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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 06-12-2015, 12:03 PM
Saab Driver Saab Driver is offline
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Mein Auto: Saab 9-3; BMW 318i
318i Alternator V-belt

I recently replaced the V-belt on my daughter's '93/94 318i but I'm unable to tension further as the position of the alternator is at the limit of the travel for the tension device. Has anybody installed a shorter belt to alleviate a similar problem? I don't want to keep replacing the belt, as it requires removing the accessory belt prior which is a bit of a pain. BMW apparently switched to a serpentine belt design on similar models.

Tx to anybody who can respond.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:41 AM
bmrlvr4lf bmrlvr4lf is offline
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Mein Auto: 528, 328ic, 318is
Had the same problem, took the belt into Advanced auto parts and told them I needed one slightly smaller. I can't remember how much smaller but it worked for me.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:04 AM
Saab Driver Saab Driver is offline
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Thanks for the reply.... I ended up installing a Dayco 15395 in lieu of the "stock" belt which was a Dayco 15405. It required additional some extra persuasion to install but the alternator now has lots of remaining travel for further tensioning and is working fine.
I'd probably choose a 15400 if needing to replace again to make the installation a little easier.
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