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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I've got a 2015 Touareg 3.0 TDI, and noticed something weird the other day that I haven't been able to find any info on anywhere else.

I've got a PDF engine manual that I bought off of Ebay, but unfortunately a lot of the pictures got replaced by some cartoon...weird I know. But yeah I don't have anything to reference this by.


How much of a gap should there be between the pulley on the power steering pump and the edge of the tensioner pulley mount?

I noticed that the edge of my power steering pump pulley is actually rubbing against the tensioner pulley mount (see pictures below). I noticed this under the hood when I was trying to locate a coolant leak.

I pulled the belt off so I could hand spin the power steering pump pulley, and the power steering pulley does rub against the tensioner mount when I rotate it, but only on one part of the pulley. So it appears the pulley is slightly warped.

I will replace the power steering pulley, but even the part of the pulley that doesn't rub against the tensioner only leaves a tiny little gap that I think is too close, even for German standards. See the pictures below of both the touching and non-touching condition.

Some quick background:

This is a project car that I bought last year and have been working on it bit by bit. I finally got around to registering it this month and I drove it for about 30 miles around town before I had the coolant leak which got me digging under the hood.

Here's what I've done on it so far:

-Swapped a seized engine.
-Pulled some ghetto interior LED light wiring that some-one had tried to install.
-Replaced the power steering pump and pulley.
-Replaced coolant pump & pulley.
-Replaced the adblu tank so it can pass emissions.
-Replaced the tensioner pulley - I just did this today and it didn't change anything with the gap. I replaced it because the wrench insert had been shredded by whoever had the car before, and I couldn't take the tension of the belt anymore as a bit would just slip when inserted into the hole.

Pic#1 - This is a wider view of the area.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Vehicle

Pic#2 - This is a close-up of the portion of the power-steering pulley that actually touches the tensioner mount.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Tread Automotive design

Pic#3 - This is a close up that shows how tight the gap is when the pulley is not rubbing the tensioner mount.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Light Automotive design

· Registered
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How well does the power steering pump pulley line up with the other pulleys. This will tell you if the issue is with the power steering pump and pulley assembly. If the power steering pump pulley lines up with the others then the issue is with the tensioner. Maybe the after market ones have slightly different castings that need modification ?
The pulleys all line up pretty well. But I had this problem before I installed the new tensioner. I just installed a new aftermarket tensioner earlier this afternoon because I'd noticed the slot for the torx bit had been shredded and it needed to be done anyway.

However, I just remembered that when I pulled the OEM tensioner off, there was a metal spacer on the back of of the tensioner.

I just went out and pulled the tensioner off and removed the spacer. I then installed the tensioner without the spacer. This "looks" like may have solved the problem as it has a gap more like what I was expecting.

So my next question: What was that spacer doing there, and will I hurt anything by not having it installed?

EDIT: The spacer does not have any apparent part number markings.

I haven't started the engine yet as I will need to get underneath it to try to find that coolant leak the next time I do, and it's snowing here in Utah, so I'm gonna wait a day or two lol.

This picture shows the spacer as it mounts on the back of the tensioner
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Tread Motor vehicle

This picture shows the spot where the tensioner is installed. Yellow arrow indicates vertical engine orientation.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Black

This picture shows the BEFORE and AFTER of having the tensioner installed WITH the spacer (left side) and WITHOUT the spacer (right side).

Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting Font Motor vehicle

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
this would be my guess as well

do you have the old tensioner? would be a quick measurement of the total stack height of the original one v your new one w/ and w/o the spacer to see which orientation is correct

edit - the shady russian parts catalog sites have been down for me the last couple days, otherwise id check the catalog and see if they show the spacer ...
Have you noticed how so many used VW parts on Ebay come from Lithuania?

I asked my ex-GF (Lithuanian) about it, and she didn't know about VW's specifically, but she had an uncle who worked in a Toyota dealership who had told her to buy Toyota's because Lithuania was like Europe's chop-shop and she'd always be guaranteed to find what she needed there.

EDIT: Forgot to add, all the dimensions on the old/new tensioner are the same. The only difference is some of the text stamping is different.
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