Serpentine belt replacement?

Tiny
HICKERBILLY
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD F-150
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
Howdy,
Great site! I just put an alternator on and cannot figure out how to loosen the belt tensioner to get the serpentine belt back on! They usually have a spot to insert a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar and I cannot locate it. Please help!
Thanks,
Frank
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 2:30 PM

38 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Use a wrench on the hex head on the middle of the tensioner pulley and apply tightening force, slip belt back on and release wrench tension.

This guide should help you

https://www.2carpros.com/diagrams/ford/pickup/1999

Please let us know if you need anything else to get the problem fixed.
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 2:40 PM
Tiny
HICKERBILLY
  • MEMBER
Cool. I'm headed back out to the shop now. I was gonna try that last night but backed off from prior experiences with broken bolts that I have had in my past. It has a lot of tension so I held off on it thinkin' it might break.
Thanks again!
Peace,
Frank
P.S. I'm pretty proud of my shop that has only taken me 50-years to build! I think every hickerbilly should have one in their backyard. Its just for tinkerin' and nothing commercial yet at least and should be completed in the next couple months.

Well. Thanks but. It did exactly what I thought it would do before your advise. I turned the bolt about 10 degrees and it snapped internally! I have been wrenchin' since I was 12 yo and have learned many lessons the hard way. This one kinda bums me out. I figured I was getting expert answers after finding these forums. Now its off to the city 80-miles round trip to buy a new tensioner. I'm fresh out of easy outs![/Quote:7bcbd081d3]
If you want to share some tips on how to replace the tensioner that would be cool. I'm gonna rest a few and check back. If not. I'll figure it out. Just not in a hurry to crawl underneath it again. That's the only way I could find clearance to get the wrench on. I see the center of the tensioner (not the center of the pulley) does not have a bolt head to simply unbolt it to remove. I am used to old school engines. Last time I worked in a shop was 1991 so I'm pretty slow at some of this new stuff but always eventually get the job done.
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Never broke one of these myself Frank...you must have a gentle touch! On the other end of the tensioner, there is one bolt though it into the block, unscrew it, pull tensioner off, install new teisioner with new bolt that comes with it, be sure tang goes ni the hole and tighten! BTW your pulley bearing may have weakened the bolt if it was on the way out anyway, Thanks for the minus point...Sorry Frank 6 cylinder is counter clockwise, I thought you had an eight...which is clockwise, but if a tensioner which is spring loaded does not move in one direction, try the other, dont snap it off...


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_tensioner_1.jpg


Belt " 4.2L Removal 1. Rotate the tensioner counterclockwise and remove the drive belt.
SECTION 303-05: Accessory Drive 1999 F-150/250 Workshop Manual REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION Procedure revision date: 02/03/1999Installation 1. To install, reverse the removal procedure. Refer to component locations for drive belt routing.
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 2:39 AM
Tiny
MACCLAD
  • MEMBER
CAREFUL HERE! In the AQ0736 picture and description, you PUT A WRENCH on the bolt concentric to the pulley, NOT on the one mounting the pulley to the block off to the left. FURTHERMORE it is FAR EASIER to align the wrench so you can pull it down from below. I used a 15mm offset closed end (with an offset 14mm on the other side, unused) that had sufficient length so you have enough leverage to max out the rotational movement COUNTER CLOCKWISE as seen from the front and sorta correctly in the diagram. They should have added the wrench and an arm pulling downwards from below with the wrench extending to the left to really clarify this. (MInd you, this is me doing it on an E150 van, 2000, 4.2 L. But it's definitely the same mechanism. Why can't they say, yeah, 15MM wrench? Because they hate you and want you to fail.

Once maxed out, this approach allowed me to slide the serpentine onto the alternator pulley no problemo. But you need FULL movement of the tensioner to do that. About 70 foot pounds by my estimate. And its a two person job unless you're a 400 lb silverback with 30 years experience on these serpentine nightmares.
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Saturday, June 27th, 2015 AT 4:05 PM
Tiny
RJKORTUS
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD F-150
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
Do I need a smaller serpentine belt when I replace ac compressor with a backup pulley on a 1998 Ford F150 4.2 ltr engine?
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
Not sure what you mean. Are you completely removing the A/C compressor and installing just a pulley in it's place? If so, as long as the pulley is the exact same size as the A/C pulley, you can use same belt. If smaller, bigger belt, if bigger, smaller belt. Just make sure tension is correct.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVE1C
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD F-150
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 215,555 MILES
On my 4.6L V-8 with Air. I want to convert to without A/C. Compressor went bad.

