How to Replace a Drive Belt on a Ford 6.0 Diesel

by Allen Moore
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Ford Motor Company recommends inspecting your serpentine belt every 60,000 miles and replacing it if it has visible signs of wear, such as cracking, fraying, glazing or rib loss. While the belt will most likely last well over 100,000 miles in a properly maintained truck, at some point or another replacing it will become necessary. Before beginning, make sure to get the right replacement belt, which means you’ll need to know if your 6.0 has a single or dual alternator set up.

Step 1

Put on your safety glasses and raise the hood. Inspect to see if your upper radiator hose runs through the belt path. Early model 6.0 engines routed the upper hose through the belt path; however, Ford later changed this set up with a new bracket that would run the hose outside the belt. If your belt runs outside, skip to Step 3. If not, perform Step 2.

Step 2

Place the drain pan on the ground below the upper radiator hose. Use the socket set to remove the upper radiator hose and allow the minimal amount of coolant inside the hose to drain into the pan. Push the hose back and secure it out of the way. Do not remove the hose until the engine is cold.

Step 3

Insert the end of the belt tensioner tool into the front of the tensioner and release the pressure from the tensioner by pushing the tool away from the belt. This will allow you to reach down with your other hand and remove the belt from the tensioner pulley. Remove the tool when done. If you do not have a tensioner tool, you can use a ½-inch socket wrench but be very careful not to over-torque the tensioner as it can be easily broken by applying too much force.

Step 4

Remove the belt from the belt path after you have familiarized yourself with the routing of the belt. There should be a belt routing guide printed on a white sticker under the hood, but it’s always best to remember how the belt was routed prior to its removal.

Step 5

Route the new belt around the pulleys just as the old one was but do not route it over the tensioner pulley yet.

Step 6

Reinsert the tensioner tool and pull the tensioner back, then with your other hand, slip the belt over the tensioner pulley and move the tensioner back into place. Pull the tool out and set it aside.

Step 7

Reinstall the upper radiator hose if you had to remove it from the radiator then top the coolant off with distilled water. In the unlikely event you lost more than a cup of coolant, you will need to add a 50/50 mixture of coolant back into the system through the degas bottle.

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