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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a month ago I took my car in to a dealer for part of my 60k.
I told them water pump & timing belt needed to be replaced among other things.
They scheduled me in to have my car for 2 days. 2 days later they call and say "You should change the tensioner.. but we don't have one." Nice that they mention this 2 days later...

So I call mitsupartsdirect.com and have a timing belt tensioner next day'd to me. I take it to the dealer at 10am the next morning.

The dealer installs the tensioner. Gives me my car back. A few days later there's this wierd 'cruchning' noise that I hear about every second while the car idles.. that weekend I hung out with some of the other vr4 guys from around here.. and ran it reasonably hard.

The next week I took my car back to the dealer to ask them why that noise was there.. they said they would take a look at it.

They rip the car apart and tell me my brand new tensioner has collapsed. I call mitsupartsdirect.com and they say "Those NEVER go bad, but they are freguently installed incorrectly." I tell the dealer to call the mitsupartsdirect.com techs and talk to them. They do. The dealer reinstalls the tensioner. It holds tension for about 20 minutes... then collapses again. So mitsupartsdirect.com is 100% sure that the tensioner was installed wrong (they are never bad)... and the dealer is 100% sure the tensioner is bad (it's really simple to install).

Has anyone had experience installing these timing belt tensioners? Are they THAT difficult to install? Would they just spontaneously collapse after 20 minutes if installed incorrectly? Mitsupartsdirect.com won't give me my money back until I send the part back and they verify that it's bad... God knows how they do that... and of course no one is going to pay for having to install a bad tensioner... so I've paid for it twice.. 1 to put the bad tensioner in.. 1 to put my old tensioner back in...

On top of everything... that 'crunching' noise is back again. :(
 

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ummm....FOR GOD SAKES DONT DRIVE THE CAR

if your tensioner on the timing belt wont hold pressure it will cause the belt to go slack and jump teeth===>total engine rebuild.

I just replaced my buds that forgot to compress the tensioner befroe installing it yesterday. he was smacking pistons like none other cause the tensioner was installed bad. its not a hard part to install...just two bolts. the tough part is getting the timing marks to line up perfectly and getting the right tension on the belt before you pull the pin.

BUT...the tensioner should NOT collapse. they can go bad...theres no part in the world that is ALWAYS good. it sounds like its definately a bad part, take it back and get a new one. otherwise your engine will be shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...

they put my old tensioner back in... and told me it was holding tension fine..

but that noise is still there... for some reason..

Is it hard to take that timing belt cover off to see the belt? I'm just beginning to get nervous as to whether or not it's still holding tension.
 

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possible...

from my experience with tensioners, they come expanded when they are new, and need to be colapped in a soft jaw vice, but at a slow rate, not turned all they way in in like 10 seconds, the rule of thumb is half a vice rotaion every 30 seconds, at least thats what i was told...it lets it colapse at a safe rate, ive always done it that way with no prob, maybe, if they cranked it down fast, it ruined the new tensioner, as far as the noise, it likely is the timeing belt cover rubbing somewhere, just a guess though
 

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That tensioner is vital. I would personally advise you to not keep your old one in there, regardless of how taut the belt may seem at the time. When I changed out my timing belt, water pump, etc., I had to compress the tensioner and because of my ignorance did not realize that it is actually quite dangerous to compress it too quickly; it exploded, literally (scary - that is like 12 guage cast metal) and because that happened I had to re-use the old one. It seemed to hold tension on the belt fine, but upon checking the timing regularly for a few weeks following, I discovered the belt had slipped one tooth on one of the cam gears. I took everything apart again and took a look at the tensioner: the little piston inside it was not giving any force whatsoever; it was just loose inside the casing.
If there is any way you can record the sound we could help you out more.
Hope you can get something out of either the dealer or MPD.

Cheers
 

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you definatly want a new tensioner....when i bought mine though it was already compressed with a pin in it. glad i read you had to compress them slowly tho...i did it the other day with a c-clamp to my buds car and luckiliy it was so hard to keep it not falling out of the clamp that we HAD to turn it slowly. so no blowing up :)
 
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