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Thread: Belt Tension on '87 3.8?

  1. #1
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    Default Belt Tension on '87 3.8?

    Anybody know the proper belt tension on an '87 3.8L? It's a manual tensioner for a serpentine belt. My Hayes and Chilton manual don't have anything about it. My Helm manual is packed up for our upcoming move.

    Going to pick up a Dayco #93866 to get it set right instead of just guessing.

    http://www.daycoproducts.com/dayco%C...tension-gauges

  2. #2
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    The 84 shop manual says for a 6 rib serpentine belt on the 3.8L:
    New belt installation: 160-190
    Used belt reset: 130-160
    Allowable limits: 90-180

    The 84 belt doesn't include the A/C compressor. It has a separate V belt. Don't know if that makes any difference.
    I have never owned a belt tension gauge.

    I ran into a new one for me 3 months ago when I helped my grandson replace the alternator in his 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
    You get out your MUT-III scan tool and thump the belt with your finger. Then measure the vibration frequency of the belt.
    But if you don't have the tool they also have a deflection measurement if you push on the belt with a 22lb force.

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Looks like there is sort of a standard for 6-rib serpentine belts and the specs line you posted line up with it. AC shouldn't make a difference. My '85 and '87 came with a v-belt to run the AC compressor, but I've converted them over to an '86 configuration that puts everything on one serpentine belt.

  4. #4
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    Measured out at 80 lbs, although that's guessing as the scale only goes down to 100. Measured 3 different spans a few times. Output is very repeatable.

  5. #5
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    Measured out at 80 lbs, although that's guessing as the scale only goes down to 100. Measured 3 different spans a few times. Output is very repeatable.

    Needs a water pump before I can really fix it.

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