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R50/53 - R50/53 Pulley tensioner/tab question

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Old 01-19-2019, 03:40 PM
jkluesner
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Pulley tensioner/tab question

Hello all-- did my colder step plugs and new wires today, and I also have a new belt to replace the JCW belt that was used to install a 17% reduction pulley (owner before me had a shop do it). I have read conflicting things on how to read the metal tab with holes that sticks up above the spring. However, most say you should at least see half a hole. Below is what I see-- I am assuming this means the belt is in great shape, or really bad shape/wrong size. The belt is 3-4 years old, but only has 7k miles on it.

Any advice greatly appreciated!!



Good or bad for belt condition/fit?
 
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:42 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that has more to do with your tensioner than your belt. A 17% pulley needs a 17% belt (shorter) so you should replace it anyway.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:48 AM
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The tab in that position shows the belt has stretched or is too long. In general, with the correct sized belt for whatever pulley is installed, the tab would be somewhere in the range of a half and one and a half holes showing on that tab. With the correct belt, the tab should stick out further and probably show a full hole or a little more when new.

Also, check the condition of the tensioner, especially the damper/shock, while you’re in there. If you need a new tensioner, many go with a Gates, AC Delco, or Litens from Amazon. Litens is supposed to be the OEM for MINI, and the Gates and AC Delco look to be a Litens with the logo ground off.

if you only need the shock, they’ve recently become available separately for around $30 from WMW.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
The tab in that position shows the belt has stretched or is too long. In general, with the correct sized belt for whatever pulley is installed, the tab would be somewhere in the range of a half and one and a half holes showing on that tab. With the correct belt, the tab should stick out further and probably show a full hole or a little more when new.

Also, check the condition of the tensioner, especially the damper/shock, while you’re in there. If you need a new tensioner, many go with a Gates, AC Delco, or Litens from Amazon. Litens is supposed to be the OEM for MINI, and the Gates and AC Delco look to be a Litens with the logo ground off.

if you only need the shock, they’ve recently become available separately for around $30 from WMW.
Thanks for the reply and advice. I was thinking something was off, as my supercharger doesn't whine like the others I have heard. How can I tell if the tensioner is shot? I suspect it's due to fitting a JCW belt meant for an 11% reduction pulley to a 17% reduction pulley...
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:46 PM
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The tensioner shouldn't really go bad because of a stretched or slightly big belt, more so from age or physical damage like from belt breaking. If the belt breaks, not only do you lose boost, power steering, charging, AC, and cooling, the tensioner arm can hit the crank pulley and cause some serious damage.

The shocks don't last the longest and is probably the most common reason the tensioners are replaced. They'll either have no resistance/damping at all, or the rubber o-rings break down causing the shock to rattle or fall off of the tensioner. Replacement shocks have just recently become available separately if you only need that.

The effectiveness of a tensioner stop for safety is debatable, but I'm using the tensioner stop from WMW. Luckily it hasn't been tested yet.

The whine of the supercharger will greatly increase with a cold air intake. What intake do you have now?
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RB-MINI View Post
The tensioner shouldn't really go bad because of a stretched or slightly big belt, more so from age or physical damage like from belt breaking. If the belt breaks, not only do you lose boost, power steering, charging, AC, and cooling, the tensioner arm can hit the crank pulley and cause some serious damage.

The shocks don't last the longest and is probably the most common reason the tensioners are replaced. They'll either have no resistance/damping at all, or the rubber o-rings break down causing the shock to rattle or fall off of the tensioner. Replacement shocks have just recently become available separately if you only need that.

The effectiveness of a tensioner stop for safety is debatable, but I'm using the tensioner stop from WMW. Luckily it hasn't been tested yet.

The whine of the supercharger will greatly increase with a cold air intake. What intake do you have now?
I have a mini mania basic cold air, however I ordered a M7 because it is CARB legal (I live in CA). I was thinking if the belt is loose it may not be pulling the supercharger very well. I have read a lot today about how certain folks really like a smallish belt so they can see a a lot of the tab, perhaps giving more wiggle room for the future when the belt stretches?

I bought a gates K060535 and I’m hoping this fits the 17% better than the JCW belt. I also have the one ball mod but am looking into getting a milltek or something on the quieter side. After this maybe injectors and a tune, as I do have a LSD.
 
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