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How to Replace a Caterpillar Fan Belt

by Robin Reichert

To replace a fan belt on a Caterpillar, you will need the right tools and a pulley diagram. Fan belts eventually become frayed, stretched or break, making replacing the belt necessary. The fan belt winds around a number pulleys that turn the fan, operate the starter and the water pump. A fan belt should be replaced when you notice wear or if the belt squeaks when the engine is running.

Lift the engine access cover to gain access to the fan-belt assembly. Insert a ½-inch breaker bar in the tension adjuster on the alternator to reduce the tension on the belt. Push the breaker bar to the left and remove the belt from the alternator pulley when the tension releases.

Loosen, but do not remove, the tension adjuster above the water pump. Loosen the mounting bolt using a 5/8-inch socket to remove the belt from the water pump. Use a ½-inch deep well socket to access the water pump tension adjustment on the bottom of the engine. When the bolt is loose, rotate the tension pulley bracket and remove the belt by maneuvering it around the crankshaft damper.

Install a new belt by winding it around the water pump and tension pulley. Insert the breaker bar into the pulley and apply pressure to tighten the tension bar while simultaneously tightening the bolt with the ½-inch socket. Next, tighten the tension adjuster on the water pump with your 5/8-inch socket.

Wind the belt over the fan blades and around the crankshaft pulley. Insert the ½-inch breaker bar into the tension adjuster and push it to the left. Wind the belt behind the adjuster, under the idler pulley and over the alternator pulley.

Remove the ½-inch breaker bar and allow the tension adjuster to pull the slack from the belt. The belt should be properly seated in the groove of each pulley. Start the engine and then check for proper alignment by observing the motion of the pulleys and the belt.

Tips

  • Have a pulley diagram available to make sure that you have properly installed the fan belt.
  • If you do not have a manufacturer's fan belt installation diagram, draw your own diagram before you remove the belt.

Warnings

  • Do not attempt to replace a fan belt without the proper tools and a diagram. Improper installation can result in damage to the pulleys, the fan blades and may cause injury.
  • Always wear proper protective eye-wear.
  • Keep long hair, sleeves and other clothing away from the pulleys and belts while the engine is running. Serious injury may result if your hair or clothing are caught in the pulleys.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

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