How to Replace a Serpentine Belt in a 2002 Rangerby Lee SallingsUpdated November 07, 2017
Serpentine belt systems provide us with superior wear, reduced noise characteristics (squeal and drumming) and ease of replacement when compared to the old v-belt systems used in the 1970s and early 1980s. Replacing the belt on your 2002 Ford Ranger can now be done in a matter of minutes and requires only basic hand tools. This is a perfect project for the home mechanic to save money on auto repairs.
Locate the belt routing guide under the hood. This guide is printed on a decal located on the cooling fan shroud near the front of the engine compartment. It may also be on the air duct running across the front of the engine compartment. If the decal is missing, you can find a copy of it online (see Reference) and in your service manual. Remove the air duct in the front of the engine compartment to gain access to the belts below.
Remove the old belt by pushing down on the tensioner pulley bolt with a 15 mm wrench. The tensioner pulley is located between the power steering pulley and the water pump pulley. When enough tension is released off the belt, slip it over the alternator pulley and release the tensioner. Slip the belt off the remaining pulleys and out of the engine compartment.
Install the new belt by wrapping it around the pulleys according to the routing guide. Begin with the crankshaft pulley, the lowest pulley at the bottom front of the engine, and end with the alternator pulley. Push down on the tensioner pulley; slip the belt over the alternator.
Start the engine and check the belt for proper position in the pulley grooves. If the belt doesn't sit flat on a pulley, release the tension on the belt by pushing down on the tensioner pulley bolt again, and reposition the belt as needed. When done, replace the air duct.
Always wear safety glasses when working under the hood of any vehicle.
Lee Sallings is a freelance writer from Fort Worth, Texas. Specializing in website content and design for the automobile enthusiast, he also has many years of experience in the auto repair industry. He has written Web content for eHow, and designed the DIY-Auto-Repair.com website. He began his writing career developing and teaching automotive technical training programs.