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Idler Pulley and Tensioner Pulley Replacement - M44
Idler Pulley and Tensioner Pulley Replacement - M44
Published by paul somlo
09-01-2016
Default Idler Pulley and Tensioner Pulley Replacement - M44

This info applies to the M44 engine with the mechanical (spring loaded) belt tensioner. Both pulleys, in this case, have the plastic protective center cap and are fastened with hex head bolts. I know there are other configurations, as in hydraulic tensioner and varying fasteners that hold the pulleys. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks.

The idler pulley is straightforward - the bolt that holds it is standard RH (right hand) thread and requires a 16mm socket.

THE TENSIONER PULLEY HAS A TWIST - THE BOLT IS LH (LEFT HAND) THREAD, ALSO REQUIRING A 16MM SOCKET

The tensioner bolt was made LH thread, so as not to loosen during belt changes. Since the tensioner has a fairly large range, it makes tightening the pulley bolt somewhat of a challenge. I think this is why the factory chose to use red threadlocker. And because of the threadlocker, removal of the bolt can cause confusion, as even when loosening, there will be a fair amount of torque involved. When I replaced the pulley, I cleaned up the threads and followed the factory's lead of using red threadlocker as well. A long, fine tooth ratchet helps when torquing the bolt.

I noticed that there's lots of speculation out there as to what "hand" the tensioner bolt is. Hopefully, this will save someone from shearing off a bolt head and making a lot more work. And if your assembly differs, you may be able to confirm the hand of the pulley bolt just by inspection, as the bolt may protrude through the mounting boss on the tensioner, being visible on the backside with a flashlight.

I'll include a photo of the pulley and a photo showing the LH threads. By the way, both pulleys are available as PN 11281748131, pricing as of this post roughly $15 each.
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  #1  
By paul somlo on 09-01-2016, 06:36 AM
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Are the two pictures visible to anyone else? I've attached them and they show in the preview as thumbnails, but I can't see them.
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  #2  
By bluoval6 on 09-01-2016, 10:59 PM
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I don't see them either.
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  #3  
By paul somlo on 09-03-2016, 01:02 AM
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Here are the pictures that go along with the 1st post - for some reason, they're not visible up above.
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File Type: jpg P8311727.JPG (84.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg P8311726.JPG (85.6 KB, 21 views)
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