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I bought 3 new chain tensioners for my 1999 Cabriolet. The two that are accessible from beneath the car I replaced. I did not replace the upper one because it is under the AC compressor.


I understand the AC compressor needs to be moved to access the tensioner and this is accomplished by removing the 3 compressor bolts. But Bentley says you need to remove the power steering pump reservoir too, which looks messy. I suspect you need to remove the reservoir if you are removing the compressor, which I am not. I just need to shift it over.


Can anyone speak from been there done that?

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No need to remove any of those. Just undo the 3 bolts holding the a/c compressor. You need to remove the engine temp sensor on the right intake manifold to drop an extension with a socket to get to the bolt at the back of the compressor. That bolt cannot be removed but it can slide up enough for you to slide out the compressor. 

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Mission accomplished. The good news is replacing the upper tensioner did the trick. No more noisy morning starts.


The bad news is the upper tensioner is a ***** to get at. I had to pull the AC compressor all the way out to get access to the tensioner. Then down near the tensioner there are some hoses you need to unbolt and relocate to get the 24mm(?) socket on the old tensioner. The new tensioner uses a 14mm hex head which is much easier, but I didn't have, so trip to NAPA. 


By far the hardest part is the AC compressor. Its front two bolts are easy, but the back bolt you can't see. I used a mirror to locate it, and it must have taken a half hour to find it. Next time, 5 mins. putting the compressor back in is tricky because you need make sure the back bolt does not slide down and hang up on the engine while you are sliding it back in. I rigged up a piece of wire to hold the bolt up that I could pull out once the compressor was in place.


At the same time I replaced the water pump/coolant, replaced the OEM thermostat with a Raby thermostat and installed a new coolant reservoir tank, so I had the motor dropped a couple of inches which helps. 

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Glad to hear you fixed your issue. Agree that a/c bolt is so easy after you removed it once.

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What version of tensioner did you buy? I am a little hesitant to do this, but it sounds like something I am capable of. 

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I don't recall the version, except that it uses the 14mm hex drive which is characteristic of the newest version. Call Suncoast Porsche for the latest part. 

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When you replaced the upper chain tensioner, did you lock the cams before removing??

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  • Similar Content

    • By jchapura
      I've got the three chain tensioners sitting on the shelf waiting to change with the oil in few weeks.

      From the bottom, the IMS (I think) tensioner is the easiest one - totally exposed for a socket. The other one accessible from the bottom is "fenced" by a couple of metal coolant tubes. Can the coolant tubes be temporarily moved out of the way by undoing their straps to gain sufficient access to the tensioner? Or, do the tubes have to come out by decoupling them from their in and out rubber hoses? (I'm trying to avoid cracking open the coolant system...)
      Does the cam have to be locked in TDC with a pin through the pulley hole? Is there still a chance that any of the three chains could jump a tooth while removing the existing tensioner or putting in the new one? I plan to complete each tensioner completely before moving to the next one (two tensioners will never be out at the same time).
      Any other tips or tricks?

      Thanks for any advice.
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