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I'm replacing serpentine belt on my volvo s60 and the belt seems to be too tight I couldn't get it over the power steering pulley. Any technique I could use? I'm not very strong. Thanks
 

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There is not much space between the engine and the right fender, and also, the plastic box that houses the ECM and TCM is in the way. I used a three foot stick, about the size of a yardstick, to get the serpentine belt properly seated on the crankshaft drive pulley, and made sure that it was seated on the A/C compressor, the alternator, and the belt tension pulley. You have to use a wrench or special tool to move the tension pulley into the retract position, and hold it there while the belt is installed over the last pulley, the power steering pump. When all the ducks are in a row, it slips into place with little or no effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm replacing serpentine belt on my volvo s60 and the belt seems to be too tight I couldn't get it over the power steering pulley. Any technique I could use? I'm not very strong. Thanks
Thank you I’ll try the tensioner last.
 

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I was not clear. The belt has to be placed on the tensioner pulley, and then you have to get the correct wrench or tool inserted into the star shaped TORX opening at the base of the casting. Next the tensioner is retracted, with the wrench, and it now becomes easy to get the serpentine belt over the power steering pump pulley.
 

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Also be sure you have the right belt: if you have the power steering pulley that is a little over 14cm in dia then You want the conti 1841 belt but if you have the smaller pulley then you will want the conti 1825 belt.


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
 

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There is not much space between the engine and the right fender, and also, the plastic box that houses the ECM and TCM is in the way. I used a three foot stick, about the size of a yardstick, to get the serpentine belt properly seated on the crankshaft drive pulley, and made sure that it was seated on the A/C compressor, the alternator, and the belt tension pulley. You have to use a wrench or special tool to move the tension pulley into the retract position, and hold it there while the belt is installed over the last pulley, the power steering pump. When all the ducks are in a row, it slips into place with little or no effort.
Tried it but still won’t go over the pulley . Getting frustrated at this time. Thanks everyone for the advice. I’ll just keep on trying.
 

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It takes about 15 pounds of force, on the end of a wrench, to retract the tension pulley. As I recall, the wrench handle will be located near the front of the car, near the radiator, when it is inserted into the TORX socket, and then it gets rotated towards the firewall, in order to retract the pulley. I think there is about 30 degrees of rotation, maybe 40 degrees. You have to hold the wrench in this position, with one hand, while using the free hand to manipulate the serpentine belt over the last pulley, on the power steering pump. In my experience, it is difficult to get the TORX drive tool into the opening on the base of the tension pulley assembly. There is little room to manuver, and hard to see the TORX opening. However, once the tension pulley is retracted, the rest of the process is easy. You might have the wrong serpentine belt, one that is too short for the application. Maybe you can compare it to the old belt, and see if they are the same.
 

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I guess a basic question to ask is if you are able to move the pulley tensioner or not. If you can't, then this needs replacing, as well. If you can move it, then you should be able to move it with a modicum of force, as previously mentioned.
 

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to be fair I too have had trouble on occasion with that damned belt. There just isn’t much room to work with.
Tip #1: validate that you at are getting the full movement of the tensioner. Take whatever tool you are using. Point in 45deg forward from vertical. Now crank tool towards rear of car, you should get a good 80deg of movement - tool should go all the way back to the power steering reservoir. Often depending on which tool I’m using, the tool itself gets stuck and prevents further movement. You need every inch. Be sure you are moving the tensioner to its full extension.
Tip #2: be absolutely sure that the belt is fitting in each ribbed pulley. If it’s askew in one, you are f’d. It won’t slip on.
Tip #3: Pop off the wheel liner and have a helper hold the belt in place over the crank In the grooves
Tilp #4: it’s easy to forget or get confused where the heck the belt should go wrt the tensioner. It ends up going UNDERNEATH it.
DO NOT GIVE UP - YOU WILL GET THIS!
 

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I've found that, sometimes when things just don't work right and there doesn't seem to be a reason for the problem, it's always good to put things down and go things again. At least this works for me. Here's what I'd do:

Step 1: Step away and walk the dog.
Step 2: Take another close look at exactly how the belt is supposed to be strung up.
Step 3: Double check that you have the correct belt. I've encountered instances where the parts guy gave me the wrong part, even though I had asked for the correct one.
Step 4: Without the belt on, check to see if the tension pully can be moved sufficiently. Realizing the space is tight, either buy the correct tensioner tool for this job or get something that you can easily work with.
Step 5: String up the belt, taking the time to double check the routing and that it fits squarely on the pullies.

