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  1. #1

    Default 3.8 Tensioner Pulley???

    Well noticed today that my tensioner pulley on my 85 seemed to be bent forwards away from the engine causing my new belt to ride against the edge of the pulley and make noise. Went to replace it and there is no bolt holding it on and i cant figure out how the heck this thing comes apart! Would really like to put a smooth pulley on
    "Foxbody Enthusiast"

  2. #2
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    82GTforME's Avatar
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    I couldn't visualize it for a 3.8 so I did a quick Google search. Nothing really came up specific.

    http://serpentinebeltdiagrams.com/wp...er-300x225.jpg

    Not the best view of the 302:



    Is it just the pulley that is bent at the shaft or is the arm bent itself? I did the one on my 302 last year. My pulley came off once the c-clip was removed at the front of the pulley. The tensioner came off for painting and had a bolt at the back that connected it to the alternator bracket.

  3. #3

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    The 3.8 design is different. Will try and post pics up here soon. Its a manual tensioner and the pulley appears to be two halves riveted together but as far as holding it to the bracket it looks like theres no way to remove it
    "Foxbody Enthusiast"

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    The original for my 82 was riveted two piece too but it does not come apart.

    Was at the junkyard today and saw an 84 T-Bird with a 3.8. If it is the same, it looks like the adjustable portion might come off with the pulley as one piece. Maybe then you can see how to remove it. I'm thinking there may be a nut on the back or something.

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    If you are asking if the pulley itself comes of, the answer is "no" as it is riveted into the bracket. The bracket itself can be hard to track down if you have an 83 car from 4/83 or older. The bracket/pulley assembly is pretty easy to find for the 4/83 and newer 3.8. They cost about $25. I solved my problem by buying the pulley wheel itself, drilling out the old pulley wheel, then bolting in the new wheel onto the old bracket. Worked out nice. Pulley wheel cost $17 on summit Racing.

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    FEP Power Member plstktnkr2's Avatar
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    A lesson learned by me was The mainstream stores do not sell original tensioners so I updated my 3.8 to a 1984 type whick was available at that time.
    Rick
    83 Mustang GLX conv (in sonic blue)4.3/SC -coming soon! "Project Baby"
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    Does anyone have a photo of an 84 and up style tensioner? I have an 83 style and I cant loosen it for the life of me. I like the spring loaded one i had on my 98.
    1983 3.8 V6

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    FEP Power Member plstktnkr2's Avatar
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    To change the 1983 to 1984 tensioner. you will need to change over to a 1984 alternator bracket, and tensioner.
    Rick
    83 Mustang GLX conv (in sonic blue)4.3/SC -coming soon! "Project Baby"
    1988 Lincoln Town Car Limousine, Crafted by American Custom Coach Works- "Project Bertha"

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  9. #9
    FEP Power Member plstktnkr2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 82GTforME View Post
    The original for my 82 was riveted two piece too but it does not come apart.

    Was at the junkyard today and saw an 84 T-Bird with a 3.8. If it is the same, it looks like the adjustable portion might come off with the pulley as one piece. Maybe then you can see how to remove it. I'm thinking there may be a nut on the back or something.

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    This is the same as the original mustang unit I had from 1983
    Rick
    83 Mustang GLX conv (in sonic blue)4.3/SC -coming soon! "Project Baby"
    1988 Lincoln Town Car Limousine, Crafted by American Custom Coach Works- "Project Bertha"

    proud member:
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    Quote Originally Posted by plstktnkr2 View Post
    This is the same as the original mustang unit I had from 1983
    Rick
    I have this same problem... Bought a bracket/pulley but afraid it might not be long enough to keep the belt taut.
    I NEED an easy fix!!

    What about the two bolts? These pictures show the nuts but my car, I see bolt heads above the pulley.
    I don't want to lose the nuts if that's what is back there

  11. #11

    Default The Two bolts

    Quote Originally Posted by 83FordLTD View Post
    I have this same problem... Bought a bracket/pulley but afraid it might not be long enough to keep the belt taut.
    I NEED an easy fix!!

    What about the two bolts? These pictures show the nuts but my car, I see bolt heads above the pulley.
    I don't want to lose the nuts if that's what is back there

    Those two bolts on the back of the tensioner is what slides the tensioner up and down on the slots that the unit is bolted too.
    Run your adjustment all the way up.
    Loosen the two bolts in the back and slide the tensioner unit down toward the belt.
    When it hits bottom or gets close to the belt, tighten those two bolts.
    Now, run the adjuster down to get the pulley to meet the belt and put tension on it.

    You can buy a brand new tensioner fro Rock Auto for about 6 bucks. If the bearing goes bad in the one you picked, order one from them...it will be there in two days

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by plstktnkr2 View Post
    This is the same as the original mustang unit I had from 1983
    Rick
    This is the exact same thing as on a 1986 3.8 as well.

  13. #13

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    Searching around since i am having this issue right now with my 83 tbird 3.8.
    Cannot find the early 83 tensioner which looks like this:



    Have to use a later style tensioner, which after comparing the two side by side they are very different, the range for tension is much shorter for the later style tensioner.



    There is also another tensioner type but i havent seen it in person.


  14. #14

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    Wanted to add a few pics of the differences between tensioners and brackets in case anyone finds this thread in their searches on this or similar topic. I had to put in 84+ alternator bracket to use later tensioner bracket and pulley since the early 83 one is nowhere to be found.
    If you dont find everything at the junkyard for this you can reuse your bolts but you need another m12 1.75 30mm long bolt to mount the tensioner bracket to the alternator bracket.





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