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Any tricks for getting a tight drive/serpentine belt on?

  #1  
Old 10-16-2016, 08:43 PM
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Any tricks for getting a tight drive/serpentine belt on?

Hi folks - I'm changing the drive belt and tensioner on my 2012 Fit and for the love of god I can't get the new Honda OEM belt back on. The old belt was super tight to begin with so obviously this one is worse, even with the tension released.

Are there any tips or tricks that I'm not aware of? Which pulley should I try to get the belt around last? Like I said, even with the tension released it's just nowhere near loose enough to get around that last pulley. So frustrating.
 

Last edited by grommet; 10-16-2016 at 08:52 PM.
  #2  
Old 10-16-2016, 09:31 PM
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For reference this is the belt I purchased. https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Honda.../dp/B00FZNN766
 
  #3  
Old 10-17-2016, 11:00 AM
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I can relate to what you are experiencing with the tight OEM belt replacement. When I replaced my belt I had to have the help of a friend to slide the belt over the alternator pulley last while I was under the car pushing on the auto tensioner bolt with a belt removal tool. It was not easy to say the least. Just curious, why did you replace the auto tensioner ?
 
  #4  
Old 10-17-2016, 11:20 AM
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Just curious, why did you replace the auto tensioner ?
Good question. I read somewhere on this forum that the tensioner pulley starts to make noise over time, and since the part was not that expensive I decided to make it a maintenance item. I'll do this every 100k miles.
 
  #5  
Old 10-18-2016, 02:02 PM
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Quick update: I found a trick that worked pretty well for me and only required one person.

1. Remove the negative battery connection.
2. Loosen the lower alternator bolt and remove the upper bolt. This allows the alternator to pivot back slightly towards the passenger cabin allowing for a little more slack on the belt. This may be optional depending on how tight your belt is.
3. Route the new belt starting at the alternator and working your way down towards the ground. Leave the belt off of the A/C pulley (at the bottom) which is what you'll work on last.
4. From below the car, release the belt tension and wrap as much belt on the AC pulley as you can. It should completely wrap around the black outer cover. Ensure the belt is completely on the water pump and crank pulleys!
5. Hand turn the engine clockwise via the crank bolt which will gradually route the belt on the AC pulley. Make sure the belt doesn't route itself off of the crank shaft pulley as you do this! You won't need to release tension at this part, and the belt should easily route itself on all the proper pulleys.

Now you'll need to reinsert the upper alternator bolt which is not possible at the moment because the alternator is being pulled back towards the cabin. Grab a long crow bar and *gently* place it behind alternator near the bolt (not on it!) and pull the alternator forward enough to reinsert the bolt. It won't take much pressure to do this and it should slide right in.

6. Torque down the two alternator bolts down to specs. On my 2012 Fit it's 17 ft/lbs.

That's it! It was pretty easy once I got the routine down. Hope that helps.
 

Last edited by grommet; 10-18-2016 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Deleted the "car won't start" issue because I'm stupid.
  #6  
Old 02-08-2018, 03:33 PM
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Thank you!

I was stuck while trying to get a tight serpentine belt on my honda fit. Your instructions saved the day for me! I did it a little bit differently. I used a 19mm wrench to retract the tensioner pully and tied the open end of it to the motor mount using a tie strap. You have to work with it to get it really tight and as far as the tensioner will retract. I did this from the top of course. A helper would make this step easier since a tie strap would not be needed. I then put the vehicle in neutral and put the belt on except the ac unit pulley which would only partially go on its edge. I rotated the engine clockwise (never counterclockwise) and pushed the side of the belt to get the belt on. It did take sever engine rotations to get them all nice and square in the slots. Working with the alternator bolts was not necessary. I hope this helps someone else. Thanks again. Clay
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-2018, 03:42 PM
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Tensioner pulley

By the way, I repacked the bearing on the tensioner pully with some synthetic grease. The seal can be carefully removed with a small knife by prying on the seal from the inner seal area. Slow and carefully is the idea here. After repacking it was nice and smooth although it was not ready to fail and still has some grease on the bearings after 111k miles.
 
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