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Serpentine Belt Tool DIY

Serpentine Belt Tool DIY

Neat tricks for the square hole serp belt tool… how to make a serpentine belt tool, depending on which Volvo you drive.

The tool in the images above is for pre ’99 cars, which use the square hole tensioner, which is about 3/4 inch. The later cars either have a 12mm bolt or a difficult to access torx bolt.

Check out the OG serpentine belt tool, an idea I had 15 years ago. Time flies, but luckily these basics don’t.

MVS member guambrocha:

Found a post from someone else on how to make a serpentine belt tool. For a 1.99$ get a pipe cap, grind it with a metal grinder ( duh 😀 ) and then drill a hole through the thread area and use a metal bar to give it some force, I used a big drill bit i had around my garage. It worked just fine. Thanks to the person who came up with this idea, just thought I would spread it and save you 30 dollars as someone else did to me.


1993-1998 models use the square hole tensioner, which is about 3/4 inch.

In the plumbing world, the “1-inch plug” is basically a metal plug that caps a metal pipe with I.D. = 1″.
So the “threaded portion” has a diameter of 1″ but the square part (where you use the adjustable wrench to tighten) can be anywhere between a bit more than 1/2″ to more than 3/4″.

In the past (2 years ago when I “invented” this tool for myself), the square part was more than 3/4″….so besides grinding the threaded part flat on opposing sides (for the adjustable wrench), I had to also grind the square part down to 11/16″ or so to fit inside the hole.

The good news is: Home Depot keeps changing their supplier for parts. So if you walk into Home Depot now, the current 1″ plug has the square part that is exactly 11/16″ (bring a ruler to measure), which fits perfectly into the square hole. All you have to do is file the threaded part flat on opposing sides and that is it. I just did it this last weekend.

Serpentine Belt Tool DIY

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