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John, Buick Master Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  ASE A1-A8 w/L1 GM master technician.Factory certified with 40 years experience.
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1997 Buick LeSabre: alternator..serpentine belt back on..tightly..tool

Resolved Question:

I replaced the alternator on my 1997 Buick LeSabre, all went well until I tried to get the serpentine belt back on. The tensioner spring is so tightly wound that I can't get the belt back on. Is there a tool to keep the tensioner in a replacement position or another method to get my belt back on?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  John replied 6 years ago.



There is a belt tensioner tool that has a long handle & attachments to use when there is limited room.You can usually find one at your local parts supplier.

This tool will not hold it for you but give much more leverage to assist you.

Accessory Drive Belts Replacement (VIN K)

Removal Procedure

The accessory drive belt controls all engine-mounted accessories. All driven accessories rigidly mount to the engine. A spring-loaded belt tensioner maintains the drive belt tension. A belt squeak, occurring when starting or stopping the engine, it has not effect on belt durability. The drive belt tensioner can control the belt tension over a broad range of belt length. However, there are limits to the tension's compensation ability. When using the tensioner outside of its operating range, poor tension control and/or damage to the tensioner may occur.

  1. Remove the following components. .
    1.1. The engine mounting bracket lower nut.
    1.2. The engine mounting bracket lower stud.
    1.3. The engine mounting bracket lower spacer.

    Object Number: 43400  Size: SH

  2. Remove the belt.

    Object Number: 43400  Size: SH

  1. Install the belt.
    The engine mounting bracket lower nut.
    The engine mounting bracket lower stud.
    The engine mounting bracket lower spacer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The belt is already in place and around all of the pulleys as the diagram shows, I just cant get enough slack in the belt or get the tensioner pushed back far enough to get it on the tensioner. Do I still need to remove the engine mounting bracket to get it on or will the belt go on without doing this?
Expert:  John replied 6 years ago.

Yes,you will need to remove the engine mount.

Leverage is the key to moving the tensioner,use a special tool or a long breaker bar.

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