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Join Date: May 2008
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Auto Tensioner Hack?

Just finishing up the belts on my ‘87NA…and have a question about a possible hack of the automatic timing belt tensioner.

This is my third 944…but first with the auto tensioner, and I’ve realized that the only “automatic” aspect of this tensioner is that it (theoretically) facilitates setting the t-belt to the “correct” tension prior to locking it down. Seems like the only advantage of this over the older “manual” tensioner is for service shop convenience and time-saving.

I’d been under the mistaken impression that this tensioner would always be actively adjusting belt tension to compensate for engine temps.

With this in mind…I am musing the possibility replacing the auto-tensioner’s pivot mount with a longer one so that it can become an active pivot - then leaving the pivot-locknut off completely. Thus modified, the tensioner would remain active - and (theoretically) free to compensate belt tension continuously.

Now the obvious big question: that while the tensioner’s spring feels quite powerful…would it be strong enough to maintain “correct” pressure on the belt regardless of conditions/temps…and never, ever skip a tooth? Am I completely out of my mind to even consider such a “hack” of the tensioner?
Old 04-23-2019, 03:30 AM
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Brave move!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Old 04-23-2019, 03:39 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
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Nope. See the heavy damping unit on the designs that maintain tension. An un-dampened spring will resonate at particular RPMs and the belt will certainly jump.

Plus who cares? You need to tension the balance belt from time to time anyway. You are in there and resetting the timing belt tension is no big deal.
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1987 928S4
1992 968 cabrio
1994 968 cabrio - Supercharged
Old 04-23-2019, 03:49 AM
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