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Old 01-28-2003, 09:39 PM   #1
cmswq3
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Default Changing / Replacing Serpentine Belt

Well it appears that when you have one problem, a million more come in behind it. So now today my belt starts screeching at me until it warms up. So I have changed millions of belts but never on a saturn. I hear its easy though, also the tensioner was replaced 2 years ago do I need to replace this again?

So just some simple instructions to give me an idea how my weekend will go.

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Old 01-28-2003, 10:55 PM   #2
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Tensioner is probably fine. To replace the belt...the "easiest" way. Jack up the car and remove the passenger side wheel and inner splash shield. You will now be able to see the bolt that runs through the tensioner's pulley. Place a box end wrench (15mm or 9/16 will do) and turn the bolt as if you were trying to TIGHTEN it. The tensioner arm will move and release pressure on the belt, with the tension released (wrench held in place) slip the belt off just ONE pulley, you can now release the wrench and remove the belt. Route the new belt in place according to the diagram on the radiator support under the hood saving the CRANKSHAFT pulley for last. Release the tensioner pressure as you did before as FAR AS POSSIBLE, then slide the belt over the crankshaft pulley and slowly release the tensioner. Check to make sure it has not slipped off...it should be fitting tightly if as is well. Start car to confirm proper function. Reinstall splash shield and tire/wheel..you're done. Expect about a 30 minute job for a first timer, ten minutes tops for old hands. Hardest part is keeping the new belt in place while trying to get it over the last pulley and release the tension. There is a way to "cheat" if you have a "double box end wrench". Run a length of rope through the end you won't be using on the bolt. Turn the other end on the tensioner bolt as described FROM ABOVE to release the tension, and then tie the rope to the hood bumper or radiator support to hold the wrench/ tensioner in the released position while you remove/install the bolt. Then untie the rope and release the tensioner one the new belt's in place.

...
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Old 01-29-2003, 07:16 AM   #3
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I just get at it from the top.
It's harder to do that way but I'm used to it.

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Old 01-29-2003, 07:55 AM   #4
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I have replaced it from the top and from the wheel well, and the wheel well is much easier.

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Old 01-29-2003, 08:41 AM   #5
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Wolf's Comment:
Quote:
Expect about a 30 minute job for a first timer, ten minutes tops for old hands.
And one hour for Luke..LOL

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Old 01-29-2003, 08:59 AM   #6
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changing the serpentine belt on the s-series is easy. wait til the engine is cold and reach in an use a 14(?)mm wrench on the tensioner to create some slack then slide off the old belt and install the new belt. one i did this at the drag strip when i swapped the regular belt for the short belt than bypasses the a/c. btw no, it wasn't worth it. saturns a/c pulley spins free enough when it's off to not make a huge diff.

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Old 01-30-2003, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Get a buddy to help!

Wolfman said a mouthful:

"Hardest part is keeping the new belt in place while trying to get it over the last pulley and release the tension."

You can do this job by yourself, but it will go much faster and you'll swear a lot less if you have a buddy to stand by the car and make sure the belt stays wrapped around the upper pulleys while you route it around the lower pulleys from the wheel well, then release the tension. I've done this job both ways (on the 95 SL1 and the 98 SL2) and it went MUCH faster with a helper.

Incidentally, this should be a one-beer or one-Whopper job for the helper -- he doesn't even have to get his hands dirty.

(back to lurk mode)

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