7.3L Serpentine belt changed- my lazy way - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



7.3L Serpentine belt changed- my lazy way

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Old 08-05-2012, 07:18 AM
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7.3L Serpentine belt changed- my lazy way

The belt that was on my truck when I bought had seen better days, was cracked and missing one edge. Old belt after removal:




Rather than wait for it to fail and strand me, family & trailer away from home, I was able to change my serpentine belt on a 2000 7.3 without incident in my driveway. My top rad hose goes through the belt so I was putting this off and found it doesn't really make the job any harder, just a few extra steps.

Since I couldn't find a complete how to, here is my lazy way:

1) Park truck on level surface and allow to cool down
2) Gather new belt (I bought a Ford one, was about $53CDN), 1/2" breaker bar, 10" vice grips, empty jugs and pump
3) Insert pump into degas jug and pump out approx 4 litres / 1 gallon of coolant. (Yes you can use the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator, uses a 3/4" wrench or 5/16" hex key, however my 3/4 section was hanging on by a thread and fell off when I put the wrench on it so I wasn't going to chance having the valve break completely and be stuck open)

4) Put vice grips on top rad clamp (if that type of clamp) and open clamp enough to slide it down hose. Leave vice grips on clamp
5) pull hose off rad nipple Do not allow hose to drop as some coolant is still inside

6) Insert 1/2 breaker bar and rotate tensioner to take strain off belt, you can swing the stopper into place to hold the tension "off", but mine fell off when I went to use it!







7) Remove old belt

8) Install new belt as per diagram underhood ensuring all grooved belt sections are in the correct grooves of the pullies. Crawling under the truck is the best way to get the crank pully lined up.

9) Release tensioner (or as I did, hold strain with breaker bar and avoid getting fingers caught..)
10) Visually check that the belt is still in the correct place on each pulley (verify verify verify)

11) Reconnect coolant hose and release vice grips
12) Pour saved coolant back into degas jug
13) Start engine and check everything is working / road test (fun part)

The job took me less than 45 minutes including taking pictures and I had never done this before. I think I could do it in half that next time.

I saved the old belt for emergency purposes, and as long as I have a 1/2" breaker bar and vice grips, I am confident this belt can be changed on the side of the road with only a little coolant loss, nothing a jug of coolant can't replace. Of course, swapping the hose to a behind the radiator version eliminates that issue.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:51 AM
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I didnt even know about the stopper thing. I'll have to check that out haha. Nice job.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:01 AM
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And for just a few dollars more, you can also just get the upper radiator hose for the dual alternator set up so that the upper hose goes around your belt so future changes don't involve messing with the coolant.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by F350-6 View Post
And for just a few dollars more, you can also just get the upper radiator hose for the dual alternator set up so that the upper hose goes around your belt so future changes don't involve messing with the coolant.
I was thinking the same thing. I think I got my "around the belt" style hose from NAPA for $14 bucks. So worth it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:51 AM
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I have to use a similar method as you did. Unfortunately, my Zena welder and extended upper hose (which is actually metal insert) precludes me from having an outside the belt configuration. Would love to have that option but mine looks like this:

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Old 08-05-2012, 01:21 PM
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How does that welder work for ya? Do you have to idle up the truck to use it? Just curious.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:51 PM
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Thanks all, I did look into the 9066 NAPA hose or the dual alternator Ford hose, Ford hose was $37, NAPA hose $18, but for me it was back ordered unless I wanted to spend $15 to have it shipped in. I didn't feel like spending double what it should be. I will likely get one if I come across a local NAPA with it in stock.

I really didn't find messing with the coolant an issue the way I did it, but I agree 100% that having the hose behind the belt is the most desired routing for ease of roadside breakdown.

That Zena welder is cool!
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:05 PM
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Firefighter 1406,

The welder works outstanding. While I am not a welder by profession by any means, I have had great results with it and others that have used it have claimed it to be one of the best welders they have ever used. You can purchase an idle control assembly that increases the rpm with the welder (I have it but it is not hooked up) but I have not had a major issue with it. I also now have the high idle tune on my DP Tuner so I can just switch it on if I need it. I use the welder for jump starting other people’s vehicles more than welding on most occasions. Since welding is not a full time gig for me, the welder does come in handy when you need it. Check out the web site and read through the info and you will get a much better idea of the capabilities of this product.
Portable / Mobile DC Welding Equipment Designed for Use in Remote Locations
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