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-   -   Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec (http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104804)

David 93 SL2m 08-16-2007 05:47 PM

Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
Under the hood of my 2004 VUE with the 4 cylinder Ecotec engine there isn't a diagram showing how the serpentine belt is routed around the tensioner and other components. I'd like to change the serpentine belt myself. If anyone has done this already would you please share advice and any tips? Thanks in advance!

Bigdaddy94sc2 08-19-2007 10:42 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
It is really pretty easy. It goes in an oblong circle, with the tensioner holding force in the downward direction. There are only 3 pulleys it goes around.... Just make sure to look at it before you take it off. Use a 3/8" drive ratchet to relieve tension on the tensioner, and you are off!

IIRC, there is a diagram in the owners manual.

David 93 SL2m 09-01-2007 11:12 AM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
[QUOTE=Bigdaddy94sc2;1111825]It is really pretty easy. It goes in an oblong circle, with the tensioner holding force in the downward direction. There are only 3 pulleys it goes around.... Just make sure to look at it before you take it off. Use a 3/8" drive ratchet to relieve tension on the tensioner, and you are off!

IIRC, there is a diagram in the owners manual.[/QUOTE]You are right, the diagram is in the owner's manual. Here is a scan of the diagram from my 2004 VUE owner's manual. It is sort of hidden. It was toward the back on page 6-17 just a few pages before the index.
[img]http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/data/500/L61-Engine-Drive-Belt-Routing.jpg[/img]

David 93 SL2m 09-01-2007 04:11 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
Okay I changed the serpentine belt, but it was not easy. I chose to use a Goodyear Gatorback Poly-V belt, part number 4050400.

The square 3/8" hole for the tensioner is closer to the pivot point than the diagram shows us. There is little room for a 3/8" drive socket wrench. The handle on my socket wrench was not long enough to give me enough leverage so I had to use a "cheater bar" meaning a short length of hollow metal tube over the handle of my socket wrench. To access the tensioner and the areas the serpentine belt snakes around, I removed the front right wheel and the splash shield. There are two-piece plastic rivets holding the splash shield in place, like those two-piece plastic rivets we have for the splash shields in the front wheel wells of the S-Series cars. In case anybody doesn't know, we remove these two-piece plastic rivets but first removing the inner portion by prying with a screwdriver, then the outer portion easily pulls out.

[COLOR="Red"]Warning:[/COLOR] After removing the front right wheel I saw a hole in the frame that leads to a 15mm bolt. Could this be for the tensioner? Yes - but [U]not[/U] for releasing the tension on the belt. Rather it is for removing and replacing the tensioner itself. In other words, don't mess with this bolt when removing/replacing the serpentine belt!

[COLOR="Blue"]Note to Engineers for Saturn parts: If this tensioner ever gets redesigned then [U]please[/U] reposition the 3/8" hole for releasing tension on the belt so it is farther away from the pivot point on the tensioner, ideally closer to the position shown in the slightly incorrect diagram found in the owner's manual. This will allow us to more easily turn the tensioner when removing/replacing the serpentine belt. I hope this makes sense. Thanks.[/COLOR]

[IMG]http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/gtr-4060960_w.jpg[/IMG]

David 93 SL2m 09-03-2007 04:19 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
I bought one of these today and removing/replacing the serpentine belt on my Saturns will not be a problem ever again! The bar is flat, nearly 2 feet long, has a 3/8" drive "cube" at one end, and has a thick red plastic handle about 5" long at the other end. It also comes with a 14mm crowfoot, and a few other pieces. The price was $30.

Craftsman Serpentine Belt Tool
Sears item# 00941831000 Mfr. model# 41831
[URL="http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00941831000P"]http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00941831000P[/URL]

[IMG]http://s7.sears.com/is/image/Sears/00941831000[/IMG]

zombierepellent 09-12-2007 07:18 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
I had no problem getting to my tensioner but the problem i did have was keeping everything on the right pulleys. My suggestion is instead of doing it from the top. Take the passenger wheel off and the skirting out. then you can do it all facing it.

firehawk618 12-03-2010 10:47 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
Don't know if this works on the Vue but on the L series just remove the whole air cleaner assembly for much more access. To make it even better if you're equipped remove the front engine mount. Then it's wide open and very do-able from the top.

David Lewis 12-23-2011 10:04 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
The just changed the S-Belt on my sister's Ion and let me tell you that Craftsman Serpentine Belt tool was unfortunately no help to me I thought that I was going to have it made after reading David 93 SL2m Post but it wasn't to be. Maybe another car but not an Ion.

