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Discussion Starter #1
I finally replaced the tensioner.
I couldn't pinpoint the rattle, that popcorn machine like sound when there is a load on the engine (A/C on, taking off from a light, turning the wheel while standing still). I went with the cheapest part first. Bernardi in Mass. is always the the best for me. At $68.98 with shipping it was $30 cheaper than the dealership on Staten Island, and I had it in two days.
I could have just replaced the pulley but with 100k I figured what the hell, I like my E and plan on keeping it so I replaced the whole assembly
Part# 31170-RAA-A02

14mm offset box wrench
1/2 inch drive ratchet for leverage on belt removal
3/8 drive ratchet w/ 12mm shallow socket
3" & 6"-3/8 drive extension and swivel adapter
work light
patience

Removed the belt using a 14mm offset box wrench and 1/2 inch drive ratchet inserted into the other end method, it is the best way, especially in an "on the road" emergency belt change on that tool is back at home. I tucked the belt in such a way that it stayed in place on the lower pulleys so I never had to remove the wheel-well access panel.
Then remove the power steering pump, only two 12mm bolts, one on top and the other under the pulley. You cant see the lower one but can feel it. the 3" ext. is good for these.
Once the bolts are out you can lay it right on top of the valve cover.

Next take out two bolts that you can get to easily on the tensioner, 12mm also. The last bolt is the tricky one, you can tell where it is by looking at the new unit.The 6" ext w/swivel adapter is the way to go, you can snake it in just past the pulley and to the right. You can just barely see it if you light it up well.
You have to be careful not to drop to bolt into the abyss so I chose to loosen it until I could lift out the part with the bolt still in it.
Reverse everything for the install.
Took about an hour start to finish.
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Sorry I don't have pictures, the camera died and I don't have a smart phone,
just the dumb kind.

So far from the help here I have:
Built a custom roof rack, learned how to do my own brakes, changed ALL the fluids and filters, adjusted the valves, adjusted the parking brake, made the side marker lights flash with the directionals, turned the AC off when the front defroster is on if I want, put new bushings on the stabilizer bar and now the tensioner assembly.
BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE!
 
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