Install a New Belt Tensioner With Pulley for Serpentine Belt on Plymouth Voyager V6 Mid 1990 Early 2000 Years

Over time, the "spring in the tensioner" wears out, weakens and the serpentine belt wears, stretches and may slip; it may come off in rain or in water puddles or may cause a rough idle when slipping (the belt may be old, nicked and torn by events or normal use).

This is a simple enough but "tricky" job -- but much less expensive, if you do it yourself (a new belt costs about $20 to $50 and new tensioner with a pulley included at a retail parts store costs about $75 to $130). Parts cost about 40% to 50% less, if ordered from a real discount auto parts website on the internet (shipping takes from 2 to 6 days with extra cost for 1 day delivery, where available), compare prices and service because some are not good deals.

Many vehicles (mid-1990s and up) use a tensioner pulley to tighten the one serpentine type of belts. For many V6 Chrysler-Plymouth, and certain Chrysler-Mitsubishi engines installed, in Plymouth Voyagers, if so equipped are mostly as described; yet the details/design may differ.


  1. Prepare by: setting the parking gear/brake, and blocking rear wheels. Raise the hood, allow the engine to cool.

    Caution: disconnect the battery for safety, avoiding someone turning the starter by mistake.
    • Find a diagram of the belt routing, sometimes on a sticker in the engine compartment, or you can draw one or get one in a book, because it may be tricky getting it back on, routed correctly.
  2. Remove the belt, pivoting the strong tensioner, releasing tension by pulling forward on the wrench (clockwise). There is not enough space for using a regular ratchet or break-over tool with regular shallow socket. Possibly, try a box end wrench/or combination wrench, with a pipe "cheater handle" for more leverage. Or, ask at the parts store about the "rental tool kit", to get the long, thin handled tool, with a very shallow 15mm (19/32 inch) socket, or possibly using a 15mm "crow-foot".

    Caution: avoid serious finger injury from pinching between a pulley/or such and the tension belt.
    • Let off tension carefully and gradually: the spring can throw the tool or swing it with some really quick force, if released under tension!
      Do not cut the belt to remove it! Sudden release is dangerous and may do damage.
    • Consider trying a new belt, if you have not done so, before a new tensioner. The belt coming off suddenly in rain/puddles may have damaged the tensioner and/or the belt.
    • Remove the pulley from the tensioner, removing the pulley bolt (counterclockwise); save the existing pulley, washer and bolt to reuse, in case your new tensioner comes without a pulley.
    • Jack up your car -- carefully, with jack on a solid surface, such as concrete pad or large stepping stone; jack up the car enough to get under the car with a little wiggle room. (You may protect the under car metal where the jack is placed with a 2X4 inch or 2X6 inch, short piece of a wooden stud or joist lumber.)

      Preferably use steel jack stands, on a solid base; avoid the danger of using heavy concrete blocks -- and never use light, "cinder" building blocks, or odd-and-ends of stacked materials.

Removing Tensioner

  1. Find the single nut reached from below the exhaust manifold in order to take it off the single-mounting-stud, that extends through the lower alternator bracket.

    Visibility: It is very hard to see the nut from either above or below, but it can (partially) be seen from above, located below the alternator -- or looking up through a niche in brackets from underneath the car.
  2. Use a {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} drive ratchet, {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} extension, and a wobble/woggle adapter or woggle extension or "u-joint" (universal-joint) adapter snapped onto a shallow 15 mm socket up by the engine block underneath the intake manifold/engine-head.
    • There is a little space to get hands and forearms up in between some big struts/braces below the engine. Place the woggle with socket through a small place in the brackets right-up against the manifold. It will go almost directly through onto the single compression nut retaining the tensioner, being sure that it's the correct nut, loosen it counterclockwise. (Power ratchet: After breaking the nut loose, a power ratchet could be used with about 6 to 12 inches drive extension as with the manual ratchet. Impact wrench: with about a 36 inch extension can reach it from the other side/wheel well!)
  3. Remove the nut retaining the tensioner. Remove the tensioner.

    Caution: Never attempt to open the cover over the strong, compressed spring in the tensioner. The spring can fly around, damage equipment or cause severe injury.

Installing Tensioner

  1. Install the new tensioner in reverse order of the removal steps.
    • Use tape to keep the nut in the socket while getting it started.
    • Jam the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} drive extension up in place under the exhaust manifold, with a medium sized straight-blade screwdriver.
  2. Install the replacement pulley in the reverse order of removal. If the new tensioner does not come with a new tensioner pulley, then using the previously removed pulley hardware, Note: This pulley has a permanently lubricated, sealed bearing, but it may become dry and defective and need replacement with a good or new one.
  3. Take care to not ruin the new belt, being sure it is seated properly in the grooves of pulley. Otherwise, the belt can "ride-out" of the grooves (when the engine is started) and be pinched, torn, stretched/ruined, if it comes off.
    • Follow your diagram of how the belt goes among the pulleys; extreme care should be taken to check pulleys located in "hard to see", remote locations for proper fit and alignment of belt in grooves. It can be tricky.


  • Booby-trap: It may seem possible to remove the alternator to get to the tensioner nut, but actually the tensioner (on certain models) must be removed first to remove a bracket that holds the alternator from falling off, if it came loose. That design is awkward, but that is the "design" -- like it or not.
  • Only designated, special tool kits are for rental (buying and returning the kit for a refund), within 48 hours at one major U.S. parts store chain or up to 30 days (at another); ask for full details.


  • Be sure that the engine is off, cool and the battery is disconnected for safety before work on the belt and tensioner.
  • Crushing hazard: Jacks may lean, wobble and slip, fail or fall, especially if the car slides, wheels are not set, or if the car were pushed, even by hand, etc.
    • Jack stands sink into dirt, asphalt or gravel, and can easily lean and fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack(s) and jack stands
  • Solid, strong surface for jack/and stands
  • 2 X 4 inch wood block
  • 15mm box end or combination wrench
  • 3/8 inch (9.5mm) drive, {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} extension
  • {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} woggle (universal) u-joint onto the socket
  • Power ratchet and/or impact wrench (optional)
  • Rental tensioner pulley tool
    • 15 mm crow-foot tool attachment
    • or special shallow, low profile 15mm socket

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