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. I bought the pay-the-deposit-for-the free-tool-for-these-sidewise-engine-tensioners from Advanced auto. It WORKS. It's skinny enough to fit in there. Cost is under $30.00 and it prevents a lot of air from turning blue. You can get a full refund, or, as I did, keep the tool for the next time. BTW, thanks from me to the prior poster who settled the question in my mind about lifting the engine. And just wait until you have to replace the timing gear cover gasket... That's a RIOT.


Use a big socket wrench/breaker bar and the correct socket/bit. Some tensioner pulleys use sockets, others torx bits, and some just use a 3/8 square hole.

The other answer is correct as well, but on my 3.1 litre the tensioner pulley is attached to an arm and the bolt comes through from the back side which makes it impossible to reach with a socket. What I use on mine is a crescent wrench and adjust it to fit the width of the arm the pulley is attached to. This arm is square and the wrench slides on perfectly and then I just pull the wrench up. You can also use an appropriately sized wrench but I don't know exactly what size it is.


On my 3.8, I used a breaker bar and socket to release the tension and then fit the belt on.

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โˆ™ 2015-07-15 21:45:50
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Q: How do you loosen the tensioner to replace the serpentine belt in a 1998 Grand Prix?
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How do you change a serpentine belt on a 94 grand am?

You will need to loosen the tensioner pulley on your 1994 Pontiac Grand Am. The old serpentine belt will come loose and can be removed. Put the new serpentine belt on and tighten the tensioner pulley.

How do you loosen the tensioner to replace the serpentine belt in a 1993 grand Cherokee?

There should be a place on the tensioner to insert a ratchet wrench or breaker bar without a socket or a "nut" for a socket to fit. Turn the tensioner clockwise or counterclockwise to loosen the tension (some tensioners rotate clockwise and some counterclockwise) and remove the old serpentine belt - NOTE: be sure and note how the belt is routed so you can install the new one in the same routing.

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You will need to buy a special tool that allows you to release the tension. It is fairly cheap and you can buy one at your local auto parts store. The one I bought was called a "Serpentine belt tool kit" and cost around $25-$30. Hope this helps.

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what you need is a ratchet 15mm socket. Losen the idler then slide off the serpentine belt off. There should be a diagram for routing the belt if not draw a diagram before removing it. Replace the serpentine belt crank it 2 or 3 times but don't start the engine. The 4th time start the engine this time the as the engine is idling eyeball the belt agaisnt the tensioner idler and crank pulley make sure the serpentine is algined. That's It. Bill A Note: Make sure that you have identified the tensioner pulley as apposed to the idler pulley. With the 15mm socket on the tensioner pulley's bolt, rotate it clockwise and this will release the tension on the belt, or in the case of installing a new serpentine belt, allow you to get it where it belongs. This is the case on my 1997 Dodge Caravan, and probably other year makes. Best of luck- Bryan 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan: Rotating the tensioner pulley's bolt clockwise was the way to replace my belt. By the way, the tensioner pulley in my van was one of the smaller ones in the middle of the whole system, attached to a silver arm coming off the tensioner.

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