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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right after the power steering pump started going out I started hearing a slow chattering sound when the car was idling in gear. (It was probably there at higher speeds as well but I just couldn't hear it...anyway..) Today while I had my Dad shifting through the gears before checking the ATF fluid level I had the flashlight on the automatic belt tensioner. When in Park or Neutral it would twitch a little. Looked normal. However, when he put it in gear it would shimmy like a meth addict in withdrawal and it seemed to be the source of the chatter.

I say "seemed to be" because the engine seemed to move an AWFUL lot when going into/out of gear, like a motor mount might be bad.

What do I have to do or remove to even SEE the motor mount(s) on the passenger side? What are the signs of failure?

thanks in advance,

Scott

edit: according to Chilton's the correct term is "automatic belt tensioner". If a mod wants to change the title to be more clear I'd appreciate it.

(On the plus side, in the last 2 weeks the car has gotten a new p/s pump, new plugs/wires/cap & rotor, oil change, transmission filter and pan gasket with a partial fluid change. Going to replace the fuel filter sometime this week. We're slowly getting the old gal back into shape...)
 
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Sounds like the tensioner spring is either weak, or needs a fix at the methadone clinic. :lol:

For the motor mounts, have someone set the parking brake, apply the regular brake, and shift into D. Have them rev the engine slightly, and watch the engine. If it moves up more than an inch or so, the mounts are shot. Better to do all three at once.
 

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I had this similar chatter on mine and it ended up being the bolt that holds the tensioner pulley onto the bracket had disappeared. Ended up ruining several belts before I came up with a good fix. Dealership could not identify the correct bolt size, they wanted me to purchase a whole new tensioner assembly!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We put the new belt tensioner on today and the chatter is gone.

When looking at the new tensioner there are two black pieces that come out of the housing (ends of the spring?) The old one only has one...and a bent piece of metal pushed into the hole. Think it broke a spring?

Anyway. Silence is bliss. That chattering was driving me friggin' nuts.

Did the fuel filter while I was at it. That appeared original, too. I'm starting to wonder if the previous owner did ANY of the recommended maintenance. :angry:

The motor mounts seem to be okay. Thank God - I sure couldn't afford to have 'em all changed right now. Two are $88/ea at RockAuto, the third one is $56. I can only imagine what the labor would be...
 
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