How to Install a Pulley on a 1989 Ford F-150

Replacing the main crankshaft, or lower, pulley on the 1989 Ford F-150 is a simple task that is complicated only by the fact the radiator must be removed to gain access to it. Although different pulleys are found on the Ford F-150 engine, including the alternator, air conditioner and water pump pulleys, the main crankshaft pulley is located at the lowest position at the front of the engine, below the fan. By following the steps in order and being organized, the installation of the main crankshaft pulley can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

Tools Used: 3/8-drive socket wrench, Socket set, Wrench set, Drain pan, three-gallon capacity, Large screwdriver or prying bar, Medium flat-head screwdriver, Coolant

Install a Pulley

Remove the radiator cap, overflow tube and open the radiator drain plug located at the bottom rear of the radiator. Drain the coolant into a pan underneath the radiator. When drained, close the plug and properly dispose the coolant.

Loosen hose clamps of the upper and lower hoses attached to the radiator using a screwdriver, and pull the hoses off the radiator. Keep the drain pan handy because excess coolant will come out of the hoses.

Use a socket wrench with the appropriate size socket to remove the shroud retaining bolts. Remove the shroud and place it on the engine. Remove the bolts surrounding the radiator, being sure to put all bolts in a safe location before pulling the radiator out of the Ford F-150. When removing the radiator, be sure not to damage it by hitting it against the fan blades.

Locate the belts that loop the pulley. Follow each belt to the unit that it drives and look either for a pivot bolt or an adjustment bolt. When these bolts are sufficiently loosened, each unit can be moved to loosen and remove the belt. Move the belts out of the way, but keep them on the specific pulley to prevent later confusion. Write down which belt goes where on the crankshaft pulley.

Remove the bolt holding the pulley using a socket wrench and the appropriate socket. Install the new pulley by bolting it in place.

Reattach the belts to the new pulley and adjust belt tension using the pivot or adjustment bolts. It may be necessary to use a large screwdriver to pry the unit tight enough before securing the adjusting bolt. According to Haynes Repair Manuals, the belt should have about 1/4-inch play if the belt length is shorter than 12 inches from pulley center-to-center and 1/8-inch to 3/8-inch if longer.

Reinstall the radiator, hoses and shroud by following the removal steps in reverse. Reattach the negative battery cable and fill the radiator to the appropriate level. Fill the radiator until the fluid is visible, start the engine and add more fluid until full.

Tips & Warnings

When installing a new pulley it's a good idea to check all the belts for wear and replace with new ones if needed.

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