7.3 serpentine belt replacement - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 03-20-2009, 04:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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7.3 serpentine belt replacement

My 1999 7.3 has 104,000 miles on it and am pretty sure the serpentine belt has never been changed. There are no visible cracks in it but wondering if I should change it to be safe. I am not really sure how to do this and would appreciate any help.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The belt is around $35 at my local online ford dealer. Easy to change, just take the tension off the belt by the tensioner, take the old one out and route the new one. Get it all routed and crank the tensioner back over, slide the belt on and you are done. Your 99 should have the old style upper radiator hose that routes behind the belt at the alternator, if not you will have to remove the hose off the radiator to do this. Run it and make sure everything looks good. You are now done have a cold one!
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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and if you happen to have the newer style radiator hose that routes through the belt, you can replace the hose with the older or dual alternator styhle hose that goes around the belt.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep your old belt in the truck as a 'highway spare', you never know what could happen on the road.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm having a trial just trying to loosen the tension on the tensioner. What is the best practice???
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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On my 2002 I just stick a 1/2in drive breaker bar in the relief and pull or push till the belt loosens, I also have my son help, an extra set of hands helps.........

I also like to use Goodyear Gatorbacks belts......
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not for sure on a 1996 but the 99-03 you just insert a 1/2" breaker bar into the tensioner and crank opposite of the belt. (CCW) IIRC. They are usually a little tight but a good 18-24" bar is enough to allow you to overcome the spring tension from the tensioner. Then slide the belt off of any one of the pulleys you can reach while holding the breaker bar. Much easier with a third hand.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm having a trial just trying to loosen the tension on the tensioner. What is the best practice???
Pull the breaker bar towards the passenger side to release the pressure on the belt, then just slide it off the pulleys. To install, get it on everywhere else, then pull again and wrap around the pulley and tensioner, and release. Then make sure it's on all the wheels straight, especially the grooved ones, and you're done.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, I hadn't attempted this before and the instructions with my Ford CD shop manual gave me a different impression. I used the breaker bar with 15mm socket on the relief pulley and pushed to the passenger side of the truck and what do you know, it worked! Thanks a bunch!
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Note the Tensioner has a 1/2 inch drive hole that allows a breaker bar to remove the tension off the belt. Also on the tensioner is a small stamped steel bar about an inch long with a spring that allows you to latch the tensioner to the loose belt postition. It is on the bottom of the tensioner and as you pull the breaker bar you can slide this tensioner catch into position to hold that tension. This makes replacing the Serpentine belt much easier. Once you have routed the new belt properly take your 1/2 inch breaker bar and apply leverage as you did originally and the stamped steel retainer will spring load off the catch. Relieve the tension slowly with the breaker bar and the job should be complete.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I replaced my alternator(ridiculously easy) I just pulled out on the belt and removed it off the alternator by hand. Was surprisingly easy to do.

Single alternator btw.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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When I replaced my alternator(ridiculously easy) I just pulled out on the belt and removed it off the alternator by hand. Was surprisingly easy to do.

Single alternator btw.
You might want to check your tensioner. I've found that trying to pull on the belt like that usually results in pinched fingers. Sounds to me like your tensioner has lost it's tension.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Agreed. If you can pull it off over the lip by hand with DESTROYING either the belt or your hands, there's not enough tension there.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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billz, maybe the alternator was fine, just not enough tension on the belt to turn it?
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just replaced my alternator at 120,000 miles. While I was at it, I replaced the belt tensioner, the idler pulley and the serpentine belt. I put the old tensioner and idler and belt in the back as road spares.
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