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The serpentine drive belt on a Ford Escort ZX2 snakes its way from the crankshaft pulley out to the engine accessory pulleys and the serpentine belt tensioner. The serpentine belt system's design employs only one belt, held taught with the automatic belt tensioner, eliminating the need for the multiple belt system used on earlier model year Escorts. When the belt begins cracking, fraying or losing ribs, it's time to replace it. If you have entry-level auto-repair skill, you can change a belt on a Ford Zx2 in about 45 minutes. http://www.lightdeal.co.uk
any cracked belt should be replaced. the timing belt drives the cam shaft while the serpentine drives the power steering pump, alternator, water pump, air conditioner compressor, etc. if it breaks in the middle of nowhere, car will get hot real fast and become very hard to steer as you try and find somewhere to pull over. it will also be in the night and adverse weather. so replace it now when it is convenient.
RH side of engine compartment by firewall
1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
2. remove the drive belt (Serpentine belt)
3. Remove the power steering hose bracket from the alternator bracket.
4. Remove bolts hold alternator to bracket
5. Disconnect the alternator electrical connectors