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Author Topic: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made  (Read 361 times)

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Hugh17

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Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« on: July 18, 2019, 08:14:15 AM »

I've read several post about using an Alternator Belt Tensioner with links for these tool from various sources. Every review I've read states that the T shaped end is prone to breaking off and would have to be welded back on if it breaks. I'm not opposed to spending $20 or so on a one purpose tool, but I have no desire to do so if it's likely to break the first time I use it.

I've come up with a homemade belt tensioner that is not going to break and it cost me $5.25 to make. Your cost may vary a little depending on location and retailer.

Using a 3/8"x8" galvanized turnbuckle, and a little modification on a grinder this little tool is a jewel. The 3/8" bolt is plenty strong enough to spread or expand the distance between the V belt pulleys on the engine and the alternator. 

I found that the belt can be tensioned sufficiently by hand turning without using a wrench or other tool to adjust the turnbuckle.  Link to the turnbuckle used is https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/chain-and-rope/rope-and-chain-accessories/51623

The minimum distance between the pulleys is about 7-1/2" on my spare M25XP using a #7395 belt measuring 3/8"x40-1/8". Your distance may be slightly larger if you are using the #7400 belt that measures 13/32"x40-5/8". I've used both size belts on the engine in my boat, which is a M25, depending on the pulley size of the alternator and stretch of the belt. As you are aware there is very little room to tighten the belt.

I hope this is of use to others. Pictures are below.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 08:17:36 AM by Hugh17 »
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James H. Newsome
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Universal M25

Ron Hill

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 08:25:51 AM »

Jim : Great Idea.  With a bit of practice on the grinder you can even concave the ends!!


A thought
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 08:37:01 AM »

James, I added a link to the Critical Upgrades tension post to this one.  Thanks.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Hugh17

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 08:43:11 AM »

Jim : Great Idea.  With a bit of practice on the grinder you can even concave the ends!!A thought

Ron, that was the first thing I did, it just doesn't show very well on the picture. My main concern was the end of the eye bolt bottoming out in the pulley before it might bring pressure against the sides of the pulley and spread them.

I'm not a metal worker, and have few tools for working with metal, but with a bench grinder and some patience I "eyeballed" the modification. It also helped that I had a spare alternator on the table so I could keep testing the shape of the flat eye.

I'll have to say that I was very pleased with the result. There's no indication of the tensioner slipping in the pulleys.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 08:49:37 AM by Stu Jackson »
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James H. Newsome
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Ron Hill

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2019, 01:40:38 PM »

Jim : You can do the same "concaving" with a half-round file with the turnbuckle in a vice!!


A thought
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Hugh17

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 04:58:28 PM »

Jim : Great Idea.  With a bit of practice on the grinder you can even concave the ends!!A thought

Ron, that was the first thing I did, it just doesn't show very well on the picture. My main concern was the end of the eye bolt bottoming out in the pulley before it might bring pressure against the sides of the pulley and spread them.

I'm not a metal worker, and have few tools for working with metal, but with a bench grinder and some patience I "eyeballed" the modification. It also helped that I had a spare alternator on the table so I could keep testing the shape of the flat eye.

I'll have to say that I was very pleased with the result. There's no indication of the tensioner slipping in the pulleys.

I installed a new alternator and changed the belt on my M25 and the belt tensioner worked great. There is some difference between my old M25XP and the M25 in my boat, but I had plenty of adjustment available in the turnbuckle/tensioner.
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James H. Newsome
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Ron Hill

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 02:30:11 PM »

Jim : If you want to buy a super tool get a Dremel tool.  After awhile you find it is invaluable!

I see that you have the old original engine mounts!!!  If you really want to treat yourself, change them and you'll think you have a new engine!!  Many posts in WiKi, Mainsheet tech notes and this message board on new Engine Mounts!!

A few thoughts
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Hugh17

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Re: Alternator Belt Tensioner Home Made
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2019, 08:45:59 PM »

Ron
I have a Drimmel. Agree that itís a great tool. As for the engine mounts they are new. I had this engine installed when I purchased the boat and bought new engine mounts for it.
James
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James H. Newsome
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