Serpentine belt - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Serpentine belt

How do you replace a serpentine belt yourself? One of my other vehicles needed a new belt and I gave it to the dealership to replace. They charged me $115. I know belts are only $20, but the cost was mostly from the labor.

Is this one thing that the dealership should do or is it possible for the average man to do?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 11:36 PM
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you can do it.

just figure out the size of wrench you need to take the tension off the tensioner. pop the belt off. then reverse the process. it should only take a few minutes to do.

the dealer probably is charging you an hour flat rate
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 06:15 AM
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That is OUTRAGEOUS PRICE. Every model is different but basically you loosen the tensioner (Far as I know all modern vehicles have automatic belt tensioner so you dont have to adjust the tension of the belt once its on. Example in a TJ (wrangler) you take a 3/8's ratchet wrench insert the part of the wrench that holds the socket into the hole in the wheel where the belt goes around, push it over to loosen tension and remove belt. Just be sure to install the belt correctly, there is a diagram of this usually on top of the radiator area. Incidentally, Serpentine belts can be hard to find in regular garages. What I do is change mine BEFORE it breaks usually at about 50k miles then SAVE the old belt for emergencies. john
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John
That is OUTRAGEOUS PRICE. Every model is different but basically you loosen the tensioner (Far as I know all modern vehicles have automatic belt tensioner so you dont have to adjust the tension of the belt once its on.john
I've never had to replace the serpentine belt on a vehicle - the dealer did on the WJ once while they were doing other work and according to the invoice only charged me the part (I guess the labor worked into the overall figure and it wasn't so bad).

I have replaced alternator, water pump, etc. belts and getting them tensioned was a PITA.

But I wanted to check my understanding on what you said above, John. With the serpentine belt you let the tension off, put on the new belt, and when you start up the vehicle the pulleys will automatically adjust back to the correct tension?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 08:53 AM
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There is a spring loaded pully that it's only fuction is to apply constant pressure on the belt. As the belt stretches from use, the pully keeps tension so no further adjustments are needed.

It is known as either a "tensioner pully" or sometimes an "idler pully".
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 10:23 AM
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I would be very surprised if you can find a serpentine belt for $20. Most of the time they are closer to the $80 range, which would mean that $115 installed is not too bad a price. Not worth $40 to me to have someone spend 10 min to replace a belt, but not everyone has the skills to do it.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 05:33 PM
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The (aftermarket) serpentine belt for the JC (regardless of engine) is under $30.00. The dealer price is $53.46. I have not looked at the tensioner pulley on the JC, but in the past I have used anything from a 3/8 Drive to a 3/4 Drive. The whole job should take less than 15 min. I've not looked at mine yet (only 18K on the car) but I always replace them at about 60K. Webjones, when they say to take the tension off the belt; you need to relieve the tension and remove the belt. You put the new belt on all the pulleys (except the tensioner). You then move the tensioner pully with one hand, and slip the new belt in place with the other hand.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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I just found a great website that sells most OE parts for Jeeps, Chrysler, and Dodge.

They have belts for $10. Great website for parts. http://www.chryslerpartsdirect.com/
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 09:10 PM
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You will need a 15mm end wrench or equal. I would use a 15mm socket with a breaker bar. Not for the added torque but it will give you more clearance when you install the belt. Looking at the engine (4.7) the pully is off center to the left. You will rotate the tensioner pully clockwise to ease tension off the belt. I have a pic of the wrench in place, I will e-mail if anyone wants. For some reason my pics are too big to attach...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 07:42 AM
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