To replace the belts on a 1995 Nissan 300ZX Z32 twin-turbo is no simple job, but with the will and this guide maybe you can save yourself a bunch of time and cash.
The reason I’m doing this job is that in the past 2 years the car has shredded 3 alternator belts and replacing them has become a pain. I know I spend more time looking for the cause and so am more likely to come up with a permanent fix.
To get to the belts the radiator does not absolutely need to come out but I’ve found it make the job easier as there is more space to manoeuvre.
There are 3 belts, so depending on which belt you have to replace you could only need to remove one or two.
The belts for this car are cheap, from R30-R50 each, so if you are replacing 1 you might as well replace them all.
Each belt has a tensioner pulley that you will have to loosen to be able to remove the belt. This is basically a bolt and nut which moves the tensioner pulley in and out to tighten or loosen. So to remove just turn the nut until the belt is loose enough to remove.
This is not gospel but comes from what I could find online
- Power Steering – 4PK925
- Air Conditioning
- Alternator/Water Pump – 4PK1010, 4PK1020 or 4PK1040
What I found once everything was stripped down was that the alternator pulley had pretty sharp edges, which may have been what was eating the belts so quickly. I also found that the Airconditioning Tensioner Pulley aka Idler Pulley’s bearings where a little rough.
Nissan wanted R1800 for a new tensioner pulley so I shopped around to see if I could find a 2nd hand unit. 2nd hand breakers wanted R350 for pulley’s off other cars I would have to modify to fit, so I kept on looking. Eventually due to finding a post on another site I discovered that these pulleys are available new from Airconditioning repair shops. So R200 and I had a new pulley, not the exact size but close enough and with the amount of adjustiung I had I knew it would fit.
I cleaned up the alternator pulley with a wire brush attached to a cordless drill as well as a wire brush. I then sanded the pulley to remove the last of the sharp edges. I did the same for all the pulleys to make sure they where in as good a shape as possible.
After all this the belt was shredded again and I decided to see if I could source a better condition alternator pulley. Fortunately my friendly Auto Electrician – Rob found a pulley and whilst at is replaced the alternator bearings, remember these things spin up around 20,000rpm so bearings are pretty crucial. – I’ll have to confirm if this actually fixes the problem permanently, down the line.
Adjusting Aircon Idler Pulley Alignment
Next I had to put in the new idler pulley and was able to use a spacer I got from the Aircon shop I managed to use a steel ruler to make sure the grooves lined up with the other 2 belts. Remember that the pulley will throw the belt if the alignment is too far out. [Smart Air in Pietermaritzburg supplied the part 033-811 0212]
Put everthing back together and filled the radiator up with water as well as topping up the Automatic gearbox with fluid to compensate for what was lost in removing the radiator.
Voila – good as new, I’ve test driven and at this stage only revved to 4000rpm. Will give it a good blast soon to make sure all is 100%. [Tested fully – about 10 runs uphill to 6000rpm and everything is holding together perfectly.]