Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide




Inspect the belts 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. It is best to replace all drive belts at one time, as a preventive maintenance measure, during this service operation.


Belts are normally adjusted by loosening the bolts of the accessory being driven and moving that accessory on its pivot points until the proper tension is applied to the belt. The accessory is held in this position while the bolts are tightened. To determine proper belt tension, you can purchase a belt tension guage or simply use the deflection method. To determine deflection, press inward on the belt at the mid-point of its longest straight run. The belt should deflect (move inward) 3 / 8 - 1 / 2 in. (10-30mm). A general rule for alternator belt tension is that the pulley should not be capable of being turned with hand pressure.


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Fig. Fig. 1 There are typically 3 types of accessory drive belts found on vehicles today

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Fig. Fig. 2 An example of a healthy drive belt

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Fig. Fig. 3 Deep cracks in this belt will cause flex, building up heat that will eventually lead to belt failure

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Fig. Fig. 4 The cover of this belt is worn, exposing the critical reinforcing cords to excessive wear

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Fig. Fig. 5 Installing too wide a belt can result in serious belt wear and/or breakage

To remove a V-style drive belt, simply loosen the accessory being driven and move it on its pivot point to free the belt. Then, remove the belt.

It is important to note that on engines with many driven accessories, several or all of the belts may have to be removed to get at the one to be replaced.