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Discussion Starter #1
A while back (injured myself so a couple of months back) my 1996 slk230 started to make an intermittent sort of scraping noise (it was while driving home from putting 4 new tyres on it - typical). The noise appeared to emanate from the area around the water pump/tensioner area.
I dropped the serpentine belt off and ran the engine and it was quiet as a mouse. As a matter of fact it was the quietest it had ever been.
When I rotate the tensioner pulley it makes a lot of noise considering it is being rotated by hand. I am assuming that when doing this it should be extremely quiet to noiseless or is this noise caused by the belt not being connected up?
So after that short novella my question is: With the serpentine belt removed should the tensioner puller assembly be noisy when rotated by hand? I am certainly hoping the answer is no as is then a cheap and easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The water pump is completely silent. Spinning the tensioner pulley with my finger is very noisy. I think the noise has been there since I have owned the car but was a lot quieter until recently.
 

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Registered 2002 R170 SLK V8 5.0
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2,593 Posts
Hi,

Very common, change it now, it sounds like it is at the stage of the one above, if it lets go there is all sorts of repercussions that could result in a wrecked Engine ..............

Don't risk it for a £30 tensioner and a £10 belt is my advice :wink:

HTH, Cheers Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can't really check out the car at the moment due to rain and weather but one more question. Does any part of the tensioner unit rotate or is it just the pulley itself? When I took the belt off (during a break in our cold horrid aussie weather) the tensioner itself felt fine. Looking at pictures of the pulley on ebay it appears that the bearing is part of the pulley unit. I am wondering if I need to replace the entire tensioner unit or just the pulley itself?
 

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Registered 2001 SLK320
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889 Posts
I can't really check out the car at the moment due to rain and weather but one more question. Does any part of the tensioner unit rotate or is it just the pulley itself? When I took the belt off (during a break in our cold horrid aussie weather) the tensioner itself felt fine. Looking at pictures of the pulley on ebay it appears that the bearing is part of the pulley unit. I am wondering if I need to replace the entire tensioner unit or just the pulley itself?

If the roller is loose you might be able to tighten it but I doubt it. The bearing is shot. Just buy the complete assembly and replace both. One shot and all done.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK55 AMG
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251 Posts
Yeah - better to get the whole tensioner than just the pulley. My two cents is that you get the ebay kit that includes the idler(s), tensioner and belt. It's a "while you're in there" preventive maintenance kind of thing. The idler (or idlers) surely aren't far behind, nor is the belt.

tn
 

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Registered 2002 R170 SLK V8 5.0
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2,593 Posts
Hi,

Agreed, always change the whole Tensioner, it's not just the bearing that wears, it also has a pivot and rubber bushing, pulley can be running squint in extremely old hi mileage ones :wink:

Guys, just beware of EBay parts, know what brands to buy, much of EBay parts are cheapo Chinese junk, so unless you like revisiting jobs on a regular basis it is prudent to find an OEM Version, such as Gates in this example, use them all the time for belts, pulleys etc, no problems over many years.

Beware of First Line and Meyle stuff, CHINESE, yeah sure they'll give you another part under warranty that cost 'em 5 dollars to produce, but if the "whatever" is an absolute bear to change, then beware !!

HTH,

Cheers Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all very much. I now have a working car after 10 weeks (not laziness, illness). Rotating the pulley on my finger it sounds like it is full of gravel. I have had the car for a couple of years and I always thought it had a loud engine. It seems it was this bearing giving up the ghost.
Now all I have to do is register it again and all will be A-Ok for my test journey tomorrow.
 
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