How to Change the Serpentine Belt in a '97 Sebring Convertible

by Robert Moore

    The Chrysler Sebring was offered as a two-door coupe or convertible. In convertible form, buyers were limited to choosing between the JX and JXi trim levels. Both trim levels came equipped with either a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, or a slightly larger, 2.5-liter V-6 engine. The standard 2.4-liter engine produced 150 horsepower and 167 foot-pounds of torque, while the 2.5-liter put out 164 horsepower and 163 foot-pounds of torque. Both engines have one belt to drive the alternator, and a second belt to drive the power-steering pump and the air conditioner compressor. The procedure to replace the belts is the same on either engine.

    Items you will need

    • Paint marker
    • Socket set
    • Ratchet
    • Pry bar
    • Torque wrench

    Belt Removal

    Step 1

    Open the hood and look along the radiator core support for a belt routing diagram. Snap a couple pictures of the belts as they sit on the engine with your camera phone if you can't find or read the routing diagram.

    Step 2

    Draw an arrow with a paint marker on the alternator belt, that points toward the passenger-side wheel, if you're not replacing the alternator belt. Loosen the pivot bolt on the alternator with a socket and ratchet. Turn the adjuster bolt clockwise to loosen the tension on the alternator belt. Remove the belt from the alternator and crankshaft pulley.

    Step 3

    Loosen the pivot bolt on top of the power-steering pump, then loosen the bottom lock nuts Push the power-steering pump toward the engine and remove the belt from the engine.

    Belt Installation

    Step 1

    Route the main drive belt around the engine pulleys according to the diagram or the pictures you took earlier. Slide a pry bar between the engine and the power-steering pump, and gently pry the pump away from the engine to begin tensioning the belt. Make sure the belt sits within the grooves of each pulley before continuing.

    Step 2

    Press your index finger on the belt with moderate pressure between the crankshaft pulley and the power-steering pump. Pry the alternator back until you get about 1/2-inch of deflection at the point of pressure, then snug the pivot and lock bolts for the power-steering pump. Check deflection of the belt again and adjust tension as needed. Tighten the pivot and lock bolts to 40 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. If you have the 2.5-liter engine, tighten the rear lock bolt to 21 foot-pounds.

    Step 3

    Put the alternator belt onto the crank pulley and the alternator pulley with the painted arrow pointing toward the passenger-side wheel. Pry the alternator away from the engine until you get 1/2-inch of deflection when moderate pressure is applied to the belt between the alternator and crankshaft pulley. Tighten the alternator pivot bolt to 40 foot-pounds.