GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Belts

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INSPECTION





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

A single serpentine drive belt is used to drive all engine accessories. All belt driven accessories are rigidly mounted with the belt tension maintained by a spring loaded tensioner. The indicator on the movable portion of the tensioner must be within the limits of the marks of the stationary portion of the tensioner. Any reading outside of these limits indicates either a worn belt or defective tensioner.

Inspect the belt 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. Any worn or damaged drive belt should be replaced immediately.

Routine inspection of the belt may reveal cracks in the belt ribs. These cracks will not impair the belt performance. The belt should be replaced if belt slip occurs or a section of the belt ribs are missing.

ADJUSTMENT



Drive belt tension is maintained by a spring loaded tensioner (see INSPECTION). The drive belt tensioner can control belt tension over a broad range of belt lengths, however, there are limits to the tensioner's ability to compensate. Once the tensioner's index mark nears or reaches the wear limit indicator, the tensioner can no longer effectively keep correct tension applied and should be replaced.



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Fig. The belt tensioner for the 3.1L engine is indexed to show normal operating range and wear limit

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. If necessary on the 1999-00 3.1L engine, remove the coolant recovery reservoir.
  4.  
  5. Remove the belt guard located on top of the belt, between the water pump and the power steering pump, if necessary on the 3.1L engine.
  6.  


NOTE
For the 2.4L engine use a drive belt tension tool or a long (at least 18 in.) 13mm box wrench. For the 3.1L engine use a long 3 / 8 inch drive ratchet or breaker bar.



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Fig. A 3 / 8 inch drive ratchet can be used to rotate the drive belt tensioner on the 3.1L engine

  1. Using the proper tool, rotate the tensioner in direction to release the belt tension.
  2.  
  3. For the 2.4L engine and 1999-00 3.1L engine, remove the drive belt from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. For the 1997-98 3.1L engine, perform the following:
    1. Remove the drive belt from the alternator pulley.
    2.  
    3. Support the engine at the oil pan. Make sure to follow the information on supporting the engine using a block of wood and jacking device exactly, this is very important:
    4.  

  6.  


WARNING
Never LIFT the vehicle by the oil pan.



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Fig. Raise and support the engine by the oil pan in the manner shown here only-1997-98 3.1L engine

  1. Remove either the engine mount bracket support bolts or the engine mount assembly nuts.
  2.  



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Fig. Removal of the engine mount assembly nuts-1997-98 3.1L engine



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Fig. Removal of the engine mount support bracket support bolts-1997-98 3.1L engine


NOTE
On some 3.1L engines, it may be necessary to remove the coolant recovery tank.

  1. Raise the engine enough to remove the drive belt.
  2.  



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Fig. View of the proper drive belt routing-2.4L engine



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Fig. Drive belt routing-1999-00 3.1L engine shown

To install:

  1. For the 1997-98 3.1L engine, perform the following:
    1. Slide one side of the new belt under the unfastened motor mount.
    2.  

  2.  



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Fig. On the 1997-98 3.1L engine, carefully remove or replace the drive belt through the unfastened engine mount

  1. Install the engine mount to the support bracket bolts or mount assembly nuts. Tighten the bolts to 96 ft. lbs. (130 Nm). Tighten the nuts to 49 ft. lbs. (66 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Remove the floor jack and block of wood.
  4.  

  1. Rotate the belt tensioner.
  2.  
  3. Place the drive belt around the pulleys according to the belt routing diagram.
  4.  



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Fig. The proper belt routing label for the 3.1L engine is located on the belt guard. The belt guard may have to be removed

  1. Slowly release the belt tensioner.
  2.  
  3. Check belt for proper routing. Also, make sure belt is not twisted.
  4.  
  5. If removed, install the belt guard and/or coolant recovery reservoir, as applicable.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  


WARNING
Before starting engine, make sure the belt is not incorrectly routed or twisted. Check to make sure no stray tools are in engine compartment. Starting the engine with an improperly installed belt may damage belt, engine, or accessories.


CAUTION
Incorrectly installed belts and stray tools may cause flying debris. Clear area before starting engine.

  1. Start the engine and check for any belt noises such as whine, rumbling, or squeal.
  2.  

 
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