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968 timing belt tensioner removal

I'm performing the timing belt and water pump service on my 1992 Porsche 968 and have run into a snag that I cannot resolve with internet research. I can't get the plunger on the automatic tensioner compressed in order to slide in a pin and release tension on the belt.




In the photo you can clearly see the holes for the pin. If I were able to compress the plunger of the automatic hydraulic belt tensioner, a small nail could go in and there would be no more tension on the belt.

The write up in Clark's Garage does not cover the 968 system, only the two other older styles from the 944. I've tried using a pry bar while supporting the head of the tensioner arm. It does not budge. I've removed the locking ring at the lower pivot point. I've tried loosening the nut at the center of the tensioner arm; it doesn't seem to do much and I think it's tightened from the back and becomes part of the assembly. I'd be fearful to remove the entire arm because the tensioner will just expand uncontrollably. But I can't get the arm out with the tension present anyway.

Please help!!
Old 04-27-2014, 11:02 AM
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Try taking a look at this:

I haven't worked on a 968, but looking at the pic in the below link, yours looks like it is pretty much at the limit of its extension.

968 Timing Belt Tensioner

It looks like you remove it then slowly press it in with a C-clamp or similar then pin it in place.

I have a copy of the 968 workshop manual - it doesn't have any special procedure for removal, states you much compress slowing in a vice to pin the plunger once removed prior to reinstallation.
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Last edited by jeffrsmith; 04-27-2014 at 12:58 PM..
Old 04-27-2014, 12:32 PM
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Yeah, unbolt the tensioner and finagle it out, then compress it in a vice. Use a socket over the end though. Not supposed to press on that nub on the end...
Old 04-27-2014, 01:14 PM
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You might find the below link helpful as it describes the whole process of the belt change and the tensioner. See #28 - #31. Make sure the tensioner arm pivots easy as the pin has broken in the past. The Tensioner is normally replaced, BUT can be reused. Some use a "C" clamp to compress the piston but a vice is easier. It would help if you became a member of 968forum.com as it just deals with the 968.

http://www.968forums.com/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=11462

Cheers,
Larry

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Last edited by Grandad#3; 04-27-2014 at 01:55 PM..
Old 04-27-2014, 01:52 PM
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Thank you everyone. I feel better seeing that the piston is about at its end and isn't going to shoot out! I'm trying to figure out how to get to slide out without cracking the cover or bending the mounting stubs. I'm thinking of undoing the other nut on the plate the the tensioner is attached to. From the manual diagram, that nut just holds the plate in lace and maybe removing it will allow some additional movement. Ill report back. And I'll try to sign up again for 968 forum. I am on 968.net.
Old 04-27-2014, 07:21 PM
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basically you can either compress it with a long lever, or you can remove it and compress it in a vise.

if you choose the lever route, be aware that it is extremely stiff, and will take gradual firm force to compress it, and it will likely take a couple of minutes to compress.
Old 04-28-2014, 06:49 AM
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968 , hydraulic tensioner , timing belt , timing belt tensioner , water pump


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