How to Replace the Belt Tensioner on a Ford Explorer

Written by jamie ratliff
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How to Replace the Belt Tensioner on a Ford Explorer
The tension pulley keeps the serpentine belt tight. (courroie huileuse image by Pich Takeaouw from

The tension pulley on the Ford Explorer ensures that the serpentine belt remains tights as it winds around the engine accessories. The tension pulley is spring loaded and over time the spring may become too weak to hold the belt tight. A loose belt may cause some of the attached accessories to not work properly. The tension pulley should be inspected whenever the belt is replaced. Replacing the tension pulley is well within the capabilities of the do-it-yourself mechanic.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Replacement tension pulley

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  1. 1

    Release the belt tension using a socket wrench by turning the tension pulley counterclockwise. Slip the belt off the tension pulley with your free hand. Move the belt so it is not in the work area.

  2. 2

    Loosen the bolt in the centre of the tension pulley using a socket wrench. Note the direction the tension pulley is facing and remove the pulley from the engine compartment.

  3. 3

    Install the new tension pulley and hand-thread the bolt until it is snug. Use the socket wrench to tighten the bolt.

  4. 4

    Use the socket wrench to turn the tension pulley counterclockwise and to allow slack in the belt. Slip the belt over the tension pulley.

  5. 5

    Release the tension pulley slowly to tighten the belt. Make sure the belt is seated properly on all connected accessories before starting the vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • It may be easier having someone else slip the belt off the tension pulley while you have the pulley engaged.
  • Before starting the vehicle, make sure all tools have been removed from the engine compartment.

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