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Old 07-17-2020, 06:13 AM   #1
Charmycoal
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Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Hey guys I'm pulling my hair out here. First of all I'm 64 and been fixing my own cars all my life so not too bad of a back yard mechanic. On this 2009 wave I removed the serpentine to do the timing belt. On re-installation however I can't get the bloody serpentine back on and it's driving me batty. If I had bought a new one I'd be sure that I had gotten the wrong belt. It's like it's 2 inches too short. I've tackled it no less then 12 or 15 times each time thinking that I've missed something but to always the same result. What the hell!? I know that belts don't shrink. I don't think? I'm of course making sure that it's well set in it's grooves but there's no way that there's enough belt to wrap around the tensioner. I have the shop manual for the car so I know it's routed correctly. I've been fighting with this thing for 2 weeks so any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:44 AM   #2
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

I always wrap the tensioner first and find a high mount biggest pulley to slip the belt around last...after I spring the tensioner to its fullest travel.....It is very hard to wrap the tensioner last- with that small pulley.....I can only assume you did not remove the tensioner..if you did, you may have not set it in proper positon- there should be a guide pin hole....
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:50 AM   #3
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Oh I certainly did try that several times. Put through the tensionner first then tried both the crank pulley and alternator. It's like the freakin belt shrunk. It's not just too tight it's like it's 2" too short. Thanks though
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Well I can't find a 2009 Wave. Only an 08. You sure they didn't sell you a 2009 Vibe belt? It is shorter. With or w/o A/C?
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:25 AM   #5
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

I wish. That's the thing is I'm re-installing the same belt not a new one. It seemed quite normal when I took it off. It came off quite easily as it should. I'm obviously missing something here but damn it I've gone back to it 10 times at least and for the life of me I just don't see a logical explanation.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

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Old 07-17-2020, 11:00 AM   #7
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

That is the configuration that I'm using but in this picture as well as the one in my manual it shows the tensioner position a bit different than what's actually on the car. I can't imagine it having moved or how it could have but it is more logical than the belt having shrunk. If it were positioned exactly as the diagram the belt would probably go on. I'll have to check that next. Keep you posted and thanks
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:19 AM   #8
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmycoal View Post
That is the configuration that I'm using but in this picture as well as the one in my manual it shows the tensioner position a bit different than what's actually on the car. I can't imagine it having moved or how it could have but it is more logical than the belt having shrunk. If it were positioned exactly as the diagram the belt would probably go on. I'll have to check that next. Keep you posted and thanks
No way the belt shrunk. The pic will look different with belt installed vs not installed. Unless you removed the tensioner and didn't get the pin seated properly.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

I can crank the tensioner inwards no problem and it is still considerably lower than what I see in the pictures. I must say that I can't imagine it having moved as other than removing the belt I haven't touched it , but something is screwy
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

This might help since same engine. The first minute or two.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MskBSyBWfFc
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:30 PM   #11
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt (update)

Found the culprit and thought that I should share. This is a car that I picked up to flip and been a car from hell thus far. Even just removing the wheel the lock nut was stripped and so it began. As it turns out it had the wrong belt installed which didn't wrap around the AC and I failed to notice this when I took it off. I suspect this to be the reason the AC doesn't work (d'ya think?) lol. So the next nightmare is I'm actually making my way to the timing belt and that freakin crank pulley bolt isn't going to let me move forward easily. I only have a 5 gallon compressor and it's just not doing it. Only holds at 90lbs for less than 2 seconds. Heated it didn't help. The reason I was putting the serpentine back on was to drive it to a garage with good impact power. Isn't working on cars just a blast! Good day to all and thanks for your replies
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Maybe you don't know about the trick that lets the starter motor turn that bolt out. I've been in your pinch before-same thing, impact won't budge it. But with a breaker bar firmly against the frame, or engine cradle, you can crank the engine for just a moment, and when you go look at the bolt it will be laying on the ground. Done it many times.....
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'95 Chev 3500, 454 Dually Crew Cab- 145k miles-
Wife's Camel trailer puller.
'94 Astro- 370k miles
'94 Firebird Formula- 5.7L 180k miles- gone-
'92 Chevy Lumina Van 3.8L 264k
'86 GMC S-15 - 2.8L 154k
'87 Buick Park Ave . 187k
'86 Buick Park Ave 3.8L 199k miles- gone
'77 Chevy Vega- 2.5L 175k miles gone but not forgotten
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:49 PM   #13
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

Oooohhh I hadn't heard of this trick. Sounds like a good one and definitely going to give it a try tomorrow morning. Thanks a million and I'll let you know how it goes
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:19 PM   #14
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Re: Trouble reinstalling serpentine belt

I've used the starter bump trick, but another trick that I've used is to block the rotor from spinning by putting a heavy screwdriver or something in the vane and letting it jam against the caliper bracket. Then with the car in gear I put a breaker bar and if need be a cheater pipe to bust it loose. It also works for torquing a crank pulley back on the proper spec.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:41 AM   #15
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Hey it was insane how easily that worked. You've totally been raised to angel status! Thanks a million!!!!!
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