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.
The belts, which drive the engine accessories such as the alternator, the air pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, and water pump, are of serpentine belt design. Older style belts show wear and damage readily, since their basic design was a belt with a rubber casing. As the casing wore, cracks and fibers were readily apparent. Newer design, caseless belts do not show wear as readily, and many untrained people cannot distinguish between a good, serviceable belt and one that is worn to the point of failure. It is a good idea, therefore, to visually inspect the belt regularly and replace it, routinely, every two to three years.
The newer engines employ a single serpentine belt, which drives each of the engine-mounted accessories. The belt is wider than conventional belts due to its 'Poly-V' design, similar to six narrow V-belts joined at their sides.
Newer vehicles are equipped with V-ribbed (serpentine) accessory drive belts. To ensure maximum life, the replacement belt should be of the same type as the original. An engine mounted belt automatic tensioner mechanism is designed to maintain 120 lbs. (534 N) of belt tension. A worn belt can result in slippage, which may cause a noise concern or improper accessory operation.
Automatic tensioners do not have to be removed to remove a drive belt. To remove a drive belt, rotate the tensioner away from the belt.Serpentine Belt
On some applications, a single belt is used to drive all of the engine accessories formerly driven by multiple drive belts. The single belt is referred to a serpentine belt. All the belt driven accessories are rigidly mounted with belt tension maintained by a spring-loaded tensioner. Because of the belt tensioner, no adjustment is necessary.
Cracks on the rib side of a serpentine drive belt are considered acceptable. If the drive belt has chunks missing from the ribs, if two or more adjacent ribs have lost sections, or if the missing chunks are creating a noise, vibrations, or harshness condition, replace the drive belt.
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle securely on jackstands.
- Remove the splash shield bolts and splash shield.
- Remove the A/C compressor hose strap bolt.
- Remove the AIR injection crossover pipe bracket nut from the generator bolt. Use a back-up wrench on the backside of the generator.
- Remove the AIR injection crossover pipe bushing nut from the bracket (located n the left side of the engine).
- Rotate the drive belt tensioner clockwise with a 15-mm wrench, while sliding the belt from the water pump pulley.
- Lift the drive belt over the idler pulley flange and remove the drive belt.
- Following the schematic on the decal under the hood, position the belt over the pulleys, except the water pump pulley.
- Rotate the tensioner as described above and install the belt on the water pump pulley. Ensure that all the V-grooves make proper contact with the pulleys.
- Insert a 1 / 2 inch flex handle in the square hole in the tensioner. The tensioner has a square hole cast into it. Rotate the tensioner counter-clockwise and remove the belt from the pulleys.
- Following the schematic on the decal under the hood, loop the drive belt over all the pulleys except the power steering pulley.
- With the belt installed properly on all except the power steering pulley, rotate the tensioner as described above and install the belt on the power steering pulley. Ensure that all the V-grooves make proper contact with the pulleys.