Flyin’ Miata Power Steering Delete Belt Tensioner Kit

Flyin’ Miata released the perfect product to replace my macgyvered belt tensioner using a gutted power steering pump. It’s a compact auto-tensioner for Miatas with air conditioning but without power steering. It bolts to the same threaded holes as the power steering bracket, but is lighter, more compact, and more reliable than the power steering pump tensioner solution.

The kit comes with a blue aluminum CNC bracket, and spring-loaded tensioner, bolts, and a new belt. The belt is a 4PK795.

One caveat that I did not expect is that installation requires grinding off the corner off the AC compressor bracket to make clearance.

One alternative to this kit I have not tried is a Gates “stretch fit” belt as described in this forum post.

Flyin’ Miata power steering pump delete kit
Before – OEM power steering pump being used as belt tensioner
Power steering pump pivot bolt that is too long to remove from the bracket

Annoyingly, the long bolt that the power steering pump pivots on is too long to remove from its bracket because it hits the radiator fan.

Using the long pivot bolt to press the metal sleeve out of the way to unbolt the bracket

Removing the PS bracket requires sliding back the metal sleeve where the long bolt goes through, because otherwise there’s not enough room to put a socket on the bottom mounting bolt. I used a nut on the end of the long bolt and a mallet to gradually work the sleeve backwards until there was room.

Weight difference Mazda power steering pump vs Flyin’ Miata belt tensioner

Unsurprisingly the FM aluminum bracket and tensioner are much lighter than the Mazda OEM pump and bracket.

Mazda power steering pump, bracket, bolts, and belt: 7.37 lbs (3.34 kg)
Flyin’ Miata belt tensioner kit: 2.39 lbs (1.08 kg)

First test install of Flyin’ Miata tensioner bracket

From the first test-fit its clear that the AC compressor bracket sticks out past the flat face of the blue aluminum bracket. I labeled the corner to remove with a white paint marker.

Removing the AC compressor mounting bracket
White paint marker on the corner of the AC compressor bracket that needs to be clearanced
Corner of the AC compressor bracket removed with an angle grinder

I used an angle grinder to round off the corner of the AC compressor bracket to make room for the FM tensioner.

Another view of the compressor bracket after grinding for clearance
Cleaning out the rusty threads in the engine block for the AC compressor bracket

The threaded holes on the engine block are 10mm x 1.25, they needed some attention with a tap to help the mounting bolts go back home.

Flyin’ Miata tensioner bracket test fit after grinding the corner off the AC compressor bracket
Black high-temp engine enamel over the AC compressor bracket
AC compressor bracket re-installed
AC compressor reinstalled
Final install of the FM tensioner bracket

The holes in the blue bracket are large enough that there is some wiggle room to adjust the mounting angle. The best orientation I found to align the new tensioner with the other pulleys was to lift the front of the bracket to its maximum point before tightening the bolts.

Belt tensioner installed on bracket

From the Flyin’ Miata installation instructions and this forum post, here are the torque values I used for each bolt:

Torque Values
4 main AC compressor bracket bolts to engine block: 35 ft-lb
Long small front AC compressor bracket bolt: 15 ft-lb
4 long bolts that attach AC compressor to its bracket: 15 ft-lb (with blue Loctite)

3 bolts for FM blue aluminum bracket into engine: 35 ft-lb
2 bolts to attach tensioner onto blue FM bracket: 25ft-lb (with blue Loctite)

First test run of the tensioner with the engine running
Subtle engine bling of the FM belt tensioner
View from the exhaust manifold of the installed bracket
Close-up of the included auto-tensioner and the beautiful CNC aluminum work on the tensioner bracket

This kit is freshly installed at the time of writing, but so far it is the perfect solution. Flyin’ Miata put great attention to detail into this product and I highly recommend it.

Power steering pump delete kit NA/NB$189

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