How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a 2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 Liter

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017

A 2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 liter V6 engine relies on a serpentine drive system to transfer power from the engine’s crankshaft to the various accessories, including the alternator. If the serpentine belt fails to transfer that energy, the alternator won’t work and the engine will shut down. While the serpentine belt isn’t the most integral or necessary piece of equipment in the Explorer’s engine bay, the mid-sized SUV won’t go far without it. Anyone with a bit of auto-repair skill can replace a serpentine belt on a 2002 Ford Explorer with a 4.0 liter engine in less than an hour.

Open the hood and familiarize yourself with the belt routing diagram located on the fan shroud. This diagram illustrates the location of the various pulleys, including the belt tensioner, as well as the proper routing path for the belt.

Pull the belt tensioner off the serpentine belt with your serpentine tool. Hold it roughly 1-inch away from the belt and move the belt aside with your other hand. Slowly move the tensioner back into position while the belt is off the pulley.

Pull the belt off the remaining pulleys by hand. Removing the belt from the lower pulleys may be easier if you approach it from the bottom of the engine well.

Pull the old and new belts out to their full length to compare sizes; the old belt should be roughly ½-inch to 1-inch longer than the new one due to the stretching which occurs as a natural part of the belt’s service life. Take both belts to your place of purchase to match up a proper replacement, especially If your new belt is substantially longer or shorter than the old one.

Follow the belt routing diagram and wrap the new belt around the bottom of the Explorer’s crankshaft pulley. Route the belt around each of the remaining pulleys, leaving the tensioner for last. Refer to the belt routing diagram before moving onto each successive pulley in the system.

Move the belt tensioner off to the side with the serpentine tool. Slip the new belt over the 4.0 liter’s tensioner pulley with your free hand. Hold it there while you slowly move the tensioner back to its normal position.

Remove the serpentine tool and close the hood.

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