Replacing Serpentine Belt - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Replacing Serpentine Belt

Hey everyone. Long time lurker here. You guys have helped me countless times over the years, but after searching for a while, I decided I'd go ahead and sign up to ask.

The Car: 1997 GL with Vulcan

The short of it: I'm trying to replace the serpentine belt and the tensioner won't budge. I bought a replacement tensioner (one where the pulley moves, so the belt can be put back on) but the hex bolt on the old one is stuck, and I'm afraid of stripping it and being SOL
.

Background: The ball bearings in the idler pulley melted together and the crank ate right through the belt. I buy a new belt. Find out the idler pulley is seized and buy a new one of those. After watching many videos and reading many threads about the tensioner, I'm pretty confident it's just an easy 15mm wrench turned clockwise to loosen tensioner. No biggie.

Except the tensioner arm thingy that's supposed to move so I can slip on the belt won't budge. I ruined a wrench trying to get the tensioner to move. So I go out and rent the serpentine tool from Autozone. And after much prying and such, the 15mm bolt is now stripping. Sick. Love this. So much.

I bought a new belt tension pulley assembly (another $60) and the old one is stuck in there too. I'm afraid of stripping the hex bolt that's holding it on because then I'm really in the drink .

I've been researching this issue for about 2 weeks and just can't get anywhere. I just want the damned belt on so I can drive my own car, but this whole belt tensioner thing is really messing with me.

Thanks for reading, any help is very much appreciated!

edit: I apologize in advance if this thread needs to be moved.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 03:15 PM
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Sorry to hear about all your problems with this: I also had to replace my tensioner and pulley.

Until someone more informed pitches in I'll offer my thoughts from having done the job myself. Firstly, well done for getting the proper tool: without this it's very tough. Secondly, while we all pitch in to help, try getting some sort of penetrating oil on the bolts (but not the belt if it's still fitted): can't hurt.

Firstly, you did remove the expansion tank/washer bottles to get better access, right? I have to do this on my 2nd gen, I assume it's the same with yours. Otherwise access is VERY limited.

I may now be wrong about this next thing, but I remember turning the bolt ANTI-clockwise to loosen it just like any bolt. The pulley can stay on the arm and the arm removes as a unit.

If you think you're in danger of stripping the mounting bolt for the tensioner pulley, see if a smaller sized socket can be persuaded to fit.

Anyone else? I'll do some reading on this when I've finished work for today and post back.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 03:42 PM
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Spray 15mm bolt with Kroil or PB Blaster. Using a 6-point socket and a breaker bar, remove tensioner bolt by rotating counter-clockwise (CCW).
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topgunovrtx View Post
Spray 15mm bolt with Kroil or PB Blaster. Using a 6-point socket and a breaker bar, remove tensioner bolt by rotating counter-clockwise (CCW).
Good, so I remember right - ANTI-clockwise (aka counter-clockwise ) . Didn't want to mislead you. Thanks topgunvortx.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 04:00 PM
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If I am reading the original post correctly you are not trying to move the tensioner but to remove it. Is that correct?

It's SHO time!


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Doctor, thanks for all that. I was hesitant to remove the reservoir, just for lack of motivation to turn this into such a big event. I guess it needs to be done. I'd have to drain the coolant from the reservoir to take it out first, right? (stupid question, but you'd be surprised at the stains on the ground in my garage)

The whole thing is currently marinating in PB blaster

I was originally trying to move the tensioner as instructed by this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEk6KicluHI. The guy moves the bar toward the front of the car (clockwise) to loosen the tensioner and get the belt off. It makes sense to me when I look at the diagram of the belt routing, seen and adjusted by me in ms paint here (http://i.imgur.com/9LtsFep.png). Mad MS Paint skills. When the tensioner moves right, it should ease up on the belt. If I'm still wrong, let me know

As for Jag's question, I believe the whole thing has failed in some way, so at this point, yes I am trying to remove the whole thing.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 05:13 PM
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IIRC then you need a T47 for the tensioner bolt. The 15 mm is for adjusting tension not removal. Although I have limited experience with Gen 3 Vulcans and may be mistaken hopefully one of the SLO guys can verify that

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 06:00 PM
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jag1959 is right about using a Torx 47 bit to remove the tensioner mounting bolt. Use a breaker bar and T47 bit, rotating it CCW, to remove the mounting bolt.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jag1959 View Post
IIRC then you need a T47 for the tensioner bolt. The 15 mm is for adjusting tension not removal. Although I have limited experience with Gen 3 Vulcans and may be mistaken hopefully one of the SLO guys can verify that
Damn, YES you're right, I'd totally forgotten that!! That's exactly the way it is on my 2nd gen. The correct fitting should be bundled with the tool you borrowed/rented.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BindBeard View Post
Doctor, thanks for all that. I was hesitant to remove the reservoir, just for lack of motivation to turn this into such a big event. I guess it needs to be done. I'd have to drain the coolant from the reservoir to take it out first, right? (stupid question, but you'd be surprised at the stains on the ground in my garage)

The whole thing is currently marinating in PB blaster

I was originally trying to move the tensioner as instructed by this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEk6KicluHI. The guy moves the bar toward the front of the car (clockwise) to loosen the tensioner and get the belt off. It makes sense to me when I look at the diagram of the belt routing, seen and adjusted by me in ms paint here (http://i.imgur.com/9LtsFep.png). Mad MS Paint skills. When the tensioner moves right, it should ease up on the belt. If I'm still wrong, let me know

As for Jag's question, I believe the whole thing has failed in some way, so at this point, yes I am trying to remove the whole thing.
If the expansion tank in your 3rd gen is the same design as mine, you don't have to drain it as long as you keep the rubber hose on the bottom and keep the free (radiator) end of the hose above the top line of the the water. Or clamp it/block it off.

I see what you're saying about clockwise/CCW: I meant that to actually undo the tensioner pullet to remove it, you'd turn it CCW like any other bolt.

If the tensioner arm and pulley are totally seized up in your car, I see no harm in removing the whole unit with the torx bit as above, without releasing the belt by pulling backl on the tensioner spring: it sounds like that won't work anyway if the tensioner assembly is seized. Watch out for the belt flying around though if it's still in place! The correct bit is available form Autozone etc for fair money. I got a pretty long socket bar on mine but it moved pretty easily.
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