Belt Tensioner Bolt Threads Stripped - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-18-2008
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Belt Tensioner Bolt Threads Stripped

Well I decided to replace my factory alternator with a high output 250A Ohio Generator alt and wanted to do it myself. Here's my story...

So I pop the hood and I located the belt tensioner bolt and proceeded to "turn clockwise". I saw the belt loosen but when I let off it tightened again so I figured you must have to keep torquing it to the right to make it stay loose. Very bad and wrong idea I have learned. Either the threads on the bolt stripped or the housing (God I hope not) has stripped. What I would like to know is where can I get a replacement bolt and how difficult will it be to replace?

Thanks,

Sam
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Old 03-18-2008
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Well, the only thing you can do now is loosen the bolt counter-clockwise and see if it will come out. If it comes out fine and the threads look okay, you broke the tensioner. If it just spins freely when you loosen it without loosening up, you've just made yourself one hell of a project. You would have to drill out the bolt so that it was literally in pieces so it will come out of the hole and then drill and tap the thread before installing a new bolt which you can get from Ford. That will probably be an all day project if you've never done it before. I'd probably bet on you broke the spring in the tensioner though if I had to guess because overtightening a bolt usually won't strip out all of the threads.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Which bolt were you turning?

Tensioner has a mount bolt recessed in its center (8mm?) and the tensioner PULLEY has a 15 mm bolt in the center of the pulley.

Sounds to me like you may have just loosened the pulley bolt. It has a long shank of threads.

The tensioner mount bolt comes with the new tensioner, which run about $60, with a pulley installed.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Yes it will loosen just fine so I guess it is the tensioner? Where can I get a replacement?

EDIT: It is the 15mm tensioner bolt.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Well I'm guessing I'll have to replace the whole tensioner and pulley and I found a few websites that sell them for around $50-70. I'm only worried about installing it now...
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Old 03-18-2008
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I got my tensioner assembly(w/ pulley) from a Ford Dealership for about $45.
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Old 03-18-2008
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Install isn't that hard. On my 4.0L SOHC, there's a locating pin in the tensioner housing/casing That locates correct position to the block, then put the bolt in. Doesn't have to be super tight. Tighten it like you regularly would with any bolt that goes into a block...tight, but not too tight.

Nothing like being on the side of the road for 4 hours til the ford store opens, walk over there, replace in under 20 mins, and back on the road. I had a tensioner pulley fail on me....ripped the belt to shreds.
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Old 03-18-2008
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yes but first i have to get the belt off and with the tensioner pulley stripped, it doesn't seem like it will be easy...
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Old 03-19-2008
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Simply pull on the tensioner pulley with a gloved hand to loosen the tension on the belt.


When you tweaked that 15mm bolt, you SAW the pulley remove tension. Do that again with one hand and use the other to pop the belt off the easiest accessory. For me, it's alternator. With a stripped pulley bolt, it may be easiest to slip the belt off the tensioner or idler pulley.


Once the belt is off, it is incredibly easy to replace the tensioner.

Just mind the alignment pin, as mentioned above.



Are you SURE that pulley bolt stripped? I just find that hard to believe, it's a big bolt.
Have you tried tightening it back up, because the "belt tension release" direction is also the pulley bolt loosening direction?

I'm just sayin'.......
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Old 03-19-2008
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if you need the belt off you can remove the idler pulley, or just remove the alternator (since it is coming off anyways).
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Old 03-19-2008
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Or you can just brake off that locating pin. My locationg pin was busted for a while...why i broke it off, i don't know. But that's another option. Once that pin is busted, the whole unit can pivet, thus loosening the belt of the pulley.
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Old 03-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl43P View Post
Are you SURE that pulley bolt stripped? I just find that hard to believe, it's a big bolt.
Have you tried tightening it back up, because the "belt tension release" direction is also the pulley bolt loosening direction?

I'm just sayin'.......
all i know is that when i torqued the 15mm tensioner pulley bolt clockwise, it loosened the belt, then kept spinning clockwise which in turn re-tightened the belt and the bolt would not tighten again. so either the bolt stripped or the housing stripped.

at any rate, i just pried the belt off with my hands at the alternator, swapped it out for my high output one, then pried it back on with a screw driver. i guess one of these days i'll have to actually replace the tensioner and pulley but for now it will stay how it is

thanks for all the replies!
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Old 03-20-2008
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you arnt supposed to touch that bolt to remove tension the is a tool you get at the auto parts store that is flat and has a square head just like on a socket wrench and you use that to remove tension what you did is strip the threads on the motor and now you have yourself quite a task now...while you are at the auto parts store pick up a haynes manual..well worth the 20 bucks
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Old 03-20-2008
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i know it was the correct bolt that you're supposed to turn. there is a diagram on the inside of the engine bay that tells you which one... i just happened to over-turn it... perhaps i just didn't explain my actions well enough.

http://www.supermotors.org/getfile/2...tensioner2.jpg

that's a good picture of what i was torquing. it's the bolt on the right...
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Old 03-20-2008
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Here's a what-if:

Could that bolt hole have been stripped before and the lugnut that did it replaced with a longer bolt with a nut on the back that you can't see ?
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Old 03-20-2008
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^
that's possible and i would like to check into what EXACTLY is broken and whether or not i even need to replace the whole tensioner pulley assembly or just re-tighten something. only problem is that there is next to NO room between the tensioner and the radiator/fan so i'll probably have to remove both to have working room in there...
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Old 03-20-2008
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nm my statment then...the 4.0 tensioner is different that the 3.0
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