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Hello,

I have a skoda Octavia 1.9 Tdi with 81kW ASV VW-engine. Last friday it broke down, because engine´s timing belt tensioner failed. Same thing happened with the previous tensioner too! Now it lasted only 10 000 km. Service interval should be 90 000 km!

When I installed the belt, I tensioned the pretetension into clockwise and every thing seemed to be ok after the installation. Still something went wrong?

The "tensioner3" picture shows the tensioner after the failure before the removal. The "tensioner1" picture shows the damage and "tensioner2" shows the possible cause.

It seems that the tensioning spring has been fatigued and then snapped. After the spring snaps then the stopper plate takes all the belt force against the aluminum inner part. That shears finally the stopper plate and belt is able to move and loose.

I have had lot of luck, because both times the pump wheel has jumped first before cam wheel. So no damage has occurred to the motor.

Do some of you have similar experiences? Is the Litens tensioner total crap or am I a bad mechanic? You can check from the "tensioner3" picture that is it installed properly. The tensioning "mark" isn´t in its place, because the inner part is loose due to snapped tensioning spring.
 

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was the little arm in its correct place in the backing plate?

there is a little window with a metal ring around it that the arm is supposed to be captured in before you set the tension on the initial install. was the arm in this window before you removed it? I cannot tell from your 3rd photo.

it sounds like you know what you are doing. you know to turn it clockwise to set the tension, and you know that the two marks should line up. only thing you didnt mention is if the arm was in its spot or not.
 

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You're lucky. I have seen the same damage to the tab once but I don't know what caused it. I've never seen it again. 2nd, are you putting the tab in the hole? Do you have a torque wrench and are you torquing it correctly?
 

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Yes, the locking lever was in place. I borrowed a torgue wrench from my neighbour and it was stahlwille or something, not cheap one. I have Finnish publisher´s translation from the Haynes manual and it gives 20Nm for the tightening torque.
 

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Could something else be causing it to fail? Is it possible for vibrations or maybe a crooked stud to cause the spring to fail?
 

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Well I have no idea what caused this. I took the damaged tensioner to the spare parts shop where I bought it and they will send it to Finnish importer of the spare parts. This tensioner came with complete cam belt set made by Ina.

They will phone me after they get answer from the importer. Lets see what they think went wrong.

I think I will make a new tensioner with more old school system, where there isn´t any constant spring pressure. Just like in the most of the other branded engines. Just a simple eccentric middle part with a locking device to hold it in place after the tension adjustment. This should be "bullet proof" tensioning system, maybe. If any vibrations don´t broke the chain tooths after non-adjusting tension pressure...
 

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I think I will make a new tensioner with more old school system, where there isn´t any constant spring pressure. Just like in the most of the other branded engines. Just a simple eccentric middle part with a locking device to hold it in place after the tension adjustment. This should be "bullet proof" tensioning system, maybe. If any vibrations don´t broke the chain tooths after non-adjusting tension pressure...
The TDI system is not set up for this type of tensioner. it needs to be spring loaded or you will cause more problems for yourself down the road.

Make sure that whatever tensioner you put on there is manufactured by Litens. use nothing else on an ALH 1.9 TDI. the name Litens will be stamped into the back side of the tensioner.
 

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Litens and INA quality?

Just received parts for TB replacement, noticed that the Litens tensioner for the BEW uses a bearing made in Korea. For my ALH, the INA large roller uses a bearing made in China. Has anyone experienced any issues with bearing failures with INA or Litens?
 

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Hi there i know it was a while ago but did u ever get the warranty on the faulty kit or ever find out what caused it. My wifes car has just done the same thing after 4000 miles.
 

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Just a little note: Just because the tensioner looks like this after the mishap, it does not mean that the tensioner caused the mishap... If something else went awry (like the camshaft sprocket slipping) and caused the pistons to hit the valves, the tensioner would probably look just like this also...

Yuri
 

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my tensioner broke and jumped teeth on the fuel pump and caused no damage. it was lucky the car was going at low speed.
 
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