Saturn Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1991-1998 Repair Guide

Serpentine Drive Belt

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INSPECTION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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. All worn or damaged drive belts should be replaced immediately. It is best to replace the drive belt as a preventive maintenance measure, during this service operation.



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Fig. Fig. 1: There are typically 3 types of accessory drive belts found on vehicles today



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Fig. Fig. 2: An example of a healthy drive belt



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Fig. Fig. 3: Deep cracks in this belt will cause flex, building up heat that will eventually lead to belt failure



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Fig. Fig. 4: The cover of this belt is worn, exposing the critical reinforcing cords to excessive wear



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Fig. Fig. 5: Installing too wide a belt can result in serious belt wear and/or breakage

Belt Tension

See Figures 6 and 7

The belt is automatically adjusted using a spring loaded tensioner. If belt slippage is suspected or unusual belt noises occurs, the following procedure should be used to determine if the tensioner or belt is at fault.

  1. Start the engine and allow it to warm up to normal operating temperature with all accessories (such as the A/C) turned ON ; this should take approximately 10 minutes. If the vehicle is equipped with power steering, turn the steering wheel to the left and right several times during warm-up to make sure a proper load is placed on the belt.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine and accessories OFF .
  4.  
  5. Using a 14mm or 9 / 16 in. wrench, depress the tensioner arm until the belt becomes loosened, then slowly allow the tensioner to return to position and apply tension to the belt. Do not allow the tensioner to snap against the belt.
  6.  
  7. Inspect the markings located on the tensioner arm. If the marks on the arm fall outside the operating range, the drive belt must be replaced.
  8.  

Inspection of the belt using a tension gauge must be performed with the upper engine mount removed.

  1. Using tool SA9181-NE or an equivalent calibrated belt tension gauge, measure and note the tension readings at the 2 points located centrally between 2 belt pulleys as shown in the illustration. The dotted lines represent other possible paths which your belt may follow, depending on the engine and accessories with which your vehicle is equipped.
  2.  
  3. Repeat the measurements from the previous step 2 more times, then calculate the average result for each test location. The readings should be 50-65 lbs. (22.7-29.2 kg) for new belts or a minimum of 45 lbs. (20.4 kg) for used belts. If the readings are out of this range or do not meet the minimum and the drive belt passed the test in Step 4, the drive belt tensioner must be replaced.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: Use a 14mm or 9/16 in. wrench to depress the tensioner arm until the belt becomes loose



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Fig. Fig. 7: Read the belt tension at 2 points centrally located between the indicated pulleys

Belt Alignment

See Figure 8

  1. Measure the distance from the front machined surface of the cylinder block to the inboard edge of the belt at the location as shown.
  2.  
  3. The distance should be 1.102-1.220 in. (28-31mm).
  4.  
  5. If the distance does not fall within the specification, check the following:
  6.  



Check that the belt is properly located within the pulley grooves.
 
Check the drive belt for wear at the edges and, if necessary, replace a worn belt.
 
Make sure the belt pulleys are not bent or damaged.
 
Make sure the accessory assemblies have proper shaft and bearing end-play.
 
Check the pulley hubs for proper installation on their shafts.
 



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Fig. Fig. 8: Measuring serpentine drive belt alignment

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Belt

See Figures 9 and 10

  1. Loosen the drive belt by depressing the tensioner arm using a 14mm or 9 / 16 in. wrench.
  2.  
  3. Remove the belt from the idler or air conditioning compressor, as applicable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the drive belt from the vehicle.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the belt around the pulleys, except for the front cover idler or air conditioning compressor.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: The accessory belt routing label is located under the hood

  1. Depress the tensioner arm and slip the belt over the idler or air conditioning compressor pulley. Make sure the belt ribs are properly aligned on the pulleys.
  2.  
  3. If the tensioner idler pulley retaining bolt is loose, remove the bolt and apply Loctite® 242 or equivalent to the bolt threads. Install the bolt and tighten to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Proper drive belt routing

Belt Tensioner

See Figures 11 and 12

  1. On 1992 and later models equipped with the torque axis mount system, position a 1 in. x 1 in. x 2 in. long wooden block between the torque strut and cradle in order to support the mount. This will allow removal and installation of the right upper mount without the necessity of lifting or jacking the powertrain.
  2.  
  3. On 1992 and later models, remove the 3 engine mount-to-front cover nuts and the 2 mount-to-midrail bracket nuts, then remove the upper mount. This will allow the powertrain to rest on the wooden block positioned earlier.
  4.  
  5. Remove the serpentine drive belt.
  6.  
  7. Check the position of the engine to the right side midrails; it may be possible to remove the tensioner without removing the power steering pump. If this is preferable, raise and support the vehicle safely, then remove the right tire and splash shield.
  8.  
  9. If it was determined that tensioner removal is necessary, remove the power steering pump and bracket from the engine.
  10.  
  11. Remove the upper and lower fasteners attaching the tensioner to the engine.
  12.  
  13. Remove the tensioner assembly from the vehicle. If necessary, the engine may be moved slightly toward the driver' side by prying on the motor mount and frame rail. Do not pry against the aluminum engine and accessories or damage may occur.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install the tensioner using the upper and lower fasteners, then tighten the fasteners to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If removed, install the power steering pump assembly.
  4.  
  5. If removed, install the right tire and splash shield, then remove the support and lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Install the accessory drive belt, making sure it is properly aligned on the pulleys.
  8.  
  9. On 1992 and later vehicles equipped with the torque axis mount system, position the upper mount and install the 3 mount to front cover nuts. Install the 2 mount-to-midrail bracket nuts, then tighten the 5 mount fasteners slowly and evenly to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm). Remove the wooden block from the engine cradle.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Drive belt tensioner mounting



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Fig. Fig. 12: Place a wooden block between the torque strut and engine cradle to support the mount-1992 and later models

 
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