How to Replace the Serpentine Belt on an '01 RAMby Matthew Ferguson
The 2001 Dodge Ram features a serpentine-shaped drive belt, located at the front of the vehicle's engine. The belt drives the many engine components, including the water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump and alternator. According to the "Dodge Pickup Automotive Repair Manual," the belt should be adjusted and/or replaced every 6,000 miles or six months. The belt should be replaced if it is frayed, cracked or damaged in any way. Before removing the old belt, make note of the belt's routing--the new one will have to follow the same path.
Use a proper-size socket and socket wrench and rotate the tensioner bolt on the front of the tensioner. For Dodge RAM V6 and V8 models, the bolt will rotate clockwise. For V10 models, the bolt will rotate counter-clockwise. The tensioner and bolt are located behind the fan, at the front of the engine.
Hold the tensioner bolt and remove the loosened belt from the engine. Slowly release the tensioner bolt.
Route the new belt over the various component pulleys, following the same path taken by the old belt. If unsure of the routing, follow the routing diagram printed on the radiator support, at the front of the engine. There will be two diagrams--one for engines with A/C and one for engines without. The diagrams will be labeled accordingly.
Fit the last section of belt in place, onto the final pulleys, by once again rotating the tensioner bolt. This will shorten the distance the belt has to stretch. Once the belt is in place, slowly release the tensioner bolt.