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Old 04-05-2010, 10:54 AM   #1
craig4937
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Default 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

Where can I fuind a diagram to change the serpentine belt in my 03 Ion, it is no longer under the hood. Also, are there any "tricks" to doing this job?

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Old 04-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
2006 ion2
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

the tricks are as follows: remove the passenger's side front tire, remove any shrouds that may be in your way, curse a lot. all you should have to do is remember the routing, but it should be under your hood or in the manual, if I remember correctly.

...
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2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
AndreasChen
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2002 SC2
Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

Here is the GM manual page.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf belt.pdf (105.9 KB, 345 views)

...
02 Saturn SC2, noisy, trying to quiet it down...

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Old 04-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
jchiko
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2003 ION-2 Quad Coupe
2001 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

2003 Ion serpentine belt

Trick. Buy a 3/8 drive break bar. Mine is a Craftsman. The drive end tip can pivot. You will be using this bar without any other attachments.

Forget about removing the front tire. On my L-series I would have had to remove both tires and the chin spoiler that runs from one wheel well to the other. Way too much effort.

Instead remove the air cleaner box. It is not difficult. This will expose the front of the engine and give you better access to the idler pulley swing arm. There is a 3/8 drive hole in the swing arm into which you slip the breaker bar. The space between the front of my engine and the frame rail narrows as you move towards the firewall. The gap is so narrow that a ratchet head will not fit between idler pulley swing arm and the frame rail. The 3/8 breaker bar also will not go straight into the hole in the swing arm. Instead the drive end tip had to be pivoted enough to permit the tip to slip in the hole. This breaker bar made the entire job very easy. Its extract 2 of length provided just enough extra leverage to pull on the bar and hold it in place with the left hand while using the right to put the belt in place. And the bar can stay in place as the belt is removed and installed.

Removal is always the easiest part of this job. It actually took more time to get the breaker bar into the swing arm hole than to remove the old belt. Save the old belt. Toss it into the trunk with the spare. If the new belt breaks and you are on the road you are not going to the nearest small town or rest stop and pick one of these belts up. The old belt may get you to the next town.

Feeding the new belt into place takes more time and some patience. The crank shaft pulley is the most difficult part. Once the belt is on the crank pulley try to maintain tension on the belt so that it does not slip off this key location.

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Old 04-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #5
plato
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1996 SC2
Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

isn't a regular belt removal tool like this enough:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...5x000001&aff=Y

autozone or advance have it through the free rental program

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Old 04-10-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
2006 ion2
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

why on earth would you need to take off both tires and a chin spoiler? the ion is built differently than an L, if you can't get to it from the top, removing ONE tire should be enough.

plato, the way GMs are, a 3/8 breaker bar IS the tool specified by GM in any manual I've seen.

...
2007 Saturn Ion 2
2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 04-11-2010, 12:49 AM   #7
jchiko
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2003 ION-2 Quad Coupe
2001 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

My point is that you can get to the serpentine belt from the top in both the L and the Ion.

The book for the L-series told me to take off the passenger tire and remove the wheel well skirt. I then discovered that the skirt is part of the chin spoiler. The implication is now both front tires would have to come off to remove the L's wheel skirt/chin spoiler.

So, I attacked the problem from the top side. Sometimes the books can be misleading. Sometimes they do not tell you the secrets.

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Old 04-11-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
mars1100
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2003 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

wow, I did mine from under the car after i removed the tire and the lower fenderwell splash shield.
I just used the bar from my hydraulic jack and pushed up on the tensioner arm, old belt off and new belt on and done.
I did have to work the new belt on a little as it was a bit thicker than the original.

Just look at the path of the belt before you remove the old, not that difficult.

Good Luck

...
2003 ION Quad Coupe
5 Speed

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:08 PM   #9
David Lewis
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

The just changed the S-Belt on my sister's 04' Ion and let me tell you that Craftsman Serpentine Belt tool was unfortunately no help to me I thought that I was going to have it made after reading David 93 SL2m Post but it wasn't to be. Maybe another car but not an Ion.

