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andy
CEG'er

Reged: 09/01/02
Posts: 112
Loc: Michigan
stripped tensioner bolt
#1303186 - 08/18/06 10:42 PM

I went to unbolt the tensioner because the pulley bearing is shot and the darn Torx head stripped on my first try. Mind you, I didn't just blindly start wrenching. I researched it here, got the proper tools, took my time to get a good hold on it. Who ever came up with the Torx anyways? So what are my options? Even unbolting the engine mount at this point to get a little more clearance is probably useless. Can I have someone weld a socket on there and take it off that way? I was also changing the idler pulley, but the "correct" pulley I got was too big so now I have to go find the right pulley before I can put the belt back on! Any insights would help greatly.

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Andy
96 Contour V6 101000 miles

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Kremithefrog
I have no life

Reged: 05/14/02
Posts: 21653
Loc: Albany, Georgia
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1303202 (Re: andy) 08/19/06 12:20 AM

Can vice grips grip the bolt?

--------------------
98.5 SVT
91 Escort GT (almost sold)
96 ATX Zetec (i brake to watch you swerve)

FS: SVT rear sway bar
WTB: Very cheap beater

CEG Dragon Run - October 13-15

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andy
CEG'er

Reged: 09/01/02
Posts: 112
Loc: Michigan
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1303370 (Re: Kremithefrog) 08/19/06 09:26 PM

Originally posted by Kremithefrog:
Can vice grips grip the bolt?




The screw head seems to have a flange around it preventing the vice grip from grabbing on. I'm leaning towards cutting a hole in the wheel well to get unobstructed access to the screw.

Here's another question: I've been to 4 different brand parts stores (Murrays, Autozone, Napa, Carquest), and none of them have the idler pulley of the same size as original even though all their computers show the correct pulley. 1 could be a fluke, 2 could be coincidence, but all 4?? WTH? 1 was large enough where it physically contacted the tensioner. Others are slightly larger but I'm afraid the belt isn't long enough to fit. I guess it's off to the dealer on Monday...

--------------------
Andy
96 Contour V6 101000 miles

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amarv12
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 05/12/02
Posts: 2007
Loc: Michigan
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1303384 (Re: andy) 08/19/06 10:43 PM

Originally posted by andy:

The screw head seems to have a flange around it preventing the vice grip from grabbing on. I'm leaning towards cutting a hole in the wheel well to get unobstructed access to the screw.




Have you tried a hex head (allen key) rather than torx, it might grip.

Originally posted by andy:

Here's another question: I've been to 4 different brand parts stores (Murrays, Autozone, Napa, Carquest), and none of them have the idler pulley of the same size as original even though all their computers show the correct pulley. 1 could be a fluke, 2 could be coincidence, but all 4?? WTH? 1 was large enough where it physically contacted the tensioner. Others are slightly larger but I'm afraid the belt isn't long enough to fit. I guess it's off to the dealer on Monday...




Are you asking them for an idler pully or a tensioner pulley...try asking for both and see if one fits

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1998 Mystique LS:
-2.5 Duratec ATX
-Vibrant White
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=Info=

Edited by amarv12 (08/19/06 10:45 PM)

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andy
CEG'er

Reged: 09/01/02
Posts: 112
Loc: Michigan
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1303471 (Re: amarv12) 08/20/06 03:47 AM

Originally posted by amarv12:
Originally posted by andy:

The screw head seems to have a flange around it preventing the vice grip from grabbing on. I'm leaning towards cutting a hole in the wheel well to get unobstructed access to the screw.




Have you tried a hex head (allen key) rather than torx, it might grip.




Have not tried allen. I'll try it tomorrow.

Originally posted by amarv12:
Originally posted by andy:

Here's another question: I've been to 4 different brand parts stores (Murrays, Autozone, Napa, Carquest), and none of them have the idler pulley of the same size as original even though all their computers show the correct pulley. 1 could be a fluke, 2 could be coincidence, but all 4?? WTH? 1 was large enough where it physically contacted the tensioner. Others are slightly larger but I'm afraid the belt isn't long enough to fit. I guess it's off to the dealer on Monday...




Are you asking them for an idler pully or a tensioner pulley...try asking for both and see if one fits




I have asked them to check different years, idler and tensioner, other model cars. There's nothing that's the right size. I've only read 1 other CEG'er saying something about bigger size, but I can't believe we're the only 2 having this problem!

--------------------
Andy
96 Contour V6 101000 miles

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platinum_drew
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 08/08/03
Posts: 1017
Loc: Hanover, MD
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1303498 (Re: andy) 08/20/06 10:22 AM

this just happened to me, I had to take it to a shop. ran me $137 in labor cause they had to jack up the engine and drill it out. good luck

--------------------
1995 SE
2.5L V6/MTX
187k

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WillBob
New CEG'er

Reged: 02/07/06
Posts: 27
Loc: Eastern NC
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1304003 (Re: andy) 08/21/06 03:13 PM

If it's the lower one, you should be able to grab the head with a small pair of Vice-Grips. If it's the upper one... (this is going to sound pretty "Neanderthalic"...but) you can use a cold chisel and strike it on top of the head in a counter-clockwise direction. You probably wont find a cold chisel long enough, just put it in a socket and put a long extention on it. It should break it loose enough that you can use what's left of the eaten-out Torx to remove it the rest of the way. "Aero-Kroil" is the best available penetrating oil for hard to remove parts. Replace the (Lame-A$$) Torx-heads with standard hex-head bolts.

--------------------
'97 Mercury Mystique Zetec/ATX (Wife's)
'96 Ducati 900SS (Mine!)
'86 Toyota P/U (it gets the bike to the track...)

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andy
CEG'er

Reged: 09/01/02
Posts: 112
Loc: Michigan
Re: stripped tensioner bolt new
#1305162 (Re: WillBob) 08/23/06 03:19 PM

Just to close the loop on the topic, I ended up cutting a small square in the strut tower hoping to get a clear path to the screw. First with a small Dremmel, then off to Harbor Freight for a 3" air cutter (yea, new tool)! Despite my best efforts, it wasn't very direct. But I was able to get an extension with the T40 bit in there a little misaligned (what the hell, it's already stripped). Got a pretty good leverage, but it slipped again. So having failed that, I beat on it with a screwdriver some more (I had already chipped away the plastic surround and cut a horizontal slot and was trying to chisel it before I decided to cut the hole). By golly, it started moving. It was all downhill after that.

Once I removed the tensioner, wouldn't you know it, the pulley they sold me is the wrong size (as was the idler pulley). So several stores are selling wrong sized idler and tensioner pulleys out there to the unsuspecting public who's thinking why doesn't my belt fit any more?

To make a long story longer, I now have a new tensioner assembly and is working on the alternator (working, but noticed it was cracked, might as well do it now. That's another story, and already started another thread in the E. Great Lakes.

--------------------
Andy
96 Contour V6 101000 miles

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