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Changing the Serpentine Belt

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by dco43054, April 11, 2015.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

  1. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

    April 24, 2003
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    16 XLT
    My Explorer now has 81,000 miles on the odo and during the last big rainstorm the serpentine belt started to squeal a bit.

    Autozone had a sale for $5 off a Daco, so I picked one up last week. I put it on today.

    Sorry no pics or videos, but here are a couple tips -

    First - you can do it by yourself, but it is a bit of a pain. Improvising worked for me.

    I left my Explorer on the ground so I could easily access the top without a stool.

    Removing is pretty straightforward. The socket insert is 3/8". I used a regular ratchet with a 13/16 combination wrench added to the top as a cheater. The old belt slipped off without problem.

    When installing the new one, I switched and used a short piece of pipe on top of the ratchet to hold the tensioner under tension. I just lashed it to the hood prop with some string.

    I used string to assist in putting the new belt on. I looped the string though the belt so when I needed to pull it up from the bottom, I had a way to grab it.

    From below, I started the new belt around the crankshaft and reached up and guided it under the tensioner pulley. Then I put it around the AC compressor. I had left enough string hang down over the grill from above that I could grab it while laying on the ground and pulled the belt up.

    Next I went back on top, released the pipe and removed it from the ratchet handle. Then I put the 13/16" wrench back on the ratchet and pulled the tensioner pulley to full release. After doing that, I had enough room to slide the belt onto the alternator.

    At least that is how I would do it next time. :D I had a couple trial/error steps in the middle. One minor hiccup was when the belt slipped off the inside of the crankshaft and tensioner and I had to release the belt and crawl underneath and start it on the crankshaft and under the tensioner again so everything was straight. It then slipped on the alternator without problem.

    I did have an idler tensioner "wrench set", but the 3/8 part of the bar was straight. it helps to have a curved bar so you can pull maximum release on the tensioner. That is why I used the combination wrench as a cheater on the end of the ratchet.

    YMMV, but that's the way I did it.
    Last edited: April 12, 2015
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  3. Forktech

    Forktech New Member

    February 24, 2018
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    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2012 Ford Explorer LT
    This is my daughters car. Looking at the belt it is two sided so it can run on pulleys both sides. Looking at the tensioner, it seems to attached to a small hydraulic cylinder. Would anyone have experience with replacing this belt? Looks like you release tension, remove belt from alternator, then remove bolt holding pulley of the tensioner to remove belt. There is no room to remove belt off of the tension pulley the way it is mounted. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  4. 182RG

    182RG Active Member

    May 9, 2011
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    Winchester, VA
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    '11 XLT / '13 Touareg TDI
    No need to remove pulley. It’s tight, but I was able to get a long handled ratchet on tensioner to release pressure. I removed belt and routed new belt from underneath. It’s a 2 person job, and I have lift. Good Luck.
  5. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

    December 28, 2010
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    City, State:
    Ottawa, Ontario area
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2017 Explorer Platinum
    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
    Your thread was merged with this existing one. The 'Search' feature in the upper right can be used to find existing threads. Not much that hasn't been discussed here over that last 7+ years.:)


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