The Problem was very little room to play with and due to the way the tensioner was "Clocked" I couldn't get the extension of the tool to fit in the tensioner from the top.

The solution you ask I took one wire hanger and took it apart to make a wire to which I then threaded across the pivot of the tensioner and the pulley. We then tied the other end of the wire to a poll or a bar and then lift the bar it should lift the tensioner. Problem solved.

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #10
SLORider
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Idea Re: 2003 Ion, Replace Serpentine belt & Alternator with four tools

Replace Serpentine belt & Alternator with four tools, minimal swearing and blood loss

WITH JUST THESE FOUR SIMPLE TOOLS you can replace your serpentine belt and alternator! On the side of the road, on vacation, or in your driveway!
  1. Flat head screwdriver
  2. Slip-joint pliers
  3. 12 mm open-end wrench
  4. 13 mm open-end wrench (for alternator replacement only)

Remove air box cover and intake hose assembly
  • Use the screwdriver to pop the air box cover clips.
  • Loosen the hose clamps on the air intake hose at the air box cover and at the throttle body.
  • Remove the air box cover, separating the intake hose.
  • Use the slip-joint pliers to move the spring clip on the crankcase vent hose upward on the hose (off the metal pipe). Remove the vent hose.
  • Use the screwdriver to pry up the black plastic lock button on the right of the air intake assembly. Pull out the button which locks the intake assembly to the throttle body.
  • Remove the air intake assembly which is still connected by the sensor wire. Turn it over and place in on top of the valve cover.
  • ENSURE NOTHING FALLS INTO THE THROTTLE BODY. You should stuff a rag or paper towel into the throttle body.

Alternator replacement (optional)
  • Use the screwdriver to lift the locking tab on the large connector and pull out the connector
  • Use the 13 mm wrench to remove the nut holding the large battery wire. Remove the ring terminal from the stud. DO NOT LET THE WRENCH OR WIRE TOUCH ANY METAL! Push the ring terminal back inside the rubber cover so it can't short against any metal while you are working.
  • A portion of the vehicle wire harness is mounted to a plastic stud next to the alternator. Use the screwdriver to pry the plastic stud out of its hole. You will need this portion of the wire harness out of the way so there is room to remove the alternator.

Serpentine belt removal
  • Use the 12 mm wrench to loosen and remove the alternator's top and bottom bolts nearest the serpentine belt toward the front of the engine.
  • The alternator should now be free to tilt downward (rotating on the third bolt located at the top). This rotation will release the tension on the serpentine belt allowing the belt to be removed. Loosen the third bolt, if necessary.
  • Remove the serpentine belt by lifting it off the crankshaft pulley and A/C pulley (if equipped with A/C).
  • If you are replacing the alternator, completely remove the third bolt (on top of the alternator toward the rear of the engine). Carefully work the alternator up and out of the engine compartment past the right side of the radiator hose, pushing the portion of wiring harness out of the way that is attached to the plastic stud removed above.

