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I love my CL9!
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Just do it at night in your garage if you can. That way, if it takes you longer, you just lose some sleep and you're not late for something. Also, don't forget to unbolt the clamp the secures the PS hose to your valve cover. That'll give you more play in moving the PS pump without disconnecting the lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Yeah I'm not looking forward to doing this but I'll keep everyone posted and post some tips for those looking to do it too. Within the last 2 days it started rattling :/ but I won't be able to tackle this for another week-and-a-half so I guess I'm stuck in the time being. The rattling noise is in harmony with the shaking/movement of the tensioner assembly so I'm very convinced that's the problem.

I took a look today to see what bolts need to be removed and it appeared that it'll be tight but I'm seeing the obvious bolt holding the tensioner to the engine block but I can't make out any other bolts specifically without having the new tensioner in my hand to reference. Aside from that, it looks possible to do without fully removing the P.S. pump but if anyone knows specifically how many bolts, where and what size so I can properly prep and fully plan this out that'd be appreciated! I hate being strapped for time but I can't "donate" money to the dealership to do something that takes them less than 30 minutes.

For what it's worth, I am getting an AC Delco or Gates tensioner assembly (can't remember which) off of Amazon. I know everyone says OEM only BUT i got a gift card for X-Mas so I'm using that and getting the assembly basically for free. Thoughts? Hopefully it holds up.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Taking the suction hose off the pump and putting it on the valve cover gets it out of the way, everyone has their own way. It you have the right tools and knowledge it shouldn't take long... Being that I work on these cars everyday I can tell you it takes me around 10 minutes total..
Nick I really wished you lived near me cause you would make lots of money from me with your knowledge of these cars.

I'm using one of my vacation days from work (a Tuesday) to tackle this so it better be worth my time. Joys of life right here.
 

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I love my CL9!
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There's two bolts securing the PS pump to the tensioner, and three more securing the tensioner to the engine. I believe they're all 12 mm. If you are reusing your stock tensioner pulley, you'll probably want to remove the pulley while the tensioner is still mounted.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
New assembly comes with new pulley so there's no point to really save the old pulley with that many miles on it. Is this a pretty straightforward task? (I.E. No reverse threaded bolts?). Is it basically just unbolting some basic stuff and bolting them back on with easy access?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Went out again and took another peek. So I'm seeing exactly 4 bolts holding in the Tensioner Assembly in place. It looks like i'll have to move the P.S. which is held in with two bolts- one of which is shared with the tensioner? I will also disconnect the hose going from the pump to the P.S. reservoir. All of the bolts holding the tensioner appear to be easy except the one closest to the back (closer to the windshield) near the pulley. Do I have to remove the pulley to get at this or is it possible to get an extension on my small wrench and barely get it with the pulley on? Tight squeeze nonetheless but I'm feeling confident about this after looking at everything. This is my last update until I do it, so I'll update then. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Looked at the service manual and it calls for you to remove the pulley, is this necessary and Is the pulley reverse threaded if it is? I would assume not because you turn the pulley clockwise to remove tension. To me, it looked like I could do it without removing pulley. Correct me if I'm wrong on anything

You guys probably hate me for making a big deal out of something so basic lol.....this is a larger project for me to tackle versus my fluid changes I've done. Just wait until I do the starter -_- Thanks for all the help!
 

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You're really over thinking this. You do not need to remove the pulley or even the hoses. Just unbolt the power steering pump and move it to the side. Like Nick said, this is literally a 15 min job.

2 bolts hold the power steering pump to the auto tensioner assembly.

3 bolts hold the entire auto tensioner assembly to the engine block
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Alright guys so my tensioner came in the mail today. Box said "AC Delco", part said "Litens", but both are OEM car company Manufacturers so hopefully it works nicely. Right now, not being on the car, it's all the way on the loose end. Hopefully that changes once i put it in the car with the new belt. Anyway, I'll update everyone with a progress report on if the tensioner fixes my problem. Thanks again for all the help throughout thread!
 

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I am on my 3rd tensioner and stopped purchasing them from the dealer after the 2nd one gone out. With the aftermarket one, have not had any problems since.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
^wow good to know. The oem ones are double the price of the one I got off amazon. Hopefully it holds up. I guess these tensioners aren't too good out of the factory on this car.
 

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Yeah I'm not looking forward to doing this but I'll keep everyone posted and post some tips for those looking to do it too. Within the last 2 days it started rattling :/ but I won't be able to tackle this for another week-and-a-half so I guess I'm stuck in the time being. The rattling noise is in harmony with the shaking/movement of the tensioner assembly so I'm very convinced that's the problem.

