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Thread: Those clever Japanese... .

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Those clever Japanese... .

    Yesterday, I "de-rigged" the mounting arrangement/support I'd "engineered" for my Nissan Frontier pick-up (and fixed it properly). While I had the radiator out I decided to service the entire cooling system, including a new thermostat and (while I was there) water pump, since these were probably original items and thus had about 10 years on them and 100k-plus miles (and thus, probably were close to the end of their service lives anyhow - and besides, winter's coming and I don't want to have to deal with a water pump replacement when it's 10 degrees out).

    I also decided to replace all the drive belts - again, while I was at it... the Nissan's engine compartment is pretty tight; better to re-bopp the entire cooling system now and know it's basically good as new and ready for another3-4 years of (hopefully) incident-free service.... .

    Anyhow, I wanted to comment on the ingenious way those clever Nissan engineers designed the pulley adjustment. On all American cars I've worked on (those without serpentine belts), loosening the pulley to get a belt off - and getting it back on/adjusted again - can be a huge PITAS. One typically has to leverage the pulley to get tension, then tighten a bolt (or three). With the Nissan, pulley tension is adjusted by a long bolt and a locknut. To ease the tension on a pulley, simply loosen the locknut and back out the screw, which lets the pulley (and/or accessory) move in a gradual, controlled way inward sufficiently so that you can remove the belt. To restore tension,you reverse the process; the screw gradually resores tension in a very linear way (and maintains tension as you go; no "slipping.") When you've achieved proper tension, tighten up the locknut - and you're done.

    I really impresses me the way the truck was designed to make service easier; not to mention that this set-up is probably a lot more likely to keep all pulleys/accessories in proper alignment (and belts at the proper tension), which means fewer issues such as squealing belts, shortened belt life - and so on.

    Just another reason to "rove" my Japanese truck!



  2. #2
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    Re: Those clever Japanese... .

    There was a similar arrangement on the VW Jetta's VR-6 motor.

    Only it wasn't as easy -- you needed to supply your own bolt. But not just any bolt -- it had to be a 8mm bolt that was threaded the entire length -- which isn't something you can find at a Home Depot. I had to go to an industrial parts supplier and get a 8mm threaded rod, and jam two 8mm nuts together to make my own bolt.

    You then turned your home-made bolt into part of the head casting, which then pressed on a boss on the belt tensioner to loosen it up.

    I'm sure that VW techs have a special tool to do this...

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Those clever Japanese... .

    "You then turned your home-made bolt into part of the head casting, which then pressed on a boss on the belt tensioner to loosen it up."

    Very typically German!

    Clever - but needlessly complex...


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    Re: Those clever Japanese... .

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    To ease the tension on a pulley, simply loosen the locknut and back out the screw, which lets the pulley (and/or accessory) move in a gradual, controlled way inward sufficiently so that you can remove the belt. To restore tension,you reverse the process; the screw gradually resores tension in a very linear way (and maintains tension as you go; no "slipping.") When you've achieved proper tension, tighten up the locknut - and you're done.
    Just like my 1990 Peugeot. My 1999 Alfa romeo has an automatic adjuster; maybe eventually the Japanese will copy that!

  5. #5
    mrblanche
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    Re: Those clever Japanese... .

    Nothing on anything I own is adjustable. All the slack is taken up by belt tensioners, which are easily manipulated with a 1/2 inch breaker bar. The A/C compressor, alternator, water pump, and (on my big truck) air compressor are all bolted solidly to the block, and don't move.

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