The Problem was very little room to play with and due to the way the tensioner was "Clocked" I couldn't get the extension of the tool to fit in the tensioner from the top.

The solution you ask I took one wire hanger and took it apart to make a wire to which I then threaded across the pivot of the tensioner and the pulley. We then tied the other end of the wire to a poll or a bar and then lift the bar it should lift the tensioner. Problem solved.

billysvue 01-03-2014 11:26 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
2005 2.2 ECOTEC:::::::
I too tried a serp. belt "tool" but to no avail( for same reasons given above.)

I ended up blocking the engine behind and with a jack below.

Removed the motor mount once it was safe to do so( everybody supported) and jacked it up slightly. I still didn't have enough room to get a 3/8" ratchet, so I ended up using a crowbar(3'long) to push the engine over a skosh to get the ratchet in...

Tension off, belt off, then came removal of the tensioner itself to remove a very tired pulley.

I believe the torque to be 33 ft-lbs for the fastener( tensioner to engine).

TOmorrow's another day.

skylanedriver21 11-14-2014 01:16 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
[QUOTE=zombierepellent;1123725]I had no problem getting to my tensioner but the problem i did have was keeping everything on the right pulleys. My suggestion is instead of doing it from the top. Take the passenger wheel off and the skirting out. then you can do it all facing it.[/QUOTE]

I changed one on a 2003 2.2L this week and agree with zombierepellent, pulling the wheel and skirting is well worth the 5 minutes it will take you to do it. I used a C-clamp to retract the tensioner but could not route the new (stiff) belt around the crank pulley until I got access to it in the wheel well. Wasted 30 minutes trying to save 10 minutes with the wheel and skirt.

jacek_p 01-08-2015 10:16 AM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
I agree, the easiest way is 2 people job, one under, one above.

This video gave me an idea how to pivot the tesioner. I went ahead and purchased the little tool @HF (only $4):
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SrwXmnI-_c[/url]

willburrino 03-26-2015 03:18 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
[QUOTE=Bigdaddy94sc2;1111825]It is really pretty easy. It goes in an oblong circle, with the tensioner holding force in the downward direction. There are only 3 pulleys it goes around.... Just make sure to look at it before you take it off. Use a 3/8" drive ratchet to relieve tension on the tensioner, and you are off!

IIRC, there is a diagram in the owners manual.[/QUOTE]

I just signed up here to say........

THANK YOU SO MUCH

I watched a dozen plus videos showing a different motor where you crank the pulley "up" just using a 13mm socket or something along those lines but it's a different design (Without the oblong bracket assembly)

I didn't even consider (or see) the square hole in the assembly and had literally tried 1) Grabbing and pulling with my hand (I'm not strong enough) 2) Pushing it up from under the car (My arms aren't tiny enough) and 3) grabbing the bracket with a slide hammer and pulling up (My slide hammer is too big!)

You saved my knuckles and prevented the neighborhood kids from learning quite a few new 4 letter words, many thanks to you again.

Patiently waiting until the day my cavalier is reduced to a pile of a rust and is relegated to a only a bad memory,

Will

KCW 04-03-2015 05:49 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
Changed the belt on my 2004 VUE today, after 160k miles it was pretty cracked, but still working.

Between my son and I we found two things that make it quick with no special tools.

You will need two zip ties about 8 to 10 inches long, and a piece of pipe, 3/4 or 1" dia, about 12 to 18 inches long, and ideally two people.

Take the wheel off with the car on jack stands and take off the plastic well liner as other posts have suggested.

To get the tension off the belt there is no way you are going to get a 3/8" drive wrench on the square hole, not on a vue, but here is what you do instead.

First, the best place to pull the belt off is from the engine compartment on the alternator pulley, because it is the smallest diameter pulley. Take one of your zip ties and put it around the belt just below the alternator pulley, and leave yourself a loop about 2 or 3" long.

Now the other person lie under the car with a length of pipe or conduit. At the end of the tension arm, about where the free spinning pulley is, there is a nice bump or nipple on the bottom side of the arm. you can put one end of the pipe with the nipple in the end, so it wont slide off. the nipple is not big, but its big enough to keep the end from sliding off. If you try to push it up with a long screwdriver, or a breaker bar, it will slip, and you will slam your hands into all kinds of nasty sharp rusty things under the car.

