Friday 6 July 2012

Guide: Volvo V70 D5 Auxiliary Belt, Idler and Tensioner Replacement


Remove the plastic engine cover by just pulling it up and off. To remove the belt, the tension must be released first. The tensioner is an automatic spring-loaded type, which can be released with a ratchet and suitable fitting. On newer replacement tensioners, there is a Torx hole on the swinging body of the tensioner, which you can put a T-60 Torx plug into on the end of a ratchet to lever the tensioner away from the belt:
Torx T-60
There is a locking hole in the tensioner body to allow a pin (or similar) to be inserted in the released position to keep the tension off the belt, which is very handy during replacement. the below image shows the (old) tensioner locked in position. You can also see in this picture the T-60 hole to the left of the locking hole on the front face that you would use to lever the tensioner.

To aid access, I unclipped the power steering reservoir from the coolant reservoir and moved it over on top of the engine, unclipping the hose from above the pump pulley. this gives better access to get the tool on the tensioner. Then get the T-60 tool into the hole and lever it back (towards the front of the car) to relieve the tension. This takes about 90 degrees of travel, so you need to start with the tool as close to the bulkhead as possible.

Whilst holding the tensioner in its relieved position, get a locking pin in the locking hole (as shown above). Just be careful, there is a lot of spring force in that tensioner and a poorly located tool loosing grip could do painful damage to your fingers whilst you blindly try to get that locking pin in. Once in, you can remove your tool and the tension is released.

Now slip the belt off all the pulleys, wiggling it out of the cover surrounding the TV damper. The idler is actually located on the tensioner body. It also masks one of the tensioner body mounting bolts, so it comes off first. Just a simple 13mm hex socket. Then you can (blindly) find the two tensioner body mounting bolts, which are 10mm socket sized. Use the new tensioner for reference where to find them. NOTE: the tensioner pulley also masks one of the mounting fixings if it is in its 'tense' position, i.e. if you have not locked it in the released position, you will not be able to access the bolt.

Once the two mounting fixings are out, the tensioner is free to come out...well sort of. It doesn't actually clear the rest of the pulleys and wheel arch inner...but you can drop it down to the bottom of the engine bay and it comes out nicely underneath, behind the wheel.


As always, re-fitting is the reverse of removal with the following points to consider:

  1. Pass the new tensioner up under the car the way the old one came out.
  2. Ensure the new tensioner is in the locked position... mine was delivered with a locking pin in place already.
  3. Fit the idler and new belt before removing the locking pin
  4. Really ensure the belt ribs are sitting correctly on all pulleys
  5. Fire up the engine by standing next to the car with your hand through the open window so you can keep your hand on the key and your eyes on the belt, in case it wanders straight off and you can turn the engine off quick (sorry if you have a LHD).

New Tensioner / Idler installed
New Belt Installed
New Belt Installed
For now, if you have a browser that natively support HTML5 video playback, here is a video of the new belt running (contain yourselves!):

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