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How do you replace the alternator belt on a 1996 Mazda MX-6 4-cylinder?

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2011-09-12 20:53:03
2011-09-12 20:53:03

Regardless of make or year or model, one thing you need to watch is over tightning/tention of the belts which will put undue stress and premature failure on the bearings in your water pump, alternator, etc.

Good Luck! I'm sure it's easier than what I am having on my 1989 Mazda 323. The alternator/water pump share the same inside pully, outside the pully for the a/c compressor. So first, you have to remove that belt. The problem is, there is very limited clearance between the engine walls and the pullys (2" or less) and not a lot of space to use a pry bar of some sort to pull the belt across the pulley. I've loosened the alternator as much as possible and the belt seems impossibly too small to fit, yet when comparing the broken belt to the one I received at AutoZone, they seem to match in circumference.... I only wish I could have a belt a bit longer, as it would help with the install and I could take up the difference with the tensioner on the alternator.

I think this is an impossibe task for one person, as you will need a helper to "hit" the starter just momentarily as you pry the belt up agaist the pulleys using what limited space you have and at all cost, protecting your digits! FINGERS! It would hurt awfully bad to have one or more fingers caught in a revolving contraption worth less than your medical bills! I would have my helper TEST a few times at what just a "hit" is .. just a less than a second tap of the switch... even then, the engine may still start!!!!! So REMOVE THE COIL WIRE!!!!!!!! If you don't know what a coil wire is, then you have no business doing do it your self repairs! Save your fingers and possibly your life and call a professional mechanic. Anyway, if you pull the belt across the pully just right as your helper "hits" the starter, Violla!! Your belt is installed! Almost! You still need to take up the tension with the alternator; and reinstall the belt for the a/c.

As a final note, there is a product that used to exist in an arisol can that is basically a glue that is sprayed onto the belt while the auto is running that will reduce slippage, squeeking, and overtightning, plus claims to extend the life of the belts themselves, but I'm at a loss to remember now what the name is/was...... but I'm sure any knowledgable auto parts salesperson would know what I'm talking about... BeltGuard or somthing like that! Not a bad idea to purchase a can of that stuff and spray it on your newly installed belts as well as those you have not.

Another hint, While you have all the belts dissasembled, inspect them, and if any of them show the least signs of wear, replace them all while you still have the time and your tools out.... After all, if one went, the others should soon follow..... Also,,,, in some instances, the engine must be supported from undeneath as the engine mounting clamps need to be removed to gain access...Hope this is not your case..........

Best of luck to you!

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