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My understanding is that I need to follow these steps to replace a drive belt:

  1. Use a breaker bar and 19 mm socket and turn the tensioner release nut clockwise to release tension on the belt.
  2. Remove old belt.
  3. Put on new belt (following diagram).
  4. Put tension back onto belt by turning tensioner release nut counter clockwise.

The problem I am having is that I cannot get a socket onto the release nut as there is not enough room between the nut and the fender:

enter image description here

UPDATE: Bolt pictured above is the wrong one - the one I should have been trying to turn is part of the tensioner body and is not really a bolt per se but a "handle" if you will to attach your wrench to (see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX27hH39mQM).

I will be trying again when I have time and will update further.

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What kind of socket and ratchet are you using? Can you get a smaller, shallower socket on it? –  Nick Feb 3 '13 at 13:50
    
short socket (about 1 inch i estimate) and small 1/4 ratchet. not alot of room to work with box.com/shared/l9vc33ehdne1x577p6q0 box.com/shared/nvhzpkowy03mhioh7yfc –  Jim Ford Feb 3 '13 at 19:21
1  
Did you try regular flat wrench? If it does not budge, I would spray the nut with the lubricant, let it sit for a few, then I would use regular flat wrench (possibly the six-sided one so as not to shear off the corners), and use a pipe on the other end for extended leverage. You might have to tap on it vigorously to get it moving at first. –  theUg Feb 4 '13 at 9:45
    
Yup, seeing the picture now, I would go with the closed end of a wrench and a pipe. Possibly a hammer, depending on the length of the pipe/leverage. I've got some cheapo wrenches I've cut the open end off to allow small diameter pipe, just for stuff like this. –  Nick Feb 4 '13 at 14:02
    
oops did not realize I could add pictures directly... will have to remember that. I will try with flat wrench as soon as I can acquire a 19mm one :D will let you know how it goes thanks folks –  Jim Ford Feb 4 '13 at 16:25
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I hate to answer my own question but did eventually figure it out.

Here are the more complete steps to swap the belt:

Prerequisite: locate a belt diagram or draw your own before starting.

  1. Remove the plastic engine cover using 10mm ratchet - this will allow easier access to the tensioner / belt on the left side of the engine.
  2. Find the bolt head that is welded to the tensioner (circled in picture below 2).
  3. Using 19mm socket and ratchet with long handle (or using pipe as cheater bar for more leverage) turn the "bolt" on the tensioner towards the front of the car (clockwise).
  4. Slip the belt off of one of the pulleys and release the tension on the bolt.
  5. Remove the old belt.
  6. Now the tricky part - get the new belt on as per diagram. I started with the deepest pulley and worked my way up until I had the belt on all pulleys except the front top one.
  7. Do step 3 again - while the tensioner is released slip the belt onto the last pulley.
  8. Make sure you have the belt on as per diagram and that the belt is centered on each pulley.
  9. Release the tensioner to take up the slack in the belt.
  10. Put the engine cover back on.
  11. Success!

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Hopefully this will help out someone else in the future :D

Correct Bolt

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