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Old 08-17-2019, 03:07 PM   #1
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Anyone change the serpentine belt and tensioner on a ISC 8.3 rear radiator engine.=?

I have been hearing a squeak, squeak, squeak or chirp, chirp chirp from the engine area for the last couple of thousand miles. I haven't pin pointed the noise yet but after reading some other posts I suspect it may be the belt tensioner.
They were changed about 50,000 miles ago but if I determine the tensioner is bad then I want to change it and the belt also.
Has anyone done it themselves on a rear radiator motorhome. I know Its a lot harder to access the tensioner and belt then a side radiator but they did it at a Monaco service center without removing the radiator so it can be done.
Would appreciate your response on how difficult a job it was if you've done it yourself.
Thanks
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:19 PM   #2
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I've got the same engine and rear radiator config and would also like to hear from someone who has done this.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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very easy to do,
Mine is easy to get to from the closet floor.
The tensioner only has 1 bolt holding it on.
20 min job
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #4
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Answered my own question I believe. The tensioner may be somewhat easy to change however I revisited a old post from back in Sept. of 2009 where I asked about changing the serpentine belts.
A gentleman posted back with pretty good instructions on how he did it.
I remember now looking back at how to change the belts and thinking it would be a bear.
In that case I ended up waiting another 2.5 years and 18000 miles before I had the old Monaco service center change the belts out at 56000 miles while I had other work done there.
So now that I'm 10 years older I think it just might be harder to get in those contortions in the hatch area in the closet.
Think I'll just pay a shop to change the belts and tensioner.
In case you want to read his instructions it was in the Cummins forum dated 9/7/2009. Good luck to you if you decide to go for it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:32 PM   #5
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I've done it in my Ambassador. It is not easy, but can be done. My biggest problem was my belt actually broke, so I didn't know the routing, and it took an hour to figure out where it was routed to! It takes a lot of work to get the tensioner all the way to the limit to give enough slack to get the belt on (I used a breaker bar and some rope to hold it) but figure an hour or two if you know the routing, and double that if you don't.

My coach is a rear full bath, and I did not remove the closet doors/extra access panel though I probably should have as it would have saved time. Oh, and two people (one on the top, one underneath) make routing the belt easier.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:35 PM   #6
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I did mine by myself, would have been easier with help. I only had to remove the left side radiator bracket to allow the tensioner to swing far enough to clear the belt.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
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I finally crawled under the back of the motorhome today to again look and see if I could see the belt tensioner and the general difficulty I might encounter trying to change the belts and the tensioner. I actually came away thinking maybe it wasn't as difficult as I first thought. Seems to be enough room to work the belt around the fan blade probably one blade at a time and routing it seems doable from left and right of the engine from the ground and from the closet access hatch.
But then a post responder kind of got me thinking with the two people is a lot easier and also moving the tensioner difficulty comments.
Funny thing is while I was under there with the engine running I didn't hear any of the chirp or squeak I have been hearing. I got out from under thinking the exhaust or engine noise was blocking it out but still didn't hear the noise.
I did see a little movement in the tensioner but I think that is normal movement and the job of the tensioner. Not slop but the direction that the spring allows it to move. Someone point out if that is incorrect.
The big drawback as I see it to doing it yourself is getting the air conditioner belt out of the way and working alone. Really don't have anyone to help me. Don't think wife is going to crawl on ground or get in the closet over the engine.
Talked to service manager today at a truck repair shop and he says they can do it pretty quickly so I think I am going that route.
Appreciate every ones comments and help.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:30 PM   #8
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I did replace the belt, but not the tensioner, on my Damon Tuscany 2011 with rear bathroom. Having access to the top of the engine through the access in the bathroom floor, was able to do the work by my self alone. The most difficult part was disconnecting and connecting the cable bracket which connects the fan control module with the collar on the fan hub, which activates the fan clutch. Making sure, that the collar on the fan hub is properly aligned when reconnecting the cable bracket, is very important. You need to disconnect the cable bracket to be able to get the belt over the fan pulley. Hope, this is help full information.
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