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Alternator Belt Tensioner, How do you fit a new one? I have a new one and the tensioner piece with the wheel on, will not move back or forward.

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  • Joel Friedenberg May 11, 2010

    What make of vehicle is it ? What year? and do you know what engine?



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Posted on Aug 07, 2009


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Belt routing diagram

Hi Robert:
The make and model might help one of us to google it and find an answer, but if you have the correct belt, replacement is a straightforward matter.
- Vee belts fit in the vee and are tightened by loosening the alternator bolts and moving the alternator.
- Serpentine belts have the inside (ridges) fit into the drive and driven pulleys, and the outside fits against idler pulleys and the tension pulley. The easiest way to install that I have found is to use a 3/8 tortion bar with a "cheater" extension on the handle. (mine is a piece of square aluminum tubing about 2 ft long. The 3/8 square drive fits in a hole in the face of the pulley carrier. Move the tensioner pulley so that it is in the fully slack position, and while holding it there, put the serpentine belt in place. Then let the tensioner release to tighten up the belt.

Sep 05, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How do I reinstall the alternator belt on a 91 plymouth acclaim? I dont see a tensioner and cant get the belt back on once it is bolted in place

these have a serpentine belt and the tensioner is below the alternator and requires a special tool to move it. you can try using a wrench that will fit on the belt tensioner but you won`t have much room to move it. look under the hood around the upper rad support for a decal it may still be there. if it is it shows the belt routing and were the tensioner is.

Jul 10, 2015 | Plymouth Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

I am trying to hange the serpentine belt on my 09 lancer rallyart and it keeps slipping off

Locate the two belts on the left side (passenger side) of your Mitsubishi Lancer. The outer belt is a serpentine belt, operating four pulleys and the inner belt is your alternator belt.

  • 2 Follow the serpentine (outer) belt to the three pulleys lined up vertically near the front of the engine compartment. Locate the middle pulley, which is the tension pulley for the belt.
  • 3 Loosen the bolt on the middle pulley with a socket wrench by turning counter-clockwise. Do not remove the bolt, just turn it a couple of times. Loosen the tensioner bolt on the side of the of the pulley, facing the front of the vehicle.
  • 4 Remove the serpentine belt and then loosen the bolt on the alternator. With the alternator loose, move it forward so that the alternator belt loosens up and then remove belt from the pulleys.
  • 5 Install the new alternator belt by placing it over both inside pulleys. Tighten the tension on the alternator belt by moving the alternator back and keeping tension on it by holding it back with a long screwdriver. While the alternator belt is tight, use a socket wrench to tighten up the bolt on the alternator.
  • 6 Place the serpentine belt back on the pulleys and then use a socket wrench on the bolt on the front of the tension pulley. Once the serpentine belt is tight, tighten up the bolt in the middle of the tension pulley.
  • 7 Start the Mitsubishi Lancer's engine to test the alternator belt and make sure it is working properly. Once you have verified it is working, turn the engine off.
  • Oct 25, 2011 | 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS CVT Sedan

    1 Answer

    How do I put the serpentine belt back on a 1998 saturn sl2 after I have installed a new alternator

    there is a little stick man illustration sticker under the hood showing how to release belt tension by moving the tensioner arm. if the serpentine belt is still on the lower pulley then put the belt on everything except the tensioner, then move the tensioner arm as needed, put the belt in there and release the tensioner arm. most likely going to need two people to do this.

    if the belt has come off the lower pulley then you are going to have to remove the service panel behind the right front wheel and put the belt back on lower pulley, then do as above described. this would be a great time to put a new tensioner, a new serpentine belt, and a new "dog bone" motor mount on as it will all be right there to work on with that service panel out.

