i would think you would be legit?
true.. but what if it breaks on you at a most un-opportune time.. lets say in the middle of the highway on a long road trip..

lol like my my drive belt on my old car.. 75 miles away from home.. and $300 later in towing fees, i try not to wait till things are broken first..
 

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gap is fine, as has been said.
Don't replace your tensioner "just because".
I went through a TON of shit with that whole assembly before, the best thing to make sure of is to watch the placement of the belt on the upper pulley (the P/S pulley). if it is touching either side of the pulley (normally there is about a fingernails width of space on both sides of the belt) then you might have a problem that you will want to look into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Too Soon Junior...

My saying is...it aint broke, dont fix it

or

Dont find your problems let them find you

if u were getting belt squeek or ne thing...i would think you would be legit?
True, true. Maybe I should just hang on to the new part. Just in case.

true.. but what if it breaks on you at a most un-opportune time.. lets say in the middle of the highway on a long road trip..

lol like my my drive belt on my old car.. 75 miles away from home.. and $300 later in towing fees, i try not to wait till things are broken first..
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. I was going to drive the car to Iowa, now plans have changed and I won't be taking this car. So, I'm not as worried since I normally rarely get very far from home.
gap is fine, as has been said.
Don't replace your tensioner "just because".
I went through a TON of shit with that whole assembly before, the best thing to make sure of is to watch the placement of the belt on the upper pulley (the P/S pulley). if it is touching either side of the pulley (normally there is about a fingernails width of space on both sides of the belt) then you might have a problem that you will want to look into.
Point taken.

Just curious though - what shit did you go through, and what would cause the fingernail width gap to disappear - other than a wearing out belt?
 

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Big Pimpin
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Point taken.

Just curious though - what shit did you go through, and what would cause the fingernail width gap to disappear - other than a wearing out belt?
When I got my bottom end build the shop (one of the guys no longer there because of this) screwed in a bolt sideways, forgot to put in some other bolts. Basically the bolt that was put in sideways and over torqued got sheared off inside the threads, that coupled with a missing alternator mount bolt caused the whole pulley assembly to be off just a tiny amount, but because of the force put on it and that it was moving when I was driving, the belt wasn't centered and eventually it threw and chewed up 3 belts before I could take the car back to the shop. Which actually the mechanic had to come down to me to fix it because it was not driveable. And it was very cool that he did that, but my issues with this shop is a different story.

*edit*
Oh, and even a worn belt shouldn't cause that gap to go away, because it is a side-to-side gap, not a top-to-bottom gap. Belt gets worn on the bottom, not the sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ahh, your story reminds me of the other concern I had about my tensioner.

One of my buddies came over to help me (he had a bigger 14mm wrench) when I replaced the belt. He jumped right in and started wrenching to remove the tensioner pulley! I quickly told him that was not what I was trying to do, but I wondered if he f-ed anything up. I'm guessing that when he correctly turned the pulley bolt in the other direction to relieve the tension, that doing so would re-torque the pulley bolt. I hope.

Have you guys noticed the tensioner wiggling slightly when the engine is running? By wiggling, I mean back and forth motion about the axis it is intended to move about......not in any other direction.
 

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Big Pimpin
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Ahh, your story reminds me of the other concern I had about my tensioner.

One of my buddies came over to help me (he had a bigger 14mm wrench) when I replaced the belt. He jumped right in and started wrenching to remove the tensioner pulley! I quickly told him that was not what I was trying to do, but I wondered if he f-ed anything up. I'm guessing that when he correctly turned the pulley bolt in the other direction to relieve the tension, that doing so would re-torque the pulley bolt. I hope.

Have you guys noticed the tensioner wiggling slightly when the engine is running? By wiggling, I mean back and forth motion about the axis it is intended to move about......not in any other direction.
normally the bolt should auto tighten as far as I know, but if he loosened it some and then put it back into position it will only tighten by as much as it usually does and that won't be enough to fully tighten it. If I remember correctly, my tensioner doesn't "wiggle" at all, so you might want to tighten it up just a little bit, run the car and watch it. or get a torque wrench, find the specs for it (I can look it up in helm's if you don't have one) and tighten down to specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
normally the bolt should auto tighten as far as I know, but if he loosened it some and then put it back into position it will only tighten by as much as it usually does and that won't be enough to fully tighten it. If I remember correctly, my tensioner doesn't "wiggle" at all, so you might want to tighten it up just a little bit, run the car and watch it. or get a torque wrench, find the specs for it (I can look it up in helm's if you don't have one) and tighten down to specs.
Thanks, I've got the Helms, but not a torque wrench that will fit in there......I'll find a way, maybe it will fit with a crow's foot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Too Soon Junior...

My saying is...it aint broke, dont fix it

or

Dont find your problems let them find you

if u were getting belt squeek or ne thing...i would think you would be legit?
LOL - you sound like my dad.......I guess I still haven't learned all my lessons. Hell, I'm only 45. Got in trouble today for flirting with a woman at work, too.

I checked the torque of both the bolt that holds the pulley to the tensioner and the middle bolt that holds the tensioner assembly to the - water passage, I believe it is...

Not sure which of the two bolts was the one my buddy started to remove.

They both moved ever so slightly, not much.
 

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when I get my car back I'll take a look at another type s for ya, or I'll do it at the meet this thursday, whichever happens first. Does the belt look centered on the p/s pulley and tensioner and all that at least?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
when I get my car back I'll take a look at another type s for ya, or I'll do it at the meet this thursday, whichever happens first. Does the belt look centered on the p/s pulley and tensioner and all that at least?
Thanks. Yeah, everything looks fine. I just thought (when I started this thread) that that gap had grown bigger, and then I saw that spring sitting not flush inside of the gap.

Now that I've gotten all this feedback and looked at a brand-spanking-new tensioner, I'm convinced it's OK.
 
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