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Pulley for changing Serpentine Belt - problems

I have a 98 Ford Taurus - 6cyl - 3.0 liter - SOHC - AC. I can’t seem to move the pulley to change the serpentine belt. I’ve changed several over the years on other Fords and never had any problems at all. I’m using a 1/2" drive with the right socket and it won’t budge. I’m positive that I’m on the pulley (there’s a diagram of all the belt components on the inside of the hood). My concern is that if I forced it any further, I’m going to break something. Any suggestions ?? Does anyone know if I should be pushing it towards the rear of the car OR pulling it towards the front (in order for it to swing the pulley up and loosen) ??

Its possible for the tensioner to have seized up. If this turns out to be the case then replacement of the tensioner will be required.

Look at the tensioner closely. There should be a 1/2" square hole that a 1/2" drive breaker bar can be inserted to remove the tension off the tensioner.


Tester; Not sure if you’re familar with this engine, but there’s no more than 2" between the tension pulley and the side wall of the engine compartment. I’ll give it a shot with the breaker bar, though. Thanks.

I just did this on my buddies 95 Taurus. It might be different for yours. Go to AutoZone and borrow their Serpentine belt tool, it makes the job many times easier. Put the socket on the bolt for the tensioner, not the one that holds the tensioner to the car but the one that holds the pulley to the arm of the tensioner. You pull towards you, which should be to the nose of the car.

Here is the tool:

Edit: If you haven’t done so remove the windshield washer fluid reservoir.

That’s why it’s usually required to have one of these to get at the tensioner.


NOTE: he is not saying use a 1/2" ratchet and socket. He is saying use JUST the 1/2" breakerbar with NO socket. put the square head of the breaker bar and put in into the square hole in the tensioner.

Got it - I’ll give it a try. The loaner tool looks like it’ll make the job much easier. Thanks.

Just in case you need a new one. Dayco makes a aftermarket tensioner for this car that’s available at Advanced Auto. You may also need a big torx wrench/socket to remove the old tensioner. Going by memory I think its a T50 torx.

I think you need the socket to do the change. As I recall there is no 1/2 square hole in the tensioner. The bolt you put the socket onto looks like it would be dogging down the tensioner pulley, but does not.