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Serpentine Belt tension Unit replacement


Well-Known Member
August 9, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Ludlow, Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Sport
Ford says to replace the whole unit after 100,000 miles. Well, there close. Milked about 120K from mine. There's not much room to play in there & I have not found a thread discussing this in the past. So....

1. Remove air plume with a flat tip screwdriver or 1/4" socket screwdriver. Helped to take off the engine side, then airbox side. Remove extra hose on the plume.

2. With a 3/8" drive breaker bar or ratchet, climb under & push the tension wheel toward the drivers side, move the belt off the pull & move back. Note: the box is on the radiator side.

3. Mine fell apart at this moment, but the bolt is a 13 mm & normal thread (rightie tightie, leftie loosie). Go ahead & remove what's left. Found it easy to use a wrench & slip it in between the battery right below the upper radiator hose. Might have to give it a (easy) hammer tap where it meets the engine.

4. Back of the new one has 2 slots. One has the spring, other fits onto the motor where there is a little bump about 11 o'clock. Might need a little cleaning on the motor (mostly aluminum oxide on mine), but should be OK. Put bolt through new unit & lower it in. Tighten.

5. Go back underneath & reverse step 2. It might help to have an extra set of hands to slip the belt back in position as the new tensioner has some force behind it (now), but is do-able by yourself. Now replace the plume & finish your beer.

I would recommend starting the truck & checking the belt for proper alignment.

Tension unit : $39.19 ($39.99 at Autozone btw)
45 minute job / 2 beers
Walter (sorry no photos, wife took the camera to her company night out)