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How do you replace the serpentine belt on a 1997 Chevy Cavalier?

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>Hey Darlene==Use a wrench on the bolt through the idler pulley to raise up on the pulley and take the tension off of the belt. There should be a schematic for the routing of the belt on the fan shroud, If not, draw one before you remove the belt. Don't rely on memory. GoodluckJoe
Comments from KenJudy: Hi. I just had to replace the alternator on my daughter's 1997 2.2 liter Chevy Cavalier. "GoodluckJoe" gives good advice but here are some details that I figured out thay may help. For mine the idler pulley is the one depicted as an X below. Using a 15MM wrench on the bolt in the middle of the idler pulley clockwise loosens tension on the belt. The only way I could get the belt back on was to put it on the idler pulley last.
0 O
X O
O O


serpentine belt
---------------
( 0-1 O-2 )
------- ----
X-3 ) ( O-4
----- --
( O-5 O-6 )
-----------

0-1 power steering
O-2 alternator
X-3 idler pulley
O-4 water pump
O-5 main crankshaft
O-6 air condioner


Regards,
KenJudy
Very good drawing from KenJudy, I looked at mind and had a time till I got it right. Some car shops store will lend out tools if you can find one ask for a serpentine wrench. It's the greats little tool you need, basicly it's a flat bar with a socket on the end. You use the 15mm socket and just put it on the bolt in the middle of the idler pulley and then pull towards the front of the car. Slip the belt off the smooth pulley and release the pully slowly. Pull the belt out and get the new one in place, then pull the wrench towards you again. There is a spring inside the motor you can't see. You may have to just hook it on the power steering pulley abit and move the wrench to pull it again. Once it's on all the pulleys are lined up just release the pully slowly. Get all your stuff out of the way and get the car a quick turn over and check every pulley, if everything looks good start the car. Just let it run for abit, and there you go. I bought a serpentine wrench at a discount auto store for $12. I'll keep the old belt and the wrench in my trunk just in case.
Cheers
Handy63
hello this is Mark the moast important part in changing the serpentine belt is the SERPENTINE WRENCH without it you wont be able to get the tension off belt because you think there is not enought room to get it off with a rachet or wrench
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