THE TRICK! CLICK FOR LARGE IMAGE.
alternator-install.png

Serpentine belt installation
  • Ensure your new belt is the same size and has the same number of grooves.
  • If installing a new alternator, mount the new alternator by the top bolt located toward the rear of the alternator. Tighten the bolt all the way down until it is just less than snug. The alternator should be able to rotate on this bolt.
  • Work the new belt around the crankcase pulley and around the A/C pulley (if so equipped). Lift the belt over the alternator pulley, ensuring it is properly around the idler/tensioner pulley. You may need to rotate the alternator up slightly and hold it in place. Ensure the belt is fully seated into the grooves of all pulleys.
  • THE TRICK: There is a slot on the top-front of the alternator where the top-front bolt passes through. DO NOT INSERT THE TOP BOLT YET! Without the top bolt in place, you can insert the end of an open-end wrench into this slot (from the front side above the pulley) and use the wrench to pry the alternator upward. The closed end of my 12 mm wrench worked fine, but go through your tools and find the largest wrench possible as it will provide the longest handle with the most leverage. Before you do pry, insert the BOTTOM bolt part way so that no threads extend past the mounting bracket. NOW USE YOUR MUSCLES TO PRY THE ALTERNATOR UPWARD. This will tension the idler pulley. Pull hard and you should be able to align the bottom bolt hole to where you can start the bottom bolt. An assistant to start the bottom bolt may be helpful if you aren't muscle-bound. Once the bottom bolt is started, the alternator is held in place and the serpentine belt is now tensioned! Partially tighten the bottom bolt.
  • NOW, insert the remaining top bolt. The thread hole should be aligned, but I did need to muscle the alternator frame by hand a couple millimeters to get the threads started.
  • Fully tighten all three bolts.

Your serpentine belt (and alternator) is installed!

Reinstall all the parts removed earlier. Be sure to get them all. Check to make sure you left no tools behind.

DONE.

Last edited by SLORider; 08-07-2013 at 10:47 PM..

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
James614
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

I tried this trick, and it was immensely helpful! I couldnt get the lower bolt in, but it got me back on the road without a jack and with less cursing than fussing with the belt tensioner!

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by James614 View Post
I tried this trick, and it was immensely helpful!
Glad it helped someone! Get that lower bolt it, though. It does take some muscle and maybe an assistant to get the lower bolt started so you can use both arms to pry.

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Old 04-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

It wasnt so much a prying issue, as I could raise it past position with one arm. The bolt just refused to thread once it felt like it was in the hole... but now that the car is no longer stranded in the next town over and its not raining on me, I should be able to get in much more easily.

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Old 04-11-2014, 12:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

Did this about a month ago on a 2003. No breaker bar available and as Chiko says, a ratchet will not fit. I think I remember seeing that even if I took off the passenger wheel and splash shield, the square hole for the ratchet or breaker bar was brilliantly placed right alongside the frame. From above or below, that hole for the ratchet is like an inch from the frame, so for the life of me I couldn't find a reason to bother taking off the wheel and shield. The idler pulley is spring loaded. I took a long crowbar (using the hooked end) and placed the pivot point on the compressor and the tip on the idler and pulled to relieve the tension. Still took some doin' to put the new one in, but very doable from above without removing the wheel and whatever, just remove the air cleaner. Very easy to confuse the route of the belt, made me think I got the wrong one at first.

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Old 11-09-2014, 07:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

I read this thread before going out and attempting this. I simply took the air box out which was just one bolt. Then I took a small pipe wrench and open the jaws almost all the way. I then from above put the wrench on the raised part of the tensioner that is closest to the wheel. I then pushed the handle of the pipe wrench up and back towards the firewall which loosened the belt. With my other hand I pulled the belt off of the alternator pulley. The removed the wrench and took off the belt. Reversed the process to put back on. Whole process took 30 minutes at most. It was my lucky day. I don't have many.

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Old 11-09-2014, 10:18 PM   #16
2006 ion2
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

I don't remember seeing the post mentioning removing the alternator to replace the belt. It's completely unnecessary. All you need to do is remove the air box, turn the tensioner with a breaker bar, then remove the belt. Reinstall reverse of removal.

...
2007 Saturn Ion 2
2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 11-09-2014, 10:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2003 Ion, Serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
I don't remember seeing the post mentioning removing the alternator to replace the belt. It's completely unnecessary. All you need to do is remove the air box, turn the tensioner with a breaker bar, then remove the belt. Reinstall reverse of removal.
Correct. In my case, the alternator was the culprit. New belt was prudence. My post describes how to do it without a breaker--using only tools found in a very modest toolbox you might have in your trunk on the road.

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