It's very simple to change. Draw a belt routing picture of the way the belt goes around the pulleys and use this diagram to see how to turn the tensioner. It takes a long 3/8" wrench, ratchet ot bar. When the belt is off the wrench will move clockwise further than when you start moving the pulley so make sure you put the wrench in so it can turn past that point.
i have a 3/8" ratchet, I have a standard length 3/8" open/box end wrench. I don't know what an ot bar is. If I have to buy a tool I'm gonna use once I'd just as soon pay the $52 labor..... Bottom line a special tool is required for the tensioner, correct?
No, a 3/8 ratchet is what you need but there's a lot of tension on the adjuster. Try with your ratchet and see if you can pull it to pop the belt off. The tensioner is sping loaded so make sure you have clearance to let the tension off when the belt is removed. It's not a hard job. I have a longer ratchet so I don't hae to pull as hard.
OK, now I understand. I saw a video for an F150 and he pushed the ratchet down counterclockwise from the front of the car as the square is reverse threaded (righty loosey, lefty tighty), is this true w/the CV? Sounds like I might need a 2nd pair of hands as I "looosen" the tension?
In this case you turn it clockwise to relieve the tension on the belt. When it's turned enough, the belt comes right off. Then the wrench is released slowly counter clockwise to let the tensioner relax. Then after the new belt is routed according to your diagram, you turn the tensioner clockwise as far as you can to install the belt in the last pulley, then release the tension slowly. When that's done, you check all the pulleys to make sure the belt is in all the proper grooves. Start it and make sure it runs around properly.
Wow $52 for changing a belt! my mom kept bugging me about changing the belt on her car, the oil change guy kept telling her it was bad. I looked at it and told her it was fine, not to worry. She finally insisted so I picked up a belt and stopped by to change it. When I walked back in the house she couldn't believe I was done so soon (it took about 50 seconds). That was a few years ago, the shop wanted $38 labor. I'd change belts all day for that kind of money Changing a serpentine belt is usually a DIY project, save yourself some money unless you have the money to burn. JMO
I double checked my belt "with several cracks" and the belt seems fine. I'll pick up one as a spare (and draw a diagram as suggested). I have another question tho, while researching the different belts/brands I came across a "poly cog" version that has horizontal ribs on the outside of the belt. The belt thats on now is a smooth on one side, 6 (vertical) ribs on the other. Can I should I use a poly cog belt if there isn't one on there now? I'm also staying away from the 90 day warranty belts vice premium belts w/a 1 yr wrnty.
The poly cog will work if it's made to fit your car. If you can get a Goodyear belt or OEM they're less likely to make a noise. We used to put Gates on our CVs and they wouldn't last as long as the OEM. Goodyearbelts are good too.
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