Your particular car may have as few as one or as many as 4 drive belts for the following accessories: alternator, A/C compressor, power steering pump, water pump, or air pump (California models only).
Once a year or at 12,000 mile (19,000 km) intervals, the tension (and condition) of the alternator, power steering, air conditioning, and Thermactor air pump drive belts (as equipped) should be checked. If necessary, the belts should be replaced or adjusted. Loose accessory drive belts can lead to poor engine cooling and diminish alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor or air pump output. A belt that is too tight places a severe strain on the components it is driving which will lead to early component failure.
Replace any belt that is so glazed, worn or stretched that it cannot be tightened sufficiently. There are two different types of belts that may be found on your vehicle, V-belts (single ribbed) and serpentine type (multi-ribbed). Both of these types may drive one or more accessories.
Excluding 1.7L Alternator Belt
Check the belt tension on any given belt by applying moderate thumb pressure midway in the longest span. The belt should deflect approximately 1 / 2 in. (13mm). If the longest span is not easily accessible, you can also check the shortest span, where the belt should deflect no more than 1 / 4 in. (6mm) under moderate thumb pressure.
To adjust the tension, loosen the accessory pivot bolt. On A/C compressor loosen all bolts shown on the compressor decal. Insert a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) breaker bar in the accessory tensioning lug and move the accessory until the belt is properly tensioned. Tighten the pivot bolt.1.7L Alternator Belt
Proper belt tension on the alternator belt is critical to proper alternator operation. For ease of adjusting alternator belt tension, a special tool has been developed that is easily fabricated or available from the tool company at a reasonable price. The tool, when used with a torque wrench, assures proper belt tension with greater accessibility. Do not use the thumb pressure method on these belts. It is essential that belt adjustment be performed from below the vehicle. The splash shield must be removed and on California models with an air pump, removing the horn will ease access to the adjustment bolt.
- From underneath the vehicle, install a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drive torque wrench in the adjusting tool. Position the adjusting tool.
- Loosen the alternator pivot bolt. If you don't do this, you'll break the alternator housing.
- Adjust the belt tension to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) on a new belt, or 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm) on a used belt.
- Hold the alternator at the required torque. Tighten the adjusting bolt.
- Reinstall the horn and splash shield.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
In most cases the car must be raised and supported, the splash shield removed and the horn removed from cars with air pumps.
- The A/C compressor drive belt is removed first. Loosen the adjusting nut at the slotted bracket and push the compressor to its lowest position.
- The alternator belt is removed second. Loosen the tension on the belt and use a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) socket to remove the 3 bolts holding the water pump pulley. Remove the pulley.
- The air pump drive belt is removed next. To remove this belt, the A/C compressor and the alternator belts MUST be removed.
- The power steering pump drive belt is removed last. It is necessary to remove all other belts, loosen the pump pivot bolt in the slotted bracket and move the pump to its lowest position.
- New belts are installed in the reverse order. Tension all belts as outlined previously. New belts will usually stretch, so they should be checked after an hour's use.