Belt Tensioner Removal - 96 5.0 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Belt Tensioner Removal - 96 5.0


Active Member
March 17, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Islip, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Explorer XLT
The tensioner on my 96 is dying and is in need of replacement. I searched YouTube for a video on its removal and I only found ones for the 4.0 V6. It looked really easy, but it was on a different engine. Is the removal the same on the 5.0 as the 4.0 with just the removal of the center bolt? I have not seen the new part yet, it's being delivered as we speak so I'm not sure what it looks like.

Any help or tips are greatly appreciated. Videos and pictures are also great!

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Just remove the center bolt.

Probably down underneath

while youre at it replace the idler pully and the belt. i replace the tensioner and pully around 140k just for a precautionary measure.

while youre at it replace the idler pully and the belt. i replace the tensioner and pully around 140k just for a precautionary measure.

The idler pulley you're referring to is the one up top next to the power steering pump, right?

If DIY is your bag, you can replace the bearings in the idlers for a fraction of the cost of the pulleys themselves. You can get 10x for under $30 on Amazon...(6203VVC3 replacing 6203-2RS)

Well the part was here when I got home from work, I love Rock Auto. It was actually made in the USA too! Its not the same part as on the 4.0, completely different. Anyway, it wasn't a bad job. I did most of it from up top. The belt had stretched so much from the bad tensioner that I almost had to cut it off. It wouldn't budge, but it came off with a little prying.

The tensioner came off easy too. I was able to remove the two 10mm bolts that mounted it to the engine by working from up top and lifted it out. The thing was toast. The pulley would turn and stop and get hung up, way too much resistance. It also looked like it collapsed upward, if that makes any sense. It was definitely time for a replacement. It was easier to install the new tensioner from the bottom, or at least start the bolts out there. Once the 2 bolts were threaded, I moved up top and tightened them up. The whole ordeal took about an hour in the dark and with it raining. Not too bad in my opinion. The only thing I'm not crazy about is that I had to install the stock belt. I had bypassed my a/c compressor with a shorter belt but because of the bad tensioner, that belt was rubbing against itself and it was probably stretched out too much now to be of any use. So I will pick up a new one tomorrow or over the weekend.

I'm using an 835K6 to bypass the a/c compressor, at least that's the size I got from past forum posts. This is correct, right? There isn't another size I should use, right?