-Ratchet with 10mm, 12mm, & 14mm sockets and an extension (I used a 3″)
-2-3 ft cheater bar (You will NEED this unless you have a long handle ratchet)
-Latex Gloves (optional)
-2 Drive Belts (power steering/Alternator and A/C)
First off, remove the intake scoop.
Now remove the under body covering. This is the most tedious and time consuming aspect of the job. The entire cover doesn’t need to be removed, just enough screws so that the cover will lay on the ground and give you access to the idler pulley tension bolts (if you can see and reach the sway bar, you’ve removed enough screws).
Loosening Idler Pulleys/Releasing Belt Tension
Basically what we’re going to do from this point, is loosen the pulley nuts (A&C) on the idler pulleys, then adjust the tension on the belts via the adjusting bolt (B&D).
This is where your cheater bar comes into play. Place the ratchet with appropriate socket on the idler pulley nut (A&C) and use the cheater bar to loosen it (don’t remove the nut, just loosen it). Don’t try doing this without the cheater bar or a long handled ratchet. I have two chunks of flesh missing because I tried this method before using the bar. Also, the bar doesn’t have to be high-strength steal. The torque on these bolts is very minimal, but so is the clearance.
Once you’ve loosened both pulley nuts (A&C). Go below the car and find the tension adjusting bolts (B&D). The one for the P/S-Alt is a little higher and can’t really be seen, but you can feel around for the pulley and then go straight down to find the bolt. Unscrew this bolt significantly. The bolt won’t come out, we just want to unscrew it enough so that the pulley releases enough tension on the belt so we can remove it.
The tension adjustment bolt (B&D) for the A/C can be seen from below the car. It’s right next to the sway bar (this is where your socket extension come in handy). Loosen this bolt as well.
1) You don’t have to lift you car to do this. Access from below the car is adequate at ground level (I had my G in the driveway while doing this).
2) When loosening the tension bolt, you want to loosen it more than is needed to remove the old belt. “Why?”, you ask. Because the new belt will be a little smaller than the old stretched out belt, and you don’t want to loosen the tension bolt, remove the old belt, then loosen the tension bolt some more…that’s just a waste of time.
Now remove the belts. The P/S-Alt belt has to come off first, then the A/C belt because of how they attach to the Crank Pulley
One belt off (that bar towards the floor is the sway bar FYI).
Now come you fine motor skills. Get your NEW belts and put the A/C on first. You’ll want to wrap the belt around the Crank Pulley and Idler pulley first, then around the A/C Pulley. This is the easiest method.
Do the same for the P/S-Alt belt (I found it easiest to line up the A/C belt, then screw in the tension bolt (B) to remove most of the slack, then put the P/S-Alt belt on. This helps to avoid having one belt knock the other off).
Note: If either of the belts is physically incapable of going around all of the pulleys, one of two things has happened. a)You took on a task that was too difficult for your skill levelb) You need to loosen the idler pulley more.
Now we come to the fun part. Adjust the tension bolts so that both belts are fairly taught. What does that mean? It means that you can’t turn the belt more that 90 degrees. In the end it will probably mean that you can’t turn the belt more than 45 degrees, but we’ll start there.
Once this is done, turn on the car and listen to it idle. If the tension is correct. You shouldn’t hear anything. If it’s too loose or too tight, you’ll hear something (squeal or whine).
If your pulley flies off at this point, it means you didn’t follow my instructions about Loosening the pulleys.
If the belts idle fine, try giving it some gas while in neutral/park. If you hear the belts sqeal, you need to adjust them (this is my current problem. Didn’t have enough time/daylight to finish this last night).
Note: Turn off your car while adjusting the tension. It can be done while idling, but I don’t want to recommend this method in case you loose a finger.
Once you’ve gotten them to stop squealing/whining tighten the pulley nuts (A&C).
Turn the car on again and rev the engine. No noise means everything is fine. Noise means more adjusting.
Replace the engine cover and intake scoop and pat yourself on the back for saving $150
Infiniti got me both the A/C belt and the Power Steering/Alternator belt for $50
Article by: Sentientbydesign