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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally decided to replace the squealing belt tensioner on my 200 (the same problem there was a TSB for where it squeals for a few minutes only when cold and then stops). It's more of an annoyance than a serious problem so I've put it off for a while but I'd still like to get it done. If you've taken a look at where the tensioner on the 3.6L engine is on this car it's very close to the frame rail so getting a normal socket on the bolt isn't possible with the limited clearance. Does anyone have any tips on how to remove the tensioner bolt? Maybe the right wrench could fit in there though with the bolt head recessed into the tensioner it would have to be on some kind of angle. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
 

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2016 Chrysler 200 S, 1998 Sebring JX
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I have a low-profile serpentine belt wrench. It is almost a must when doing belts on transverse-mounted engines right up against the right frame rail.
Some auto parts stores have a tool loan program. You may not have to buy one. The bolt head is 15 mm.

 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks you! I'll look into whether I can get a loaner. I was lying under the car recently trying every wrench I had and nothing would fit in the space. I eventually gave up and just put everything back and figured I'd see if I can find a better way.
 
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2016 Chrysler 200s 2.4L
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I agree with 200_S_AWD... I have a 2016 200s with the 4cyl engine and it still is a tight fit getting a standard tensioner socket set like from Harbor Freight in there...
It would be worth spending the money for what he suggests and then throwing it in the trunk when you have finished... It will still be LESS than paying a Dealer or a local mechanic to do the job and you have just added another tool to your collection...
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to update this I was finally able to replace my tensioner. Since it was just an annoyance and not critical I waited until I swapped my summer tires back on and would have the car raised anyway (plus working in my unheated garage in the winter is no fun). I used the wrench in the picture below. I was able to do it on jackstands in my garage though like many car repairs a lift definitely makes it easier. If anyone else decided to do this job with this wrench a few tips to make it easier:
  • When releasing the belt from the tensioner due to the space available and raised edges on the tensioner pulley getting the belt off the tensioner is tough. The easiest way is to remove the belt from the smooth pulley above the tensioner while you are using a breaker bar to hold the tensioner loose. You can then release the tensioner slowly and get the belt off that pulley.
  • There's still not enough room to get the ratcheting wrench in, even if you put the socket on the bolt first. The easiest was to use the flat extension with the socket on it and put that on the bolt, then use the ratcheting wrench on the extension to have enough leverage to loosen it.
  • Once it was broken free I took the long wrench off and used the extension as a mini wrench. You have to wiggle and twist it a bit but there's enough room to get it off the bolt head and then put it back on to turn again.
  • As soon as the bolt is loose enough to turn with your fingers remove the socket (you'll have to wiggle it a bit to get it out). Turn it by hand from there. There is just barely enough room for the bolt to come out without a socket on it. It still will not come out of the tensioner completely but it will be out of the mounting hole. You also might have to wiggle the tensioner a bit to get it to separate once the bolt is completely loosened.
  • When installing the new tensioner make sure to put the bolt in the tensioner first and route the belt properly with it loosely on the pulley (while keeping it off the smooth pulley above). Getting the tensioner to line up can be tricky so what I found worked was to get the peg on the tensioner in the proper opening and then slide it a bit until I was able to get the bolt into the hole. From there I reversed what I did to remove it and tightened it by hand as much as possible, then used just the extension with the socket, and then attached the wrench to the extension for the final tighten down.
  • After that's done don't forget to put the belt back on the pulley above and check to make sure it's routed correctly.
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