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  #1  
Old November 12th, 2003, 09:56
Planetcat Planetcat is offline
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Question Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Does anyone know how to determine the serpentine belt tension on my '96 XJ? The FSM says something like 130-150 lbs. The only belt tension guages I can find are the ones where they wrench onto a spring pulley (n/a for XJ's). Pep Boys, Autozone, Kragen, etc. don't sell the type that I need. Seems sort of difficult to put a tensioner on the belt and pull on it until it reaches 150 lbs. Or is eye-balling it good enough?
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Old November 12th, 2003, 10:46
Burley Burley is offline
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I remember someone on this forum said that NAPA sells one that is cheap and does a good job on an XJ. Not sure of the name though.

Sorry so vague.

Burley
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  #3  
Old November 12th, 2003, 11:06
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TiRod TiRod is offline
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The FSM is no help - someone posted here the best way is to tighten it (repeatedly) until it stops squealing - which is not that hard, using the tensioner under the p/s pump.

Without the special guage, it makes sense.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 11:26
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martin martin is offline
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I got mine at NAPA it is called the Kricket II and was less thatn $20, think it was $12.

Here the info off the box
Front Label

NAPA KRIKIT II V-BELT TENSION GAUGE
KR2 bar code 0 29769 35216 8

end label

KR2
7401-0102
1 EACH

It has a range of 100-300 lbs.

For my 88 XJ the manual says to check the tension on the section of the belt between the idle pulley next to the AC compressor and the power steering pump; in addition, here are the belt tension values:

New Belt: 180-200 lbs
Used Belt: 140-160 lbs
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Old November 12th, 2003, 12:45
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RichP RichP is offline
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New belt gets between 180lbs and 200lbs and 140lbs to 160lbs used, used belt is defined as one that has been run for 15 min or longer.
Pg 7-38 on the 98FSM.

The krikit gauge works great for this.
Now I don't know about the 96 but my 98 has the idler pulley almost directly behind the electric fan on the drivers side, it takes a 15mm wrench to loosen it 1/2 turn so you can release tension on the adjuster bolt next to the PS pump. I bought a l-o-n-g 15mm open/box ratchet that allows me to loosen and tighten this bolt without having to remove the electric fan which is the only way I could get a wrench on that idler, got it from MAC.
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  #6  
Old November 12th, 2003, 14:46
Planetcat Planetcat is offline
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Thanks, I'll go to Napa.

Thanks everyone for the info. I'll get the Kriket at Napa. Didn't think about trying them. We're all consistent with the info on the pulley and how to tighten/loosen it, where it's located, etc. Sounds like it didn't change much across years.
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  #7  
Old March 31st, 2009, 19:00
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HighCard77 HighCard77 is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Is there a torque value for the idler pulley. Some say tighten carefully, or lightly ?? The FSM says nothing, just to tighten it. Is it easily stripped?
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Old March 31st, 2009, 19:23
joe_peters joe_peters is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

If you have a Haynes or Chiltons there is usually a generic bolt size/grade/torque value in the front of the book.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 20:05
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Johnnie Walker Johnnie Walker is online now
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

From what I have been told is when you can barely twist the belt 90 degrees its good. At least for the 87-96 4.0L
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Old March 31st, 2009, 20:22
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ParadiseXJ ParadiseXJ is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie Walker View Post
From what I have been told is when you can barely twist the belt 90 degrees its good. At least for the 87-96 4.0L
You should not be able to twist it 90 degrees. I've told myself I'll get the gauge but I haven't yet. I tighten it to what I think is good and tight without wanking the bolt, then I run it.

If it squeaks I'll give it another turn. I needs to be amazingly tight though, but like said, you don't want to get out the breaker bar to tighten it.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 20:28
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseXJ View Post
You should not be able to twist it 90 degrees. I've told myself I'll get the gauge but I haven't yet. I tighten it to what I think is good and tight without wanking the bolt, then I run it.

If it squeaks I'll give it another turn. I needs to be amazingly tight though, but like said, you don't want to get out the breaker bar to tighten it.
serious? I've been running my 89 4.0 for 4 years, with a/c and the works using this method (90 degree) without troubles at all!
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Old March 31st, 2009, 20:41
joe_peters joe_peters is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Old school rule was the tension was right when the longest run of the belt could be deflected about 1/2".
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  #13  
Old April 1st, 2009, 06:32
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ParadiseXJ ParadiseXJ is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_peters View Post
Old school rule was the tension was right when the longest run of the belt could be deflected about 1/2".
That sounds just about right...and I AM old school!!

...and as far as the 90 degree rule...sorry Johnnie Walker...I was wrong...I thought that meant long ways...I get it now, sideways...that works too, I just went out and tried that.

Last edited by ParadiseXJ; April 1st, 2009 at 06:47.
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  #14  
Old April 1st, 2009, 07:18
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TiRod TiRod is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Next old school rule was to guess at tightening it, just past squealing. If it's not slipping, it's working.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:20
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johnnyc johnnyc is offline
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Re: Belt tension on Serpentine belt?

Short story -

When we were fixing my PS pulley on the Rubicon in 06 after my rollover, a couople of "old school" guys from the next camp came over to watch. Between the two of them, they had like 60 years of mechanic experience.

My buddy was tightening the belt and one of the old guys reaches over to twist the belt. He says, "That's good right there". My buddy whips out his Krikit II and the tension was nowhere near tight enough.

He proceeded to tighten it to 160 ft/lbs. And the "old school" guys never said another word.
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