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Replacing Belts on the Porsche 911 Carrera
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Belts on the Porsche 911 Carrera

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$30

Talent:

*

Tools:

Socket set, 24mm wrench for idler pulley

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-08)

Parts Required:

Drive belt

Hot Tip:

Carry a spare main drive belt with you in case of failure

Performance Gain:

No squeaky engine or water pump failure

Complementary Modification:

Replace water pump and/or alternator

One of the routine maintenance items that you should perform on your 911 Carrera is the checking and replacement of your accessory drive belt. The belts are driven off of the crankshaft and power accessories such as the water pump, power steering pump, alternator, and air conditioning compressor. There is only one belt on the car that powers it all. It should be checked periodically (every 5,000 miles, or when you change your oil).

The Carrera uses what is known as a poly-ribbed belt (having many channels or ribs on the underside of the belt). The poly-ribbed belt setup utilizes a spring-loaded belt tensioner pulley that provides the proper tension for the belt at all times, making adjustment unnecessary.

When inspecting your belts, the one thing that you want to look for is cracks (see red arrow in Figure 1). If you see any cracks at all, you should replace your belts immediately. The cracks will usually occur on the inside of the belt (the surface that typically rides on the surface of the pulley). With the poly-ribbed belts, this is the grooved surface.

With the poly-ribbed belt, replacement is a snap. Begin by gaining access to the rear of the engine. Follow the instructions in Figure 1 to remove the air cleaner and access the rear area of the engine.

The tensioners that hold the belt tight can be easily released using a 24mm wrench. Rotate the tensioner clockwise to release the tension. Simply release the tension on the belt from the tensioner, and then the belt should simply slide off. Release the tension, and then you should be able to unwind the belt from the engine. Tip: If the belt is worn, simply release the tension on it, and snip it with some large tin cutters to pull it out of the car.

Installation of the new belt is easy. Simply slide on most of the new belt onto the pulleys, release the tension on the tensioner, and slide the belt onto the tensioner. Check to make sure that the belt is securely seated in all of the pulleys. Verify that the ribbed portion of the belt is set against the crankshaft pulley. Install the belt in the following order: 1: Water pump, 2: Alternator, 3: Upper idler pulley, 4: Power steering pump, 5: Air conditioning compressor, 6: Crankshaft, 7: Flexible idler pulley, 8: Lower idler pulley.

The drive belt on the Carrera is accessible by removing the air box from the engine bay.
Figure 1

The drive belt on the Carrera is accessible by removing the air box from the engine bay. Disconnect the wire harness from the mass air flow sensor (MAF), upper right (yellow arrow) along with the clips that mount it to the air box (purple arrows). Then pop out the oil filler tube from its holder (blue arrow). On the 996s, disconnect the housing from the chassis by removing the nut that fastens it down (red arrow). Finally, remove the clamp that attaches the intake boot to the throttle body (green arrow), and remove the air cleaner assembly from the car. If you have a 3.8 don't forget to disconnect the wire on the back of the airbox for the resonance valve. The lower right inset photo shows a belt that is getting very old and showing numerous cracks in the ribbed surface (red arrow).

With the air cleaner housing removed you can see all of the various components that are driven by the main belt.
Figure 2

With the air cleaner housing removed you can see all of the various components that are driven by the main belt. On the right are the air conditioning compressor (yellow arrow) and the power steering pump (green arrow). On the left is the alternator (blue arrow). On the bottom is the water pump (purple arrow). The crankshaft is in the center, shown by the orange arrow.

To release tension on the belt, simply place a 24mm socket attached to a breaker bar on the idler and turn it clockwise.
Figure 3

To release tension on the belt, simply place a 24mm socket attached to a breaker bar on the idler and turn it clockwise.

Here is a brand new crate 3.
Figure 4

Here is a brand new crate 3.4-liter 996 motor direct from Porsche. The various components are 1 Power steering pump, 2 Alternator, 3 Upper idler pulley, 4 Water pump, 5 Air conditioning compressor (not installed), 6 Crankshaft, 7 Tensioner pulley, 8 Lower idler pulley. On the lower right is a photo of what a brand new belt looks like.

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Comments and Suggestions:
MAC Comments: Durn, sure wish you hadn't used the word "simply" on the step to remove tension from the belt figure 3. My 1999 996's tensioner will not move. I attached a 24 mm socket to my 1/2" ratchet to the tensioner and attempted to turn it clockwise. Do I need to get a breaker bar instead of my ratchet. I'm hesitating to do this for fear I might break something...My patience is already near breaking...HELP
October 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it should release. Possible your ratchet isn't giving you enough leverage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ixceler8 Comments: Is this the same for a 2008 Turbo ?
July 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, it will be different.

Applicable Models:



Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-08) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
paul Comments: i have a 997.2 with a slightly different tensioner. I turned it clockwise to release the tension and it stayed in the loose position. I had to turn it counterclockwise to tighten the belt after replacement. is this normal oris my tensioner defective? thanks
May 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Definitely faulty. A properly functioning tensioner will provide smooth constant tension when moved. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
thstone Comments: Figure 3 should say "tensioner pulley" rather than "idler" since you need to remove tension on the belt. Turning the idler pulley clockwise will not release tension on the belt.
November 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Cal Comments: Great article. Do you know of a similar presentation for replacing 993 belts? I would sure appreciate finding something like this article for a 993.
May 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Bentley Publishers has a great repair manual. 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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