300D Belts

What would be the estimated cost of having all of the belts changed on a 79 300D? It is very cold and damp here now, and I am thinking of having this work done instead of doing it myself.
Thanks to all.
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At the dealership, it was 1 hour labor + the belts.

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wrote:

To me, changing the belts and the oil in your car is the easiest maintenance to save money on. The last time I visited a dealership (for service) was a VW one in Atlanta. The hourly rates had gone from $80 on the last visit to $82 this time. Not to mention the "genuine" parts cost a slight premium as well. You can easily save $100 by changing the belts yourself, and it will probably only take you about an hour (maybe two counting clean-up). Also, there's no special disposal requirements for belts (that I know of) like there is with motor oil. I say go ahead and change them, but, of course, its been almost 70 here in Georgia all week, so I want to be out in the garage working on my car. If being out in the cold isn't worth $100, then have someone do it. Its hard to mess up a belt change, just don't let Wal-mart do it, they can mess up anything.
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The easiest way to mess up is to fail to realize that there is a screw to tension the alternator belt. This is an unusual feature and mechanics, not expecting it, can damage it. The correct procedure is to loosen the mounting screw, adjust tension with the adjustment screw, and then tighten the mounting screw.
Also, I recently had my belts replaced and had the rubber mounting washers on the A/C compressor changed at the same time. What I had found was that the rubber had aged (my 300D is a '77) and that as a result the compressor pulley was no longer aligned with the other pulleys. The continuous tension of the belt had deformed the aged rubber mounts. The mis-alignment caused the A/C belt to jump off the pulley and then it got caught up in the other belts & pulleys -- a mess. The rubber washers were rather expensive at about $10 each, but I got them at a MB dealer.
A question: I still have an occasional squealing sound from my belts. What is recommended? I believe the new belts were correctly tensioned.
Peter Hollings Atlanta, GA
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This is very good information. I would think it prudent to go ahead and change those. I have found over the years that any big rubber component, such as engine mounts and these washers, need to be changed after a certain time. You and I both have cars that are thirty years old, and rubber gets brittle after such time. Good advice on the change of the washers.
I will make sure to pay attention to the alt. tensioner, although I must confess that I do not recall that aspect of it.
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wrote:

That tensioner shows up on the procedure that I emailed you. Its the first picture on page 4. Loosen the nuts on the back, tighten the tensioner, tighten the nuts, then lock down the tensioner with another 1/4 to 1/2 turn. If yours doesn't have this, then you don't have to worry about it, but I think it applies to your engine also.
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Doug, thanks very much. I will follow the procedure, and shouldn't have any problem.
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I appreciate this advice and agree that I shouldn't capitulate and start taking the car to the shop for something I should be able to do myself. I will fire up the heater in the garage and do it myself.
I am a little concerned about getting that tensioner adjusted right, though.
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