Wrong serpentine tensioner?! What gives?!

emeraldzippy

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Feb 3, 2011
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Fallbrook ca
TDI
2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
I did what ID Parts told me to do, and got the black one on the left (original on right);



Of course very different, and sets the pulley on the belt side about a centimeter and a half off of the belt; that's not good!



Do I now need to go buy spacers, or a different tensioner, or am I posting prematurely and there's an answer right in front of me...
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Is there a part number on the old one? If you can find one we can see what that came from, it doesn't look remotely like anything I've seen before. All the ones I've seen are like the black one.

Perhaps there were two types and the arm / tensioner go together, you can't mix-n-match from the two sets? In that case a new arm would likely solve your problem unless there's something with the bracket.
Steve
 

emeraldzippy

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Location
Fallbrook ca
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2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
Thanks for chiming in Steve. PN leads to this: http://www.autopartoo.com/oem/triple-five/950405.html and found one on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Belt-Tensio...swagen-Cabrio-Golf-Jetta-Passat-/291273881129

This should be on the radar.

Dang it all. Can't mix n match I guess. Probably not a good idea putting spacers in there since that wouldn't allow the tensioner unit to sit flush. Maybe a plate-like single spacer.

Put up a WTB in the for sale section, hopefully just for the arm, and I could keep the pulley. Boo, more waiting.
 

deecee

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Black mtn NC
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96 Passat Tornado Red, 99.5 Golf ALH, 2002 Jetta ALH
So what's the deal? I got one of the silver ones as a replacement when I bought my car and there was no way I was getting it to fit. I still have it and it's dayco brand. I bought one of the black ones and it went straight on.

Are we saying there are different arms?

If the silver one is any use to you I will sell you mine real cheap.
 

emeraldzippy

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2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
Hmpf. Sounds like we should have switched places. Retailers should be aware of this and mention it. Email sent to idparts. Not like that's their job, but it'd be nice for future buyers.

I think the silver one is of use to me, depending on how cheap :) PM sent.

Let me know!
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Looks like at some point in your car's life someone swapped in a tensioner and lever from a 2.0L gasoline engine. Look here: https://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Jetta_III--2.0/Engine/Pulleys/ES8206/

That tensioner was never specified for the B4 TDI. I had never seen that in all the B4s I've been around, including the one I currently own, although it seems others have.

Of course you can return the tensioner if you want (someone will get back to you with an RMA if they haven't already) or buy a lever and have the correct parts in your car.
 
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emeraldzippy

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Fallbrook ca
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2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
AHHH, to have the right parts on my car...what a lofty dream that is...haha :)

Thanks Indigo! That's insightful. One difference though is the one linked has 950404 stamped, whereas mine (and hopefully the one that another member here is sending me) has 950405. Pretty sure what's coming my way is a DAYCO 89283, which crosses with 950405.

I don't mind an occasional gasoline engine part, as long as they didn't put gasoline in it.
 

ToddA1

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NJ 08002
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'96 B4V, '97 B4 (sold), '97 Jetta (scrapped)
Other than instances such as this, does the arm ever wear out? I see plenty of places selling them, as if they're problematic.

-Todd
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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We do sell some levers, but I also wonder how it could wear. The bushings would for sure.
 

vanbcguy

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'93 Passat - AHU mTDI with GTB1756VK
If the bushings wear out completely the arm starts getting eaten. If you combine a solid alternator pulley, a high mileage engine and dirty conditions (like salt) it's pretty easy to start getting some wear on the arm itself where it goes through the bushings.

Sent from my XT1097 using Tapatalk
 

thechoochlyman

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Campbellsville, Kentucky
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1997 B4 Sedan
I had the silver one and replaced it with the black one from ID parts, just as you did. No problems here. Did you slide the arm fully into the slot of the tensioner?
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I mentioned this to Mr. Chill yesterday since we were staring at the tensioner on my B4 while he changed the alternator. He recalled that the OE B4 1Z/AHU tensioners weren't available several years ago and a number of people substituted the gasser tensioners.
 

RIP TDI

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'15 GSW SE 6MT...... '01 Golf GLS 5MT.... '96 Passat Variant....
The 2.0L tensioner physically fits but the orientation is different and winds up...uh...winding up the spring tighter, almost to the point of being coil-bound, when installed on a TDI.

The aluminum-bodied non-sealed tensioners seem to maintain smooth rotation throughout their service life. The sealed canister-style tensioners tend to get rough and gritty as the miles accumulate.
 
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emeraldzippy

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2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
I had the silver one and replaced it with the black one from ID parts, just as you did. No problems here. Did you slide the arm fully into the slot of the tensioner?

Yeah, the rod bottoms out in the tensioner before the tensioner can flush-up to the block. To slide the whole rod to get it flush puts the pulley ~1cm off of serpentine belt alignment.

Whelp, turns out 950404 doesn't fit (goes on, but differently oriented; too much twist).That must be the gasser one mentioned by Chris Bell. Deecee was nice enough to sell me his cheap, but now it's worthless to me too :) Paperweights! Always need more of those!

Looks like I need the 950405 or a whole new setup (rod, tensioner, pulley, bushings). Unless someone out there has a spare silver one as mentioned?
 

emeraldzippy

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Fallbrook ca
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2006 Jetta MK5-DSG-119K-Malone 1.5 Past: 1997 Passat, 2012 Jetta wagon, 1987 Ford Ranger diesel, 1982 Chevette diesel
950405 fit just fine. Got it from a place where they sell stuff online as a Goodyear 49377 part. Good "duh" lesson in replacing like parts with like parts.

Still has a little click/rattle there (after rod clean/regrease/bushing inspection), but I think it's normal now, not a bunch of bounce/travel in the belt and tensioner. It had just mostly resolved itself over the last few months til I got this part. It's gonna be loud; it is a diesel. Part of my brain had told me it'd sound like a prius afterwards.
 

codeblue

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Aug 5, 2003
Location
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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98 Vento GLX TDI
I know this is an old thread but I'm going through this issue right now. I have a black canister style tensioner and ordered a newer 2 piece aluminum style.

I did initially have an issue with the arm sticking out too far, but it turned out that the arm was not fully seated. Got that sorted.

However... there's a clearance issue with the sensor at the bottom of the IP pump. The newer aluminum tensioner is rubbing against the wiring coming out. Obviously the new aluminum one is much larger. This is especially a concern considering it may be moving or vibrating. See here:


The black canister has lots of room around this wire:


I'm not able to get the wire out of the way or run it in another direction.

Anyone else run into this issue?
 

Steve Addy

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Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
I always thought the aluminum version was strictly for gasoline ABA engines, but I could be wrong.

Steve
 

Steve Addy

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Joined
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Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
If you go on rockauto, or idparts https://www.idparts.com/serpentine-belt-tensioner-a3b4-028903315r-533008630-p-677.html

all they have are the aluminum ones for a3/b4

It physically fits, but that sensor wire in the way is my concern. I was wondering if maybe others have that sensor with the wire coming out the back instead of the side?
A general query (ddg or goog) shows you mostly the black steel version. I'm not sure why IDP would be conflating to two types, RA I can understand, they just list crap and let the customer find out if they've improperly listed something. RA is horrible about application correctness and they typically just say that that's what the manufacturer told them.

Steve
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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My recollection is that the black ones are NLA except for no-name aftermarket brands. The ABA ones are INA and should be better quality, and we haven't had a customer report a fitment issue. I should try one on my own car. Since pump position is determined by how timing is set, I wonder if the interference with the wiring will be there in some cars, not in others.
 
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