Changing serpentine belt on '91 LX (1.9)

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by Siper2, Nov 10, 2006.


  1. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Hey all. My sister-in-law has a '91 Escort LX with a serpentine belt that just shredded, not more than 10 minutes ago. This morning it was making noises, I popped the hood and saw the loose strands. Engine stalled, it's toast.

    Called around for prices... They range from $17 to $30. Cheapest was Advance Auto, but they also had a "premium" belt for $29 that has slits in it for ventilation? Not sure but I think I know what he's talking about. Not sure if it's worth it though. :)

    Anyway I fully planned on doing this myself but the nearby dealer quoted 1/2-hour labor to change it, or about $35 plus tax. Seems reasonable to me, unless this is very simple. Because I'll have to call AAA and get it towed.

    She said her Dad replaced this only about a year ago, and it took forever. If it SHOULD be simple, I'll attempt it myself in the morning. Hoping someone here can shed some light, I've been browsing the web but nothing great so far.

    Thanks-
    S2
  2. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Oh, I assume it's a 1.9 as there appeared to be only one belt (right side of the engine bay). I didn't check for an engine stamping, though I'm sure she doesn't have any paperwork for it. Car's a hand-me-down.

    It has A/C (doesn't work but it's there), not sure about power steering. Most auto parts places said that if it has A/C it's probably the 1.9. **shrug**

    S2
  3. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    If it is an LX it's a 1.9. Changing the belt isn't all that hard it's just VERY cramped.
  4. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    So it appears. Know of any walkthroughs? I've never done one before, don't want to screw anything up. :)
  5. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    Just put a wrench (not sure of the size) put it on the tensioner nut and turn it to the left losening the tension of the belt. Slip the belt off and slip the new one on.
  6. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    So is this nut on one of the pulleys then?
  7. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    The nut is on the belt tensioner pulley.
  8. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Yeah you said tensioner. Again, never done this before, don't know which one it is. Unless it's the only one with some kind of additional/adjustment nut.
  9. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    It's kinda hard to explain without a picture. The tensioner pulley assembly is where the belt snakes around it. You'll see an adjuster nut on it.
  10. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Yeah that's why I was hoping someone here might have a walkthrough... With a diagram or photo(s). :)

    There's probably something on the web, I just didn't see one. Stuff for a '00 I found but........seems to me to be too new. Probably too different.
  11. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    You should invest in a haynes or chilton manual. I preffer haynes. It's saved me many of times with the tracer.
  12. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Thought about it, but this car is not long for this world, she's saving up to ditch it as soon as possible. I have no desire to spend more money than is necessary for the time being at least.

    If it's cheap, maybe, but I don't even (yet) own a factory nor Haynes for my car. My wife and I are Subaru people, there's a couple choice sites (privately run) that have great technical information, photos, etc. for repairs, modifications, whatever.

    So I was hoping for something like that, but worse comes to worst I'll figure it out.
  13. TexasTracer

    TexasTracer FEOA Member

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    Alright man. Good luck. What kind of Suby's do you own?
  14. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    [​IMG]

    Ok what you see is a socket extension inserted into another with a hole in it. Pull back to relieve tension. Then when placing the belt back on (follow the routing for it) make sure the slack is near the alternator, relieve tension again and slide belt on. It's an automatic tensioner so it will snap right back in place. You have to hold it back to keep tension off

    Hope this helps.
  15. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Cool that helps... My sister-in-law said it took her and her Dad several hours to change it out, which is why 1/2 hour's labor at the dealer sounded like a deal... But maybe it's not so bad, hmm...
  16. 94scortlx

    94scortlx FEOA Member

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    you sure they werent talking about the timing belt? You have to remove the serpentine belt to get to the timing belt. I could not see a serpentine belt taking more than 5 minutes to change.
  17. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Really? Looks pretty tight, in there...

    My father-in-law is a pretty good wrencher, took him a few hours to change it the last time it broke (which, oddly, was only about a year ago).

    I guess it could've just been stuck/rusty or something though. I wasn't there.
  18. 98escort

    98escort New Member

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    Yeh that really shouldn't take any time at all the change. That is really probably one of the easiest things to do on a car.
  19. Siper2

    Siper2 New Member

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    Well... hmm... maybe I'll give it a go after all...

    What sucks is I won't be home til 7:30 for the next three nights, argh.
  20. wicked1706

    wicked1706 New Member

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    hell i have to change mine all the time cause one of the bottome guide pullies is bent to the side... and not only is the belt usualy only 15 bucks (i have found it for 9, but only once), but iv gotten down to changin it in 30 seconds. pretty pathetic that i always have to do that. my wreck 2 years ago is STILL biting me in the ars

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