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Old 05-10-2013, 07:29 PM  
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Serpentine belt install problem

HI all,

Well I just replaced the timing belt and water pump on my 2003 ZX3 and the new serpentine belt will not go on. I exchanged it for another brand and still no go? I wonder if there is something I might be missing here? The timing belt swap went pretty smooth I cant believe the serpentine belt is impossible??

Plz help a Focus brother out!!


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Old 05-10-2013, 07:54 PM  
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What's your problem exactly? Belt tensioner stuck? That's fine, it should be replaced anyway... aswell as the idler, it's a good idea to replace these when you replace the belt...

Remember, lap the belt on all the pulleys except the tensioner, pull the tensioner back with I think it's a 12mm on the pulley head, drop the belt on it, and ease off of the tension...

Did you really replace the timing belt without removing serpentine? That must have been a pain, lol...
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:01 PM  
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Probably 15mm. on tensioner center. Lying on back on ground under car, tire off, belt cover removed. Take say a 18 or 19mm. boxed end and hook the closed end over the open end of the 15 to make an extended wrench maybe 16" long. Belt threaded around everything except tensioner. Put 15mm. end of your makeshift wrench on tensioner at around 45 degree angle and turn clockwise to lift tensioner and slip belt under it. Once you have the hang of it you can put belt on in maybe 15 seconds provided it is the correct length.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:02 PM  
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Of course I took off the old serpentine to get to the timing belt, its the NEW serp that wont go on. I replaced the idler pulley but didnt replace the tensioner pulley. It is not stuck but maybe it doesn't move enough to get the new belt on?
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:08 PM  
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Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
Probably 15mm. on tensioner center. Lying on back on ground under car, tire off, belt cover removed. Take say a 18 or 19mm. boxed end and hook the closed end over the open end of the 15 to make an extended wrench maybe 16" long. Belt threaded around everything except tensioner. Put 15mm. end of your makeshift wrench on tensioner at around 45 degree angle and turn clockwise to lift tensioner and slip belt under it. Once you have the hang of it you can put belt on in maybe 15 seconds provided it is the correct length.
I was laying on my back, tire off, passenger motor mount off, wheel well liner out and used a 15mm wrench with a 18" length of pipe on the tensioner and could not get it to slip on. I tried the AC pulley, the idler pully, the alternator and tensioner pulley. Not even close to going on, I even had someone try and help. The new serpentine is just a tad smaller than the one I pulled off w/125k on it.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:27 PM  
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Aur you guy sure on that size mine is a 14mm and it was on my other focus as well. Although I did use a 15mm the first time I did the belt, but the haynes manual says 14mm also.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:47 PM  
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Did you get the serpentine for engines without A/C or for the SPI?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:26 PM  
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It will be whatever size the tensioner maker deems necessary, I have seen 14 but mine are all 15. Without a/c should be immediately obvious.

Depends on what a tad is. To some on belts that can mean 6 inches but in this case 2 inches is a mile off. A tad would be 1/2 inch or less.

Tensioner only, all effort on other pulleys is wasted. BUT, I have seen the need occasionally to slip the belt out from fully around crank to just get it on tensioner, then slip it back over crank all while still holding tensioner roller up to loosen. That for a belt just slightly on the tight side. If you can hit the up limit on tensioner and belt still not go on then belt is too short. I look at tensioner relaxed and at full up for some idea of full travel, the belt when installed should end up using say 1/3 of the swing there. Leaving the rest for belt wear.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:50 AM  
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Stayinfocus, I would guess that you are not routing the serp belt correctly, the routing is non-intuitive, meaning it doesen't make a lot of sense at first. Pull a diagram of the belt routing and look carefully I think you will figure out what your doing wrong.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:22 AM  
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Pretty sure I am routing it correctly, I have 2 Focuses (Foci) so I am able to look at how its been routed on my other ZTS, and I have a printed out diagram that NAPA said was correct. NAPA confirmed last night that the belt is the correct size (I took it to them with the old belt). I think maybe the old tensioner might not be swinging open all the way? I have tried slipping it on on all the pulleys and it doesn't even come close to slipping on.

I am heading out right now to pick up a new tensioner.

edit* both my cars have the same 2.0 Zetec DOHC w/AC motors in them, the ZX3 is an auto trans and the ZTS is a 5 speed manual.
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