1999 Ford F150 Install Serpentine Belt

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In 1999, Ford offered their 1/2-ton pickup, the F150, with a choice of a 4.2-liter V- 6, a 4.6-liter V-8 or a 5.4-liter V-8. No matter the engine type, eventually the serpentine belt will require replacement. Thankfully, Fords with multiple V-belt systems are long gone. The serpentine belt, named for the snake-like path it takes over and around the various pulleys, eliminated the need for multiple belts. Serpentine belts last longer than V-belts, most averaging well over 100,000 miles. Ford recommends inspecting the belt at every service interval and replacing at the first sign of excessive fraying, cracking or rib loss.

Tools Used[edit]

Serpentine belt tool

Install Serpentine Belt[edit]

  • Open the F150's hood. Familiarize yourself with the serpentine belt routing diagram, located on the fan shroud. This diagram shows the proper belt routing for your specific F150, as well as the component pulley locations.
  • Rotate the serpentine belt tensioner counterclockwise, far enough to allow you to slip the belt off the alternator pulley with your free hand. Do not over rotate the tensioner, or you chance breaking it. Slowly rotate the tensioner back into place and remove the tool.
  • Pull the belt off the remaining pulleys. Remove the belt from the engine bay.
  • Stretch the new and old belts out to their full lengths (side-by-side) to make sure the new belt has the proper length. The belt stretches during its lifespan, so expect the old belt to extend roughly one inch longer than the new belt.
  • Wrap the new belt around the bottom of the F150's crankshaft pulley. Examine the belt routing diagram, and route the belt around each of the component pulleys until only the belt tensioner remains.
  • Rotate the F150's belt tensioner aside once more with the serpentine belt tool. Slip the belt onto the tensioner pulley and rotate the pulley back into place, slowly.
  • Examine all the pulleys to make sure the belt seats evenly on each pulley. Reexamine the belt routing diagram to double-check that you've routed the belt properly. There are several ways to route the belt, but only one correct way; routing it incorrectly can lead to engine damage and personal injury.
  • Start the engine and examine the belt to make sure it's traveling on the pulley path properly. Close the hood.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • If the replacement belt is longer than the old belt (more than one inch longer), you have the wrong belt for your particular F150. Due to a variety of engines and component configurations, the application information at the parts dealer may not be correct for your truck; if so, take the old belt and new belt back to match the old belt up with a proper replacement belt.
  • Never try to force a belt that does not fit onto the system.