In order to remove your serpentine belt, you will need to loosen the adjusting and pivot screws on your alternator as indicated by the arrows above.
Here you can see me loosening up the adjusting screw behind the alternator. A ratchet extension really comes in handy here.
With the alternator loosened, you can slip off the serpentine belt with ease.
Here you can see how my old serpentine belt was worn and falling apart.
I picked up a new Kelly Springfield belt from Autozone for only $17.
This is a diagram of how your serpentine belt should be routed if you have a California 258 without AC.
Use a pry bar to push down your alternator which will tighten up your serpentine belt and then fasten the adjusting and pivot screws to secure it.
Serpentine Belt Replacement
California 258 I-6 without A/C

With the weather getting colder and more humid around here, my CJ developed a high pitched squeal like angry squirels under the hood. This pretty much happened only in the mornings and went away once the engine warmed up and dried things out. I knew this has something to do with my serpentine belt and upon closer inspection, I noticed that it was in fact a tad loose. However, I also noticed that the belt had a few cracks longitudinally and was even missing ribs.... not good!! Fortunately, replacing a serpentine belt is a real cheap ($17 at Autozone) and real easy to do.

Just so you all know, I have a 1981 CJ7 with a California 258. I point this out because unlike the rest of the 49 United States, Jeep was required to build their California 258 with extra smog crap (i.e. air pump) and the belt I used as well as it's routing may be quite different from yours. Be sure to check your FSM or Haynes manual for the exact type of belt and routing you will need to use.

What You Will Need

• Kelly Springfield Serpentine Belt#905K6 (1981 CA 258 Only)
• 9/16", 1/2" Sockets
• Ratchet
• Torque Wrench
• Ratchet Extension
• Pry Bar


1. Pop open your hood and draw a quick diagram or photograph the existing routing of your serpentine belt so you will know how to put the new one back on.

2. Take your ratchet and loosen but do not remove the adjusting and pivot screws on your alternator.

3. With the alternator sitting loose, you should be able to slip off the old serpentine belt off with ease.

4. Refer back to your diagram or photograph and then take your new serpentine belt and install it. I found that it's easiest to start by looping the belt around the drive pulley first and then work your way up ending at the idler. Be sure to install it exactly as before with the ribbed side down. The only place where the ribbed side should show up is from the alternator to the fan/water pump.

5. Tighten up the adjusting and pivot screws just a bit and then slip a pry bar in between the alternator and mounting bracket as shown in the pic to the right. Slowly pry the alternator down until your serpentine belt is tight and then fasten down all the screws to secure it. The adjusting screws need to be torqued to 18 ft. lbs. and the pivot screw to 28 ft. lb.

That should be it. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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