Serpentine Belt


Old 07-19-03, 12:22 PM
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Serpentine Belt

Does anyone know if there is a rule of thumb for Serpentine Belt tension like the rule of thumb for V-Belt tension?

I have an '89 Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0L engine and air conditioning. It has a Serpentine Belt but on this vehicle it is not equiped with an automatic tensioner. You have to adjust the tension yourself at the Power Steering Pump. Every repair manual I look in trying to find a tensioning rule doesn't give one, they all say you have to use a tension gauge. Every auto parts store I go to looking for a tension gauge looks at me like I have three heads and says they never heard of any such thing, except one where the owner said he was aware that such an item exists but in all the years he has been in business I am the first customer that has ever asked for one. He suggested that Snap On might have it. I went to their website and they don't have it either.

I need to change my serpentine belt, it has a tear in it. I don't want to destroy something setting it at the wrong tension. Can anyone help me out?
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Old 07-19-03, 12:48 PM
darrell McCoy
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There is such a thing as a tensioner tool, but never seen anyone use them much. I always set belts with about 1/2 deflection, at the longest point betwix pulleys.
Old 07-19-03, 03:12 PM
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Have you tried Autozone? They may have one you can rent.

The general rule of thumb is 1/2" of deflection across the longest span, but that's for old time V-belts.

I must say that's a pretty lackluster system if it doesn't have an automatic tensioner. Leave it to Chrysler for this one. LOL.
Old 07-19-03, 07:06 PM
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It's a serpentine belt & it uses a manual tensioner. It's a Pre-Chrysler design, so we can't blame it on them. Blame it on AMC. It's no wonder they went belly-up & had to be gobbled up by Chrysler.
Old 07-19-03, 08:02 PM
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I put a serpentine belt on a 89 ford escort same kind of story as yours. the book said to put 75 pounds of toure on it I could not measure it so I just pulled the belt as hard as I could and tightened the bolts back up that was about two years ago still running fine. I only weight 140 so I figured I needed to pull it as hard as I could it worked.
Old 07-19-03, 08:23 PM
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Lol Knuckles. Chrysler continued to perpetuate AMC designs/disasters.

AMC should have been labeled an "assembler" rather than a manufacturer. They bought bits and pieces from EVERYONE.

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