    Apr 03, 2011 | 1998 Saturn SL

    2 Answers

    Installing an alternator belt on a 1994 dodge grand caravan

    You should be able to move your belt tensioner by putting a wrench in the pulley bolt and levering the pulley toward the front bumper. You may have to place a piece of pipe over the wrench to get more leverage. If the tensioner will not move easily (like it is stuck in place). Replace the tensioner with one that is not frozen. I purchased a good used tensioner at a salvage yard for $10. All my belt squealing went away. Route the belt around the pulleys leaving the belt between the tension pulley and the engine. A shoe string or piece of wire around the belt will allow you to pull the belt up on to the tensioner pulley while you pull on the wrench holding the tensioner down with your other hand.
    If you have to change the automatic belt tensioner. The automatic tensioner is held on by a nut. You have to jack up the car crawl underneath and reach up between the alternator mount and the rear exhaust manifold . The access to the nut is finger tip small. You will need a 14mm 6 point socket , a short extension, a long extension, a short breaker bar,a socket wrench, and a pivot joint for the extensions. Getting the nut onto the new tensioner is the hard part. Finger tight the nut and double check that the tensioner is positioned correctly in the mounting slot. Then tighten down the nut and put the belt back on.

    Jan 16, 2011 | 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan

    1 Answer

    Remove and replace alternator


    Just follow these steps to remove and replace the alternator. You will need this tools, Serpentine belt tool, Battery wrench, Lug wrench, Floor jack, Jack stand, Socket set,

    1. Open the hood, locate the serpentine belt tensioner and move the tensioner off the
      serpentine belt with the serpentine belt tool. Slip the belt off the tensioner
      pulley with your other hand and then slowly move the tensioner back to its normal
      position. You can pinpoint the location of the belt tensioner by following the belt
      routing diagram, printed on the fan shroud.
    2. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery with the battery wrench.
      Push the cable end away from the battery so it doesn't make contact during the
    3. Turn the lug nuts on the right-front wheel counterclockwise until they're loose
      enough for hand removal, but leave them on for now.
    4. Lift the right-front end with the floor jack and support it on a jack stand placed
      underneath the right-front frame. Remove the lug nuts and right-front wheel by hand
      and set them aside.
    5. Slip the serpentine belt off the alternator pulley by hand. You can access the
      alternator through the wheel well. Unplug the wiring harness from the alternator
      by hand and remove the ground strap with your socket set.
    6. Remove the alternator mounting bolts with your socket set. Lift the alternator out
      of the engine well, through the wheel well. Insert the new alternator in reverse of
      how you removed the old one.
    7. Thread the alternator mounting bolt through the new alternator and into the
      alternator bracket by hand. Tighten the bolts with your socket set.
    8. Attach the alternator ground strap with your socket set. Plug the alternator
      wiring harness in by hand.
    9. Slip the serpentine belt over the new alternator pulley. Reinstall the wheel and
      lug nuts by hand. Lower the Taurus of the jack stand with the floor jack.
    10. Move the belt tensioner aside again and place the belt on the tensioner pulley with
      your free hand. Hold the belt on the pulley and slowly move the tensioner back to
      its normal position. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery.
    Hope this helps you.
    Take care and good luck

    Jan 08, 2011 | 2002 Ford Taurus

    2 Answers

    How do you make the tensioner release to tighten the timing belt?

    The belt tensioner keeps the belt tight inside each accessory pulley while the engine is running. The tensioner is made up of a spring-loaded arm. If the spring inside of the tensioner becomes loose then it will not be able to hold the belt properly.And belt will also get loose. The belt tensioner is on the engine underneath the alternator. Its fitted by bolt.To loose the belt you will need drive socket and breaker bar .Turn the breaker bar counterclockwise to release tension from the belt.Remove the mounting bolt at the top center of the tensioner arm.The tensioner arm is loose and will easily come out.If you in-case are to replace the tensioner then place the new tensioner in same place and tighten the bolt which you removed.Before removing or moving the belt check the position of the belt passing from each that when you fit the parts there is no problem in fitting the parts.
    After its done.Start the engine and see that belt and tensioner runs freely and belt moving from each pulley smoothly.
    ------------- This will help.Thanks.Helpmech.

