GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide




See Figures 1 and 2

Check the drive belts every 7500 miles (12,067.5 km) 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. If the distance between the pulleys (measured from the center of each pulley) is

13 / 16 in. (20.6mm), the belt should deflect 1 / 2 in. (13mm) at the halfway point or 1 / 4 in. (6mm) if the distance is 7-10 in. (178-254mm). If the deflection is found to be too much or too little, loosen the mounting bolts and make the adjustments.

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 there. On some of the harder-to-reach bolts, an application of penetrating oil will make them easier to loosen. When you're adjusting 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 to get to those hard-to-reach bolts.

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Fig. Fig. 1: You can check belt tension with thumb pressure

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Fig. Fig. 2: To adjust belt tension or to replace belts, first loosen the component mounting and adjusting bolts slightly

When adjusting the air pump belt, if you are using a prybar, 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.


See Figures 3, 4 and 5

  1. If you are working near the battery, disconnect the negative battery cable. This is also advisable in order to prevent personal injury should someone try to start the engine while your hands are near the radiator fan or on a drive belt.
  3. Loosen the mounting and adjusting bolts on the component whose belt is going to be removed.
  5. Pivot the component inward toward the engine and slip the belt off the component's pulley.
  7. Remove the belt from the crankshaft pulley, then remove the belt from the vehicle.

To install:

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Fig. Fig. 3: Push the component toward the engine and slip off the belt

  1. Position the belt to the engine and over the pulleys.
  3. Properly adjust the belt by pivoting the component outward until the proper tension is achieved, then tighten the mounting and adjusting bolts.
  5. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

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Fig. Fig. 4: Slip the new belt over the pulley

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Fig. Fig. 5: Pull outward on the component and tighten the mounting bolts