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#1 2020-12-31 20:17:28

Registered: 2020-08-05
User Number: 46983
Posts: 46

Fun with belts


Got a loose bolt due to a rusted off attachement that I can't get off near the AC belt and cant get the powersteering/alternator belt off of the car.


This is like the fourth or fifth thing I've ever attempted to do on a car so this will be filled with incorrect terms and dumb questions.

I'm having a wonderful end to 2020.

I've been slowing working through engine noise and power steering issues on my Aero. So far I've flushed the power steering and switched the intake o-ring. It helped a bit but the power steering still gets jerky sometimes and the reduction in noise from the hose made the whiny belt noise I've been hearing even more noticable.

After many weeks of watching youtube videos I finally decided to take a look at the power steering/alternator and ac belts and pulleys today. The youtubes made it look easy. Real life was not so kind.

My first problem was that no matter how many ways i tightened and untightened the tension bolts for the PS/alternator belt, I could barely detect any difference in the belt tension and didn't see much movement from the alternator, although the bottom bolt clearly moved a bit up and down the long groove. While there may have been a little movement that i'm too insensitive to notice, i couldn't find any way to loosen it enough to actually take the belt off.

The power steering belt looked pretty new and seemed to have decent tension, however, so I decided to turn to the AC belt and pulleys hoping that was were the problem lay anyway. The AC belt definitely felt significantly looser than the PS belt, and the whole rig just looked a lot more worn down. Worn down to the point that when I accidentally started tightening the tension bolt, the bolthole it attached to at its bottom broke off from the rest of the apparatus. I'm guessing I was supposed to loosen one of the bottom blots first.

Scarily, that long bolt is precariously close to the AC belt once it's loose at the bottom, so it has to come off. Unfortunately, the broken piece at the bottom seems to be screwed in lefty-tighty righty-loosey (hence the accidental tightening) while the nut holding the screw at the top is screwed on the usual way so it's a two part operation to get them both off, which would be bad enough if I could actually get any kind of grip on the nut in that small space, which I have been completely unable to so far. I would have better access if I was able to take the PS belt off but...see above.

Another possible solution is to just take the apparatus the bolt is attached too off of the AC unit. Unfortunately the bolts on that do not want to move, even once I over came my fear of snapping yet more bolts. WD40ed em up real good, no dice. Yet another possible solution could be taking off the PS belt pulleys, but I don't have a socket big enough for them around the house. Can't wait to see what ACE is like in 2021.

So my questions to the world would be:

1. What the hell am I doing wrong in terms of loosening the PS/alternator belt tension?
2. I can't drive around with that bolt hanging out like that right? RIGHT?
3. Is there a good, safe way to get that bolt off that I haven't mentioned here? Do they make tiny little bolt cutters with perpendicular handles that would get in there? Is it somehow surprisingly easy to pull out the whole power steering/alternator/ac setup? Should I be getting this thing towed to the shop at this point?
4. How do you replace a bolthole that's rusted off?
5. Why

On the bright side, I got an unexpected package today from the previous owner (Deliverator, whose been awesome and has answered many a dumb question for me) containing an extra key and a s̶t̶i̶m̶u̶l̶u̶s̶ ̶c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶ candy bar!

On the not so bright side - which is already clearly the winning side, not sure why it's trying to run up the score right now - it looks like I've got a slow leak in one of my winter tires.


Last edited by Baobiao (2021-01-01 18:24:30)



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#2 2021-01-01 09:54:23

Worst ninja editor, ever.
From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8724

Re: Fun with belts

Loosen the nut on the AC tensioner pulley prior to trying to turn the long bolt to remove the belt tension.

It’s been a long time for me, but the alternator on the top of the motor ‘falls down’ when the bolts are loose enough and the belt will basically fall off.

2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic - 475hp of crowd munching fun



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