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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Changed the serpentine belt for the first time. 2000 3.8 grand caravan with air conditioning 130Amp alternator.
1)Put van on ramps
2)Bent back plastic Engine side cover after removing screwy clipy things
3) Sketched route of belt
4)Turned tensioner arm with 15mm wrench, and wrench extendor ( I needed more leverage)
5) Got wife to take belt off alternator
6)Put new belt on, and got wife to put belt on alternator while I took the tension off from underneath.
7) She couldn't put the new belt on the alternator. I didn't get mad at her (she is my best friend), but I showed my dissapointment.
8)Cut a 2 by 4 to the exact length so I could wedge it between my 15mm wrench and extension bar a(at one end)and a strong peice of steel at the front with the tensioner fully open.
9)Tried and failed to place belt over alternator
10)Apologised to wife
11) took out top 15mm alternator bolt, and loosened bottom alternator bolt, moved alternator.
12)slid serpentine belt over
put alternator bolts back in.
13)Put everything back together
It took about an hour, but next time (god willing) it will take 25mins
The chirping has gone - ironically it didn't bother me at all. I kinda liked it. It reminded me of a class 40 deisel locomotive from 1960's & 70's England.... but that is another story.
 

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Check the grooves on the old belt if you still have it. I had a chronic chirping problem on our '99 3.3. It would go away with a new belt, and then come back shortly after. What I found was some very small pieces of stone embedded inside the grooves of the belt. Everytime they went over the pulley, it would chirp. I used a small pick to get them out, replaced the belt and the chirp was gone. If your chirp comes back with the new belt, that may be your issue as well.
 

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that's literally a 5 minute job.. but I have to admit, I've done it at least 20 times on my vehicle for various reasons.. the first time is always the hardest.

Also, I found that the tensioner was a cause of chirping..it starts to get lazy after a while and it droops causing the belt to ride to the outside producing an awful chirp.
 

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The serp belt came off of my 94 twice on one vacation after going thru puddles. The second time my wife timed me. I got in back on in 3 min 16 seconds. When we got home I installed a double sided belt kit and it has never come off or chirped again.
I find it easyer to put the belt over the AC or water pump pulley last not the small alt pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe someday I will be able to do it in 10 mins or so, I am happy anyway - I figured an hour of my time saved me $65 in shop fees.
I didn't notice any stones in the belt, but I did notice the idler pulley had some nasty marks in it - which now I feel could have been caused by stones in the belt.
 

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The serp belt came off of my 94 twice on one vacation after going thru puddles. The second time my wife timed me. I got in back on in 3 min 16 seconds. When we got home I installed a double sided belt kit and it has never come off or chirped again.
I find it easyer to put the belt over the AC or water pump pulley last not the small alt pulley.
Lol @ your wife timing you. 3 minutes is kicking its ass!! nicely done.
 

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I get the free loaner tool from one of the local auto stores that has the nice long flat bar and 15mm socket. Then i have a piece of wire with me and tie the handle of the bar to hold the tensioner loose so i can get up take belt off and put new one on. I found the use of the wire vice the wife a marriage saver! I also ended up installing goodyear edged pullies and double sided belt.
 

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Death By Chirping

My '96 T&C has been a chronic chirper since we bought it (Used at 45000 mi. now has 215000 miles.) New belts of different brands... chirps. Sprays? Chirps. Finally bought an expensive kit with a trick double sided groove belt and grooved idlers. Total silence. Then chirps again after 6K miles. Still love the cozy little chirpy van!
 

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Usually last over the idler pulley or tensioner pulley as neither has a lip to contend with and it's the back side of the belt - smooth, no grooves.

The serpentine belt tool makes easy work of it. As for using a regular ratchet wrench, some use the old belt to haul on the wrench with.

The serpentine belt tool: http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_16281.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.harborfreight.com/serpentine-belt-tool-kit-66344.html&h=1200&w=1200&sz=69&tbnid=aw-HSOtoT-BJzM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=96&zoom=1&usg=__D5_TncXQkLKYSvBGpN_aCRGxTl0=&docid=q1cdsfzCXL4XmM&sa=X&ei=GwhfUpTEKNT64AOpyYHIBQ&ved=0CEYQ9QEwAzgK
 

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My '96 T&C has been a chronic chirper since we bought it (Used at 45000 mi. now has 215000 miles.) New belts of different brands... chirps. Sprays? Chirps. Finally bought an expensive kit with a trick double sided groove belt and grooved idlers. Total silence. Then chirps again after 6K miles. Still love the cozy little chirpy van!
If you haven't yet replaced your harmonic balancer, doing so could be the final key to quieting your 215,000 mile chirpy van. The original harmonic balancer has likely degraded and wobbles slightly. Powerbond is a very good (better than oem) unit available everywhere:

http://www.powerbondparts.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I just replaced the alternator - and putting the belt over the idler arm last is definately the way to go - I am also fortunate that I have a long 15mm wrench.
 
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