Tightening the Belt



WARNING:  Over tightening the serpentine belt can cause premature failure of belt driven accessories such as power steering pump, water pump, AC compressor, etc..


     As concerns the serpentine belt and the Powerdyne when we say tight, we mean TIGHT.  If the belt is loose the blower pulley will be much more prone to experience slippage.  This will reduce the PSI output of the blower.  This will yield less power increase than the engine would otherwise have from the blower had the belt been tighter with reduced slippage.  Get it?  In other words, you want the serpentine belt to be TIGHT.  Also, there is less of a chance of your car experiencing AC compressor squeal when the belt is tight.


     Many folks and I use the ‘twist test.’   Simply grab the belt between the Alternator and the Power Steering pump and twist it.  It should twist no further than 90 degrees straight up and down.  Whenever my belt has stretched or loosened up so that I can easily twist the belt more than 90 degrees up and down I readjust the RKSport tensioner bracket.


     When the belt is brand new be prepared to tighten it every couple of days for the first couple of weeks.  After a couple of weeks the belt should stabilize. 



     The RKSport instructions mention hitting the tensioner pulley bolt with a hammer.  This does work.  Start off by using something you can lean on like a piece of 2x4.  Place it on the pulley and with the pulley bolt loose force the pulley as tight as you can get it and tighten the bolt.  Do the twist test.  Most likely the belt is still very loose.  Loosen the pulley bolt just a little bit.  Use a long blunt object like a blunt cold chisel, socket extension, etc and put one end of it on the ‘square bolt head’ that is in the GROOVE of the tensioner bracket.  Do not hit the pulley nor the nickel coated pulley spacer.  Use a hammer to tap on whatever tool your are using on the square bolt head further tighten the belt.  After you have ‘hammered’ the belt tighter, tighten the pulley bolt.  Do the twist test. The belt should be much tighter now.


    A second method as shown in the picture below is to use a large C Clamp.  This is not recommended if you are using the plastic tensioner pulley than came with you RKSport kit.  If you like, the stock ‘smooth metal’ tensioner pulley can be used on the RKSport tensioner bracket in place of the smooth plastic pulley.  If you put C clamp on the plastic pulley you could break, bend or warp it.  Put the bottom of the C Clamp on the upper right main blower unit-mounting bolt spacer and the top end of the C clamp on the metal tensioner pulley.  Loosen the tensioner pulley bolt and tighten the C clamp.  The clamp will want to wiggle loose so be prepare to use two hands.  Once you think the belt is nice and tight you can tighten down the pulley bolt.  Do the twist test.  You might be looking pretty good.  If not, you can combine the first method of the HAMMER AND CHISEL with the C Clamp method.  Just loosen the pulley bolt a little bit and clamp the pulley as tight as you can go.  Leave the clamp on the Tap the pulley tighter with a hammer and a blunt chisel on the square head of the pulley bolt as described above.






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