How to change serpentine belt.
1999 F150 4.2 V6, 5speed, AC.
At 62k I figure it may be good time to replace the factory serpentine belt. After getting the plastic covering of the radiator, condenser, and part of the fan shroud, I figure I have to get the fan shroud off.
However, the fan shroud doesn't come off without the fan right? How does the fan get removed? It looks like a massive hex shaft from the fan pulley to the plastic fan. Can that be turned with a big crescent wrench or some sort of fan wrench?
It looks I may need to remove the radiator to get to the belt. Since the radiator sits back at an angle, I figure I can remove the 2 bolts for the shroud to radiator, pull the radiator slightly forward, but then there are clips for the shroud too, so I'm not sure.
Then, once half the truck is removed in front of the belt, how do I get the belt off? I'm used to front wheel drive Fords with a square hole for a 1/2" breaker bar. No such thing on this tensioner right? I could get a socket on the tensioner pulley, but I couldn't get it to budge with my 24" breaker bar. It looks like the tensioner pivot is a female Torx, but I can't tell as I have to remove half the front of the truck to get to it. Even then, I assume it's going to take a few people to even get that breaker bar to move.
Why is this so flipping involved just to change a belt? How much tension is on that belt? Do I need a special 6 foot piece of pipe around a 3/4" breaker bar to get the tensioner to move? Do you move the tensioner from the hex nut on the pulley or do you need a special tool on the tensioner itself? It looks like it's fighting against the belt anyway, so maybe I should just cut the belt to get it off? There is little room for a bar to travel -- it's very shortly against the upper radiator hose or the AC line that's getting cut by the fan shroud.
So much for RWD. This is frustrating. I'm used to taking many things off of my FWD Escort to get to other things, but this is rediculous. The way Ford has that V6 crammed in that little space, I couldn't imagine trying to get to anything on the V8s.
With me being quite possibly the slowest do it yourself mechanic, I figure this belt change is about 20 man hours of work.