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How to Replace a Serpentine Belt for a 1998 Jeep Cherokee

by Lee Sallings

Replacing the serpentine belt on most vehicles is easy and takes only a few minutes. However, the serpentine belt on a 1998 Jeep Cherokee can be a challenge. The tight engine compartment provides limited space between the radiator shroud and engine to maneuver in. The project can be completed in an hour or two by the average home mechanic using basic hand tools.

Step 1

Find and review the belt routing guide located on a decal under the hood. If this decal is missing, the belt routing guide can be found in your service manual and online.

Step 2

Loosen the belt tensioner pulley bolt (the tensioner is located near the top center of the engine), and then loosen the tensioner bolt located on the tensioner bracket. When enough slack is available in the belt, slip it off the tensioner, and then the other pulleys. Remove the belt from underneath the vehicle after it is free from all the pulleys. It is not necessary to lift the jeep to do this.

Step 3

Starting from underneath the vehicle, feed the replacement belt around the lower pulleys, and onto the crankshaft pulley. The crankshaft pulley is located at the bottom center of the engine. Then, following the routing guide, route the belt around the other pulleys.

Check for proper alignment and tighten the tensioner bolt until the belt is tight. Tighten the tensioner pulley bolt to lock the tensioner in place. Start the engine, and check for alignment one more time before closing the hood.


  • Safety glasses should be worn while working on any vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Metric wrench set
  • 3/8-inch drive socket set
  • Safety glasses

About the Author

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 website. He began his writing career developing and teaching automotive technical training programs.

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