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Old 06-23-2022, 07:57 AM   #1
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A thief took it...AND

So, I decided to change the serpentine belt, the tensioner, the idler and fan clutch on my 8.1L Workhorse engine. The activity is similar for Ford V10 engines as well.

I did the work in steps because that is how the parts arrived. First I removed the belt. I then change the tensioner from underneath the motorhome. Changing the idler requires you to either have VERY long and flexible arms or change it from the top inside the motorhome. The old idler was relatively easy to remove. The new idler came with the mounting bolt already retained in the idler and to install it only required screwing the bolt into the engine. As I was attempting to get the bolt started into the threads I dropped the idler!

I heard a tink, a couple thumps and then nothing. I peered down in front of the engine. I couldn't find the idler! I got out and slid under the motorhome. I couldn't fine the idler! I got a flash light and mirror. I couldn't find the idler! I looked for more than 2 hours. I couldn't find the idler! I thought I would drop the old idler and maybe it would follow the same path of the missing new idler. So I dropped it maybe 50 times. Almost every time it dropped a couple inches and was right there. A few times it fell into the fan shroud. Several times it fell to the concrete under the motorhome. I could find it EVERY TIME!

I finally gave up and re-installed the old idler. See the picture. The green arrow points to the old idler re-installed on the front of the engine.

I then removed the lower half of the fan shroud and the fan. I thought that with the stuff removed from the front of the engine I might have a better chance seeing where the darned idler went. I got my flash light and mirror. I looked from the bottom. I couldn't find the idler! I looked from the top. I couldn't find the idler!

THEN... I happened to glance at the back of the engine...there was the missing new idler sitting on top of the transmission! ON TOP OF THE TRANSMISSION!!! See the red arrow in the picture.

I tried to imagine how an item dropped down the front of the engine could end up on top of the transmission. It can't happen! It just can't!

I have a theory...when my late wife's parents started to get old they would have missing things around their home. They blamed thieves of stealing their stuff. Then, days, months, years later they would find the stuff in some illogical place. My theory...my inlaws thief has moved to my house. The thief grabbed the idler when it fell to the concrete before I could get out there. Then, when I wasn't looking, he put it on top of the transmission!

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:05 AM   #2
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That same thief owes me about a half dozen 10mm sockets.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:36 AM   #3
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Funny story. Not one of the reasons I don't do engine work anymore but I'll add it to the list.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunrollin View Post
That same thief owes me about a half dozen 10mm sockets.

Yup I just had to buy some new 10mm sockets to restock my various sets.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:12 PM   #5
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Itís a well known scientific fact that 10mm sockets are here from a parallel universe and the space continuum is exactly 10mm so only those sockets can fall thru the warp. If you weld a 3 foot length of rebar to the 10mm socket, it canít fit thru the portal and youíll never lose it.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:25 PM   #6
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Just follow me.. 10mm, 8mm, 5/16, and many more tools and odd nuts and bolts.. just drop off my rv.. if you would use a net.. and go behind me.. you will catch a lifetime supply..
Good luck and keep us posted.. oh.. sometimes I see them drop off and hit road and bounce into grass..
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:27 PM   #7
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I congratulate you for your foresight, replacing the belt tensioner at the same time as the belt is highly recommended by mfgrs.
I also congratulate you for admitting something I've hidden for years, losing stuff.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:35 PM   #8
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I have been trying to grow a 10mm socket on the end of my index finger for years. Possibly not really needed since there are so many existing sockets in random unknown locations in my garage. Further, if a 10mm wrench is left near the last known 10mm socket, there is a strong probability that wrench might disappear .


Main topic: I found it relatively easy to remove the tensioner on my 8.1 from underneath - with a ratchet strap to hold a 3/8 drive breaker bar to loosen the belt.
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:59 PM   #9
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Gremlins are real. Had just built garage it was nearly empty. Doing some job on Astro van. Removed all wheels, these had kind of old school rims with big center cap. I put all lugs in them. Go to put rims back on and two lugs are missing. If I had been missing two lugs I would have noticed. They never did show up . There was nothing to kick them under and doors closed.
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:11 PM   #10
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Lol I think this could turn into a long post if everyone adds a time or two or three.... when they have lost something too. I know there are a few cars driving around with some of my sockets or wrenches riding along.

Glad you found the idler without giving up and having it land on the road in front of someone behind you.
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:29 PM   #11
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My truck swallowed a 1/4 drive torx driver bit. It was from a nice set that was a gift and I didn't want to lose it. I spent the better part of a day looking for it and dropping others to help trace it. Never did find it.

Tekton needs to sell 10mm sockets in sets of three ..........
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:58 PM   #12
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I've had similar very odd events like that. Dropped something and heard it hit the ground right below where I was working. Like your story, it was no where to be found. When I finally found it, it appeared that the only way it could get there was to defy the laws of physics. After having a number of things like this happened I developed a theory. Aliens. They have been studying us for a long time and have technology that makes them invisible so they can get close to watch us. The have strict non-interference rules, but every once in a while one sneaky smart ass decided to mess with the stupid primitive hairless monkeys. Or maybe it's not a prank, but a actual test of our intelligence. Move the keys, bolt, idler pully or wrench, and time how long it takes the human to find it. Begs the question. What does an alien snicker sound like?
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:15 AM   #13
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Ah yes, that same thief came to my garage a couple years ago. My tools from way back are Snap-on and that level (Harbor Freight now). I dropped a 7/16" shorty socket. Actually saw which direction and about where it went. Wasn't there. A short time later had the garage floor epoxy coated and when cleaning it out for the project, thought that the missing socket would appear. Nope! Ebay had a replacement for some ridiculous price
10mm, 1/4, 5/16 and 7/16 sockets an wrenches - I buy them in lots of 3 or 4 at a time whenever I see the supply dwindle. Other then that, seldom or never lose any other tools
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:27 AM   #14
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I know that when I find all my missing 10mm sockets they are going to be covered in hair. Iím missing that too!
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