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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I've been bugging Jason for hours about a belt job, and he's gone to sleep, but I was wondering if any of you had experience with this type of tensioner...the old style, and how to re tension.........also, what's the extra spring on the bottom used for?

My understanding is insert a locking pin in the swing arm and undo bolts, then during rebuild, push up against the tensioned belt and release the pin>>????!!

what do you think?
any advice is helpful.
Mike
 

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Don't know, but a great tensioner. Wish I still had mine. Many of us changed them out on a scare. I perfer it to the mechanical one.

Yours isn't leaking is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmm, leaking.....not sure, I know it looks like it's covered with oil.... any tips on investigating?
 

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One of the problems with the oil pressure tensioner is the seals leaked. Oil got on the timing belt and the belt failed. That's why in he US they used the mechanical tensioner, which has a different set of problems.

It does look a tad oily. I suggest you get a kit and rebuild it.
 

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I have rebuilt hundreds of these units. You can use a t10 or t15 torx screwdriver to compress the spring if you do not have the factory tool. Loosen the nuts and pull the tensioner off. Mount it in a vice and follow the diagram on the rebuilt kit. The hardest part is compressing the large spring inside to get the top cover back on. Also make sure that the bearing is OK and that it is lubed and pivots correctly on its shaft. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the advice , I'll get to it soon. however I think that most of the oil is from the back head, and is seeping down...****.. something else ;b
 

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Thanks for all the advice , I'll get to it soon. however I think that most of the oil is from the back head, and is seeping down...****.. something else ;b
I would say either oil pump pulley seal or rear cam seal. Might as well replace them when belt is off.

Jason
 

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I would love to have a huge discussion on the old tensioner. I am still somewhat interested in the retro conversion back to the old deal and have some old tensioner parts around to do this but after looking at it, I can't figure how the thing would seal with the block at the upper oil return? Also I can't figure out how the clips (for the lower spring) that Jason sent me are supposed to work with these studs that have no groove in them. Anyway, anbody else into posting a detailed pic and discussion thread on the old hydraulic contraption? I wanted to figure this thing out so I had an option but the more I got into it, the more frustrated I got with the parts in hand and put another thermo-mechanical one on.
Charles
 

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I would love to have a huge discussion on the old tensioner. I am still somewhat interested in the retro conversion back to the old deal and have some old tensioner parts around to do this but after looking at it, I can't figure how the thing would seal with the block at the upper oil return? Also I can't figure out how the clips (for the lower spring) that Jason sent me are supposed to work with these studs that have no groove in them. Anyway, anbody else into posting a detailed pic and discussion thread on the old hydraulic contraption? I wanted to figure this thing out so I had an option but the more I got into it, the more frustrated I got with the parts in hand and put another thermo-mechanical one on.
Charles
Me too. I am wanting to throw mine on my next belt change, which is soon.
I will shoot a picture of the clips. They work very similar to the ones on the hood struts.

I am thinking maybe trying to pull the return plug and maybe drilling a hole in that the size it needs to be. Then put the plug back in.

Jason
 

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Do you also want to include in the discussion running the "old" tensioner but without the oil feed? Myself and others have run that way for years now. I've yet to hear of a failure.
 

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Do you also want to include in the discussion running the "old" tensioner but without the oil feed? Myself and others have run that way for years now. I've yet to hear of a failure.
Yeah that is very common. How often do you check the tension or re-tension?


Also I have seem most Europeans go around 50K with the hydraulic without any problems. I really think they should have kept these and just worked on the design better so it would not leak.

I have yet to hear of a failure with either way of using the hydraulic.

This should be good. Lets keep this going. More pictures, theory's methods and so forth.

Ciao!

PS: Chazzy:
CLIP
 

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I have yet to hear of a failure with either way of using the hydraulic.
The tensioner itself does not fail. The failure mode is that the tensioner leaks, the belt gets oil-soaked, and then the belt fails.

I'm not even going to touch which one is better...
 

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I don't really want a debate on which one is better either. ;) I just want to discuss the oil-feed tensioner in general. But of course a forum can go where it wants. ;) Anyway, Thanks Jason for the clip pic. Neither the stud on the engine or the one on the tensioner I have has a groove for the clip. :confused: In fact the one on the engine is stepped down in diameter if I remember right. :confused: Which of course confused me. I assumed there would be a groove for the clip on both studs. Do I need to get some other parts? I'll have to get pics for you guys later. Was there some other kind of clip used at one time? Mike, what does your clip look like? I can't see it too well in your shot.
Charles
 

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Yeah that is very common. How often do you check the tension or re-tension?
Well, I've never re-tensioned it, and it's been in place for, yikes, has to be over 6 years now! :eek: Admitedly not a lot of miles over those years, as the 164 stopped being a daily driver in '98 or so.

One thing I have noticed is that the belt is tracking to the front of the sprockets these days. Worn tensioner bearing perhaps? I seem to recall that someone located the bearing (alone) from a bearing supply house rather than Alfa distribution channels - yes, no, maybe? Details?
 

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The tensioner itself does not fail. The failure mode is that the tensioner leaks, the belt gets oil-soaked, and then the belt fails.
Precisely the reason mine is no longer oil fed. You can't leak what you don't have in you to leak!:p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Chazz it's back together now, so I'll have to get under the car tommorrow and see what I can see.
 

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Please, don't go to lots of trouble on my account, but Thank you. ;)
Charles
 

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The tensioner itself does not fail. The failure mode is that the tensioner leaks, the belt gets oil-soaked, and then the belt fails.

I'm not even going to touch which one is better...
Yes, I understand that, that is what the whole mechanical tensioner update (TSB) is all about! I knew I should have gone further with that sentence, I knew I would get that comment from someone!
But Since we are talking about the mechanical tensioner and the hydraulic tensioner units themselves and their function and overwhelming failure of the mechanical which is not from oil. The point I was making is that the tensioner does not fail in it's function. Regular maintenance of the tensioner for leaking (rebuilding ever timing belt change) is crucial of course so the belt does not slip (all who use it know this).
The belt never really fails either, it slips. All the new timing belts (made these days) are chemical resistant, especially to oil. It will not make it into mush like it did in the past.

As far as which one is better, I don't think we really want to discuss that, this is more of how we can go back without issues.

I think by the discussion you can see which one we all prefer or don't.

Jason
 
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