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Old 02-09-2011, 06:36 PM
HH65cpilot HH65cpilot is offline
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How to: 2003 6.0L Serpentine Belt Replacement

First off let me tell you that I have no formal mechanical training or very much experience for that matter.

I'm going on a long road trip soon and my 03 F350 6.0L just went over 70K so I thought I would replace the serpentine belt before the trip. Should be easy right? It took me about 2.0 hrs but I did manage to swap the belts out and I thought I would share my lessons learned for any other daring folks who want to tackle this job.

1. Remove upper fan shroud using a small tip screw driver to free the 9 or so clips holding it on.


2. Remove the air filter.


3. Insert a 1/2 inch drive socket wrench into the tension pulley. Use a 2-3 foot cheater bar for extra leverage and rotate the pulley towards the drivers side. While holding the tension pull to the right, reach down with your left hand and flip up the "kick stand" type lever that will keep the tension pulley from tightening the belt back up.


4. Take a long hard look at the belt diagram and visualize that the belt is run sort of like an upside down "c" through the flywheel and fan shaft.


5. Grab your new belt, pinch it together at one end and feed it between the flywheel and the fan shaft from left to right. Now work from the top right to the bottom right pushing the old belt aside and running the new one. Now feed the middle pulleys and then on to the top left and bottom right. No not run the belt over the alternator. Finally, crawl under the truck and push the last loop over the tension pulley.


6. Cut the old belt off.


7. Align the new belt making sure you get each ridge on the belt in each pulley groove. Get all the slack out of the bottom pulleys and move to the top. pinch the excess slack up and over the alternator.


8. Pull up firmly on the remaining slack making sure the belt stays aligned as you pull. You'll hear a click as the "kick stand" releases and tension is applied to the belt.


9. Double check that the belt is properly aligned with each pulley. I have heard that you run the risk of shredding a belt if you are off by even the slightest.


10. Reattach the fan shroud and put the air filter back in.


11. Start the beast and check to make sure everything is working properly.

I have read a few posts on this forum in regards to how to do this but thought I would share my prospective. It not a very fun job but I saved myself about $250. Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:49 PM
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This is a great description of replacing the belt. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:45 PM
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At that high mileage, it would be a good idea to replace the tensioner, too while you have the belt off.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:18 PM
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Just to change OP's "Step 3" (he won't mind, he hasn't been back since 2011 ) of actually leveraging on the belt tensioner with a breaker bar and trying to set the kickstand at the same time.... just grab the belt with both hands and heave it up and off the alternator, use one of those cheap spring clamps to take the slack out of the belt if you're worried about it flopping around. At the end either reach down and set the kickstand, or just heave the belt back on to the alternator.

Routing of 6.0L serpantine belt with single alt:
Click the image to open in full size.

Belt tensioner kickstand OFF:
Click the image to open in full size.

Belt tensioner kickstand ON:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:18 PM
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