How to Change the Drive Belt on a 4.7L Dodge Dakotaby Russell Wood
The 4.7l V-8 Dodge engine is popular in the Dodge Dakota, mainly because of its high horsepower numbers in a low weight chassis. Like many modern V-8 engines, several critical engine parts and accessories are driven by a single belt, known as a serpentine belt. When this breaks or wears out, the belts will squeal and eventually break, leaving you on the side of the road with a dead engine.
Open the hood. Locate the tensioner to the left of center on the front side of the engine. Attach the breaker bar and socket to the end of the tensioner and turn it clockwise. Then remove the belt from the idler pulley first (which is the smooth pulley at the top of the engine) and then pull it off completely from the engine.
Draw a diagram of the drive belt route if the old belt is still present. If not, you can typically find a belt routing diagram underneath the hood of the truck or on the core support. If that isn't present and you don't have an owners' manual, any Dodge dealer or Dodge mechanic can provide you with the proper routing diagram.
Loop the replacement belt on the engine following the path laid out on the routing diagram. Run it around every pulley except the idler pulley, making sure the belt doesn't twist or kink along the way.
Pull up the tensioner again with the breaker bar, then pull the belt over the idler pulley. Release the tensioner and double check that the belt isn't twisted or kinked.
Things You'll Need
- 3/8-inch breaker bar and socket set
- Replacement belt
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.