How to change serpentine belt. - F150online Forums


How to change serpentine belt.


Old 08-19-2004, 11:48 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 29
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.
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Old 08-20-2004, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 25
I have one of those belt changing bars that fits the nut on the tensioner, just release the old belt using this tool, snake the new belt and apply pressure to the tool and the new belt is on.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: USA
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Why are you taking half of the front end off just to replace the belt? Do as mrkelso said and release the tensioner,slip off the belt,put on new belt,release the tensioner again to get it on the last pulley.I think the bolt on the tensioner is 15mm. :santa:
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 29
Thanks men. There must be something wrong with mine. I was able to get the 14 or 15mm socket and 24" breaker bar on the nut, but it was going nowhere.

Do I push the breaker bar toward the driver side or toward the passenger side to loosen? I'll have to try again. It looks to me that if I push one way, the pulley pushes the belt up, push the opposite way the pulley pushes the belt down.

I would sure like to see it done without removing half the engine.

I'll get it eventually, but I will have to remove the radiator, fan shroud, and I can just tell that brilliant Ford engineering will make it easy to get the fan off.
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Old 08-23-2004, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Haven't done the belt change myself yet, but was looking at it this weekend. My 1997 F150 4.2 V6 M5OD AC (62K miles) has a belt routing diagram in the engine compartment (pasted to that pesky radiator/fan shroud) that shows rotating the tensioner up to loosen it. So from above I figure I will be pulling my 25" breaker bar towards the passenger side.

FWIW, even the Haynes manual tells you to refer to the belt routing diagram under the hood.
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Old 09-08-2004, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Del Rio, TX
Posts: 68
Originally posted by speederino
FWIW, even the Haynes manual tells you to refer to the belt routing diagram under the hood.
Haynes manuels pretty much suck from my experience, chiltons seem to work a little better, Hayes are the best though. The only reason that I say that is because my buddy had a hayes manual that said the same thing, but his belt routing diagram was gone. He had an accident and the body shop never put one back on the truck. We looked at a chilton and got it though.
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Old 09-15-2004, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bugtussell, Arkansas
Posts: 51
Howdy Arch,

You need to back away from your truck and get some professional help, dude!!

Changing the belt is a 5 minute job from the time you pop your hood until you close it. It's that simple.

My original belt lasted over 135,000 miles and I replaced it only because I replaced the engine


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Old 09-16-2004, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 104
I am doing this same procedure, although, I bought the tool to replace the belt. Anyway, should I also replace the tensioner and idler pulley at this time?
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: USA
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If it aint broke dont fix it!
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