3 Litre GU......belt tensioner issue.

Submitted: Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 23:08
ThreadID: 22369 Views:2212 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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G'day one and all. We've just got back from a great (but too short) weekend at Boundry Bend on the Murray. (about 50klm upstream from Robinvale).

We went over there to meet up with our good friends from Yass (g'day Pud, Barb, Sophie and Sarah). Pud's got a 2000 GU auto and it has had a sort of funny rattle in the donk, virtually since the time they bought it brand new. The rattle had been getting worse lately, so Sunday morning we decided to have a close look....thinking it was a bearing in the idler pulley or somewhere in that area.

Off came the large plastic shroud. (Fair dinkum, a bloke could have a pyss-up with half a dozen mates in the space between the radiator and the fan on those cars). We found what looks like a mini shock absorber, about 4" or 5" long. On close inspection from underneath, it was soon apparent that the thing had seized up and the bottom mounting hole had elongated to the point where the bolt head had worked it's way so close to the body of the shaft/shocky, that we couldn't get a 13mm socket or ring spanner on to it. The top bolt was accessible (12mm bolt), so we undid that one and the 2 halves of the "shocky" sprang apart.

It was not a shocky at all, but rather an aluminium contraption with a very powerful compression coil spring inside it. There was a piston on the upper portion that was supposed to move easily into the lower section as a guide; on the inside of the spring, but the whole thing was rusty and would not move freely. A bit of WD40 fixed that, but then it took us several hours to work out a way of compressing the thing back together to get it in it's proper place. We found a steel bush to replace the worn aluminium one in the bottom end and encased that in a short piece of garden hose instead of the original rubber outer bush that had totally worn away. We used my 6 tonne hydraulic jack to push on the bottom mounting, while holding the whole thing in place under the bottom of the Treg coupling on the towbar. By doing this we were able to eventually compress the thing far enough. Pud then used a fair quantity of tie wire to hold the thing together long enough to get it from the back of my truck the it's home under his bonnet and get the 2 bloody bolts back in place. The tie wire was then cut off/pulled out with pliers and a new belt which he had with him was fitted. It didn't look like the old belt had much useable life left in it either.

So there you have it, I suggest you 3 litre owners check that your belt tensioner is functioning properly and grease it if possible. Note that there is a cast-on bolt head on the bracket that holds the idler pulley and you are meant to whack a socket spanner on that to give you the leverage you need to take the tension off the belt and it should make a belt replacement an easy task. We were unable to get ANY movement out of the tensioner pulley by using the said spanner before we pulled the thing apart. Once the job was done and we kicked her over, the motor ran sweeter than it ever had.....no funny noises.

Pud is gunna have to buy and fit a new tensioner, as the job we did was really only a "get home safely" temporary set-up.


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Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 23:31

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 23:31
If it's had a funny noise since new, it's a little dissapointing that it wasn't picked up when being serviced. It's even more surprising that he didn't mention it to the service guys.

Yes, it has been mentioned on here before that this pulley tensioner is not a good design.
AnswerID: 108161

Reply By: Skinny- Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 08:52

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 08:52
Hi Roachie, I just love those stories. Hate it when it happens to me at the time , but great to think back on. Always makes me feel a little more confident and in control than I have the opportunity to be at other times in my life.Good bush mechanic'ing

AnswerID: 108194

Reply By: The Major - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 09:18

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 09:18
Hi Roachie
Glad to hear you survived your trip, lucky you had some good mechanical knowledge. I also had problems with my belt tensioner in my Series III 3 litre, took it back to the dealer I bought it from and they told me they never heard of the problem. Rang another Nissan dealer and they said that Nissan have issued a brochure that there is a manufacturer's fault and to bring the car in and they would replace it free of charge. It should be noted the vehicle only had 8,000 kms at this stage. Took the car in, the fan belt tensioner was allegedly replaced and when I went to pick the car up they asked for $66.00 for a new fan belt as they told me the old fan belt had to be sent back to Nissan in Melbourne with the faulty fan belt tensioner. I disputed this and rang Nissan Melbourne and subsequently my original fan belt was returned to me but I was still down $66.00. Now, the problem is at 50,000 kms (40,000kms later) the noise is back again and it even gets worse if I go through a puddle of water or was the car and the water makes it way to the fan belt area. I have no confidence in the dealers, they are just a mob of shonks and unfortunately the old time detective type mechanic has disappeared from the scene and replaced by computers and technical whiz kids. It would be interesting to see if anyone else has had this problem and what Nissan has done to rectify it. If they made an auto in the 4 litre that is the way I would have gone in the first instance. I have found the autos excellent for towing a caravan.
The Major
AnswerID: 108203

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 09:49

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 09:49

Mine was replaced under warranty at 25K km's, i was told by the dealer that it is a kknown fault and that Nissan have isued a service fix kit. On mine they replaced the tensioner, the bottom pulley and fitted a new belt all under warranty.

AnswerID: 108210

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 17:11

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 17:11
goodday roachie
is this tensioner just on the 3l or on the 4.2 as well
maybe i should get off my bum and go and check

AnswerID: 108276

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:13

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:13
G'day Steve,
No mate, only the 3L has this set-up. It has only one long, wide belt that drives everything.
The 4.2L has 3 separate belts with different tensioning arrangements.

FollowupID: 365065

Reply By: Member - Allan T (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:28

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 22:28
hi guys
yes i have had the problem with the belt tension under warenty at 80ks nissan replaced belt tension water pump harmonic balance infact all pulleys onthe engine and yes they kept the belt but at all no charge to me and i was told nissan have a derective to do this. The first i new of the problem was a lose belt. so i would think if you have 3lt diesal still under warenty get it checked now as i would hate to think the cost of this

AnswerID: 108339

Reply By: 80scruiser - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 21:03

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 21:03
Yes I had my first customers one replaced last week.
Had done 124 000 km on a 2000 model and yes still going strong.
Cost for the tensioner is about $200.00.
AnswerID: 108483

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