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Changing serpentine belt on a 4.6

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by zavetsky, March 19, 2012.

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    1. zavetsky

      zavetsky Active Member

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      Hi all

      It has been a long time since I have visited as I sold my Explorer a while back.

      But a friend of mine has a 2004 Mountaineer with the 4.6 v8....he was looking to change his serpentine belt but it appears to him that the shroud and maybe the fan has to come off. Or that the tensioner has to come off in roder to facilitate.....

      Can someone here who has done it post some info or pictures or whatever to help guide him?

      Seems to me that something like a serpentine belt should be easy to change.....

      Any advice? He is thinking about just going to a stealership to do it.....seems like that is $50 he can save.....

      Thanks in advance
       
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    3. esclamada

      esclamada Active Member

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    4. Yadkin

      Yadkin New Member

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      There is a 3/8" square drive fitting on the tensioner, back side of the pulley (facing the front of the vehicle). Insert your 3/8" drive, use a pipe on the end of the wrench for leverage and turn counterclockwise to increase tension on the tensioner spring (release the tension on the belt).
       
    5. zavetsky

      zavetsky Active Member

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      So no need to remove any other parts like fans etc?
       
    6. esclamada

      esclamada Active Member

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      You don't need to remove any of the parts, just release the tension and remove the belt. Put in the new belt based on the belt routing guide somewhere on the hood. I have to borrow the serpentine belt tool in Advance Auto because my 3/8 ratchet drive for the tensioner will not fit in (the depth is too wide for the space available). Pull that tool towards you when it's in place. You have to go under to properly put the belts under the crankshaft pulley and A/C. It could be done for less than 10mins.






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    7. zavetsky

      zavetsky Active Member

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      Relayed this info to my friend and he replied:

      "If i turn counterclockwise, I would increase the pressure on the belt. I would need to go clockwise to release the tension, pushing the pulley down as my belt runs up and over the pulley. Plus, unless I can really really move that pulley, there is no way to slip off the belt past the engine block. "
       
    8. esclamada

      esclamada Active Member

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    9. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      Just turn the dang thing the correct way to relieve tension on the belt. It's clockwise if you look one way, counter clockwise if you turn yourself around./.....

      ;) imp
       
    10. Yadkin

      Yadkin New Member

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      I assumed it was the same direction for the 4.6 as my 4.0, apparently not. In any event, turn the wrench so the tensioner pulley makes the belt go slack. Then slip it off the nearest pulley, carefully release the wrench, then slip the belt off.
       
    11. partybob99

      partybob99 New Member

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      I just changed my belt on a 2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L this weekend and I have to get in my two cents.

      1) You need a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar to fit into the hole in the belt tensioner. I tried finding a 3/8" breaker bar after reading this thread and it was not the correct size.
      2) I ended up using a 1/2" Craftsman ratchet to loosen the tension on the belt, but I accessed the tensioner from the bottom of the vehicle. I was barely able to squeeze the ratchet in there but after playing around with the fan blades it worked. I had someone up top who then pulled the belt off the alternator after I swung the tensioner out of the way.
      3) Standing in front of the vehicle with the hood open, feed the new belt between the two idler pulleys and use it to wrap around the AC pulley and then the crank. It is tricky and it took me a while to get it right. I kept referring to the belt diagram repeatedly, but I got it.
      4) Make sure the belt is tight around all other pulleys and that the slack is lined up around the alternator. Again, I pulled the tensioner down from the bottom of the vehicle and had my helper slip the belt around the alternator.

      I believe it took me over an hour to complete. I thought it was a lot harder than an oil change in my opinion! Good luck
       
    12. JoshMcMadMac

      JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    13. pet575

      pet575 Active Member

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      I've done this job myself on my own vehicle and it is VERY easy to do as described above. Push clockwise to loosen tension and remove the belt.
       
    14. partybob99

      partybob99 New Member

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      Removing the fan shroud in the beginning probably would have made things a lot easier! But I didnt end up doing that. Also I did not have the serpentine belt tool - which would have helped as well because it looks quite a bit thinner than the 1/2" ratchet. I'm not sure moving the idler pulley out of the way from the underside of the vehicle is the easiest method but it does work.
       
    15. Donystoy

      Donystoy Active Member

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      I looked at doing this job today and it sure seems to be a tight spot to work. I ended up using a large pipe wrench to turn the tensioner as I just could not get my 1/2" braker bar into the hole. How do you get the belt around the back of the tensioner? There only seems to be about 1/16" clearance behind the pulley. Does it have to be removed? Sure isn't as easy as working on a Crown Vic.
      Update: Got it changed. I did have to remove the complete tensioner and finally was able to use the breaker bar to re-install. Certainly is a knuckle buster though.
       
      Last edited: June 5, 2014
    16. Mavrick161

      Mavrick161 New Member

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      Not the worst job ever, but it's a little of a challenge. I got a 1/2" drive into the tensioner on my 2003 Mountaineer 4.6 but it was a tight fit. When you are facing the car from the front, it has to be turned clockwise to loosen the belt.
       

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