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Pelican Technical Article:

Drive Belt Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm, 19mm socket with ratchet and extensions

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 500SL (1990-93)
Mercedes-Benz SL500 (1994-02)

Parts Required:

Accessory drive belt

Hot Tip:

You do not have to remove the cooling fan and shroud but it does give you more room to work.

Performance Gain:

Eliminate squeaking belt and prevent breakdown from breakage

Complementary Modification:

Change cooling fan clutch while you are servicing the drive belt

Your car is not just a drivetrain and a chassis. It has many other systems that need power, both mechanical and electrical. Engineers use the mechanical power generated by the engine to supply mechanical power to your water pump (which keeps the engine cool), your alternator (to provide electrical power to the car and charge the battery) and the power steering pump to help with turning the steering wheel. If you have air conditioning you will also have to drive an AC compressor. This is the job of the accessory drive belt. This belt transmits the mechanical turning of the engine crankshaft and transfers it to the other accessories. If a belt is loose it may start to squeal when you start the car or accelerate. A belt can get old and dry. It can develop cracks. These cracks can lead to the belt breaking. Mercedes Benz uses a single serpentine belt to drive all of its accessories. If this single belt breaks you should shut off your engine since the water pump will not work. Since the alternator will no longer charge the battery the engine will eventually die when the battery runs out of power. In this tech article we will go over the steps to replace your accessory drive belt.

You do not have to remove the cooling fan and shroud but it does give you more room to work and makes it easier to route the new belt on the pulleys. See our tech article on removing the cooling fan.

This photo illustrates the front of the engine.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the front of the engine. You do not need to remove the cooling fan and shroud or the cooling system upper radiator hose but we have done so for photographic purposes. Locate the accessory drive belt tensioner (green arrow).

With a 19mm socket loosen but do not remove the drive belt tensioner mounting bolt.
Figure 2

With a 19mm socket loosen but do not remove the drive belt tensioner mounting bolt.

This photo illustrates the driver side of the engine.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates the driver side of the engine. To the left of the power steering fluid reservoir loosen (by turning counter clockwise) the driver belt tensioner adjustment screw several full turns. This will allow the tensioner to move and loosen the belt.

Now that the tensioner is loose move the tensioner pulley in the direction of the blue arrow and the belt will be loose on the pulleys.
Figure 4

Now that the tensioner is loose move the tensioner pulley in the direction of the blue arrow and the belt will be loose on the pulleys. Pull the belt off of each pulley noting its position for installation.

Route the belt as you found it originally on the car.
Figure 5

Route the belt as you found it originally on the car. Here is the way the belt should be routed (same and photo #1).

Tighten the drive belt tensioner adjusting screw until the tensioner pulley grips the belt.
Figure 6

Tighten the drive belt tensioner adjusting screw until the tensioner pulley grips the belt.

While tightening the drive belt adjusting screw feel the deflection of the driver belt (green arrow).
Figure 7

While tightening the drive belt adjusting screw feel the deflection of the driver belt (green arrow). You should only feel 1/2 and inch of deflection to either side for the belt to be tight enough. Do not over-tighten the belt as this can cause premature belt failure and wear out the bearings on your drive pulleys.

Tighten the 19mm drive belt tensioner fastener to hold the adjustment in place.
Figure 8

Tighten the 19mm drive belt tensioner fastener to hold the adjustment in place. Follow the steps to install the upper radiator hose and cooling fan components in those tech articles.

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Comments and Suggestions:
E-string Comments: great help!thank you.2004benzsl500
March 18, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad we could help! - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Bob Comments: The drive belt removal on my '98 SL500, engine M119.982 is nothing like the procedure shown in your tech article. Can you explain or show the proper procedure. Thanks
January 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 8/21/2017 02:31:09 AM