I'd like to share how I completed this project in hopes in might help someone with a similar project. Answering my own question. It's unnecessary to remove the plastic wheel well encasement (and a pain to put back on) and this can be done without lifting the vehicle. This was a fun project but very time consuming. It took me several trips to the stores to get the right parts, and I probably paid in parts and time what I would the mechanic, but hey I got some nice tools.
DISCLAIMER: I'M NOT A MECHANIC.
Here is what I used.
Serpentine belt tool kit rented from O'Reillys. Their belt routing guide is incorrect, so had to pen and paper and make my own diagram.
(2) 6" Extensions 1/4" drive from Ace.
17mm Chrome Vanadium wrench from Ace
3/8"F x 1/4"M adapter Socket wrench from Ace
3/8" drive 12mm Socket (came with my Stanley set)
There are 2 belts, one over the power steering and one over the air conditioning. You can not remove the power steering wheel belt without removing the air conditioning belt. So, hopefully your A/C Belt broke :). I replaced both belts with the higher quality Gates belt (not the economy belt), because I had to remove both anyway. Parts no. K040338 and K050586. Note the adjusting bolts are located looking straight up to down while the tensioner pulley fixing nuts are on the sides of the tensioner pulley.
#1 To remove the power steering belt, the first tool needed was the serpentine belt tool removal with the appropriate wrench size head (do not use a socket no space) that came with the serpentine belt tool removal kit. Leaning over from the passenger side of the vehicle, (I can't remember if it was the 13mm 14mm or 15mm), you need to loosen the tension pulley fixing nut. I had very little space, so what I did was aimed the attached wrench on the serpentine belt tool removal (breaker bar) upward, and after I made that rotation, not much space, I changed the wrench clip on to 90 degrees and then rotated again, I kept switching the wrench upwards and then 90 degrees until it was loosened. Be careful not to strip the bolt by ensuring the wrench is on completely before turning.
#2 With the tensioner pulley fixing nut loosened, take the ratchet and attach the 3/8" drive adapter which parts number is 3/8"F x 1/4"M. Then attach two 6" extensions, which gives you a foot of extension. Next, attach a 12mm socket. Now you can loosen the tension pulley adjusting bolt. Once loosened the belt should slide off, but now you need to remove the AC belt to complete the removal.
#3 The bolt on the tension pulley fixing nut on the AC belt for some reason or the other required a 17mm wrench. I'm not sure if this was Chrysler's doing or a mechanics, which is why I couldn't use O'reillys serpentine belt removal kit (13mm 14mm 15mm). This bolt is close to the front of the car which makes it accessible. In a upward motion that bolt will come off with the 17mm wrench, and it requires some muscle but shouldn't be too tough.
#4 With that bolt loosened, you can now loosen the tensioner pulley adjusting bolt. Keep the two old belts handy in the trunk. Reverse order, by tightening the tension pulley adjusting bolt and then the tensioner pulley fixing nut. Do not force any belt on. If it's too tight to put your new belts on loosen the pulley adjusting bolt some more.
This was a fun project for a DIY noob.
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 AT 8:54 PM