99 Grand Caravan DIY Serpentine Belt Replacement

Does anyone (hopefully Glenn Beasley reads this) have any suggestions on how to get enough slack to fully install a new serpentine belt? I've tried everything
I can think of. I have a 15mm open end wrench on the tensioner with a 1/2 drive torque wrench in the box end. I'm bottoming out the tensioner but still cannot get enough slack to get the belt over the last pulley. I've tried using the alternator, the tensioner, and the idler pulley as the final connection.
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.
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tootienkyle

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"tootienkyle" < snipped-for-privacy@no-mx.carstalk.net> wrote in message
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I've done it twice now. The first time was a real pain, trying to keep the belt on all the pulleys while trying to pull ont he tensoner....didn't seem like the belt was the right size.
I've found the job to be much easier using duct-tape. Place the belt on the p/s, main, alt and idle pulleys and duct tape them in position with a three inch peice of tape. Pull the tensoner, slip on the belt and viola! job done and all my friends and relatives are impressed.
I just did it about an hour ago...trouble is, my tensoner pulley must be worn as it sits at a slight angle from the other pulleys and the belt is *just* on the edge of it. That's not going to be as easy...or cheap.
good luck

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tootienkyle,
I used the box end of a ratcheting 15mm wrench on the tensioner, and at the open end I was able to get my hollow handled hydraulic floor jack handle over one jaw. If I get the ratchet set correctly, there is plenty of room to de-tension the belt for easy removal or installation.
Change the belt, tensioner, and water pump all at once. If the replacement tensioner looks like OEM, go somewhere else as OEM is junk (1999), so the clones of junk are no better. I found one at O'Reilly's using a thick coil spring instead of the OEM style using a coiled flat ribbon. This unit was heavy duty and the pulley did not tilt when the belt tensions like OEM.
Jim

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