How to Change the Serpentine Belt in a 2001 Ford Rangerby Grace Mclain; Updated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
3/8-inch drive ratchet
New serpentine belt
The belt on the 2001 Ford Ranger that controls all of the drive accessories on the front of the engine is called the serpentine belt. The ribs on the inside of the serpentine belt travel around the grooves inside of every accessory pulley. Instead of having two or three belts like the older model vehicles had, the serpentine belt makes it possible to control all of the accessories with just one complete belt.
Open the hood on the 2001 Ford Ranger and lock it in place.
Look for the serpentine belt routing diagram on top of the plastic shield that covers the top of the radiator. The serpentine belt diagram will give you the instructions for routing the new serpentine belt across the pulleys. If you cannot locate the diagram, use a pen and paper to draw out the routing diagram of the old serpentine belt.
Look for the serpentine belt tensioner on the front of the engine. The tensioner is what keeps the serpentine belt tight on the pulleys. The tensioner on the 2001 Ford Ranger is located below the alternator on the front passenger side of the engine. The tensioner has a 3/8-inch square hole in the spring loaded arm of the tensioner.
Slide the square end of the 3/8-inch drive ratchet into the 3/8-inch square hole in the end of the tensioner.
Turn the tensioner counterclockwise and slide the belt off of the tensioner pulley. Remove the belt from the remaining pulleys. Pull the belt out of the engine compartment.
Slide the new serpentine belt around the water-pump pulley first. The water-pump pulley is the big pulley directly in the center of the engine.
Route the serpentine belt around the remaining pulleys. Leave the alternator pulley as the last pulley to route the belt around.
Turn the tensioner counterclockwise again and slide the new serpentine belt onto the tensioner pulley. Release the tensioner and it will tighten the belt around the pulleys to the proper tension.
Inspect the new serpentine belt to make sure that the belt is seated inside all of the pulleys.
Crank the 2001 Ford Ranger and inspect the belt one more time to make sure that the belt stays seated inside all of the pulleys while the engine is running.
You can also turn the tensioner from the 14mm bolt head in the center of the tensioner.
Always wear safety glasses when working inside of the engine compartment.