Lots of components are needed to get the car’s engine to work right. And while some parts—like the water pump and AC compressor—do their own specific tasks, they won’t function without the serpentine belt.
Since serpentine belts go around multiple pulleys at high speed every time you start the engine, you can expect this belt to start wearing out over time.
So, when your car’s serpentine belt starts showing signs of wearing and tear, then it’s time to replace it. Luckily, replacing it is not such a massive task, and you can save some cash by doing it yourself.
If you want to know how to change serpentine belt 6.7 Cummins, please read on…
Why Change a 6.7l Serpentine Belt?
A serpentine belt, also referred to as the accessory belt, is an important engine component that can be spotted easily when you pop the hood. This belt is pretty easy to find, thanks to its unique ridges that guarantee that the grip is sustained when the pulleys are turning. In fact, a serpentine belt serves as the powerhouse of all the engine accessories.
Contrary to popular belief, a considerable percentage of engine accessories in most vehicles are not powered by a battery. Instead, the belt transfers the spinning motion from the engine’s crankshafts to the accessory pulleys. The bad thing is that the belt does wear out with time.
The material used to make serpentine belts may have improved over the last few decades, but this belt is still vulnerable and can wear out or crack. This should be expected because this belt works hard, going around the engine at high speed when the car is turned on, when driving, and even when the engine is just idle.
Driving a vehicle with a worn-out belt can lead to damages, and you could end up replacing more parts than just the belt. So, make sure you replace it as soon as you notice the first sign of wear. This is the main reason why mechanics will always advise you to monitor the belt regularly.
Some of the things to watch out for when monitoring the serpentine belt include:
1. Chirping Noises
When this belt begins to wear out, it will begin to slip from the pulleys. This can cause the belt to make sort of chirping or squeaking noises every time you start the engine.
The slippage can be due to belt stretch, lower belt tension, or when the belt and pulleys are not working correctly. So when this happens, you should take the car for an inspection, or remove the belt and examine it.
2. Crack and Wear
When the serpentine belt cracks, you can never feel or hear anything when you turn on the engine. So you may continue driving and end up causing more damage than good; therefore, it’s crucial that you monitor the belt frequently for cracks.
If you notice some ridges missing, or if there are cracks or uneven wear on the belt, then it’s time for a replacement.
3. Full Break Down
When this belt breaks, it will affect most of the engine’s components, making it impossible for you to drive safely. When it breaks, you should pull over to the side of the road and replace it if you have a spare or call a mechanic to help you repair it.
In most trucks, when this belt breaks, the check engine light will turn on. If your vehicle uses an OBD (onboard diagnostic) system, you will get an alert when any component is damaged.
So, when the serpentine belt gets damaged, you will receive a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) alert. When you receive this alert, it’s always a good idea to pull over and examine the belt.
4. Power Steering or Air Conditioning Failure
As previously mentioned, the serpentine belt, and not the battery, powers the vehicle’s engine accessories. Therefore, when damaged, the belt may not be able to transfer the spinning motion of the crankshaft to the accessories pulleys. And this will leave your vehicle with most of the engine components not functioning.
Thus, when you notice that the air conditioning or power steering is not working, the first thing you should check is the serpentine belt.
How to Change Serpentine Belt on a 6.7 Cummins
If your truck is experiencing any of the signs listed above, it’s time to replace the serpentine belt.
But before you start working on it, first, gather the tools you’ll need and get a new serpentine belt. It’s always a good idea to replace the tensioner if the belt is underperforming. That’s because a damaged tensioner can damage the serpentine belt.
If you’re doing it for the first time, then you should be ready for some frustration. Once you get how it works, then you’ll have fun doing it.
To replace the serpentine belt, you should do the following:
Step 1: Locate the Belt
The first thing you need to do is pop open the hood of the truck and locate the belt. This can be pretty easy since it is a long belt that goes around lots of components in the truck’s hood.
To access the serpentine belt, you may have to remove the airbox and radiator fan in some cases. Most mechanics can do it without removing the radiator fan, but removing the fan can make the work easier.
After finding where the serpentine belt is, release the A/C pulley’s tensioner.
Step 2: Remove the Airbox and the Radiator Fan
After releasing the Pulley tensioner of the air conditioner, you can go ahead and unscrew the airbox to access the radiator fan perfectly. After removing the airbox, place it in a safe place and then proceed to remove the radiator fan.
To loosen the nut attaching the radiator fan to the fan pulley, you will need a pulley holder and a 36mm wrench.
Step 3: Release the Tensioner
With the fan removed, you can access the serpentine belt, so pick a piece of paper and draw a diagram of how the belt is connected to the pulleys. Drawing the structure will make it easier for you to reinstall the new belt after removing the old one. Since the belt is normally tight, you will have to loosen it by releasing the tensioner.
For this job, you need a unique tool that can access the bolt that loosens the tension. The best option for this job is a gear wrench serpentine belt tool remover.
The serpentine belt tool remover can access the nut holding the tensioner in place, and then you can push it down to release the tension.
Step 4: Remove the Damaged Belt
With the tension released, the old belt will loosen and will be easy to remove. All you have to do now is slide it out and check it for any cracks and wear and tear.
Remember, you have to monitor the serpentine belt frequently for damages. So if the belt has cracks, then you should get a replacement and install it.
Step 5: Install the New Serpentine Belt
After removing the damaged serpentine belt on the 6.7L Cummins, you can install the new one based on the diagram you drew.
You can start with the idler pulley, then proceed to the power pulley, radiator fan, and crankshaft. But make sure you run it through the tensioner last.
After guiding the belt through all the pulleys, you can slip it over the tensioner and rotate it clockwise to tighten the belt.
Remember, you must do it correctly for the belt to power the multiple accessories it’s designed to power. So make sure you follow your diagram and reinstall it correctly.
After installing the new belt, you can compare it with your layout and make sure it’s perfectly installed. Finally, you can reinstall the radiator fan and the airbox before starting the engine.
If the serpentine belt is installed correctly, all the accessories it powers will work as expected.
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How Long Does a Serpentine Belt Last?
Currently, most serpentine belts are designed to serve the car for up to 100,000 miles. So after using it for 50,000 miles, you should start examining it after every 10,000 miles to see if it’s still in great shape. You can also monitor the tensioner while you’re at it.
Replacing the serpentine belt on a 6.7 Cummins is not a difficult task, and it only requires about half an hour to complete. But before you start working on the vehicle, you should make sure the engine is clean, and the battery is unplugged. Plus, avoid working on a hot engine.
In most cases, you may not have a spare serpentine belt, but if you’re a truck driver, it’s always a good idea to have a spare. Carrying a spare can save you from frustration in case your truck’s belt starts acting up while you’re on the road.