I took a look today to see what bolts need to be removed and it appeared that it'll be tight but I'm seeing the obvious bolt holding the tensioner to the engine block but I can't make out any other bolts specifically without having the new tensioner in my hand to reference. Aside from that, it looks possible to do without fully removing the P.S. pump but if anyone knows specifically how many bolts, where and what size so I can properly prep and fully plan this out that'd be appreciated! I hate being strapped for time but I can't "donate" money to the dealership to do something that takes them less than 30 minutes.

For what it's worth, I am getting an AC Delco or Gates tensioner assembly (can't remember which) off of Amazon. I know everyone says OEM only BUT i got a gift card for X-Mas so I'm using that and getting the assembly basically for free. Thoughts? Hopefully it holds up.
Does the rattle sound like this?

http://www.tsxclub.com/forums/1st-gen-engine/138401-noise-idle.html
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Nope not quite, it's similar but still different noise and frequency than mine. Mine is more rhythmic. My advice would be to take the belt off and spin the pulleys and check for play in the pulleys. Did replacing your belt get rid of the noise? If it didn't then I would definitely guess bearing. If it initially did then it came back, my guess would be a misaligned pulley. With my noise, I'm almost 90% (meaning I still could be wrong) sure it's my tensioner because I can literally see it moving and shaking (when it should be stationary). I will report back after I replace it to let you know if that fixed my little rattle. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Need some quick help!! Went out today to prepare tools and everything seems quick and easy EXCEPT that bolt near/under the pulley for the tensioner. I don't have the tools to get the bolt out without taking the pulley off so now I'm going to take the pulley off

Does anyone know if the bolt on the pulley is reverse threaded or is it normal (i.e. lefty loosey, righty tighty)???? I played around with the new one but it didn't seem to budge either way so I honestly have no idea. If someone has a tip for getting at the bolt without taking the pulley off that'd be cool too.

Reason I need to know is because the pulley bolt on the existing tensioner is very worn and stripped so too much yanking in either direction will completely strip it and hinder this whole project.

Need to get this done tomorrow as I have a rare opening in my schedule and weather. Thanks as always.
 

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Need some quick help!! Went out today to prepare tools and everything seems quick and easy EXCEPT that bolt near/under the pulley for the tensioner. I don't have the tools to get the bolt out without taking the pulley off so now I'm going to take the pulley off

Does anyone know if the bolt on the pulley is reverse threaded or is it normal (i.e. lefty loosey, righty tighty)???? I played around with the new one but it didn't seem to budge either way so I honestly have no idea. If someone has a tip for getting at the bolt without taking the pulley off that'd be cool too.

Reason I need to know is because the pulley bolt on the existing tensioner is very worn and stripped so too much yanking in either direction will completely strip it and hinder this whole project.

Need to get this done tomorrow as I have a rare opening in my schedule and weather. Thanks as always.
Nothing is reverse thread...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
UPDATE:
Everyone will be happy to know that I just completed the tensioner replacement and the new tensioner has fixed the rattle noise. Took about 1 hour; not too bad. Here's some tips for those looking to do this:

1. The power steering pump should be unbolted to give better access to the tensioner (no need to disconnect hoses in my case)
2. You will need an array of sockets and tools with extensions to make the process easier. And patience!
3. Out of all the bolts holding the P.S. pump and tensioner there is only one that is a b*tch to get on/off and that's the one behind the tensioner pulley so definitely take the tensioneer pulley off first. I can't imagine it being done without this and I had a hard time with a bunch of tool combinations for this. Do this bolt first when putting the new unit in too. All other bolts are rather simple.
4. While taking the tensioner pulley off, make sure you squeeze a finger behind the pulley to hold the nut in place. This will fall off otherwise and is 100% necessary for the pulley operation. You'll have to play around to get the pulley back on w/ the nut because it's a very tight space behind it.

All-in-all I would say it wasn't too difficult. If you can do the belt by yourself, you should be able to tackle this. Just plan ahead and make sure you have the right tools. I can't thank everyone enough on this thread for their input, tips and help!

Anyone feel free to contact me with any questions.
 

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I love my CL9!
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Great to hear. There's nothing like a successful DIY to boost your confidence for the next one. I find every time I do a DIY, I run into a problem that I don't think I can overcome. I consider not finishing it, and then I always figure it out in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
I can't believe how good I felt afterward lol. A lot of cursing + some scratched knuckles = major confidence boost
 
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