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Tensioner rattle temporary fix

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Old 07-11-2010, 10:17 AM
CRoth CRoth is offline
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Tensioner rattle temporary fix

I have a rattle coming from my tensioner dampener due to cracked and damaged bushings. I have the new bushings ordered (Powerflex) but I needed a temporary fix to get rid of the rattle and provide extra safety because this is my daily driver. Here are some pictures of my solution. I used two large zip ties looped around the back of the tensioner bracket and pulling the dampener tight to reduce movement. The fix worked, the rattle is gone and I have some added confidence that it's safe to drive until I get my new bushings.

Tensioner rattle temporary fix-tensioner-fix-2.jpg


Tensioner rattle temporary fix-tensioner-fix.jpg
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:16 PM
MINI33342 MINI33342 is offline
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Nice fix, but you do realize that the damaged damper "bushings" at the ends will not cause any harm. They will only rattle a bit.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:33 PM
CRoth CRoth is offline
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The main reason I did this was to minimize the rattle. That was accomplished. I have also heard of the bushings wearing away enough for the dampener to come completly off of one side and come in contact with the crank pulley causing damage. In any case, my powerflex tensioner bushings will be here tomorrow.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:27 PM
jimz68 jimz68 is offline
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Good luck with the Powerflex bushings.
Here's a shot of mine after 12,000 miles.



They were installed along with a brand new tensioner. I still need to contact Powerflex to get their take on it.

Jim
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:34 PM
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Oxybluecoop Oxybluecoop is offline
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Originally Posted by jimz68 View Post
Good luck with the Powerflex bushings.
Here's a shot of mine after 12,000 miles.



They were installed along with a brand new tensioner. I still need to contact Powerflex to get their take on it.

Jim
Thanks for the heads up on the Powerflex.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:21 AM
CRoth CRoth is offline
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Wow! Please post here after you speak to them about this. So I guess what you're telling me is that I'm just going to another temporary fix. LOL

That's a bummer. I thought the powerflex would be the last bushings I would have to buy.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:39 AM
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OxyBluecoop, I know you said the tensioner was new when you installed the Powerflex bushings. Did you happen to test the dampener for it's resistance prior to installation? It sounds to me like you may have a faulty dampener. If there's no resistance with the dampener, the bushings will wear out quickly.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:45 AM
MINI33342 MINI33342 is offline
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Actually that would be the opposite as the damper would have little to no force being applied to the bushings if it was defective.

The retaining bolt is larger than the damper end, so it should never be a problem of it coming off of the tensioner body.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRoth View Post
OxyBluecoop, I know you said the tensioner was new when you installed the Powerflex bushings. Did you happen to test the dampener for it's resistance prior to installation? It sounds to me like you may have a faulty dampener. If there's no resistance with the dampener, the bushings will wear out quickly.

Just a thought.
I don't have any tensioner issues. I was considering replacing my bushings with Powerflex.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:41 PM
CRoth CRoth is offline
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Jinz68, I installed the Powerflex tensioner bushings today. They lasted about 50 miles and were torn apart! That sucks!!!

I guess it's time to order a whole new tensioner. How did you fix your situation?
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRoth View Post
Jinz68, I installed the Powerflex tensioner bushings today. They lasted about 50 miles and were torn apart! That sucks!!!

I guess it's time to order a whole new tensioner. How did you fix your situation?
Oh no!! Did you take a photo of the shredded bushing? If so, send it to Powerflex UK. I sent them the photo of mine last night. I'll post their response.
I just sucked it up and bought another OEM tensioner assembly.
MINI really need to make the damper a seperate part.

Good Luck!
Jim
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:25 PM
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Jim, I haven't taken it apart yet but I will take pictures when I do. I just ordered a new tensioner assembly a few minutes ago. I found a company on EBay selling them brand new for $139 + $13 shipping.

Please send me the reply from Powerflex, I will really appreciate it!

Chad
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
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Jim, I haven't taken it apart yet but I will take pictures when I do. I just ordered a new tensioner assembly a few minutes ago. I found a company on EBay selling them brand new for $139 + $13 shipping.

Please send me the reply from Powerflex, I will really appreciate it!

Chad
Good price!
I'll let you know what they say.

