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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 09-05-2004, 02:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This is likely a stupid question, but here goes...hehe

How do you know when you've gotten the "correct" tension on the alternator belt, and what is the best method for this?

I'm changing mine in the morning (alternator and the belt), and after reading the FAQs I found on the forums I'm fairly certain of how it all goes except for the tension bit (I don't have the automatic tensioners). I've only ever changed alternators on old VW Bettles and an '83 Malibu (stop laughing, they were good to me...lol), so the above is of concern.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you don't want it to loose but ya don't want it to tight, you know that, best idea is to tighten down a little past where you think and back it out untill there is some movement when you push on the belt but it isn't loose
getting it a little to tight isn't a real problem but it will wear the belt faster

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Old 09-05-2004, 01:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Teg...That's about what I was thinking.
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As long as it dosn't slip at all, and isn't too tight where the belt will break pre-maturely...
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks...I was outside pulling the old one off her when it started raining hard...lol I think I can track what you guys are saying, though, so it should be all good.
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWbeauty416@Sep 5 2004, 08:04 AM
you don't want it to loose but ya don't want it to tight, you know that, best idea is to tighten down a little past where you think and back it out untill there is some movement when you push on the belt but it isn't loose
getting it a little to tight isn't a real problem but it will wear the belt faster

~*Teg*~
is that the technical explanation????


just leave about 1/2 inch of play in the belt. it will be fine.

Mark
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks all...I got it put in okay (between the rains...hehe). I'll be getting an oil change Tuesday, and will have the mechanic check to be sure all is well; I have between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch of play on the belt, and it turns the alternator pulley, so it should be fine. Tomorrow I get to clean the ICV...Fun, fun (trying to track down uneven idle).
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