I have removed my A/C compressor. I purchased a belt for; with-out A/C. Does the tensioner need to be replaced or do I have to just loosen and retime the position of the tensioner? If so do I need to replace the tensioner pully?

Thanx. Dave from MI
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
It looks like youmay have to wrap the belt around the idler pulley on the other side as a a guess. Shouldn't have to replace anything else from the diagram I see.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PAHGOLF
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD F-150
  • 149,000 MILES
Noise from pully (rattle from vibration, seems like it's alternator but can't be positive). Fan belt slipped off. There are two pully's on left almost one over the other, neither appears to have a pivot point to release tension so you can reset/replace fan belt. Assume one is idle and one is tension, but not sure. Which is the tension pully and how does it adjust?
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Self tensioner. Pull up hard on the belt and see which one moves. You will need a long wrench to release the tension to remove the belt. I would replace the tensioner as well. They are common failures.

Roy
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PAHGOLF
  • MEMBER
Thanks Roy, but the belt is already off, I need to put it back on and eventually replace it. Neither of the pully's move, so that's why I didn't know which it was. Will try again.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
The one pulley should have a big spring on the back of it.

Roy
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PAHGOLF
  • MEMBER
Thanks Roy, I figured it out from what you said and another look at what I was dealing with. Was able to get the belt back on and tension appears to be adjusting fine. Restarted the truck but now it's squealing really bad and appears to be smoking, but all pullys are spinning. Didn't leave it running. Will have to check tomorrow in daylight.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DJCL
  • EXPERT
Remove belt spin all pullies by hand to see which one in draging. Also make shore the a c clutch is not locked up.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
PAHGOLF
  • MEMBER
Will do. Before the belt slipped off it was a rattle/vibration noise and seemed like the alternator but I checked that, the idler, fan and tension all seemed to rotate without hesitation or sticking. Will pull the belt and test them all, along with getting a new belt, will see what happens. Thanks again. Pah
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DJCL
  • EXPERT
Let me know it works out
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MUSTANG96DC
  • MEMBER
  • FORD F-150
I was trying to figure out why my serpentine belt on my 1998 Ford F150 4x4 keeps skipping ribs and wearing the sides. I replace the belt tensioner and pulley. It is a 4.6L Automatic with 16,000 miles. There is a small oil leak on the the front of the pan. The other pulleys look fine. Could it be a bad balancer even though the truck runs smooth. Please get back to me, Thank you.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MIKE H R
  • EXPERT
It could be one of the pulleys, or the tensioner. Check for allignment and check pulleys to see if anything is loose or had gone bad. Make sure the belt is put on correctly
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RICHARD A. HALL
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 15,500 MILES
Starting about 3 months ago, I noticed a ticking coming from the front of the motor. The next morning when I started the engine I heard the belt flapping around under the hood. The belt was cut down the length of itself, on the inboard side of the belt. It only cut most of one rib off the belt. I bought a new belt, and made made sure I had the teeth lined up with the grooves dead center. My belts last about 2-3 weeks before they are cut again. The inside groove of the belt is cut deeper than all the rest. I replaced the alternator, Idler ard and pulley about a year ago with a Napa "heavy duty" alternator, and didn't have problems for several months. Is it an alignment problem? Why does my truck keep eating up belts? Thanks. Richard

updated 1/20/10
Turned out it was a bad Harmonic balancer. $331.35 for repair. Not bad I guess, could have been worse.
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Richard:

One of the pulleys has to be out of alignment. Start by checking them by eye. If you can't see any problem, use a straight edge to bridge across them to see if one is sitting in a different position. Also, with the belt off, grab onto the pulleys to see if there is any play in them.

Let me know what you find.
Joe
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Thursday, July 16th, 2020 AT 11:31 AM (Merged)

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