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Old 08-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #1
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Replace Serpentine Belt

I have a 2005 SMB w/ the 6.0. About 88k on the clock. I'm going to replace the serpentine belt, just doe to age and miles. Is this a good time to replace the water pump, and what else should I take care of when I replace the belt?

I replaced the vacuum pump about 30k ago.

I did a search but wasn't able to find any simple answers.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:18 AM   #2
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Can't speak to the diesel engines but I've rarely heard of water pump issues on the gas engines. I'm driving two different 5.4's with over 250K miles on each, original water pumps in both.

Of course since diesel's are very particular regarding the pH level of the coolant perhaps that affects whatever water pump Ford uses. Reading here on SMB I've not seen too many issues with these parts failing at your current mileage. I'm okay with changing any part with a history of early failure especially if I can do it on my schedule, not when it fails on the road or another inconvenient time.

I'm sure other 6.0 owners will have some insight and experience with this---wishing you the best and least costly path!
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:24 AM   #3
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Just had the dealer put a new belt on our 2008 V-10 at 150,000 miles. They also recommended putting a new tensioner on at the same time. Also just had to put a starter in this week. Did that myself since I couldn't get it to start. Must have been 30 years ago the last time I changed a starter. I also try to change batteries before they give out. 4 years is max in my experience.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:58 AM   #4
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I recommend doing the idler tensioner at the same time if you can. You need to get the tool (buy or rent) from the auto parts store that compressed the spring on the tensioner to remove the belt. There is a video on line showing how to do it. Diesel tech Ron I believe is the name of the guy that did all the 6.0 Diesel engine repairs and tips videos.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidedown View Post
I recommend doing the idler tensioner at the same time if you can. You need to get the tool (buy or rent) from the auto parts store that compressed the spring on the tensioner to remove the belt. There is a video on line showing how to do it. Diesel tech Ron I believe is the name of the guy that did all the 6.0 Diesel engine repairs and tips videos.
Great idea on having a tool that's useful on a number of vehicles---I use this one to good effect: http://www.gearwrench.com/gearwrench...-tool-set.html

Lots of parts which to me says it has a wide range of possibilities--found mine on Amazon or eBay---about $45 shipped.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:07 AM   #6
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I just R&R'd my belt a couple weeks ago, albeit on a 7.3 Diesel (the 6.0 is similar). I rented the tool kit from O'Reily's, $30 deposit, 100% refundable when you bring it back (similar to the one in the link, above). It consists of a 24" long flat bar with 3/8" square, several different size sockets, and crow's feet.

I'll never use a conventional breaker bar and socket for that job ever again, too hard on the hands, frustrating, too. Rent the tool.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:01 AM   #7
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Greetings friends of the forum. I've been overwhelmed with life projects on several fronts the last few weeks which has kept me away from the forum and relegated the SpaceShuttle to a moving truck for my daughter at collage.

On flyfisher's question of the 6.0 serpentine belt and water pump my short answer is yes change the water pump to one of the newer metal impeller types and probably never change it again. Just heads up there are two impeller sizes that Ford used in the 6.0. do a little reaserch as I'm not sure what manufacture dates got the smaller one. I think they are the early years and rare.

Here is my ramblings on the serpentine belt concept. The serpentine belt set up (engine folks keep calling it an Accessory Drive System) often used now days is a direct descendant of the timing belt tech found in overhead valve engines. The main advantage of both systems is they will go for 80-100k miles with no service and are incredibly reliable. The main down side to the serpentine belt design, accessory drive or timing blet, is not the belt itself but the idler pulleys. Any misalignment caused by worn bearings in the idlers will cause a slow but accelerating failure of the belt and after 80-100k miles the permanently sealed bearings in the idlers will be at the end of their stable life.

Tentioners in these systems are not just a spring to keep the belt tight but also a shock absorber to prevent resonance in the belt and resonance in the equipment driven. It's quite a thing to see an alternator in slow motion as it can actually stop and start rotating even though it looks smooth to the naked eye. These tentioners again are directly taken from timing belt tech. They are oil filled and will lose the ability to absorb vibration over time just like the shocks on the axles. Resonance (AKA slapping, vibrating) will expedite the wear on the idler bearings, and all the other driven parts, witch will cause the failure mentioned above. Don't assume just because the belt looks smooth at idle in the driveway it is smooth at all RPMS and "loads" of the driven equipment. Many of us install enormous alternators that we run hard when charging our house batteries. Those large demands on the belt can cause vibrations which overwhelm the tentioners ability to dampen and cause behaviors we don't see from the drivers seat.

So, my maintenance practice for serpentine belt assemblies is the same as timing belts, don't worry about it at all until it's due 80-100k miles and then change everything at once. Idlers, complete tentioner, belt, and anything else that is easily accessible at the time. in the case of a 6.0 that might be a good time to upgrade the water pump, vacuum pump, ect. Then go another 80-100k miles. Also my preference is to use reputable parts for all this and never use anything DORMAN. YMMV.

I do carry a spare belt and a cheater tool to reach the tentioner in the field if there ever was a problem. I've never had a problem but I'm often by myself far from home and I sleep better out there with a few back up parts and tools.

Probably more talk than necessary about a belt but it's been a nice coffee break this morning here. Now back to work on the life projects.

- Eric
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ShuttlePilot View Post
Also my preference is to use reputable parts for all this and never use anything DORMAN. YMMV.
A smart idea---why risk premature failures for the sake of saving a few dollars? I've found obtaining the Ford or Motorcraft part number then searching online can find the better quality OEM parts for far less money than even a good discount at a dealership. eBay and Amazon are great first searches but quite a few online sellers will pop up too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShuttlePilot View Post
I do carry a spare belt and a cheater tool to reach the tentioner in the field if there ever was a problem. I've never had a problem but I'm often by myself far from home and I sleep better out there with a few back up parts and tools.
I do this too and thankfully have never had to do a roadside replacement. I already carry a huge amount of tools on the van anyway so keeping one of the Gear Wrench kits is easy enough; it's so easily stowed out of the way there's no reason to not carry it.

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Probably more talk than necessary about a belt but it's been a nice coffee break this morning here. Now back to work on the life projects.

- Eric
I'd say a part so critical to happy motoring deserves a lengthy conversation now and again---ask anyone whose had one fail at exactly the wrong time and they'd probably agree.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShuttlePilot View Post
So, my maintenance practice for serpentine belt assemblies is the same as timing belts, don't worry about it at all until it's due 80-100k miles and then change everything at once. Idlers, complete tentioner, belt, and anything else that is easily accessible at the time. in the case of a 6.0 that might be a good time to upgrade the water pump, vacuum pump, ect. Then go another 80-100k miles. Also my preference is to use reputable parts for all this and never use anything DORMAN. YMMV.

- Eric
So you recommend serpentine belt assembly replacement at 80-100k mi for diesel AND gas Ford E-series? I'm at 93k, E-350 V10, and have spent a couple days calling around to find a non-rookie to do my plugs and probably coils, semi-affordably, (and PCV, and other things listed in the forum to look at, at the same time). Serpentine Belt wasn't even on my radar tho.
thanks!
anne
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