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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced the multirib on my 2.3T last May because the old one was showing signs of cracking. 2 months later the belt came off the pulleys When putting it back on again it was apparent that the water pump bearing was worn allowing the pulley to slop about which had probably allowed the belt to rise up and work it's way off. I fitted a new water pump.Another 2 months later the belt broke.

One of the ribs had come away, wrapped itself round the alternator pulley and jammed the belt which broke. I assumed the belt had been damaged when it came off the previous time and fitted a new one.
This weekend, once again the outer rib has seperated from the belt, luckily coming away without snagging anything this time.
When I replaced the belt I also replaced the pulleys but I didn't replace the hydraulic damper. Seems to me that maybe I should have. Any one have any ideas about this?
 

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Hi Derek
I recently had a "fun weekend" myself starting with the idler wheel bearing disappearing.
The relevant part of a very long story is that several suppliers (including Saab "specialists") tried to sell me the wrong length belt.
Are you sure you have the right one? For my 1990 2.3 CD N/A they insisted that a 6K 2335 was the fitment whereas the correct belt is 6K 2311 i.e 24mm shorter.
The "hydraulic damper" is a spring tensioner in a shroud.
Hint :- don't compress the tensioner too far, as the tensioner mounting bracket is a pig to weld when it cracks


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the prompt reply Border Raider. I'm fairly sure I have the right belt. I checked the length of the first replacement against the one I took off.
The damper is not just a spring in a shroud. There is an oil-filled damper in there as well and there are known to lose their damping function. ie. the oil leaks out.
 

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The oily part of the damper/tensioner is very important. Without the damping, the belt can get into strange dynamic transient loads, particularly as the aircon compressor clutch (dis)engages. The resulting transient loads can do very nasty things to the compressor. Just ask your local aircon experts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My hydraulic tensioner/damper is shot, I tried replacing the pulleys which help stop the vibration at idle but the tensioner still vibrates so £55 to ECP    [/b]
I've been noticing a vibration at idle for the past few months especially when cold. This confirms what I thought about the damper. I've ordered a new one from ECP
 

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Derek, I can actually see the tensioner wheel oscillate at idle and vibration occurs, if I increase engine speed slightly the oscillation and vibration stop.
Father-in-law broke two belts - the first he returned to Saab and got his money back When it happened a second time within a few months he replaced the tensioner and no problems. His car was around the 120k mark at the time, mines at 110k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can actually see the tensioner wheel oscillate at idle and vibration occurs, if I increase engine speed slightly the oscillation and vibration stop[/b]
That's exactly what mine does Adrian, except my car has only got 86,000 miles on it.
Don't you think you should change yours before the belt breaks?
What worries me about the belt breaking is that you loose everything and are effectively stranded. No alternator, no power steering and most of all no water pump.
I've considered sorting out a stretchy belt of some sort that I could slip over the crank pulley and the water pump as a get home measure in the event of the belt breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I fitted the new hydraulic damper/tensioner at the weekend. Getting the old one off was no problem but getting the new one on was a lot harder. I had to use a 3 foot bar on the idler nut, pushing against it from the engine bay while my wife slipped the retaining tool in place so that I could then fit the belt.
Now that the new one is on I can see that it runs much smoother and holds a constant tension. The old one constantly vibrated up and down which could be felt in the car and not only was there oil leaking from it but the botom bushing was elongated by at least 2mm

I'll feel happier about travelling further from home now.
 

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I changed my belt 3 mths ago no probs, made the tansioner as described in the saab 9000 haynes manual (works perfect), however I was able to compress using my own body weight and not a 3 foot lever, is mine knackered as it was to easy to compress ? what is best way to check ?
 

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I also made the tensioner tool as described in Haynes out of machine tool steel and it started to buckle under the tension and it took me and my nephew a fair bit of heaving to get it compressed enough to get the tool on in the first place and I'm an old prop forward and he makes me look tiny Suggest you check yours out if it compressed that easily.
 

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When I removed the alternator mount earlier this year, I just got a block of wood and leant it on the middle of the top run of the belt and pushed. This gave enough give to use that slack to move that alternator back and to release pressure.


Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The new tensioner was far harder to compress than the old one. I doubt if the spring was knackered but the lack of oil damping made it much less stiff. Like Scaero owner I could pull the top run of the belt and slip the Haynes tool in to keep it compressed, single handed. Not with the new one. I would suggest that if you can compress the tensioner enough to insert the Haynes tool simply by pulling or pushing the top run of the belt, then the tensioner is shot. Incidentally, as Aeroguy has pointed out, the 3mm bar recommended by Haynes to make the tool from is far too thin. 6mm or 1/4" would be more realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Another thing I should have mentioned earlier, watch the tensioner roller when the car is idling. If it vibrates up and down the hydraulic damper is definitely past it's sell by.
 

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You always get these posts at exactly the right time!
My top mounting bolt between the engine mounting bracket for the hydraulic tensioner and the tensioner decided to shear off about 3 weeks ago about 5 minutes after I turned the ACC on to run the compressor. Anyway I had an AA recovery to the garage who fitted a new bolt, new multibelt and sent the car (92 2.3CS Carlsson) away with a clean bill of health. No mention of the tensioner apart from £300 to replace!
This Friday the same thing happened, as I turned the ACC on and ran it for a few minutes. Anyway I can't carry on with the top mounting bolt wanting to shear every few weeks so can anyone confirm if the damper on an 88,000 mile car is probably on it's way out before I visit Euro Car Parts too!

Thanks in advance,


Duncan
 

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Hi Derek

been lots of replies to your query, but I had a problem of belt eating on my 2.3T Griffin. After 3 belts, 2 water pumls and new guide pulleys we finally traced the fault to the a/c pulley.

Basically, the belt always used to jump 1 notch on the pulley which is a sign that it is on its way out. The only problem is recon air con units aren;t cheap -around £450 + fitting

But at least it doesn;t eat a drive belt anymore eh!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Rich E,
You've now got me wondering if maybe the cause was in fact the A/C pulley
and nothing to do with the tensioner which was shot anyway.
I take it that the compressor was at fault and not simply the pulley which was damaged or faulty. How do you diagnose a faulty A/C compressor? They are pretty stiff to turn anyway.
 
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