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Loosening off tension/idler pulley

09-18-2008, 11:51 AM
What is the trick to this!? It's a '98 ram van....I've been searching all over the internet, for an hour now....and these clowns keep saying "Oh just use a ratchet or open end wrench, blah blah blah" Ya, good idea in theory, but use those on what!? There isn't a nut/bolt there! Just the one to take the tensioner pulley off! :banghead: Haha, ya, I'm a little frustrated....why couldn't the belt bust on my GMC pickup....

Oh and someone suggested they're could be a square hole on the top of it..and yes there is, but what do you put in that? ah details, details....

09-18-2008, 12:44 PM
It sounds like what you're trying to do is move the pulley over to put a new belt on. If so, you use that bolt in the center of the pulley. Use a wrench, socket, or whatever floats your boat and pull the pulley over to the right enough to slip the belt on.

09-18-2008, 01:01 PM
THANK YOU!! Thank you so much! I did *almost* try that, but as I put some pressure on the ratchet, I thought I might break the bolt...Well, I'm not afraid anymore! Gonna go try it right now....

09-18-2008, 01:27 PM
No you won't break the bolt, it's hardened steel. Assuming of course that you don't go and put a 6 foot piece of pipe on your ratchet and hang off of it. :)

09-18-2008, 01:31 PM
Beautiful! The belts on, truck running! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to be on this message board, and answer my question. I can now finally leave this hovel, and make my 5:30 appointment! (Now of course I feel bad cause I called those other people "clowns"....I'm the clown...I admit it.

If you *feel* like it, can I ask you one more question? I just noticed that there is a green (should be copper by the looks of it) kind of ribbon thing that is grounded at one end and is ripped in half, and the other end is grounded to the upper part under the hood, where there is a thick rubber gasket...Can I replace this with a copper wire? or is it even important?

09-18-2008, 01:34 PM
Hahahaha! Ya, I like to think I'm hard-core strong....(reality is I only weigh 120 pounds), and I did have to utilize a hammer to the end of the ratchet in the tightening of that bolt...

09-18-2008, 01:38 PM
It's function is to bond the hood to the rest of the body. If the hood is not bonded, the only hazard is that it can pick up static electricity as you drive. This static electricity has the potential to render electronics items useless, items such as your on board computer. The chances of it happening are low, but there is a chance none the less. So it's best to repair or replace the bond strap. You can use a piece of copper wire and it will last for a while, but it does not have the durability or flexibility of the bond strap. I would use the wire for now and get an exact replacement when you can and then change it. Your call on that one.

09-18-2008, 01:46 PM
Humm, interesting......while driving through the States last month, my heater/fan kept shutting off for no reason....and would come back on for no reason.....maybe "the strap" is the reason.....Thanks again for your all your help, I'm in a great mood now, where as before I was getting close to tears out of frustration. Plus now I have a feeling of accomplishment instead of defeat! Well I hope someone helps you if you ever need it, wish it could be me, but can't see that happening, haha

09-18-2008, 01:52 PM
my heater/fan kept shutting off for no reason....and would come back on for no reason.

That is usually caused by a broken fan speed resistor element. The part is about $15 at the dealer and takes about 5 minutes to change. It's under the hood mounted by 2 screws on top of that big black box on the passenger side with a 4-wire connector going to it.

Other possibilities are a bad speed switch, or a burnt wire at that 4-wire connector I mentioned above. But like I said, the resistor is the usual culprit.

09-18-2008, 02:13 PM
Wow, you know your stuff! I just went out and looked at that connector, and guess what? It's busted! That black plastic casing stuff is broken right off the side of it, so one of those metal connections has been completely exposed, and is green AND blue...pretty crusty looking, and is all by himself now, not with the other three. Well I'm gonna have to fix that, I hate not having heat in the winter. Geezus, you should be getting paid for this advice! I didn't know where to look for this heat shortage problem! This is awesome! *Are you a real mechanic?*

09-18-2008, 02:31 PM
No I'm not a mechanic I'm actually an electrician, I'm self-taught in automotive stuff over a 30 year period. You can get the repair pigtail from the dealer (about $55). If they can't find a listing ask for part #5019941AA, at the same time you get the blower resistor. The repair pigtail comes with everything you need (except the resistor) to replace that connector.

09-18-2008, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the info, Electrician! I'll have to track down a Dodge dealer around here....Wow, you just fixed up all my dodge problems today, this is so cool. Can I call on you again, say at a later date, if I have problems again?

09-18-2008, 03:01 PM
Just post and I'll respond when I see it (if I know the answer.) :)

09-18-2008, 03:18 PM
I went looking and found you can order the pigtail online at

Then cut & paste 5019941AA into the parts search box (select Dodge in the drop down box) and you'll be brought to the listing for $34.

09-18-2008, 04:14 PM
Looks like I'll have to go get the part manually ..Mopar won't deliver outside of the U.S. (I'm in Ontario), too bad though, that's a great site, easy to order from, like you said, just cut and paste that number in there, and bang, it shows up. I'll call around tomorrow, and see if I can find one. Thanks again Alloro! :tongue:

09-18-2008, 11:13 PM
It's a couple of bucks more for the part at this site, but they seem to ship internationally.

09-19-2008, 11:38 AM
Thanks Alloro, but I called a Dealer, and he's ordering in the pigtail, and the resistor...and also a belt tensioner assembly....seems mine is seized. Makes sense why I had to use a hammer to tap on the end of the ratchet to move the pulley over. Then it just sat there while I took the ratchet off and pulled the belt over it. Then put the ratchet back on, hammered it the other way until it was back in it original position. It was easy enough to do like that, but last night I emailed my brother, and told him the story (and credited you!) , and he said the assembly should be spring loaded, not the way mine is. Makes sense. It actually sounds harder to get a belt on with a proper working assembly :)

when the time comes to put the new one on, it doesn't look like too bad of a job to do....just maybe the access to that back bolt/nut...which I had a sneak peek at yesterday morning, during my fit of frustration, when I decided that that was the way I'd have to move the pulley, by loosening that off. Couldn't fit a ratchet in there, threads were too long, so I had a giant adjustable wrench, which was making me mad, then I tried some channel locks, HAHAHA, (laughing at my own stupidity now!), of course those wouldnt fit in there properly either.... guess I'll have to invest in a set of box/open end wrenches...

09-19-2008, 01:36 PM
Yes, the tensioner should be spring loaded. That's probably why the belt blew out of there, not enough tension on it.

It helps tremendously to remove the tensioner if you first remove the coil, then the 3 bolts holding the tensioner bracket. Take the tensioner and it's bracket off as an assembly and the nut on the back becomes real easy to deal with.

09-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Hahaha, ya, I thought that last night too, but quickly remembered that it all started with my alternator seizing up, and melted belt stuck in all the grooves of the pulleys. The evidence is STILL on my hands, as I tried to scrape off as much as I could while it was still pliable.

Love your tip there, about taking off the whole bracket first, then dealing with that nut! Again, what a time and mental frustration saver! Why do you only have 3 stars under your name? (You should at least have 5! :wink:)

09-19-2008, 03:28 PM
The stars go up as your post count goes up. It has nothing to do with knowledge or post content.

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