INSPECTION AND ADJUSTMENT
Check the drive belts every 7,500 miles or six months for evidence of wear such as cracking, fraying and incorrect tension. Determine belt tension at a point halfway between the pulleys by pressing on the belt with moderate thumb pressure. The belt should deflect about 1 / 2 in. at the halfway point if the distance between the pulleys (measured from the center of each pulley) is 13-16 in. The belt should deflect 1 / 4 in. if the distance is between the pulley centers is 7-10 in.If it is noted that deflection is too much or too little, loosen the mounting bolts and pivot the component in order to properly adjust the belt.
The replacement of the inner belt on multi-belted engines may require the removal of the outer belts.
Some of the later engines covered by this guide may be equipped with a serpentine drive belt. On these engines a single belt with an automatic tensioner is used to drive all engine accessories. The tensioner is usually equipped with a built-in scale to indicate belt tension and condition.
Before you attempt to adjust any of your engine's belts, you should take an old rag soaked in solvent and clean the mounting bolts of any road grime which has accumulated on and around the bolt heads. On some of the harder-to-reach belts, especially on late model V8's with air conditioning and power steering, it would be especially helpful to have a variety of socket extensions and universals in order to access those hard-to-reach bolts.
When adjusting the air pump belt, if you are using a pry bar, make sure that you pry against the cast iron end cover and not against the aluminum housing. Excessive force on the housing itself will damage it.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
When replacing a serpentine belt, insert a 1 / 2 in. breaker bar into the slot provided on the self adjusting belt tensioner and pry up enough to slip the belt out from under the pulley. During installation, DO NOT allow the tensioner to "snap" back. Be sure to release tensioner pressure slowly onto the belt.
- If you are working on or near the battery, disconnect the negative battery cable. This is also advisable in order to prevent personal injury should someone attempt to start the engine while your hands and face are near the radiator cooling fan.
- Loosen the mounting and adjusting bolts on the component whose belt is being removed.
- Pivot the component inward toward the engine and slip the belt off of the component's pulley.
- Remove the belt from the crankshaft pulley, then remove the belt from the vehicle.
- Position the belt to the engine and over the pulleys.
- Properly adjust the belt by pivoting the component outward until the proper tension is achieved, then tighten the component mounting and adjusting bolts.
- If necessary, reconnect the negative battery cable.