Belt tensioner..? rare like a unicorn..?`

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
while messing with the optispark on my wihte '95 RMW (roadmaster wagon) the mechanic found the belt tensioner weak.. pulled it and found it to be barely serviceable and in need of a replacement..

not so fast, there..!

it seems a replacement is much like a unicorn.. not to be seen..
IMG_1850.JPG IMG_1849.JPG IMG_1851.JPG IMG_1852.JPG

the part number, as can be seen on picture #2 is 10186118..
a search on duckduckgo and google turn up a lot of info, none the right part..

a telephone call to Gates revealed that the sold the tooling to GM (or maybe AC delco) in the '90's and never made them..

SO, if anyone knows where one can be purchased, please let me know..
if anyone HAS one i will happily buy it.. :)
 

robert graham

Full Member
205
12
18
Buick Ownership
Buick
I went through this about 3 or 4 years ago and my mechanic just replaced the entire belt driven fan, tensioner, belt, etc. with a very nice electric fan attached to the back of radiator….works like a charm!….The other advantages to the electric fan is it’s quieter, better gas mileage, frees up all that space in front of motor for water pump, Optispark, etc. work in the future. If you’ve noticed, most modern/newer vehicles use electric fans anyway…
 

SKV

Full Member
88
1
8
Buick Ownership
Buick
You can try car-part.com; many listings there have photos of donor cars and if you find a suitable car, you may call the shop and ask them if they can also pull and sell the tensioner.
Also if you have junk yards nearby, you may be lucky to find a roadmaster with a mechanical fan and then the tensioner and the bracket will be yours.
______________________________
 

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
I went through this about 3 or 4 years ago and my mechanic just replaced the entire belt driven fan, tensioner, belt, etc. with a very nice electric fan attached to the back of radiator….works like a charm!….The other advantages to the electric fan is it’s quieter, better gas mileage, frees up all that space in front of motor for water pump, Optispark, etc. work in the future. If you’ve noticed, most modern/newer vehicles use electric fans anyway…
thank you for the idea.. it never occurred to me that this could even be done..
 

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
You can try car-part.com; many listings there have photos of donor cars and if you find a suitable car, you may call the shop and ask them if they can also pull and sell the tensioner.
Also if you have junk yards nearby, you may be lucky to find a roadmaster with a mechanical fan and then the tensioner and the bracket will be yours.
there is only one local to me wrecking yard, it is about 80 miles away and the owners seem disinterested when i called some months ago..
i have done so several times and no help..

just FWIW i seem to have collected a few parts of my own.. a set of aluminum wheels, tail light assemblies, a rear bumper cover and a dash board and dash cover.. a radio and a AC fan.. all from a '95..
 

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
I went through this about 3 or 4 years ago and my mechanic just replaced the entire belt driven fan, tensioner, belt, etc. with a very nice electric fan attached to the back of radiator….works like a charm!….The other advantages to the electric fan is it’s quieter, better gas mileage, frees up all that space in front of motor for water pump, Optispark, etc. work in the future. If you’ve noticed, most modern/newer vehicles use electric fans anyway…
took a close look at the car today..
the water pump is driven directly off the engine..
toss the mechanical fan, add an electric fan and go..!
thank you for this idea.. :)
 

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
I went through this about 3 or 4 years ago and my mechanic just replaced the entire belt driven fan, tensioner, belt, etc. with a very nice electric fan attached to the back of radiator….works like a charm!….The other advantages to the electric fan is it’s quieter, better gas mileage, frees up all that space in front of motor for water pump, Optispark, etc. work in the future. If you’ve noticed, most modern/newer vehicles use electric fans anyway…
thought i asked this earlier, BUT, if you have the time, would you be able to take some pix of your car with the additional electric fan..?
thanks
______________________________
 

robert graham

Full Member
205
12
18
Buick Ownership
Buick
If your car has the trailer towing package then it probably already has an electric fan on the right side of radiator facing the engine in addition to the belt driven fan(at least mine did).the added fan is just about like that one, only sitting next to it on the left side facing the engine….these fans are flat, mostly black plastic, about 12 inches in diameter, held on the radiator with clips that go through the radiator cooling fins….sorry, but I don’t know how to do photos. I expect any automotive parts store will have these fans. These fans are run through a small aluminum relay inside the fuse box in the engine compartment….run by thermostat and/or when the a/c is turned on.
 

billmorrow

Member
49
4
8
georgia
Buick Ownership
one 1992 & two 1995 Roadmaster Estate Wagons
If your car has the trailer towing package then it probably already has an electric fan on the right side of radiator facing the engine in addition to the belt driven fan(at least mine did).the added fan is just about like that one, only sitting next to it on the left side facing the engine….these fans are flat, mostly black plastic, about 12 inches in diameter, held on the radiator with clips that go through the radiator cooling fins….sorry, but I don’t know how to do photos. I expect any automotive parts store will have these fans. These fans are run through a small aluminum relay inside the fuse box in the engine compartment….run by thermostat and/or when the a/c is turned on.
thank you..! i went to amazon, my usual go-to place for stuff (& ebay, usually but for now i am banned by ebay, long story but ebay cares not if you are the victim of a fraudulent buyer) and ordered a 16 inch flat fan with all the attachment stuff + a thermostat and relay, all for under $50, see link below..
i WAS a bit curious about attaching these fans but i guess just pushing a small wire tie type thing through the radiator itself is the way things are done 'these days'.. :)

as to taking pix and posting them, EVERYONE has a smart phone 'these days' (there is that 'these days' phrase again! :oops: )..
i use iPhones 'these days' exclusively (security ya-know) so i keep a lightning charging cord in one of my desktop computers and just plug in the iPhone when i want to transfer a photo someplace.. easy.. much like, i guess, adding a fan and dumping the old mechanical fan is, 'these days'.. :)

if you want or need a tutorial on dealing with photos & computers, just ask..


now, 16 inches might be too big but i'll find out and YES both '95's have towing packages..

thanks again for the idea, you saved me a LOT of anguish and time.. :)
 

robert graham

Full Member
205
12
18
Buick Ownership
Buick
Yep,that Amazon fan looks just like the one they added to my car…..now I got my mechanic to install it and wire it up….just doubt my skills on this would be lacking. I have a great mechanic and he has to feed his family too…so it’s no problem to pay him for his time and expertise…
 
Get your turbo buick badge right here!
Protect your vehicle from code scanners
Top