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Discussion Starter #1
Me again. Found a second set of hands (on another able bodied person).

Still can't get the belt on. Seems not just a matter of cramped space but of belt size.

Our 97 2.0L has both AC and PS. The belt speced for this make/model/application by the local retailer is the Duralast 505K6. They say it shouold be 50.5". Other belts for cars with fewer accessories are spec'ed at 53".

I admit, this is the first belt I've tried to replace, but these measurements seem backwards, especially since I can't seem to get the darn thing to fit around everything.

Is it possible I got the wrong belt or am I just beyond my limited skills at this point?

Thanks for tolerating the newbie's questions.
 

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just to make sure... you are putting a socket wrench on the auto-tensioner to lever it over, and slide the belt on, right?
 

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What dave means is that there is a pulley attached to an arm that moves and is not hooked up to any accessories. You put the square part of the ratchet (where the socket usually attaches) in the square hole at the very top of the arm. You will then be able to use the ratchet as a lever and move the arm and pulley with surprising ease and the belt should slip right over everything with a little slack to spare.

Also, make sure the belt is properly lined up in all the pulleys. If not it will shorten it considerably.
 

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Additionally, I found it easier to loop the belt over the alternator first and then release the tensioner (pulley and arm) down on top of the belt.

I hope it's not to hot where you are, having to working a parking lot and all.
 

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Would it be easier to...

Sorry for panicing there. I have determined I do have the right belt. (Silly me. I just measured the old one. Yep. 50".)

So, now that I have an assistant. Is it maybe easier to start at the alternator end, one of us then hold the tensioner out the way, while the other goes under to complete the looping and make sure everything is seated correctly?

I'm at about my wit's end here. This has taken way too much time in the North Carolina sun & heat today.

Advice?
 

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are you routing it correctly? It honestly only takes a few minutes to move the tensioner, slide the belt in, and release the tensioner. I have done it on my own many times without issue.
 

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Are giving the tensioner the business? I mean a manly, manly pull? (Edit: I mean moving it until it stops moving, anymore is a waste of manliness).

Just to make sure:

 

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Dave94LX said:
are you routing it correctly? It honestly only takes a few minutes to move the tensioner, slide the belt in, and release the tensioner. I have done it on my own many times without issue.
I did mine on the old wagon by myself. the Z is more of a pain in the ass though.
 

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I remember changing mine out last year. IIRC I went to a slightly longer belt because I couldn't get the one AA gave me to save my arse.

WARNING: while installing a belt with "help", explain to 18 year-olds that excessive force on the tensioner will not help matters, only bust the tensioner into two pieces! 8O

I damn near got some fingers severely damaged.
 
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