Replacement Belt Tensioner for the 87-88 L4 2.5 Fiero.
Replaces GM part number 10041248 shown below:
||This tensioner has been unavailable for a few years now. So what can an owner of a 87-88 Pontiac Fiero with the 2.5 L4 engine do if their tensioner fails?
Here is the story on a finding a suitable replacement:
Several years ago I was at a Fiero car show talking to Fred Bartemeyer. In our conversation that day Fred happened to mention how he modified a GM FWD belt tensioner to work on the 87/88 L4 Fiero engine by cutting some of the casting off that held the power steering pump. At that time that was the end of our short discussion on this topic but I always remembered that conversation we had that day.
Fast forward to a few months ago (Sept 2015): A person calls and tells me his daughter has an 87 Fiero with the L4 and the tensioner has failed. He asks where he can buy one. I tell him there are no new ones available anywhere. I tell him the story of my conversation with Fred Bartemeyer. He tells me he does not want to try and research that so I send him on to some places that sell used Fiero parts. I would assume he found and bought a good used tensioner and had it installed in his daughters 87 L4 Fiero.
So now I start looking into this. I emailed Fred Batermeyer and I asked him for more details on this. I also ask Fred if he wants to start making these modified FWD tensioners so they are available to Fiero owners.
This is Fred Bartemeyers story:
The thought process started with my recollection of when I worked in the GM dealerships that the iron duke L4 was also used in several front wheel drive cars. I visited my local Pontiac Dealership that I have friends at and did some cross reference research to see what cars came with an R code iron duke. Knowing that the P/S pump on the FWD GM L4's mounted where the alternator does on the Fiero, I felt that my idea was dead in the water. But I still wanted to look at this so I trolled the local u-pull-apart junk yards to see if I could find one of the FWD cars on my target list. The day I looked, there was both an Oldsmobile that was on my list and a 88 Fiero coupe in their inventory. So, I took the tensioner off the FWD Olds engine and attempted to install it on the Fiero. The FWD tensioner I took off the Olds bolted up to the Fiero directly without any clearance issues. I bought that tensioner for a couple bucks and brought it home to see what modifications were needed to possibly make it work in the 87/88 L4 Fiero's. I had several Fiero R code iron dukes out of the car at the time, so I did the mock up on a spare engine. I first cut off one of the aluminum ears that held the power steering pump on this FWD belt tensioner. I then fabricated a steel extension bracket that bolted to this FWD P/S tensioner to go to the Fiero alternator which kept the Fiero alternator in the same location. It worked and there were now two 87 coupes out there that had this modification on it. These used FWD P/S tensioners were plentiful at the time, so it was an economical repair. It seems like it was only a couple years later that the aftermarket picked up on the demand and they started producing the tensioner again for the 87/88 Fiero L4's, so the need for this idea went away; until now.
This was done in the early 2000's, maybe 2003ish when GM dropped the Fiero tensioner P/N out of their books. Before we had the luxury of having online parts cross reference available from like O'Reilleys. The GM dealer was the only place that you could get that kind of information at that time.
I do not recall having any clearance issues with the tensioner bracket and the dog bone mount. If I did a modification in that area, I do not recall doing it. The beauty of it all is that the alternator does not need to move and stays in the same location.
Thanks for the recognition, while I do not find it completely necessary, I am just happy that you are taking the intuition to make a product that is helping Fiero owners keep their car on the road. Kind of reminds me of what the guys who restore pre-war cars go through to complete a car. Some of these guys would have went through the expense of having a new casting made to replicate the original.
Seems to me that it was in the time frame of 2000 to 2004 that the GM OEM went out of stock and it took a while for the aftermarket to catch up. This is when I did this to a couple of 87's to overcome the issue.
I use an aftermarket tensioner to make these tensioners shown in the pictures below.
|I start with this
This lower aluminum arm is cut off.
I also do some machining and other modifications to this FWD tensioner.
Bracket I make is then installed on this FWD tensioner:
The slotted hole that the Fiero alternator bolts up to is now in the same exact location as it was with the GM Fiero tensioner bracket:
Tensioner comes ready to install. No modifications are needed.
A new gasket is glued to the back.
I had the tensioner break on my sons 88 daily driver during the snowy part of the year. I looked all over for a new replacement but had no luck until I found out Rodney Dickman offered this modified version. I called Rodney up and he said he had one in stock and I sent the money to him (via PayPal) and he had it shipped out the same day. I had the new part in 2 days and it fit like a glove. I would suggest to anyone needing one to buy this from Rodney. It sure saved me time because he shipped so fast, and I did not have to go salvage yard shopping in the snow to maybe find a used one that would probably break on me in a short period of time because the age of used parts. I rate this a A1 replacement part because it fit perfect and you use the same stock belt and it came with the gasket and the pulley (if the pulley wears out you can use a stock Fiero replacement pulley also). Thank you Rodney for offering up a wide variety of quality Fiero parts.
I do not offer free shipping.
Because I use postal flat rate boxes for heavy orders there is no program that can add the proper amount of shipping to every order. So all shipping is added manually by myself after you place your order. That is explained here: Shipping added later explanation
When you place an order the shipping amount will show $0.00. Soon after you place an order you will receive an email confirmation that shows the amount of shipping that was added to your order.
Shipping is $12.95.00 (Midwest USA)
Final shipping cost is determined by weight of the item(s) and distance from Milwaukee, WI. Shipping prices quoted are for items shipped to the Midwest area in the USA. If you are ordering a single item or multiple items the total shipping price is determined after you place the order. I try to keep my shipping prices to a minimum and use Postal Flat Rate boxes whenever I can utilize them for an order.