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How to Install Replace Serpentine Belt Tensioner 2009-13 Chevy Suburban 1500

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  1. step : Removing the Serpentine Belt (0:25)
    • Familiarize yourself with the route of the serpentine belt
    • Insert the 15mm socket and breaker bar onto the tensioner
    • Turn the tensioner clockwise to loosen the belt
    • Pull the belt off the alternator
    • Release the tensioner
    • Pull the belt off by hand
  2. step : Removing the Serpentine Belt Tensioner (1:42)
    • Remove the two 15mm bolts from the tensioner
    • Remove the tensioner
  3. step : Installing the Serpentine Belt Tensioner (2:55)
    • Insert the tensioner into place
    • Hand-tighten the 15mm bolts
    • Preliminarily tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet
    • Torque the bolts to 37 foot-pounds
  4. step : Installing the Serpentine Belt (3:55)
    • Loop the belt under the idler pulley
    • Pull the belt over the alternator
    • Bring it around the power steering pulley
    • Bring it around the idler pulley
    • Bring it around the water pump
    • Bring it around the crank pulley
    • Pull the tensioner clockwise with the 15mm socket and breaker bar
    • Feed the belt over the tensioner
    • Release the tensioner

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years. We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Visit us at, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

Okay, so you don't have to remove the intake tube here to do your serpentine belt, but it just makes it a lot easier to film. So, we're going to start by loosening this tensioner, which tensions the drive belt. But before removing your belt, there's usually a belt path diagram under the hood somewhere. This truck doesn't have it, but you can also take note of it, and draw your own on a piece of paper. So, we're going to take a 15 mm socket, and a breaker bar, and put it on the tensioner. Going to push it down to loosen it. Can pop the belt off. It's just going to come right off. Then you can slowly let the tensioner go back. That's about as far back as it's going to go. Let's see if I can get it up, over the hose here. Then pull the breaker bar off.

On this truck it's got two bolts, a bolt here and a bolt here. They're 15 millimeter. So we're going to start by loosening this top one, and we're going to move to the bottom one and break this one free. Going to remove it. And got the bottom one out. Worked on the top one. There's your auto tensioner. All right.

So here we have the old tensioner. See? It's pretty dirty from being in the car. A little corroded on the aluminum. But we can see this is the new pulley, auto tensioner pulley from is virtually identical. It's spring loaded. It's a very strong spring. I can't move that with my hands. That's why you need that breaker bar to take it off but the poles line up. Pulleys have the same amount of ribs on them. This should go in the car fine.

We're going to go ahead and re-install this new auto tensioner plus serpentine belt. I've got the bolt started in there. Just kind of reach down, let the bolt sort of guide you in, get them started by hand. It is going into aluminum. Don't want to cross-thread them. Getting to the point where you really can't turn them by hand anymore. Then you can grab your ratchet. Use a 15 millimeter socket. We're going to snug these down because once I've got them snugged down, I'm going to go grab the torque wrench and we're going to set them with the proper torque. Now that these bolts are all the way in, we're going to take the torque wrench and torque them down to 37 foot-pounds. That one's all set. And that one's all set.

Okay, now we're going to install our serpentine drive belt. Lay it down, like that. Then run it up, around the idler pulley, over the alternator. Down around the power steering. Goes up and over the water pump. And goes back, down around the crank pulley. Make sure it's sitting in all the pulleys as you go around them. It's sitting in all the pulleys. Can actually pull it tight a little bit. Then take our breaker bar, slide breaker bar around the belt, so I can push it down. Feed the belt over. Make sure it stays in the crank pulley. Can get a little tricky. Kind of walk it over the pulley tensioner. This pulley's new, so it's not as stretched out as the old one, so it's going to be a little bit more difficult to get on. But just before you release it, make sure it's around all the pulleys, and seated in the grooves. Once you're sure it's like that, just gently release the tensioner. You can see it's nice and tensioned up. And it's looped around all the pulleys.

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Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Torque Wrench
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 15mm Socket

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08-13 GM Truck, SUV Multifit w/4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L, 6.2L Serpentine Belt Tensioner w/Pulley

Chevrolet GMC Cadillac Hummer Serpentine Belt Tensioner Gates

This part replaces:

  • Reference Number 89397
  • Gates 39083
  • OE # 12609719

Part Details

  • Includes: Pulley
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