Jim
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:49 AM
MINI33342 MINI33342 is offline
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Got my replacement for $130 from the dealer with my club member discount, what are they going for now?
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:00 PM
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Cheapest online is $161 from WMW
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:02 PM
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This does not look good! I bought a set of Powerflex bushes earlier this year from Detroit Tuning. I live in South Africa so it cost me quite a bit with the shipping and exchange rate. I hoped this would be the solution as I have tried making my own nylon bushes etc without success. The powerflex bushes disintegrated in a few hundred miles, see pictures.

I arranged a warranty replacement set via Powerflex USA to collect whilst I am in Tulsa on business at the moment and I received it. Looks like everybody using these bushes are getting the same failures? Was interested in going Powerflex for my front lower control arm bushes but now I am not so sure. Ended up buying a new tensioner, just to get the little damper. So STUPID that the damper cannot be bought seperately.
Attached Thumbnails
Tensioner rattle temporary fix-bush4.jpg   Tensioner rattle temporary fix-bush1.jpg   Tensioner rattle temporary fix-bush6.jpg  
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Old 07-18-2010, 03:08 PM
CRoth CRoth is offline
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BlueMax, I would post my pictures that I took today but it's pointless, just look at your pics and they're the same. Did you have any problems getting a refund?

As far as the other bushings from Powerflex, I'm happy with them. I have the engine and transmission mounts installed. I don't think you can go wrong with their other bushings. The problem seems to be with the tensioner bushings only.

Any information on the warranty transaction between you and Powerflex reguarding this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Chad
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:48 PM
jimz68 jimz68 is offline
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Let me say I also have other Powerflex bushings on my car and have had NO problems with them. In fact, I just installed the rear trailing arm bushings yesterday.

Jim
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:59 AM
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:17 PM
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I also replaced my tensioner, and at the same time, I replaced the stock bushings, with powerflex. They lasted a week. Now they are destroyed. Now I am putting the stock bushings back on. I only paid $89.79 for my tensioner assembly. Brand new from rockauto.com It says it is a Gates on the website, but has the same markings "litens" as the OEM.

Last edited by raven9mm; 07-26-2010 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:04 PM
MINI33342 MINI33342 is offline
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Great find on the tensioner!
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:55 PM
Cadenza Cadenza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raven9mm View Post
I also replaced my tensioner, and at the same time, I replaced the stock bushings, with powerflex. They lasted a week. Now they are destroyed. Now I am putting the stock bushings back on. I only paid $89.79 for my tensioner assembly. Brand new from rockauto.com It says it is a Gates on the website, but has the same markings "litens" as the OEM.
Good find!

Mini/BMW is an A.S.S. for not making the strut/damper available as a separate part. For $90 I can buy 3 1-foot long strut/dampers for my VW.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:19 PM
WayMotorWorks WayMotorWorks is online now
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I've sold several sets of these this year and only had 2 sets fail and those were just recent. I've got some customers that we installed them over a year ago with no problems. So this is something recent and specific with these for the tensioner. If any of our other customers have a problem, please let us know. Both our customers that had the issue fall under the powerflex warranty and we have them taken care of with refunds, or exchanges.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:49 AM
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Maybe it is a bad batch of poly-urethane. Anyway I got the exchange set straight from Powerflex and assume these are also recent ones. Probably not worth it fitting them, I suspect they will fail. I was so hoping these bushes would be the permanent fix!
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:20 PM
jimz68 jimz68 is offline
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Got a response from Powerflex UK:

"Hi Jim,

Many thanks for the picture

It looks like the material hasn’t gone off properly internally. This causes it not to harden and therefore fail prematurely. I can only put this down to a bad mix of material

We now have new measures in place that prevents this

I will get a new set out to you, hopefully I’ll be able to send these by the end of this week as we currently have no stock of this part

Kind Regards

James Bourn ~ Sales Manager

***************************
EPTG Ltd
POWERFLEX
7 Union Buildings
Wallingford Road
Uxbridge
UB8 2FR
ENGLAND"

So, it looks like they are aware and on top of the problem.
Not sure if I really want a new set of bushings, though. I'd really like a reimbursement for the money I laid out for a new tensioner and installation.

Jim
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