Astro, Safari 1997-2005

Accessory Drive Belts

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Belt Tension Inspection



Inspect the drive belt for signs of glazing or cracking. A glazed belt will be perfectly smooth from slippage, while a good belt will have a slight texture of fabric visible. Cracks will usually start at the inner edge of the belt and run outward. All worn or damaged drive belts should be replaced immediately.

Drive Belt Routings





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Accessory serpentine belt routing-4.3L engine



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Accessory serpentine belt routing-4.3L engines

Removal & Installation



Belt replacement is a relatively simple matter rotating the tensioner off the belt (to relieve tension) and holding the tensioner in this position as the belt is slipped from its pulley. The tensioner arm contains a machined receiver for a 3 / 8 in. driver from a ratchet or breaker bar.

  1. Before you begin, visually confirm the belt routing to the engine compartment label (if present) or to the appropriate diagram in this section (if the label is not present). If you cannot make a match (perhaps it is not the original motor for this van), scribble your own diagram before proceeding.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  4.  
  5. Install the appropriate sized breaker bar, wrench, or socket to the tensioner arm or pulley, as applicable.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the tensioner to the left (counterclockwise) and slip the belt from the tensioner pulley.
  8.  
  9. Once the belt is free from the tensioner, CAREFULLY rotate the tensioner back into position. DO NOT allow the tensioner to suddenly snap into place or damage could occur to the assembly.
  10.  
  11. Slip the belt from the remaining pulleys (this can get difficult is there is little room between the radiator/fan assembly and the accessory pulleys. Work slowly and be patient.
  12.  
  13. Once the belt is free, remove it from the engine compartment.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. On this 4.3L engine, a large wrench (16mm) was used to pivot the belt tensioner and free the belt

  14.  

To install:

  1. Route the belt over all the pulleys except the water pump and/or the tensioner. Refer to the routing illustration that you identified as a match before beginning.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Accessory serpentine belt routing-4.3L engine

  2.  
  3. Rotate the tensioner pulley to the left (counterclockwise) and hold it while you finish slipping the belt into position. Slowly allow the tensioner into contact with the belt.
  4.  
  5. Check to see if the correct V-groove tracking is around each pulley.
    WARNING
    Improper V-groove tracking will cause the belt to fail in a short period of time.

  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

 
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