So, you are using the pipe or conduit, right? OK with both hands push up with about 50 lbs of force. It helps if you wear a heavy leather / welding glove on your left hand, or fold over some heavy cardboard or similar material so you can push on the end of the pipe/conduit without it cutting into your palm. The tensioner arm will push up about 2", push it all the way till it stops.

now the person in the engine compartment pull the loop of belt off the alternator pully with the zip tie loop. This keeps you from getting your fingers between the belt and the pulley, just incase the person pushing the tensioner lets it go too soon. It will come off easy.

Once the loop is off the alternator pulley, relax the tensioner, pull the belt off the other two pulleys, and put the new one back in the same position.

Take your other zip tie and make another loop on the new belt like the last one. With the belt in place on the other two big pulleys, person on the ground push the tensioner all the way up again with the pipe, and person in the engine space pull the belt onto the alt pulley with the zip tie, use a big screwdriver to help push it sideways if you need to. The new belt will be a little tighter and stiffer. Just don't get your fingers between the belt and the pulley.

when its on, let the tensioner loose, and snip the zip tie off the belt.

this will only take about 20 minutes, and any able body person can push the tension up as described.

If you are stuck and your really have to do it alone, you could make a piece of conduit about 18 to 20" long, and when you push the tensioner up, push a couple pieces of 2x4 or something similar the right size to hold the pipe in place, while you do the engine compartment part, but if you do this, be very careful.

If the pipe slips there is a lot of force on that tensioner, and your face is right there under the car.

The task in the engine compartment is not hard, as long as you use the zip ties.

Hope this helps.

special tools are nice if you have them
but when you don't, you don't.

billysvue 04-03-2015 06:46 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
[QUOTE=KCW;2131966]

To get the tension off the belt there is no way you are going to get a 3/8" drive wrench on the square hole, not on a vue, .[/QUOTE] I got a ratchet on mine.

Spend a few minutes removing passenger side motor mount and you can.... see my post- a few above.

KCW 04-03-2015 09:36 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
maybe your Vue is a different year than mine, and maybe the L series cars have more room, but a rachet head 3/8" drive was not even close to fitting between the metal plate and the tensioner.

There is no reason to remove the engine mounts, you literally reach up with the short pipe and PUSH the tensioner up as I described from the bottom. It takes about 3 seconds to push it up.

Its not hard as long as you hook the end into the nipple on the pulley end of the tensioner.

KCW 04-03-2015 09:39 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
maybe you could finangle a 3/8" breaker bar in there instead of a ratchet head and fish it into the square hole

but I don't have one of those either.

billysvue 04-03-2015 10:12 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
[QUOTE=KCW;2132046]maybe your Vue is a different year than mine, and maybe the L series cars have more room, but a rachet head 3/8" drive was not even close to fitting between the metal plate and the tensioner..[/QUOTE] By removing the mount, you can push the engine over to get the clearance needed.

Throw up your details in your sig.

Yodler 09-04-2016 11:38 AM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
1 Attachment(s)
2009 Saturn Aura XR, Ecotec 2.4 engine
Grind inch bolt ( inch overall length) into 3/8 square to fit into 3/8 hole in tensioner. Use open end inch wrench on Head of bolt. Raise tensioner with wrench and use wire to attach box end of wrench to engine lift hook. Remove and install new belt. I used duct tape on wrench and head of bolt to keep it all together and make it easier to maneuver into tensioner.
No need to remove engine mount, raise vehicle etc., Most time consuming job was grinding the bolt! Changing belt took a few minutes.

oldwood 05-26-2019 02:47 PM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
I just did my 2005 Vue 2.2. I took the air filter box off (1 bolt and the clamp) Then I could clearly see the 3/8 socket location. I had a old 3/8 breaker bar and was able to get it into the socket with no problem. The breaker bar has a hole in the end so I inserted a wrap tie through the motor lift bracket and the hole in the end of the breaker bar. Then I just pulled up on the bar and pulled the wrap tie tight.

The old belt slipped off without a problem. Putting the new one on was a fiddle but with the tension-er out of the way it was not a problem. Once the new belt was in place I just cut the wrap tie with a pair of side cutters. (good to have your other hand in your back pocket when cutting the wrap tie ;) ) I did all of the install from the tops side.

Thanks to everyone who posted pictures and instructions!! Made the job pretty easy.

I should have taken pictures but I always remember that when I close the hood.

HANKU 07-05-2019 07:04 AM

Re: Changing the serpentine belt on the Ecotec
 
Decent need to accomplish something like this with mine


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