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How do you replace the belt tensioner on a 1996 Grand Am 3.1l?

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2007-11-18 01:34:31
2007-11-18 01:34:31

You have to take the serpentine belt off the alternator leave it on the other pulleys. Now you remove the bolt holding the tensioner. Replace the tensioner and belt. Happy Wrenching. Additonal Information from experience with this hog of a car. Pontiac decided to make this a bit of a challenge. When you get your new tensioner at the parts store, pay the deposit for free borrowing of the special long-handled wrench and shallow sockets that will allow you actually to get a tool on the tensioner bolt. Standard tools will not fit in the cramped space. When done, either keep the tool for next time, or return it for 100% refund. Note: an aftermarket tensioner will have a new bolt with it. you must use the new bolt with the new tensioner. Grandma GM's original bolt won;t fir the aftermarket tensioners.

Here's a solution to the challenge: Jack the car and take off the wheel. Take off the the plastic shrouding and the 2 clips for the hose that's in the way. Put some blocks under the motor (NOT THE OIL PAN) so that there is about a 1/2 inch of gap between the blocks and the motor. Unbolt the mounts on the passenger side so the motor drops onto the blocks. The motor should drop enough so you can get a wrench on it. I bought the serpentine wrench but only ended up really using the shallow 15mm socket on my socket wrench... tons of room!

Now Happy Wrenching! :)

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Since There is no tensioner pulley you have to loosen your alternator.

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When the tensioner pulley is frozen and u need to change the belt the only possible thing you can do is cut the old belt and replace the belt tensioner pulley, theres no other possible method.

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u do not adjust belt tensioner if belt is loose, u need to replace belt as tensioner works automatically

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Worn belt or belt that has stretched to the point the tensioner cannot keep the proper tension. The tensioner can also be defective. Replace the belt and the tensioner.

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The tensioner has a spring in it that provides the correct tension for the belt. If it is too loose, replace the tensioner.

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By locating and loosening the 'tensioner' for that belt, if the alternator mount does not include a tensioner.

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There is no adjustment on the spring / Tensioner. You either have the wrong belt are the tensioner itself is bad. Replace tensioner are belt.

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Had that problem in my 1996, solved by replacing the serpentine belt and belt tensioner

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Note:The drivebelt routing decal on the radiator shroud to help during drivebelt install * To replace the belt rotate the tensioner pulley clockwise to release belt tension * Remove the belt from the auxiliary components and slowly release the tensioner * Route the new belt over the various pulleys again rotating the tensioner to allow the belt to be installed then release the belt tensioner

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The belt tensioner should have a single mounting bolt. After removing the serpentine belt, the bolt can be removed to take the tensioner off.

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Loosen the tensioner pulley. Put the belt around the alternator pulley and the tensioner pulley. Move the tensioner pulley to the right until the belt is tight. Tighten the tensioner pulley.

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Yoy put a 15mm wrench or socket on the belt tensioner and push down. Belt will slide off now. A belt routing diagram is a must.

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Pull on the belt and you can see how the tensioner moves. Put a wrench on the bolt.

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Near the top of the serpentine belt path is a belt tensioner; it is spring loaded and has a shinney pulley on it. Insert a wrench into this tensioner and pull against it and the tension will be released so you can replace your belt. I am assuming your question is about the serpentine belt.


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