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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone replaced this themselves? How difficult is it, how long does it take and any tips?

Thanks in advance.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Use a 1/2" breaker bar to pull tension off of the tenioner. There is a square hole in the back of it for the drive lug. Get a length of 1/2 copper water pipe and flatten the last inch. Then bend it in an L and use that to help move the belt into place in tight spaces.
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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Anyone replaced this themselves? How difficult is it, how long does it take and any tips?

Thanks in advance.
Difficulty = easy (if you know what you're doing)
time = 5-10 min (again if you know what you're doing.)
Tools needed = 1/2" breaker bar

The use of a long tool such as what Ranger suggested with the copper pipe makes it easier, but it's not essential. Another tip to make it easier is to turn the wheel all the way to the right before you start; that way you can get at the crankshaft pulley more easily (through the wheel well) to get the belt in place. It's easiest if you put the belt on the power steering pump pulley last.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bear with me folks I haven't looked real close yet...Is there a bearing in the tensioner? Is it a pain to replace the tensioner?

Thanks again for everyones help.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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The bearing on the tensioner is for the pulley. I do believe the tensioner works on the basis of an internal spring. Others can correct me if wrong.
 

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99 Seville STS, 08 STS4 N* 1SG F55
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The tensioner pulley has a bearing but will be sold as a unit including the spring, etc. Should be an unbolt and rebolt procedure once you have the belt off. I doubt you can replace just the bearing and it would be a PITA anyway.
 

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1997 Polo Green Cadillac Seville STS
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If you have high miles, Besides replacing the tensioner, I would also replace the idler pulley. It does not cost much at all.. It's good insurance that your new belt will last and not get ripped to pieces in the event the tensioner (or the Idler pulley) decides it wants to kick the bucket shortly after installing the new belt....

I've replaced all the above plus the Water pump belt/Tensioner in less than 1 hour 30 minutes
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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The tensioner pulley has a bearing but will be sold as a unit including the spring, etc. Should be an unbolt and rebolt procedure once you have the belt off. I doubt you can replace just the bearing and it would be a PITA anyway.
Haven't had to do it on a Northstar yet, but I have on other cars. I recall a Blazer that they wanted $60 or so for a tensioner. I ground the rivets off, separated the pulley, replaced the bearing for $8, then put the pulley back together with screws & nuts.
 

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Ranger gave the best advice--If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The tensioner and the idler pulley will each give plenty of noise warning if they ever do start to go out on you. The majority of cars will never need those replaced.
 

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94 ETC,97 STS
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When the belt is off turn the pulleys and listen. If the bearing are bad you should hear it and feel roughness.

If you don't know what you're listening for do it anyway. This is how you learn. A bad bearing should be noticeably different.
 

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How exactly do you get the belt around the tensioner? I've got it off of everything else but I am having trouble getting it around the tensioner.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Not sure what to tell you without seeing it. Moving the tensioner doesn't help?
 

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99 Seville STS, 08 STS4 N* 1SG F55
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If you're removing the old belt one option is a utility knife. When I did it I had my buddy and alcohol present and things seemed to go pretty smoothly. If you can get someone to move the tensioner around while you work the belt you may have better results - its a pain trying to manipulate the belt and keep the tensioner under control at the same time. I found it easier to use a 1/2" drive ratchet instead of a breaker bar because I could not get my breaker bar to line up where I wasn't hitting either the radiator cowl or plumbing in the rear. With a ratchet you can choose the angle and reset it and add a cheater bar if you need more leverage.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Belt behind tensioner? Roll the belt off the pulley nearest the tensioner. Use the breaker bar to move the tensioner to the limit if its travel, place the belt in front (?) of the tensioner and back on the above pulley. Before releasing the tensioner arm make sure the belt is in all grooves on all pulleys. Ease off tensioner. Have a beer..OK, I read it again.......use a razor knife. Go to square 1.
 

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Thanks for the help.

I got it off. I had to pull the tensioner forward. It was ALOT easier with the engine cold. But I think it's getting too dark to put the new one back on.
 
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