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Belts, Changing, Tensioning

Belt replacement tips
From: Jerry Baker
Year(s):  83.5 - 91
Model/Type:  Vanagon
Symptom(s):  Squealing or worn belts

Ratcheting socket driver
13mm deep well socket
13mm combination wrench
12" flat tip screwdriver or small pry bar.
small flat tip screwdriver

1. Remove Power steering belt first. Loosen bottom bracket bolt
which also goes through the power steering housing. This is best done from
beneath the vehicle with a 13mm combination wrench. Then loosen top adjuster
bolt which goes through slotted bracket at top. Pull inboard or
counterclockwise on power steering pump. This should rotate the power
steering pump counter clockwise and you should be able to get the belt
off the pulley. You will probably also need to disconnect the coolant
vent hose to get the belt out. This is the small fabric hose which
is next to the oil filler tube. It is in most cases secured with a
worm gear clamp. Once the vent hose is disconnected you can remove the
power steering belt.

2. If fitted, remove the AC drive belt. Loosen the two (fore & aft) bolts
on the inboard side of the air conditioner compressor. These are
13mm. You can loosen the front bolt with a 13mm combination wrench.
Loosen the rear bolt with a drive ratchet and 13mm deep well
socket. Then loosen the outboard adjusting bolt with a 13mm combination
wrench. You will notice an adjusting screw on the outboard side of
the AC compressor. Turn this screw counter clockwise. You may notice
the screw come out of the adjusting block, push down on the AC
compressor housing, this will loosen the belt to facilitate belt
removal. Keep loosening the adjuster screw until the belt can be removed.
Be careful not to remove the adjuster screw completely from the
adjusting block.

3. Remove the ALTERNATOR belt. This belt also drives
the water pump. Loosen the bottom bolt which
secures the alternator to the alternator mounting bracket. Then
loosen the top adjuster bolt which goes through the slotted
adjusting bracket. These are both 13mm bolts. Rotate the alternator
housing to your left, or in a counter clockwise movement. This
will facilitate belt removal from the alternator.

Install the belts in reverse order of removal; Alternator belt first.
AC compressor belt second. Power steering belt last. The AC compressor
belt is the only belt with a screw type adjuster. You will have to
use a pry bar to adjust the belt tension on the alternator and
power steering belts. Adjust the alternator belt first and then
secure both of the alternator bolts tightly.
You will notice an indentation in the bracket directly beneath
the power steering pump housing. Place a 12" flat tip screwdriver
blade or small pry bar tip in this indentation. Lift up on your
pry bar against the power steering pump housing. Tighten the
adjusting bolt on the power steering pump adjusting bracket.

Be careful not to get the belts too tight. You should have
slight (1/8" - 1/4") deflection in the belts after they are adjusted.
This of course depends on the length of the belt. It's always a
good idea to use a belt adjusting gauge.

Be sure to connect the vent hose and tighten the clamp.
Good luck!

88 GL 2.1L

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