How to replace alternator belt and P.S. & A/C belt
I just replaced the belts on my 1998 Dodge Neon and took pictures so I thought I'd post up a How-To on it.
Parts used: jack, jack stand, 3/8" socket, 1/2" socket, 13mm socket, 15mm socket, 1/2" ratchet, and pipe that fits over ratchet to use as a breaker bar. I got a 36" iron pipe from Lowe's for $10. It was nearly too long for use on the alternator bolts.
1. Jack up right front corner of the car and put a jack stand under it.
2. Remove the right front wheel.
3. Remove the plastic splash guard under the car that covers the bottom of the belts and pulleys. There are three 3/8" metal screws holding the splash guard on.
4. Remove plastic air intake and air filter assembly. These are the parts removed:
Removing Power Steering and A/C belt:
1. Loosen the upper and lower Power Steering pump bracket locking bolts (13mm)
2. Put 1/2" ratchet in square hole of Power Steering pump bracket and push down to loosen the belt. I used the pipe for more leverage on this one.
3. Remove the belt.
Removing Alternator belt:
1. Remove Power Steering fluid reservoir bolts (two 1/2" bolts in the back under the reservoir) so a couple of the alternator bolts can be more easily accessed.
2. Loosen pivot bolt (15mm) on bottom of alternator.
3. Loosen locking bolt (15mm) on top of alternator.
4. Loosen adjusting bolt (13mm) on top, back of alternator
5. Remove alternator belt.
Reverse the steps to put on the new belts.
Here is a pic of the belts from below:
Here is a pic of the alternator adjusting bolt being adjusted (here you can see that making the Power Steering reservoir movable is good):
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The upper alternator bolt and the adjusting bolt were both very difficult to get to with no clearance. I accessed both of them from the top. The only way I could do that was to take out the power steering reservoir bolts so I could move it about 1/2" (the power steering fluid lines were still pretty rigid).
I had to use the pipe extension on both the upper and lower alternator bolts for extra leverage because they were so tight and old. Because of the angle I could only go one click on the ratchet at a time...very slow. The alternator adjusting bolt was also only one or two clicks at a time and it needed to be loosened up a *lot* to be able to get the belt off so it took forever.
There's a pic of me adjusting the alternator adjusting bolt so you can see where I stuck my hand down the back of the engine for that. For the upper alternator bolt, it was a squeeze going down by the A/C lines and body. My hands aren't huge so I could force one down to get the socket on the bolt while the other one held onto the handle.
The power steering bracket bolts were pretty easy since they are in the front and pretty easy to see and get to. The upper radiator hose was in the way but since it is flexible, I could work around it.
I cheated. Since I was installing a UDP anyways, I cut the belts off before hand. That was a good choice IMHO because A: I didnt have to loosen that EFFING adjuster bolt (anyone reading, know that it sucks clock. one or two clicks at a time, about 15 turns... fun...) B: It was a nice point of no return, because I was so pissed about the dang UDP install.
nice write up, thanks for posting it. I'm sure it will help many others