How to Replace the Belt Tensioner on a C5 Corvette

by Allen Moore
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Working on a C5 Corvette is challenging. The various components are packed together very tightly. Accessing the back of the engine is fairly easy because of the configuration of the hood, which is hinged in the front instead of at the cowl. However, working on anything in the front of the engine can be backbreaking. If you must replace the serpentine belt tensioner, expect to spend some time leaning over the large front tires.

Step 1

Open the hood and remove the air filter intake assembly by hand; it is held in place with threaded knobs. As you remove the knobs, make note of which one goes into which hole, as they are not interchangeable. Set the assembly to the side.

Step 2

Insert the belt tensioner tool into the belt tensioner and pry the belt tensioner clockwise, away from the belt path, so you can move the belt off the tensioner pulley with your other hand. Carefully release pressure on the tool once the belt is off, then remove the tool.

Step 3

Use the socket set to unbolt the belt tensioner body from the engine. Make note of which bolt came out of which hole so you put them back in the same places during reinstallation.

Step 4

Lift the tensioner out of the way, and put the replacement tensioner in position. Thread the bolts through the tensioner body and into the engine. Tighten them down using the socket set.

Step 5

Put the tensioner tool back onto the tensioner, and once again lever the tensioner clockwise until you can reach in and route the belt over the pulley on the new tensioner. Carefully release the pressure on the tool and remove the tool.

Step 6

Reinstall the air filter intake assembly in reverse of how you removed it, taking care to put the three threaded knobs back into the exact holes they were in before disassembly.

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