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Old 02-25-2021, 08:55 PM   #1
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 125
anyone changed drive belt themselves ? 35L 8.1 gas

have bought the correct serpentine belt, idler and tensioner supposedly (sad we can not just replace the bearings in them !).

now need to determine how hard to reach all the areas to replace those parts, dog house and from below access.

will be doing it in a cg and they do not like mechanic work done but this involves zero fluids so should not be a big deal - but will be very visible since in front of mh.

how PIA was it and can you reach those parts to remove/replace w/o too much trouble ?


video would be nice !!!!!

ps: did a search but the search on this forum is pretty bad and finds many/most posts completely unrelated.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:50 AM   #2
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I wasn't sure what a 35L 8.1 Gas was so I Googled it and it seems it's a Workhorse Chassis with the 8.1L engine. Searching for serpentine belt changes on the Workhorse 8.1 I came up with this thread over on

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-06-2021, 08:17 PM   #3
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Was really hoping for some REAL 'hands on' knowledge on how to reach from above or if forced to reach from below (both i suspect) to accomplish changing belt, tensioner, idle pulley.

I guess we have few DIY here in this respect.

I tried ! it might have helped some. Oh well

Now begins the task of PAINFUL hand cuts and bleeding journey to perform this nearly trivial task on a pickup which will surely be 10x PIA on mh - just the access issues and the self discovery of how to hurt hands/arms the most- UGH Yuck.

ps: if you know anything about mh's and wineybagels, 8.1 already says a workhorse chassis and a 35L is the model/floorplan only used for 2007-2010 yrs - a w24 chassis if it really matters which it almost certainly does not - i guess? a w22 would be as painful access as a w24 via smallish dog house where access is needed most !?

Thanks anyhow.
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Old 03-12-2021, 04:06 PM   #4
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I replaced the belt on my 2003 Adventurer 35u about a month ago. 8.1L engine. It took me about 20 minutes but now that I know how to do it could be done in half the time. I didn't replace the idler like you mentioned.

From under the rig I used a ratchet to rotate the idler so that I could remove the belt enough to release tension. Then from the up in the rig I removed the doghouse cover and pulled the belt up. Went in reverse order to install it back on. I was say that overall its an easy change.
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:57 AM   #5
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thanks but really i wanted the 'how' to change the tensioner and the idle pulley, as it will be the BEARINGS that fail NOT the actual pulley drums - they are a long reach from bottom and nearly impossible from above - at least in my doghouse - very tight.

and yes changing the belt seems fairly easy, not as easy as a truck but 'painfully' easy - found the actual 'official' way and it says to leave the idler pulley out until last - then use tensioner to ease belt under that.

WATCH them bearings, the only reason i changed those parts !!

Some ppl carry a couple of the bearings (all same size) and a bearing puller ( can make one cheap ) to fix when on road or when suspect bearing issues.

ps: a frozen a/c compressor or maybe a water pump could kill your belt - should keep the old one as an emergency belt - some carry a larger/diff idler pulley and shorter belt if a/c compressor bearing goes - until a compressor can be replaced.

GL !
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:35 PM   #6
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I use a sleeping mat to lay on the top of the engine. One of those blue closed-cell foam things used in a tent. Get a serpentine belt tool to re & re the belt. The idlers and tensioner are just bolted on the block.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:25 PM   #7
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Finished my belt and idler and tensioner replacement, was NOT fun, lots of go underneat mh and then back to doghouse.

Used masking tape to keep belt on but only kinda worked a stronger tape would work better.

in my case leaving the tensioner until last pulley to pull belt over seemed to work better than the suggested by GM of leaving belt off of the idler pulley.

w/ 2 ppl, i guess that the idler pulley is easier but for 1 person, putting belt on tensioner will pulling tensioner makes mo sense, but takes both hands of course.

Glad it is over, i would guess it is at least 10x harder than a relatively easy pickup belt/pulley change !!!

ps: and boy do i have scraps and left skin on a few parts of engine putting those parts on ! No bleeding No work done ??

pps: idler pulley bearing seem tight and fine, but tensioner had a bit of play in it - neither needed replacing at the time but glad now done.
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ems, gas

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