How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Ford Explorerby Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017
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How to Replace the Serpentine Belt in a Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer has one dedicated drive belt that runs the engine accessories. The drive belt is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around various pulleys under the hood including the crankshaft, alternator and accessories. This article refers to model years from 1991-2001. Though Ford Explorer models generally have this type of auto-adjusting belt system, check your model year for specific information.
Note the routing of the belt for future reference (so you can fit the new belt on correctly). If you don't find a belt routing diagram under the hood or in your owner's documentation, make a sketch for your reference.
Find the tensioner pulley which is generally located near the crankshaft and then find the bolt on the side of the pulley.
Use the wrench to rotate the tensioner pulley counter-clockwise and release tension on the belt.
Hold the tensioner in position with the wrench and slip off the old belt and install the new one according to your belt routing diagram.
Make sure all ribs on the drive belt are fitted correctly into the pulley grooves and that the belt is seated on all pulleys.
Release the tensioner.
Run the engine and observe for flapping, noises or other signals of incorrect installation.
As noted, this guide applies to Ford Explorer models from 1991-2001. Check you owner's documentation for information about older Ford Explorer models to make sure you have the right tools, methods and belts for the job.