    Dec 06, 2010 | Pontiac Grand Am Cars & Trucks

    1 Answer

    How to fit a new fan belt to a mercedes 300d

    Locate the tensioner pulley; as you face the engine it is located two in from the right and midway down. It can be identified as a the smooth wheel with the inside ribs of the V (fan) belt facing outwards. In the middle there is splined (torx) nut and a black collar at its base against the wheel. An 8mm socket should fit on this splined shaft pretty well if you don't have the correct size of torx socket. Set the socket wrench at the 3 O'clock position and lift it, as if to undo the torx shaft. With a bit of effort the tension pulley can be lifted against its spring and in the process the belt will become slackened. Make a note of the pulleys and the direction of the belt traced around them. Lift the tensioner pulley and slip the belt forwards. Release the pulley and remove the old belt. Fit the new belt all the way around the pulleys, using your previous sketched layout of the belt th paas a guide, but leave the tensioner pulley until last. Re-engage your socket wrench on the splined shaft and as before lift the pulley against its tension spring. Slip the back of the belt over the tensioner pulley and release the pulley to put the belt back under tension. Note the order of pulleys on which you fit the belt is not critical. On some engine models the belt is first fitted to the tensioner and then fed around until a small pulley, such as for the alternator on the right hand side, is the only one not fitted. By creating a bit of slack by lifting the tensioner pulley it is possible to slip the v belt over this last pulley. Just as note sometimes the clatter from the diesel unit is not just the engine. The tensioner pulley has a damper unit fitted to it to stop it jumping around when the engine is running. The bushes for this damper can wear and the metal mounting collars can rattle loudly result. This can be checked whilst the engine is running by locating the damper and pressing a long handled screw-driver to the end of the damper. If applying pressure to the damper creates a change in engine noise then it is likely that the bushes are worn. If that is the case it can be replaced, I have tried fixing the bushes but nothing has worked for me. I mention all this as this is a good time to address this when replacing the the v belt. The plastic collar at the base of the splined shaft on the tensioner pulley can be prised off and beneath it there is a 15mm tensioner pulley retaining nut; obviously the belt needs to be off first. Removing the tensioner pulley allows access to the 13mm damper mounting bolt.

    Apr 03, 2010 | 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300 Diesel

    1 Answer

    We had a new serpentine belt replaced a couple of months ago and it just came off. How can I put it back on? Also the lug nuts seem to be stripped.

    Click on the following free direct Link. It has the Serpentine Belt Diagram and Tensioner location for your 2000 Saturn SL.

    Before we get to putting it the Belt back on...
    Look at the alignment of the Pulleys. Most times the Tensioner or Idle Pulley are "canted" - meaning pitched or leaning forward, which causes the belt to "run off" the pulley - throwing the belt.
    With the Belt off: check side-to side play for each one of the Pulleys by hand, especially for the Tensioner and Idle Pulleys. There should not be any side-to side play. If there is any other Pulleys that are canted - check if they are properly tightened. A new belt should not have come off on it's own without some other problem.

    GENERAL/Standard Rules to Removal the Serpentine Belt with a Tensioner:
    A. Find the Tensioner(s). (See Diagrams on Link)
    B. Using a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool, Or Wrench OR Ratchet, Rotate/Move the Tensioner USING THE AVAILABLE NUT (on the Pulley or Arm Base) OR the OPENING (3/8ths or 1/2 inch square opening) rotating the Tensioner Pulley/Arm - moving it away from contact with the belt and towards the area where the belt is not in contact with the Tensioner Pulley. The Tensioner is spring loaded, and is hard to rotate/move.
    C. Remove the loosened belt off one of the other more easily accessed Pulleys.
    D. DO NOT quickly release the Tensioner, but gently allow the Tensioner to rest in its closed position.

