Question about 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis

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Putting drive belt back on

Steve from Mesa, AZ. 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis 4.6L. Hello, i had to remove the alternator to get to the heating hose underneath the intake manifold. Anyways, i've started putting everything back together and i cannot figure out how to release the tensioner to allow me to slip the drive belt back on. I have a Haynes manual for Ford Crown Victoria and the Mercury Grand Marquis but it doesn't show how to do that for this particular model. I have the right year manual. It gives me directions for a different kind of set-up then the one my car has. The illustration is even different. In my car the alternator is set up in the center of the engine compartment right above the water pump. The tensioner is shaped like a bowling pin with a pulley on the smaller end and is to the left of the water pump. Book says something about slipping a socket wrench on one of bolts and lifting up to release the tension but that just doesn't work for my set-up. There's no big bolt on the bowling pin shaped tensioner. There's a square hole in the center of the tensioner, and a hole in the center of the pulley on the end of the tensioner. That's the best i can do with descriptions. Hope you can help and thank you for any advice.

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Hi there Rabbigrape,

Once you you know how, getting a serpentine belt on is easy. And doesn't require a prybar.

  • Get a 14mm or 9/16" socket and a long handled ratchet or breaker bar.
  • Get the belt around all the pulleys except the A/C compressor or Alternator.
  • Locate the tensioner pulley. It's one of the smaller ones and is mounted on a spring loaded arm. It's job, as the name suggests, is to keep the belt tight. Get your socket on the center nut of this pulley.
  • Slowly pull the ratchet toward the center of the engine. The pulley will pivot on the arm allowing you to get the belt on the final pulley.
  • Slowly release the tension.
  • You're all set
The socket size may vary, but slow force is the trick.

Additional questions? Comment me back.

Thanks for using FixYa.

Posted on Dec 01, 2008


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