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Old 04-05-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
binkers
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Default Changing the v6 serpentine belt

2001 L300
So anyway my serpentine belt is whining and I need to change it. I've done several belts on other cars and they were a piece of cake. Looking at my saturn I can't tell where the tensioner is and it also looks like I'd have to take off a motor mount. Am I looking at this completely wrong? Please help here as I've searched the board and can't find anything on the v6 belt except the part about using a 3/8 ratchet.

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Old 04-05-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Here's a picture to help.
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File Type: gif L300 V6 belt routing.gif (11.9 KB, 379 views)

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Old 04-05-2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers View Post
2001 L300
So anyway my serpentine belt is whining and I need to change it. I've done several belts on other cars and they were a piece of cake. Looking at my Saturn I can't tell where the tensioner is and it also looks like I'd have to take off a motor mount. Am I looking at this completely wrong? Please help here as I've searched the board and can't find anything on the V belt except the part about using a 3/8 ratchet.
The tensioner is at the rear of the engine above the alternator. They say you can pull the pass side splash shield and replace it without pulling the mount. I personally found supporting the engine with a jack and pulling the engine side of the mount easier. On a lift, coming in from underneath would be easier.

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Well I took out the three bolts that I can see, but that damn mount won't come off. Any ideas? I tried smacking it with a rubber mallet thinking that it's just stuck, but still nothing. Also there's not really anything to pry on it with.

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

There is more than three bolts. Can't remember for sure at the monement but at least four maybe five. One is hidden under a protruding part of the mount.
You will know once you have them all. The mount does not stay/stick in place without the bolts in tight.

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Old 04-05-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

There are four bolts and the engine must be supported; use a 2x4 between the oil pan and jack support.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
There are four bolts
Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Well I just wanted to say thanks everyone. Your right there is a hidden bolt. Once I got that it was a piece of cake. Although I still have a grinding whirling sound coming from that side of the car (I'm thinking that it might be the alternator or some other bearing on the pully system). So anyway thanks for all of your help

Jason

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Old 04-05-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Somebody (ok, I'll take the hit) forgot to mention that while the belt was off, hand turn each pulley and rock it to feel for any worn bearings.

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Old 04-06-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Somebody (ok, I'll take the hit) forgot to mention that while the belt was off, hand turn each pulley and rock it to feel for any worn bearings.
LOL...I forgot also. Did you run the engine wit hthe belt off to see if the noise was coming from the water pump?

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Old 04-06-2009, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Even though the water pump is under the timing belt cover, the pulley for the water pump comes out of the cover and is run by the serp belt, so running the engine with the serp belt off doesn't turn the water pump.

Serp tensioner itself is also another suspect for serp belt grinding.

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Old 04-08-2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by s3nfo View Post
Even though the water pump is under the timing belt cover, the pulley for the water pump comes out of the cover and is run by the serp belt, so running the engine with the serp belt off doesn't turn the water pump.

Serp tensioner itself is also another suspect for serp belt grinding.
Boy do I feel dumb. I should have remembered that when I posted.

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

I had a grinding noise from my 2001 L300 at 95,000 and it was the water pump. It would definitly be a good place to start looking.

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Old 04-18-2009, 05:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Yeah it was the tensioner. My wife called and said it started screaming loud. She pulled over and the belt broke. She said the temp gauge had just started to rise when she killed the engine. I towed the car home and replaced the tensioner and the belt and every thing appears fine. I was worried that it may have overheated, but it's ran fine with no coolant loss or steam out the exhaust, so I think was caught in time. Lesson learned I guess.

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers View Post
Yeah it was the tensioner. My wife called and said it started screaming loud. She pulled over and the belt broke. She said the temp gauge had just started to rise when she killed the engine. I towed the car home and replaced the tensioner and the belt and every thing appears fine. I was worried that it may have overheated, but it's ran fine with no coolant loss or steam out the exhaust, so I think was caught in time. Lesson learned I guess.
The belt tensioner in my L300 will need to be replaced in the not so distant future. I'm not brave enough to do it myself as the L81 doesn't look quite as easy to work on as the 1.9 in my SL2 was....

Anyhow, any ideas on how much I can expect to pay for said job. Also, any recommendations (other than the dealer) as to where to get this done?

Thanks!

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Old 12-04-2009, 12:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

Changing out the tensioner for the serp belt is an easy job, with only two bolts to remove and re-attach.

I can send you a photo of what two bolts to remove if you would like to attempt the job yourself.

ernesto

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Old 12-04-2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

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Originally Posted by ernesto rex View Post
Changing out the tensioner for the serp belt is an easy job, with only two bolts to remove and re-attach.

I can send you a photo of what two bolts to remove if you would like to attempt the job yourself.

ernesto
That would be fantastic and greatly appreciated if you could do that....

I'll send you a PM with my e-mail address.

Another thought is that maybe you could even post it here for everyone's general knowledge. I think its now more important than ever that knowledge of these cars be shared. With Saturn dealers going away and the fact that the L81 was not a terribly ubiquitous engine as compared to some of GM's other offerings (Ecotec, 3.8, etc) any shared knowledge will benefit everyone.

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Old 12-05-2009, 08:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Changing the v6 serpentine belt

I just finished replacing my tensioner AND belt due to lack of maintenance on my part. The belt cooked on 295 in traffic and the tensioner cooked as well causing the belt to fry. The tensioner was 2 bolts as stated and the job could not have been much simpler as far as tensioner goes. Now the belt is another story. I had to pull the mount as well. Don't know how anybody could to it without??? I tried and it would NOT fit between the mount and pulley. It is humming along now.

Thanks to this group - when the belt fried I had no way to know how to route it - manual did not have a chart - no sticker nor does the Owners Manual have it. The pic posted here was most helpful.

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