The following video, I think, does a good job of showing how to release the tensioner. Per the video, it looks like you can insert a pin, once the tensioner is pulled back to release the belt, to hold it in place.


Good luck.
 

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My Volvo is a 2005 2.5T. It does not match up with the video shown above. My car has a total of 5 pulleys that the serpentine belt rides on: crankshaft, A/C compressor, alternator, belt tension pulley, & power steering pump. My tension pulley device has a TORX socket cast into aluminum bracket, and this is where the tool fits, when the tension pulley is manually retracted.
 

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Good to know. Up until your recent post, I wasn't aware of your specific year/model. Perhaps this video may help. It shows how the tensioner release works and, if needed, how to replace the tensioner. If this video doesn't pertain to you, suggest searching Youtube yourself.

 

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Thanks, Maggs, but my S60 2.5T has a relatively new serpentine belt, that I installed about a year ago. It is working OK. The original poster, OP, is named "Beatles," and he has not given the model and year of his Volvo.
 

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Thanks, Maggs, but my S60 2.5T has a relatively new serpentine belt, that I installed about a year ago. It is working OK. The original poster, OP, is named "Beatles," and he has not given the model and year of his Volvo.
Volvo s60 2007 2.5 T I’ll try again this afternoon. I think I know now what’s wrong, the tensioner is not all the way turned to the end. I’ll tell you if that’s the case. Thanks for the time and advice.
 

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Good news to all my friends...installed the serpentine belt this morning. There are several things that I did wrong that I’m having a hard time installing it. First the tensioner was not fully cranked all the way to end. Secondly the belt was routed the wrong way and when I finally realized it and made the corrections it was smooth sailing all way. Thank you all for the support and help. Happy holidays !!
 

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Thanks for posting the resolution. My guess is that the serpentine belt is installed at the factory, before the engine is installed in the car. So, they have easy access. The transverse engine mounting makes good use of space in a front wheel drive car, but the lack of clearance to work on the serpentine belt is a downside to this design. There is a second belt, under a plastic cover, that drives the overhead camshaft, called the timing belt. This also has to be replaced periodically. Also, while on this subject, the crankcase ventilation system has to be working well to prevent oil from seeping out and contaminating the timing belt. If you see oil coming from the cylinder head, that is a sign of a clogged up crankcase ventilation system.
 

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Good news to all my friends...installed the serpentine belt this morning. There are several things that I did wrong that I’m having a hard time installing it. First the tensioner was not fully cranked all the way to end. Secondly the belt was routed the wrong way and when I finally realized it and made the corrections it was smooth sailing all way. Thank you all for the support and help. Happy holidays !!
Great to hear! I thought, if you took a step back, that things would work out. For DIY jobs, replacing a serpentine belt is usually one of the easier things to do. However, with that said, considering the very tight engine bay, which is typical of most new vehicles, what is really "easy" these days?

As an example, this past weekend I replaced the headlight bulbs on a 2011 Subaru Outback. Should have been no big deal, right? Well it wasn't. Dealers charge $400+. I had to partially remove the inner plastic wheel wells and blindly squeeze my hand/arm through the interior metal to reach the back of the headlight assembly. In addition, to give myself more leverage and slightly improve the partial access, I had to move the battery, on the driver's side, and the airbox and air intake funnel, on the passenger's side. After numerous scratches on my arms and around 3 hours of effort, the job was done. You might ask, why would the dealer want to charge over $400 for this job? From what I can tell, the correct/non-injurious way to get at the back of the light assembly, so that one can replace the bulb, is to (a) remove the front plastic bumper cover, (b) undo the 6 bolts holding each headlight assembly, (c) unclip the wires to the headlight assembly, and (d) remove the headlight assembly for easy access to the light bulb! What used to be a 5 minutes bulb replacement process on a car now, at least for the Subaru Outback, is a multi-hour job. Crazy! Another time, to replace a battery in my son's car, I had to remove the front passenger tire and remove the front passenger tire inner plastic fender ... just to get at the battery, so that I could replace it. Crazy!!!! IMO, being a DIYer these days takes patience, courage and a lot of liquor.

Regards, Maggs
 
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