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Tensioner too tight? Possibly... (archive)

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Posted by Gregg on March 23, 2002 at 21:39:54:

In Reply to: read it, but i've heard that the 7 series......... posted by john///m3 on March 20, 2002 at 00:13:39:

As a mechanic who works on VW and Audis for a living, I can say that self adjusting tensioners (either for belts or chains) can overtighten.

Without going too much off topic, Audi has an update kit for early A4 1.8turbos which changes from an automatic gas filled tensioner to a manually adjustable tensioner for the timing belt. The reason being that when the engine is driven hard the belt tightens and tension is increased which has led to stripped/broken timing belts. Ouch!

On a VW VR6 which uses a tensioner VERY similar to the Euro M3 piston tensioner, I have seen the tensioner rail worn to bare metal on cars with less than 100,000 miles. I don't see why the Euro M3 tensioner would be any different in operation.

As for wear with the stock TCT, I just rebuilt / upgraded my engine after 190,000 miles and the tensioner blades were worn, but given the mileage, they didn't look that bad. So, I checked the spring free length (ok)and am using a new "original" TCT.

'88 M3

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