Here's the genuine GM replacement serpentine belt, tensioner (left) and idler pulley assem
Like all things mechanical, the serpentine belt tensioner and idler pulley on C5 engines will eventually wear, develop play, and require replacement. A slight squeaking noise coming from either the tensioner pulley or the idler pulley-or both-is a good indication that it's time to install new units.
Personally, I always prefer to be safe rather than sorry, so when it became necessary to replace the tensioner on my wife's C5 ragtop, I decided to replace the idler pulley and put on a new serpentine belt at the same time. My reasoning here was that if one element (the tensioner) had sufficient wear and required replacement, then the idler pulley couldn't be far behind. And even though the belt didn't look at all bad, this was the ideal time to install a new one, since the old one had to come off anyway to replace the pulleys. The belt, tensioner, and idler pulley were all ordered from Corvette Central (www.corvettecentral.com).
I decided to stow the old serpentine belt in the trunk of the C5, rather than throwing it away. It only weighs a few ounces and doesn't take up much room, so what's the harm in keeping it in the trunk? After all, you never know when an emergency might arise and it could save the day-if not for me, then maybe for some other Corvette owner on the side of the road that I might be able to rescue, right?
The only tools needed for this job are a 15mm combination wrench, a 15mm socket, and a ratchet. Replacing these three items isn't complicated, so even a novice wrench should be able to do it in well under an hour. Just follow the captioned pix and you'll breeze right through it.
|Corvette Central Parts List
||'97-'04 Engine Drive Belt (Water Pump, Pwr. Steer., Alt.)
||'97-'04 Idler Belt Pulley
||'97-'00 Drive Belt Tensioner
Tools Required: 15mm combination wrench, 15mm socket, and ratchet
Time Start To Finish: Under 1 hour
|Difficulty Index - 2 Wrenches|
|Anyone’s Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|
There's a factory sticker on top of the inner left front fender of C5s that shows the belt
Standing on the driver side of the car, use the box end of the 15mm combination wrench to
Once the belt is off the alternator pulley, slip it off the other pulleys and remove it fr
The tensioner is held onto the engine block with two 15mm bolts which are removed next. Wh
The old tensioner is at the left and the new unit is on the right. There should be absolut
The old idler pulley is on the left and the new replacement is on the right. Both this pul
The new tensioner is installed by inserting and tightening the two 15mm bolts to retain it
You'll have to reach in with your socket and ratchet to get to the 15mm bolt that holds th
Once the new tensioner and idler pulley is in place, thread the new serpentine belt around
Once again standing on the driver side of the car, put the slack belt loop next to the ten
That's it. Now make sure you didn't leave any tools, shop rags, or other foreign objects i