For many years, drive belts, V-belts, multi-vee-belts, and serpentine belts have already been used to transmit power from the engine crankshaft pulley to add-ons, like the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, water pump, or cooling fans. Toothed timing belts and timing chains, too, are used to transmit power from the crankshaft to the camshafts, plus some from the camshaft to camshaft, depending on engine design.
The drive belt, timing belt, or timing chain won’t work well, or for lengthy, if at all, with incorrect tension. A loose drive belt won’t drive the item reliably, slipping and producing sound. Conversely, an excessively restricted belt may cause item or pulley bearing harm. Various kinds of tensioner pulley keep long-term engine and accessory quietness and reliability.
Tightening or Loosening
Sometimes, maintenance or restoration will require tightening or loosening a tensioner pulley. Changing a drive belt or timing belt, for instance, would need you to loosen a tensioner pulley to make room for the new belt, as the new belt is smaller than the worn drive belt.
You’ll need to tighten a tensioner pulley, in most cases, after the installation of a new drive belt, or to adjust for a stretched drive belt that hasn’t worn enough to warrant replacement. Extend belts don’t need tensioner pulleys but are “stretched” into place using a special tool-always use the special tool to prevent belt damage.
Tensioner pulleys generally fall into two types: accessory-integrated (AI) and non-accessory-integrated (NAI). Think of AI tensioners as adjustable components, such as for example an alternator, and NAI tensioners as adjustable idler pulleys. There are three types of tensioner pulleys and many ways to loosen them.
Mechanical tensioner pulleys will be the simplest, the majority of common, and least susceptible to failure. There is usually one caveat, nevertheless, as mechanical tensioner pulleys need manual adjustment. This makes them susceptible to user error, leading to insufficient or excessive belt pressure. Additionally, they need to be adjusted to compensate for belt stretch as time passes.