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Old 05-14-2017, 02:43 AM   #1
BHT2109
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Belt AND Pulley Replacement? - When to stop buying parts???

So I acquired a sweet little 318is recently, and from what I can tell it's in remarkably good shape. However, the belts are old and cracking and need to be replaced. But here's my issue: my DIY project parts list is now over $500.

Basically, my belief in preventative maintenance and a "while-you're-in-there" mentality has caused my parts list to snowball, to the point where I'm planning on swapping out nuts and bolts that I'm not sure I really even need, simply because I love the fantasy of a gradual OEM restoration on this baby. (Along with this comprehensive belt service, I'm also planning a light cooling system refurb - water pump, fan clutch, flush, sensors, etc.)

So here's my question for all you guys: Am I throwing my money away? Should all of the pulleys be replaced along with the belts, or is that just crazy talk? Do they ever really fail? I love the idea of NEVER having to worry about the pulleys and alternator adjustment bracket and whatnot ever again, and then looking down into the engine bay and marveling at all the shiny new parts covering the timing case.

Here's a representative pic of the power steering pulley and fan belt pulley:





So I ask again: am I wasting my money? The surface rust on the bolt in the center of the fan belt pulley is just crying out for me to purchase a new OEM $12 replacement, right?

Thanks for hearing me out. Any advice would be truly appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:17 AM   #2
uturn
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You're wasting your money. If you really had OCD you would be looking to swap the engine out with a S14.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:47 AM   #3
BHT2109
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Originally Posted by uturn View Post
You're wasting your money. If you really had OCD you would be looking to swap the engine out with a S14.
Nah, I've come to love the noisy little bastard that I've got. No interest in a swap. Thanks for the input, though.

Fortunately the PO was a real decent guy, and mechanically inclined, so the radiator, hoses, and timing chain tensioner have already been replaced recently.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:19 AM   #4
mr.vang
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One thing I had accomplished this year is to stop being ocd. It has make my life less complicated and appreciated the imperfections things I have that.

The bolt and pulleys are fine since they are metal. If they were plastic, I wouldn't hesitate to swap them out though.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:13 PM   #5
TobyB
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Quote:
my DIY project parts list is now over $500.
Shit, you ain't started yet.

Make sure the plastic pipe under the intake is on that list-
it's $22 (or something) and it WILL just break one day.

Same with your timing chain idler.

If it was an E46, you'd be over $3k by now- you're doing fine.

t
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:35 PM   #6
Attila_ATF
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On the belt front...

I did a PS delete on my wife's 91 '318is. Anyone off the top of their head know what belt I now need since deleting the PS pump?
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
Dj Buttchug
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looking through my records I have just over $2500 in just OE parts for maintenance. OP you're in good shape.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
roguetoaster
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I did a PS delete on my wife's 91 '318is. Anyone off the top of their head know what belt I now need since deleting the PS pump?
To do what? The alternator and water pump still run on the same v belt, which was always independent of the power steering belt.
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