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Serpentine Belt tension?

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  • Serpentine Belt tension?

    I just replaced the power steering pulley and serpentine belt on my '97 5.7L mercruiser. The manual says to tighten belt to 1/4" deflection at longest point. How much downward pressure should I put on the belt when measuring for the deflection?

  • #2
    Re: Serpentine Belt tension?

    I don't know that there is a spec for how much pressure to put on it??? I would say to use your thumb and index finger, with moderate pressure. If you are a weight-lifter, use less than moderate pressure. The idea is for it to be tight, with little slop, but not so tight for it to burn out bushings.


    • #3
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      Re: Serpentine Belt tension?

      if your 97 5.7 is anything like mine, the "idler" pulley will be the easiest to adjust the tension with. trust me, with only you doing the job, you will not be able to over tighten the belt tension. Unless as stated above you are a weightlifter. I use one hand to pull up on the idler pulley as hard as I can, and one hand to tighten it's bolt. Works like a charm. I don't think you can over tighten a serpentine belt. Cause on GM cars they have that spring loaded tensioner, and it it a B**** to loosen, so that serp belt is tight on those cars!