R50/R53 :: Hatch Talk (2002-2006) Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) hatchback discussion.

R53 belt tensioner won’t compress?

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Old 04-13-2019, 09:10 PM
Mrg83
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R53 belt tensioner won’t compress?

New to this R53 game, bought the lever for the belt tensioner and tried to compress it to remove belt. I wanted to see what condition all the pulleys are in since I just bought the car. Now Im not a weak man but this mf does not want to budge. I haven’t read anywhere of anyone else having this issue? What I’m I doing wrong? Lol thanks in advance for any feed back.
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:52 AM
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Does it have one of these installed? If it does you will need to remove at least one of the bolts.


https://altaperformance.com/i-140071...ed-engine.html
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 1qwkmini View Post
Does it have one of these installed? If it does you will need to remove at least one of the bolts.


https://altaperformance.com/i-140071...ed-engine.html
:laugh:

I purchased one of these, installed it, and couldn't (initially) figure out why the heck I couldn't get the new belt on... Maybe I just didn't read the directions well enough.
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:49 AM
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Hmmm

The only thing I noticed that it did have was the ALTA 15% SC pulley. But maybe I over looked it. Something to to check out now, thanks.
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:56 AM
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If your piston is buggered, I have a brand new one from a tensioner that I put the Alta piece on. You can have it for the cost of shipping (like $7 USPS flat-rate).

If you do have an Alta one, well, sweet, just remove it for a smidge and then adjust as needed.
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:01 AM
Mrg83
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Wouldn’t you know it, it does have the Alta dampener. No wonder it wouldn’t budge. Funny thing about it is that I was hearing a slight rattle at low rpms, more so at idle. After putting the belt tensioner tool on it and trying to compress it it went away. Must have been something to do with the Alta “strut dampener” Thanks for the help.
 

Last edited by Mrg83; 04-14-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:13 AM
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrg83 View Post
Wouldn’t you know it, it does have the Alta dampener. No wonder it wouldn’t budge. Funny thing about it is that I was hearing a slight rattle at low rpms, more so at idle. After putting the belt tensioner tool on it and trying to compress it it went away. Must have been something to do with the Alta “strut dampener” Thanks for the help.
Dampener it is, as it does not damp worth a damn like the original damper.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pnwR53S View Post
Dampener it is, as it does not damp worth a damn like the original damper.
Given that it's sold as a manual tensioner...

The piston just dampens the force of the spring bouncing around. The Alta tensioner bypasses the point that the spring can get the belt to, and further prevents slipping in vehicles prone to it.

Apparently the aluminum brackets can fail if the Alta tensioner is over-tightened, so be wary of that in future use. The manual says that 1/2 to 1 full turn of the tightening assembly is adequate.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:02 AM
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Makes sense, I’ll check to see what the adjustments are set at Now and adjust if needed.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:48 PM
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Remove it and go back to the normal shock so the tensioner can work properly.
https://www.waymotorworks.com/superc...k-r52-r53.html

As you found the tensioner can't move back with that alta rod. This also shows the tensioner can't move to keep the belt tight through the rpm and load range. And if you adjust the rod to make it tighter then at lower load and rpm it will be too tight. Go with the stock setup so it can work like the engineers intended.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:18 PM
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That’s exactly what I have read on this site. Stock piston on the tensioner is the way to go and just replace when the time calls for it. This is probably why the belt seems to slip a bit when I get on it into the high rpm range. Won’t do it if I ease into higher rpms when I’m steady. Mostly when I bang the gears into 6/7k lol. I love this thing.
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrg83 View Post
That’s exactly what I have read on this site. Stock piston on the tensioner is the way to go and just replace when the time calls for it. This is probably why the belt seems to slip a bit when I get on it into the high rpm range. Won’t do it if I ease into higher rpms when I’m steady. Mostly when I bang the gears into 6/7k lol. I love this thing.
Exactly
 
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