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How to Replace the Alternator Belt in a Ford Crown Victoria

by Don Bowman

The older Ford Crown Victorias had a separate belt for the alternator, whereas the later versions all use a serpentine belt for the operation of all accessories. Belts should always be checked and replaced if any evidence of cracking or dry rotting is found on the inside of the belt. The cracks can be seen on the ribs, teeth or sides of the belt.

Step 1

Loosen the adjusting bolt on the top front of the alternator if it is a singular belt system. Push the alternator in toward the engine to loosen the belt. If the single belt system has the air conditioning or power steering system belt in front of it, remove these also. If it is a serpentine belt system, insert a ratchet in the tensioner pulley arm or use a wrench and apply force against the spring to move the tensioner away from the belt. This will loosen the belt.

Step 2

Remove the belt. If it is a serpentine belt, just before removing it, look for a routing diagram. The diagrams can be found on the radiator or on the engine near the belt. The routing differs for different years. If there is no diagram, memorize the routing of the belt or draw yourself a diagram.

Install the new belt. On a single belt system, tighten the belt to where there is only a half-inch deflection and tighten the top bolt in the alternator. If it is a serpentine, install the belt as per the routing diagram. Leave the idler pulley until last---you won't be able to get the belt over this last pulley. This is the pulley that is attached to the front of the engine, does not turn anything and is stationary. Apply pressure to move the belt tensioner away from the belt and while holding pressure on the tensioner, slide the belt under the idler pulley. Take the tension off of the tensioner pulley and allow it to operate.

Items you will need

  • Set of 3/8-inch sockets
  • 3/8-inch ratchet
  • Set of wrenches

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