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Old 11-26-2005, 12:00 PM   #1
prspect06
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Default how to adjust ac compressor tension

How do I adjust the tension for this belt?

I see the bolt slider thing, but I don't know what to do with it. What do I need to loosen?
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:05 PM   #2
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If you tighten the bolt it will put more tension, if you loosen it it will put less tension. I haven't done it for awhile, but I'm pretty sure that is the way it goes. If you just look at the bolt assembly it is pretty obvious.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response. However, I just broke something. Click here to see the diagram. I just tightened bolt 73181C and I broke the bracket that holds that bolt. I guess I tightened it too much. Is 73181 C the right bolt to tighten? I haven't lost any tension, so would the car still be drivable?
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:15 PM   #4
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Yes, that's the right bolt. You must have really been cranking down on it to break it. I'm not sure how you can break the bracket without losing tension. if anything, I would say it is too tight now since it is staying at the point where it broke. Can you post a pic of what broke? The entire assembly is under $20, so I would just replace asap, but are you saying you cannot get it any looser now?
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:22 PM   #5
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hold on...let me load a pic. You've been great to help me! Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:25 PM   #6
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On the 3rd pic. I only tightened on the slider bolt and not the lock bolt. I guess I tightened it so much that the part that holds the bolt on the bottom broke. I never touched the lock bolt so I don't believe I lost any tension. Since I didn't lose tension I think that it is drivable. I just won't be able to adjust tension until I replace it. What do you think?
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:32 PM   #7
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:34 PM   #8
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I think you should fix it before you plan to use your AC. Fortunately it's almost winter so you have some time. As for it being "driveable" since that belt is only for the AC you could remove it completely and still be able to drive the car with no ill effects besides the non-working AC. Also the belt is not under any load unless the AC is on, so a slight loss of tension or belt misalignment wouldn't be that noticeable or cause any noise or slippage until the AC was turned on.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:38 PM   #9
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So the big pulley on the top right is the ac. What is the smaller pulley underneath it?

Edit: Just found out that it is the idler pulley. What function does this have? I still believe that I haven't messed with the tension of the pulley because I started the engine and let it idle for a while. I turned it off and checked the tension and it was the pretty much the same.
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Old 11-26-2005, 01:26 PM   #10
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bump...any more ideas?
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:21 PM   #11
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Can someone help me find out what the part number is for that? I'm having trouble. Can anyone direct me? I've looked at the subaru genuine parts website and at the engine assembly pics, but could not find the tensioner.
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:24 PM   #12
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Or if you don't have a part number, is there a good engine assembly picture with that tensioner on it?
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:32 PM   #13
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Why not just go to a local dealer and buy the part? It isn't that expensive so you won't save very much buying it online, plus if you have the car there the parts guy can look at it if there is any question of what you need.
I'd think that if you walked into the parts department and asked for the complete AC belt tensioner assembly for a WRX that they'd know exactly what to give you.
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:17 PM   #14
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you you have to loosen the bolt marked A next to the arrow you made. that bolt holds the slide inplace you do not loosen it before trying to crank on bolt B. yoe will snap it.As mulder sayed just go to the dealer its not that $$$ and if it is the wrong one it is much eisier to go back to the dealer than to return online. This is from experiance on my old 96 outback. I had forgotten to lossen the bolt.
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Old 03-11-2006, 02:33 PM   #15
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:45 PM   #16
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Thanks guys! I went to the dealership and got the slider. The diagram ^^^^ is exactly what I was looking for, but I just showed the service guy what was wrong and he got the part for me.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:46 PM   #17
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Now I need to know how to tell if the belt is too tight or too loose now. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:00 PM   #18
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Check how much the belt deflects when you press on it firmly with your thumb midway between the compressor and crank pulley. The spec in the manual is 7.5-8.5 mm for a new belt, 9-10 mm for a used one.
Specs aside, the belt should feel tight but still have a small amount of deflection. It should not feel loose, and it should have some give. Too loose and it will slip, too tight and it will damage the compressor and idler bearings.
If you are installing a new belt, re-check the tension after a hundred miles or so, they tend to loosen up.
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Old 03-12-2006, 10:10 AM   #19
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How do I make a reference point as to measure the deflection? Is there a tool that I could use to measure this?
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Old 03-12-2006, 12:46 PM   #20
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Old wooden ruler works fine for me.
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:42 PM   #21
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LOL...I guess I need to ask a better question then...How do subaru service people measure deflection?
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:44 PM   #22
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I had the same thing happen when I replaced my stock pulley with the Perrin one....the tensioner was only like $8 and my local dealership happened to have one laying around.
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