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While reviewing my receipts from the PO I noted that when the guides were replaced some 40k miles back I didn't see a part listing for the tensioner. So rather to be safe than sorry I'm going to replace it

Question: is it easy to get to or does the engine need to be pulled from the car (is there sufficient working space to get at it)? Is it best to tackle this from up top or from underneath the car??? I have noted the comment that its easier to use longer bolts to help guide the part in to overcome the new spring tension and then tighten them one at a time with the originals. Nice idea!


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It Is What It Is, Dude
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Up top, two bolts, no sweat.*

It does help to have a couple of bolts longer than the originals to aid getting the tensioner compressed.




* '78 SLC
 

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As Dave mentions, it is straight forward. Two M8 bolts 70-80mm long, 2 washers and 2 nuts. You might find easier to remove the washer bottle for easy access. Get the nuts closer to the bolt’s head and screw the bolts through the tensioner onto the cylinder head, then work the nuts evenly your way closer to the tensioner until tight. Then remove one bolt at the time and replace with the original (or new replacement). ~ Hope it helps



~*~
 

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You should access it from up top. The tensioner is on the right side (passenger side for USA models). In our 1976 450sl, it was a little more cumbersome to remove the tensioner as the exhaust manifold had to be removed in order to get to the 3rd nut. However, it appears for most people that most don't need to go through the steps I did.
 

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When I replaced the tensioner on my '83 380sl, it went right in... no problem... no long bolts first and then the right bolt... the original bolts when right in, it was like a 10 minute job including the time to remove the washer reservoir. Mine only had 2 bolts.
 
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