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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK.... well I had a belt tensioner failure. I've seen the issue before but it was not limited to the Vortech kits. It seems to be a general weakness on the tensioner once you go beyond the stock setup. The photos below will show that.

OK... so here's the deal. I had the Vortech installed as you may know and I've driven it about 3,000 miles. I've made a few hard runs, but nothing to write home about. Other than that, the car has been driven harder than average, but not to the point of expecting failure on the tensioner.

Late last week I had the belt tensioner fail. It was exactly the same failure as I had seen in various different threads. Basically the stop point of the spring is at the top of the tensioner (when installed) and the metal stop point fails. The top of the tensioner essentially explodes off and the spring loses tension. Bottom line..... not very reassuring.

So on a recommendation given to me by Mikey at BMC (thanks yet again!) I got my hands on a "better " tensioner.

I did some homework on my own trying to see if I can get a Dodge/Chrysler solution but it was a waste of time. What I found out was that the tensioner on the 6.1L is the same as the 5.7L Chargers/Challengers/300C. Not only that, it is the same as the one on the 8 cyl pickups. I thought I would check with those on the assumption that because of the nature of the truck use, the tensioner might be more "rugged". According to the parts dept at my dealership, the part number on the tensioner is the same across the board. My checking stopped there. I don't know if the 10 cyl engine's tensioner is stronger and/or swappable with the 6.1L. In any event, below is what I went with......... Mikey's (BMC) Suggestion.

So since Chrysler does not have an option.... what to do.... Go to Ford... :alfdance: .... stupid.... but I don't care......... it works.

As far as I can make out from photos on the web, the tensioner here is from a GT500. The unit has a different locking method (2 pins into the block instead of 1 on the Mopar) and, as a result, they added the plate that resolves the problem.

The first thing you notice the added weight. You can only assume is that the unit is more substantial. The second thing is the spring. I want to say it has a larger diameter by about 25% to 30%. Second the wheel that runs against the belt is metal as opposed to plastic. Last, it has a smaller diameter wheel. This changes nothing in terms of boost since it does not change the crank vs. superchanger ratio. Boost will remain the same.

So here are the photos. On the first, the length is identical. No difference there.



Here you see a big difference. You can see how much more substantial the replacement is.



Here is the FordMoCo name... essentially, Ford.



The adapter plate so you see how it will fit on the Dodge.



This is the unit installed.



This is a shot of how the belt rides on it. I shot the image by putting the phone down in there to show you the belt path.



The claim is that the unit has been installed in a few 1000+ HP 6.1L Mopars. I was told that it was overkill for my more basic setup. Frankly, that works for me. I rather overkill it and not have to worry. It was not a cheap solution, but it looks to be far better. The stock unit is $55....... and it failed..... Now I have the stock unit as a backup.
 

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Woah, well, I guess as long as it works there shouldn't be a problem. That's a big @ss spindel!
 

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That's a damn shame...you'd think ChryCorp would catch a clue and maybe make theirs better? Using a replacement part from their biggest competitor should serve to give them pause- you should send this on to them.
 

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The problem isnt that there is too much tension on the tensioner. Essentially there should be the same amount of tension on it if the blower adjustment pulley is adjusted right. the problem comes in to play right after a quick blip of the throttle high RPM spin in first gear (or any gear) and the engine revs down quick. It SLAPS the tensioner on the metal stop HARD. I have heard it on my Procharger setup a couple times already and have wondered about this weak tensioner for a blower setup. So far I have beatn my new Procharger setup pretty good and no problems yet. I already have a backup tensioner though. :)
 

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A guy on LX Forums had the exact same problem so I clue'd him in to what was posted on here. Hope it helps him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem isnt that there is too much tension on the tensioner. Essentially there should be the same amount of tension on it if the blower adjustment pulley is adjusted right. the problem comes in to play right after a quick blip of the throttle high RPM spin in first gear (or any gear) and the engine revs down quick. It SLAPS the tensioner on the metal stop HARD. I have heard it on my Procharger setup a couple times already and have wondered about this weak tensioner for a blower setup. So far I have beatn my new Procharger setup pretty good and no problems yet. I already have a backup tensioner though. :)
Agreed.... I figure it has to be with stress on the spring stop. Either under acceleration or when it slacks fast. In short, not under normal 1K to 3K engine speed driving. The failures I have seen are at the spring stop point. If that was more substantial, we would likely be fine.

BTW.... in addition to the tensioner, I carry the belt tensioner tool in the trunk.... :bigthumb:
 

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I'll try this the NEXT time mine breaks.
 
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