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Old 11-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Tensioner Bolt

My 99 TJ with a 2.4, 4 cyl started to squeal the other day. It would quit after I hit it with some belt dressing but would start doing it again a few minutes later. Some research and it sounds like I need to tighten up the serpentine belt. I loosened the bolt on the idler pulley below the power steering and was going to start to tighten the tension bolt but noticed that the pulley could slide up and down and the tension bolt head would move up and down with it.

Is this correct? I can turn the tension bolt but since it does not sit snug in that bracket I cannot apply tension to the belt. I think something is broke.

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Old 11-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #2
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This is correct, with it loosened up the pulley and bolt slide up and down... the tensioner bolt once tighten will keep everything in place. With it loosen you can then adjust the tension.

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Old 11-26-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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Exactly. Loosen the big bolt that the pulley spins around just enough so it can be adjusted up & down, then tighten the tensioner adjustment bolt, then retighten the big pulley bolt. The belt should be tight enough that you can barely, with effort, deflect the belt 1/2" or so by pushing hard with your thumb at its widest unsupported span.

And your '99 has the OHV 2.5L engine, not the OHC 2.4L that came along later.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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Okay, now I understand why the nut was able to move up and down and not make tension against the belt, because the PO installed the belt incorrectly.



Now that I have the belt taking the right path it is too tight to fit the loop. It looks like the correct belt (6PK2310).

Should I adjust my alternator inward to adjust of the needed slack?
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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I have a 4.0 so I don't know first hand but I have heard that with the tensioner loosened all the way up the belt should go on really tight. Once installed you can then adjust it to the right tension.

Your alternator should not be adjustable.... but I could be wrong on that
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:29 PM   #6
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Belt tension on your '99 is adjusted via the long adjustment screw on the power steering bracket like we were describing above, after slightly loosening the big bolt the pulley spins around. It may just be adjusted too tight for the belt to be routed correctly.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Well it appears that the PO had replaced the AC compressor (looks new) and I think it has increased the length required of the belt. I have the tension bolt screwed all the way where the pulley is not even touching the belt and I still need another 2+ inches to get the belt on. Next step is to find a longer belt. Appreciate the feedback.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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After going to Auto Zone twice, I found that a belt 4 inches longer was what was needed. The tensioner slide is in the middle of the bracket and the belt is nice and tight like it supposed to be. Jeep seems to be running smoother and not squealing!

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