The belts which drive the engine accessories such as the alternator or generator, the air pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor and water pump are of either the V-belt design or flat, serpentine design. Older 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 an untrained eye 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 belts regularly and replace them, routinely, every two to three years.
See Figures 1 through 5
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 gauge 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. A general rule for alternator belt tension is the pulley should not be capable of being turned with hand pressure.
It is important to note, however, 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.Serpentine Belt
See Figures 6, 7, 8 and 9
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.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
To remove a drive belt, simply loosen the accessory being driven and move it on its pivot point to free the belt. Then, remove the belt. If a belt tensioner is used, push (rotate) the tensioner using a 15mm socket, and remove the belt.
Take care as not to bend the tensioner when applying torque. Damage to the tensioner will occur. Maximum torque to load belt should not exceed 30 ft. lbs.