Question about 1997 Jeep Wrangler

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Tricks to replacing serpentine belt on 97 jeep wrangler?

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I just replaced water pump on my 97 wrangler, 4 cyl- without AC. Engines with AC are a little different. Since I don't have one, I can't saw how to change the belt--- but here it is for the 4 cylinder 1997 without AC.


So I had the belt off, and last thing was to put it back.

A. If you are unsure about memorizing the belt path, make your own drawing. If you are absolutely sure you can memorize the belt path---- make a drawing. Just some circles for each pulley.

Removing belt. Key mechanical location: The tensioning idler pulley. This adjustable tensioning pulley is on the right, below the power steering pump. It can be moved on a diagonal to tension the belt. The key to moving it is you must loosen the idler pulley mounting screw about two turns.

Locate the idler pulley. There is a hex head screw in the center. Use a 15 mm combination wrench to loosen this. Turn counter clockwise two turns.

Now, locate the tension adjusting screw. Look at about 10 oclock position above the idler pulley you just loosened, near the thermostat housing. There is a hex head that runs a long screw diagonally behind the plate. There is a block mounted to this screw that holds the idler. So turning this screw changes the tension.

Using a 15 mm wrench, turn this screw counter-clockwise to loosen the tension on the belt. A socket and ratchet drive will help. You will need a universal or a 3 in' "wobble" extension, because the thermostat housing and temperature sender are in the line of the hex head screw drive.

Good word: This rod is likely to be rusty and VERY stiff. Do not keep turning this if it is getting stiffer and stiffer. That means rust is jamming up the threads. Lubricate the block area on the back of the plate, directly behind the idler pulley, and work the tensioning screw backwards and forwards to get the threads cleaned up. If you have time, (probably an hour extra) you may wish to back the rod right out and remove it for wire brushing, and then re-install with marine grade anti-corrosion grease. I did this five years ago and it still is always moving freely.

Once tension is off, remove the belt.

Thread up the new belt. Expect to have to loosen the idler even MORE, because this new belt is not stretched at all.

Bring tension back up with the tensioner screw. Use your thumb to press on the belt on one of the long spans. Under moderate pressure it should move about 1/4 inch.

Tighten the pulley center screw to about 13 to 15 foot/lbs. If you do not have torque wrench, just make sure you don't use any more force than you can put on the wrench using only your "pinkie" finger. This is usually safe to prevent over-tightening anything on the outside of the engine.

I borrowed this quote from JeffsJeep at the wranglerforum.com.

A look at the FSM for the 97 shows:
BELT TENSION SPECIAL TOOLS BELT I SPECIFICATION
NEW SERPENTINE 800-900 N BELT (180-200 lbs. force) *
USED SERPENTINE 623-712 N BELT (140-160 lbs. force)

So if you have a tension measuring tool, then you can check it. If not, I suggest being conservative with tension. If it slips when wet, you can snug it up then. If you make the belt too tight, it wears out the water pump bearings.

jp

Posted on Sep 06, 2010

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The idle tensioner has to be moved using a rachet or a wrench.Find a square hole that the rachet fit in and pull in the direction that takes the tension off the belt.you will see the belt go slack while holding the tensioner remove the belt with your free hand.
Keep in mind how the belt routing goes.if you dont have a diagraham then take a picture or two so you can see how to reinstall the new belt

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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On the 4.0 model, I found the new belts to be tight since they are not stretched out yet. Loosen the tensioner all the way but you may have to remove the lower alternator bolt. There is no nut on the lower bolt so remove lower alternator bolt, then loosen the top bolt so it will swing inward then install new belt. Sometimes it's hard to get the new belt over the outer lip of the pulleys, loosening the alternator helps a lot.


Then pull back on the alternator a little to get the lower bolt back in then tighten both bolts. Tighten the tensioner pulley until you get about 1/2" deflection at the center of the longest portion of the belt, tighten tensioner bolt at center of pulley.


Start engine and run for about 10 minutes and allow the belt to stretch a little then recheck tension. You may need to come back and recheck tension in a week or so, especially if it squeals.

Posted on May 31, 2015

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SOURCE: how do i replace serpentine belt on 1997 jeep wrangler

Adjustment is made by loosening the power steering pump. There is a transverse long bolt (jack bolt) right under the pump that is used for adjustment.

Posted on Aug 02, 2010

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