    Standard Rules for Installing the Serpentine Belt with Tensioners:
    a. Pick a Pulley that is most easily accessed. This will usually be on top. This will be the last Pulley that the belt will go on.
    b. Using the Diagram: Install the new Serpentine Belt on the remainder of the Pulleys....over, under, left right.
    c. Using a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool or Wrench or Ratchet Tool: Rotate/Move the Tensioner Pulley/Arm "away" from Belt contact area on the Tensioner. This spring is pretty hard and with a new belt, it will be even harder to install. Rotate/Move this to as-close to the maximum allowed inorder to have enough slack in the belt to get it up and over the last pulley.
    d. Using your other hand - Pull the Belt up and over the Last remaining Pulley.
    e. Before releasing the pressure on the Tensioner, visually inspect the remainder Pulleys and the Belts' Positioning on them.

    Regarding the Strip Lug -Studs.
    Is this on the wheels with Rotors (Disc) or Drums? If the tire was not properly mounted, or the Lug Nuts were not properly Torqued; this will cause the Lug Studs (bolts) to be stripped.
    With the vehicle raised and properly supported by jack stands:
    For Rotors:
    Remove the Tire, Brakes (Calipers/Pads) and Rotor, exposing the Wheel Hub (Bearing) Assembly with the Studs fully exposed. Rotate the Wheel Hub to a location where the Lug Studs can be clearly removed FROM THE REAR OF THE WHEEL HUB ASSEMBLY.
    Using a impact hammer or mini sledge hammer: Hammer the Lug Studs back thru the Wheel Hub Assembly.
    Remove the loosened Lug Studs.

    For Drums:
    Raise, support, remove the Tires.
    Remove the Drums off the Wheel Assembly.
    Using a impact hammer or mini sledge hammer: Hammer the Lugs back into the drum, removing from inside the Drum

    Purchase the new, correct size and length Lug Studs and new Lug Nuts. If the Studs were stripped, most like the Nuts are too.
    To reinstall the Lug Studs: Purchase an additional two (2) Lug Nut that fits that Lug Stud. Also purchase several Large Heavy Duty Washers that can fit on the the Lug Studs.

    Place the Lug Stud back into the Wheel Assembly from the Rear (Rotors) or from inside (Drums). Use High Temp Grease for the area of the Lug Stud Splines that have to be "drawn" into the Wheel Assembly (with Rotors) or into the Drum.
    After the Lug Studs are "IN" as far as they will go: on the outside place at least two (2) of the Washers on Lug Studs. Use a Lug Nut and tighten as far as possible down-on the Lug Stud as possible.
    Next: Using an Impact Wrench tighten that Lug Nut down/on, drawing the Lug Stud into the Wheel Assembly/Drum. Check the rear of/inside the Wheel Hub Assembly/Drum. The Heads of the Lug Studs should be firmly against the Wheel Assembly/Drum.
    If you do not have a Impact Wrench - use at least a 24-in Breaker Bar and Tighten the Lug Nut on, drawing the Lug Stud into the Wheel Hub Assembly/Drum. This takes longer and alot more work, compared to 10-seconds using the Impact Wrench.
    Repeat as necessary.

    Let me know if this helped, or if you have additional information or questions. Feel Free to contact me at FixYa.Com!

    Mar 31, 2010 | 2000 Saturn SL

    1 Answer

    Alternator belt

    Under the hood, on the radiator support or on the underside of the hood you'll find a black label with a white belt routing diagram. In order to replace the belt you must back off the tensioning pulley using a ratchet handle with a 3/8" drive spindle. The pulley often has a square slot into which the ratchet handle will fit. If your tensioner does not have this then it will be necessary to provide the correct size socket to fit the center hold-down bolt on the tensioner. The tensioner will only move easily in ONE direction with the tool. Just back the tensioner off enough until you are able to remove the belt from one of the upper pulleys(usually the alternator). Take extra care when relieving the tensioner after removing the belt. The spring is very strong.Before installing the new belt, make sure and turn by hand ALL of the pulleys to check for a seized bearing or a worn bearing. This is generally why the belt came off to begin with. All pulleys should turn smoothely and quietly. Thank you, Dana

    Sep 28, 2009 | 2001 Dodge Stratus

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