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  1. #1
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    "Stripped" Belt Tensioner Bolt

    I've had the main belt off 4 times this week trying to track down a leak around my new Stewart water pump. In doing so, I finally rounded out the star pattern on the bolt head. It's completely gone. I did manage to lever the tensioner down enough to pry the belt back on, but next time, I will need to replace the bolt holding the tensioner pulley. Given that I'm not at all confident that max torquing the water pump bolts will fix the leak, it's entirely possible I'll need to go back to a BMW water pump.

    Short of pulling the radiator so I can get an impact driver on it, does anyone have any bright ideas on how to get that bolt out?


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    I feel your pain. seriously. Nothing like getting

    a beautiful Stewart pump in place and then having it create problems rather than solve them.
    One step at a time here.
    You did not state here which year and model you have in order to tell us whether you have the mechanical or hydraulic tensioner. Is it this one:?
    Mechanical tensioner

    If not, please get the realoem diagram and let us know exactly which part # is stripped.

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    Stripped Belt Tensioner Bolt - still leaking ?

    I'm not to sure which bolt you rounded ?

    and it also sounds like the pump in not on properly ??

    maybe a cut o-ring (pump)on installation ??

    sounds like the whole mess needs to come apart and
    begun again with close attention to every fastener,
    not bottoming out - because maybe the wrong screw
    in the wrong location ???


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    Re: Stripped Belt Tensioner Bolt - still leaking ?

    Sorry, should have stated the specs up front. This is a 2002 330cic with manual transmission. I think the bolt that I rounded out is part 7 in the following diagram:




    It's the T-50 star headed bolt that's used to lever the tensioner when putting the belt on or taking it off.


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    Diagram

    Hmm, never needed to post an image before. Let's try posting it as a link. Again, part #7.

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    Re: Stripped Belt Tensioner Bolt - still leaking ?

    Clearly something is wrong with the installation of the pump. I thought I was quite careful, and I did check that the O-ring was pressed into the groove, but perhaps it popped out. Another possibility is that the pump has sat on my shelf for two years. Perhaps the O-ring has deteriorated with age. I distinctly recall noting that it didn't protrude much from the mating surface, and I crossed my fingers that that would be all right.

    If this last attempt didn't fix it, then I'll have to remove all kinds of stuff, so I'll certainly also pop the Stewart pump off. If there's no obvious cause, I'll buy another O-ring for comparison's sake, or even go back to the BMW pump (a new one).

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    Makes sense, so why can't you just remove

    the whole tensioner assmebly #21 and then work on this in your vise?
    Can that be done?

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    Did you lube the O-ring before you slid it into

    the tapered hole that compresses it? I used a silicone grease to do that, but I think you can use anti-freeze too.
    Two years aging should not affect O-ring. But why not get another if you pull the pump again? And I would not give up on the Stewart. It's most likely not the pump.

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    Re: Did you lube the O-ring before you slid it into

    I used a little grease, but since the O-ring was neatly pressed into the groove, I only lubed the outward facing surface. Perhaps that was my undoing.

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    Re: Makes sense, so why can't you just remove

    Makes sense, and now you get to laugh at me. Assembly #21 is held in place by bolts #10 and #11. Two years ago, when I replaced the thermostat, I mistook bolt #11 for the tensioner bolt. The Bentley diagram isn't that great, and it was my first time working on this subsystem. I snapped that bolt off.

    So, not only is the tensioner bolt useless, but I will have to drill out the other bolt. A comedy of errors. More reason to just pull the radiator, I suppose.

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    I never laugh at mistakes I've made before myself

    Lessons I've learned the best are from my biggest mistakes.

    So if you've got so much of the tensioner assembly off, would make sense to replace the pulley (bearings) too, and mayber even the hydraulic piston depending upon age.

    Another note, too bad you can't retrofit the mechanical tensioners. They seem much less prone to failure.

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    I only did the exposed surface too.

    Probably enough since I've gone cross country since then without any coolant leaks.

  13. #13
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    Re: Diagram

    I don't know if you have enough clearance inside the tensioner wheel (and it's too darn cold to go outside and check!...besides it is dark already), but Sears and others (Irwin) sell a set of bolt extractors that bite into the outside of the bolt head (even a round one). If you have the space, I bet that the number 3 or number 5 extractor would get it. Good luck!

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    rounded nuts/bolts can be removed with these...

    I have a set and they work like a champ. Happy to report that I've not had to use them very often

    bolt/nut remover set

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    Re: Diagram

    Thanks, I'd forgotten about that. Will have to check if there's enough exposed bolt head to try on the tensioner bolt. The other one is broken off below the surface of the tensioner body. If I recall correctly, those threads looked more like a screw than bolt-like. I wonder if there are even matching threads inside the bore. I might get lucky with that one.

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    Re: rounded nuts/bolts can be removed with these...

    Thanks, I've seen those at Sears, but forgotten about them. Will have to check if there's enough exposed bolt head to try on the bolt I broke today. The other one is broken off below the surface of the tensioner body. If I recall correctly, those threads looked more like a screw than bolt-like. I wonder if there are even matching threads inside the bore. I might get lucky with that one.

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    Do they make a set for left handed bolts?


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    Never seen a set for reverse threads and if

    I ran into that situation I'd tack weld the closest fitting tool to the bolt head and back it on out...Snap!

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    Here I had my heart set on a left-handed metric

    bolt remover kit. And you had to spoil my dream with talk of melting metal together!

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    hell of a way to start the new year, eh?



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