How to Tighten a Drive Belt on a Mazda 323

Written by dan ferrell
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A loose drive belt on your Mazda 323 model can become noisy, affect the operation of any of the components that depend on it or slip off the pulleys. On the other hand, an over-tight belt will decrease pulley bearings' service life, requiring the replacement of one or more components. The correct belt tension depends on your particular Mazda model and type of belt. Refer to the particular section to adjust the belt on your Mazda 323.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Ratchet and socket
  • Ratchet extension
  • Prybar

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Instructions

    Measure the Belt Deflection

  1. 1

    Place a ruler perpendicular to the longest belt span between two pulleys of the belt you need to adjust.

  2. 2

    Press firmly with your thumb at the middle section of the belt span and measure the amount of belt deflection against the ruler.

  3. 3

    Make a note of the amount of belt deflection.

  4. 4

    Adjust the belt following the instructions on the next sections, according to the type of belt you have installed on your particular Mazda 323 model.

  5. 5

    Replace the belt if it shows signs of wear or damage following the instructions in your car owner's manual.

    Alternator Belt

  1. 1

    Measure belt deflection following the instructions on the first section. If the belt is used, it should deflect 0.35 - 0.39 inches (9-10 mm) or 0.31 - 0.35 inches (8-9 mm) if it is new.

  2. 2

    Adjust the belt by loosening the adjustment bolt on top of the alternator using a ratchet and socket.

  3. 3

    Loosen the alternator through bolt under the alternator using the ratchet and socket.

  4. 4

    Turn the alternator adjustment bolt using the ratchet and socket until you obtain the correct amount of belt deflection.

  5. 5

    Tighten the adjustment and through bolt using the ratchet and socket.

    Alternator and Air Conditioning Belt

  1. 1

    Measure belt deflection following the instructions on the first section. If the belt is used, it should deflect 0.26 - 0.30 inches (6.5 - 7.5mm) or 0.22 - 0.26 inches. (5.5 to 6.5mm) if it is new.

  2. 2

    Adjust the belt by loosening the locknut at the centre of the idler pulley using a ratchet and socket.

  3. 3

    Turn the adjustment bolt located on top of the idler pulley using the ratchet and socket until you obtain the correct amount of belt deflection.

  4. 4

    Tighten the locknut at the centre of the idler pulley using the ratchet and socket.

    Power Steering and Air Conditioning Belt

  1. 1

    Measure belt deflection following the instructions on the first section. If the belt is used, it should deflect 0.35 - 0.39 inches (9-10 mm) or 0.31 - 0.35 inches (8-9 mm) if it is new.

  2. 2

    Adjust the belt by loosening the upper and lower A/C compressor bolts using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

  3. 3

    Pull the A/C compressor body carefully using a prybar. Ask a helper to measure belt deflection.

  4. 4

    Tighten the upper and lower air conditioning bolts when you get the correct amount of belt deflection. Use the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

    Alternator and Power Steering Belt

  1. 1

    Measure belt deflection following the instructions on the first section. If the belt is used, it should deflect 0.28 - 0.31 inches (7-8 mm) or 0.24 - 0.28 inches (6-7 mm) if it is new.

  2. 2

    Loosen the idler pulley locknut using a ratchet and socket.

  3. 3

    Turn the alternator-adjusting bolt using the ratchet and socket.

  4. 4

    Tighten the idler pulley locknut when you obtain the correct amount of belt deflection.

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