Requesting info about mechanical cambelt tensioner - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Requesting info about mechanical cambelt tensioner

Good evening from Spain.
Currently I'm trying to restore my 84' GTV6. Due to a leak in the water pump now is time to change it, the timing belt and mechanical tensioner are almost new, both where changed by the previous owner.
I will be assisted by my friend Paco, an old mechanic.
I have found some posts about the mechanical tensioner, but unfortunately, for me, is not very clear the procedure to adjust this tensioner, I would like to follow the right procedure.
Also I could not reach the technical bulletins that are displayed in some posts.
I would be very grateful if any of you could help me in this task with the proper procedure (maybe a link to a good post with step by step pictures), also the bulletins will be very welcome.

Thank you for your collaboration.
Best regards
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:50 PM
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Look in the 164 section. The 12v engine used in the 164 Alfa is basically the same as the GTV6 - just turned sideways. AlfistoSteve has posted lots on info about the 164 engine including excellent photos showing how to install the mechanical tensioner.

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:00 AM
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tensioner adjustment procedure

4stokes,
I just got the hood of my 84 GTV6 back on after changing the all the belts, water pump, and all of the coolant hoses. As an absolute amateur mechanic, but willing to try anything, I can tell you that adjusting the tensioner was a very easy task. The attachment here details the steps, and these steps I have seen in several places on the internet. I ended up doing this alone, and it was not a problem, but a third hand might come in handy when the tensioner is sprung by your torque wrench and you need to secure the nuts holding it in place at the same time. Have fun.
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File Type: doc gtv6 tensioner.doc (24.5 KB, 48 views)
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much ghnl and redskinroll, I have read the attachment, it seems to me that the procedure is clear, but in several posts It seems that it is necessary to use needle nose pliers to assist in setting tension... and this is not explained in your file. And this is the part I don't understand... sorry. Could you explain me the need to use pliers?

The system doesn't allow me to add a link to the mentioned post because I have just 9 messages
Many thanks
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:12 PM
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I would defer to Alfisto Steve on all of this, but I had a perfectly operating tensioner when I did my work. I have owned my car six months, this was a service I did for my own piece of mind on the timing belt. The tensioner on my car at 11lbs of torque acted as described, so I did not inspect the spring in the pulley. Likewise, 4 revolutions found tdc, position 1 on the distributor rotor, and final adjustment of the tensioner again proceeded as described in the guide. It seems to me that if the tensioner does not act as described in the first step, it's not functioning as intended and needs replacing. Otherwise, it is working fine.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:49 PM
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The needle nose pliers are just a tool that happens to work to position the tensioner and then allow you to secure it in that position. It is likely there is a special tool that the needle nose pliers mimics.

- - Eric
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- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
The needle nose pliers are just a tool that happens to work to position the tensioner and then allow you to secure it in that position. It is likely there is a special tool that the needle nose pliers mimics.
The factory bulletin called out a "homemade" two-legged fork tool with a T-handle to rotate pulley eccentric over center to set up tensioner.

I just use the needlenose instead of T-handle. Now on GTV6 or Milano a 90 degree pair may work better unless fan and radiator are removed for more room to work.

I have just recently made a tool to actually set tensioner up in rigged position in vise still using NN pliers but this tool which can be made from a wooden clothespin. It holds tensioner in tension with pointer lined up with reference mark. I use needlenose visegrips to hold belt in place on left head cam pulley and a nylon rope around back timing belt on right side where tensioner mounts and water pump pulley.

I can get everything in time and belt tight between cam pulleys, crank cog gear and aux pulley for oil pump and distributor on GTV6/Milano engine. Then I install tensioner held in tension with the "clothespin" tool.

See posts 46, 47; 48 in this thread: BB4 - 1993 164L How goes it REHAB thread BB4 - 1993 164L How goes it REHAB thread

The timing template is downloadable from a pdf file on my maintenance stick in first post.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

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Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 04-21-2017 at 11:34 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:49 PM
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Here's a photo that may help to illustrate: (credit to ???)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with me, now I understand much better the procedures. This sunday my friend Paco (old mechanic) will assist me with this issue.
I`ll tell you about the result.
Best regards.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:08 PM
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Buen suerte!

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Gracias alfaloco.
Saludos
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:38 AM
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I just spent 10 minutes searching on my drive for the official TSB that explains how to do it but could not locate it (with drawing of mechanical tensioner). But I did locate this post on the old Alfa Digest site. Could not tell who posted it. But as I recall from the TSB, sounds correct.

Adjustment procedure new style, non oil-fed, v-6 timing belt tensioner


(reference video tape - part # 608-97518)

Important note:
This new style tensioner has a temperature sensitive
clutching device. It is important that it is only adjusted
on a cold engine and when the workshop's
ambient air temperature is
between 59 & 96 deg f. (150 - 350 c.).

1) With engine cold and positioned at
top dead center, loosen both tensioner retaining nuts.
Use a 3/8 square drive inserted into the lift
square (see figure "a" attached) of the tensioner
and rotate the assembly counter-clockwise
(into the drive belt) until a resistance is felt.
Caution:
Do not use excessive force! Torque applied to the lift
square must be at least 11 foot pounds but no greater
than 18 footpounds. Too much force may damage the
clutching mechanism!

2) Holding the tensioner in this
position, lock down the tensioner by tightening the
adjustment nut to approximately 15 foot pounds.

3) With the tensioner set in
this way, rotate the engine clockwise at least
four crankshaft revolutions, to seat the belt.

4) On the last revolution, line
up the top dead center marks.

Caution
Do not back up the engine at anytime (during the
adjustment procedure). If you accidently pass TDC
keep going and bring it around again. Do not backup!

5) After performing steps 3
and 4, hold the tensioner with the 3/8 drive in
the lift square. loosen the adjusting nut and
very slowly, let the tensioner back off, until the position
indicator pointer is lined up with the nominal
reference mark.
Caution
Do not let the tensioner back off past the nominal mark
or you will have to repeat the entire procedure from
the beginning!

6) Tighten the adjustment nut
and the tensioner pivot nut to 20 foot pounds.

7) Rotate the engine several
more complete revolutions in a clockwise
direction. Line up top dead center just as you did in
step #4. verify that the position indicator pointer is still
lined up with the nominal reference mark
Note: the position indicator
polnter will only line up with the nominal reference mark
when the engine is exactly on top dead center and when
the engine is stone cold.

*Note: More belts have slipped using the mechanical tensioner. So I would advise doing it right & by the "numbers" as they say...

**Also note that these instruction start as if tensioner is already in place and are adjustment instructions. Obviously, if replacing the belt make sure to have cams, crank, and distributor lined-up properly before removing old belt. Install new belt by coming around clock-wise, being careful not to disturb the idler gear (drives the oil pump and distributor). Then go ahead with the procedure.

Hope this helps,
ToonR

Last edited by ToonRboy; 04-22-2017 at 09:43 AM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks, ToonR, yesterday we disassembled the tensioner and made several "tigtenning" test, I think there won't be problems to replace it following the factory procedure. Now I have to change the water punp, clean as much as possible the engine and replace timing belt.

I'll inform about my progress.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Good afternoon friends, finally last Sunday I have installed the new cambelt without any problem. Just follow technical service bulletin 01.93.04.
Thank you all.
Best regards.
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