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Paul O'Connor
Paul O'Connor, Vehicle repair centre owner
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience:  NVQ 2+3, Tech cert
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I have a 1999 Vauxhall Astra 1.6..alternator..tensioner

Customer Question

I have a 1999 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16V. I want to change a alternator on it but not sure how the tensioner work on it . Can I just remove the belt by manuvering the tensioner by a wrench and then do the same to replace a new belt? Any help will be most welcome as I have tried to drive the car to the garage but because of the elctric power steering have great difficulty to turn the steering.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Hi, I'm Paul.
The tensioner is adjusted via a bolt pushing on a plate.
If you turn it one way, it will tighten the belt. Turn the other way and it will make it slack.
The tensioner is easy acessable, if you have a look near the alternator, you will be able to see it.
There should also be a locking nut or bolt, depending on the tensioner type, remember to tighten this again after the work is done as it will rattle loose and make the belt slip.
If you need anymore help, please just ask.
Thanks,
Paul.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is it the bolt in the middle or the two bolts on the tensioner that I have to loosen,How difficult is it to change the belt too.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
The 1 single bolt.
The belt is an easy job to do and should be done in around 15 min.
You may need to move the alternator closer via prying it with a pry bar / large screw driver, to get the belt of and or on.
Paul.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul,

Do I have to take the airfilter assembly off before I do this. It has only got 1 long bolt at the bottom of the alternator. do I just loosen that to bring the alrenator closer. Sorry for the trouble. Do you have any ideal as to how much the new belt will cost me? Your help is much appreciated.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Removing the air feed will give more access to the alternator.
There should be a smaller bolt at the top of the alternator going into a plate, this plate is the adjuster.
A new belt should cost around £10.
Paul.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So are you saying that there is no need to touch the tensioner except for using a large screw Driver to make the pully/belt loose?
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
No, you need to loosen the tensioner and alternator belt should go slack. Then pry the alternator closer with a prybar or screw driver. This makes the job easier as its a tight fit due to still being fixed solid by the bottom alternator bolt.
Once the belt is replaced, pry out again and re-tighten the tensioner.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul, Can I try this tomorrow and then accept the answer or not.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Yes thats fine
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks mate u are a gem.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
mo probs
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How many nuts and botls are they holding the alternator. I can only see 2 one is a star shaper no 14 up the top and one at the bottom going through the 2 lugs of the alternator but still having problems setting the alternator out. Is there any tricks in removing the alternator? Getting very desperate to get the vihicle on the road.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.

It will be a tight fit and will need prising out with a bar of some sort.

 

Have a look here Diagram

 

You can see the mounting on here, once the top is loose, you should be able to move it towards the engine and get the belt off.

Then you just remove the lowr bolt and take it out. You may have to wiggl and manover it to get it out but it only should take 15 min.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul sorry to be a pain. You know the star shaped nut on the top , I do not have the right spanner to fit that do you know that size torx is that so I can go and buy a correct socket or will a ordinary socket set will fit. Can you just confirm that there are only 3 bolts to undo one on the top 2 on the top and one at the bottom. Because the tensioner pully is spring loaded I should be albe to move it right? to replace the belt as well? I am told that if I put a spanner on the centre bolt of the tensioner I should be able to have enough slack to take the belt of the alternator and replace th new belt. The sketch you supplied is helpful as I have a reference now how to put the belt on. Sorry mate I know it is easy for you. But do appreciate you time and patietence.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.

Yes that is right. The star shaped nut is a T18 or T20 i think, but you should be able to get it with a normal hex socket, try a 14MM.

Yes the tensioner is sprng loaded and you will be able to get the belt off with that, i would remove the belt before undoing the alternator.

 

Paul.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul,

I am going to try that again tomorrow and I know you have earned every penny of it But I will let you know how I got on as I just went and bought the belt. Thanks and wish me luck.

Kind regards,

PravinEmbarassed
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Good Luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi, Paul,

Thanks for all your help it took me a long time to do it as I could not get the Alrenator out because of the restricted space and then the alternator did not nine up for the long bolt to be pushed in. I am glad I changed the belt as the belt has a split on the sepertine ridges. Can I have the old alternator repaired for spare?
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Yes but it will cost around £50. Due to the cost of a secondhand unit, i doubt it is worth it.
Paul O'Connor and other UK Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for all your help. Take care
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
no problem
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul,
I pledged $15 for the service and I already paid $12.50 but they are trying to nab of another $15 and that is hardly fair. I owe them $2.50 to finish £15 I pledged. I dont mind paying them total $15 but no more than that. So where am I going wrong.
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
Speak to the admin, i think it will be a technical mistake. They should be able to fix the prob straight away.
You should find a like to email the admin in the T+C page or on the forum.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Paul,
They are informing me that you already got paid. Just wanted to say thanks for the help.

Regards
Expert:  Paul O'Connor replied 7 years ago.
no problem, thanks for using justanswer.

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