BA Falcon Drivebelt Replacement

Today we are taking a look at what is involved in replacing the serpentine belt on a 4.0 BA Falcon.

These first two steps are not compulsory, I do these to get better access to the belt and tensioner however you can replace the belt without doing them. I start by removing the two phillips-head screws that attach the air intake to the radiator support panel and removing the air intake.


Then remove the top two 10mm bolts that hold the electric fans in place, seperate the electrical connection to the fans which is located on the drivers side not far from the fan housing.

A gentle pull on the top of the fan housing and a little bit of manouvering and the fan housing will come out. Note the fitment of the coolant resevior hose between the fan housing and the top of the radiator.


Using a 3/8 drive ratchet fiited into the slot in the tensioner, push down on the tensioner and remove the belt from the waterpump pulley. Release the tensioner and completely remove the old belt. Note that the belt is fitted behind the tensioner pulley.


Fit the new belt following the above diagram, remembering to fit the belt from the back of the tensioner pulley. I start with the crankshaft pulley and work my way around in a anti-clockwise direction with the belt and leave the belt off the waterpump pulley until the tensioner is moved down.

Once you have the belt in position push down on the ratchet again, slide the belt over the waterpump pulley and release the tensioner and remove the ratchet. Be sure to double-check that the belt is running correctly on each pulley.

Once satisfied that all is good slide the fan housing into place, refit the two 10mm bolts in the top and don’t forget to fit the coollant resevior hose back into place before doing the bolts up. Refit the air intake and screws. Start the engine and check that the belt is running correctly and you are all done.

54 thoughts on “BA Falcon Drivebelt Replacement

  1. Thanks for the information, the photos where very helpful. I was going to get a mechanic until I came across your page. Luckily it worked for my EF.

  2. Champion! I’m sure you can imagine how annoyed I was getting, belt seemed way too long (it came off while driving so I didn’t get to check the position of the old one). Bookmarked your site for future reference. Thanks mate.

  3. Hi Craig
    Thanks for this info. Moving the tensioner with the 3/8 ratchet and removing the electric fans, is this done the same way on the AU? Thanks Col.

  4. Hi Colin,
    Yep, follow these steps for the AU as well. I think the only difference is the tensioner is in a different place.
    If you need any more help please send me an email.

  5. Hi Craig

    Thanks for the info. The belt and two idlers now replaced on the AU. Going by your pic AU and BA look very similar. Do you have any thoughts on the following, I have an AU series 3 sedan 117,000 km. It has a drive line type vibration and drown around 55kmh that you can hear and feel. It does not vibrate you out of the car but is noticeable. It is there at faster speeds but not as bad. It is made more noticeable the more the back of the vehicle is pushed down, weight in the boot, dip in road. The tail shaft has been changed with one from another AU of lower mileage, making no difference. I know it is very difficult with out driving the car, but I was wondering if you had come across this one before. Thanks for help already given, and thanks for any thoughts you can give on this vibration. Col.

  6. Hello.

    Thaks for this info. Just made what would ahve been 2 to 3 hours of discovery on my AUII VCT a 30 minute job. Very grateful.

    I’m with colin though [ie it didn’t fix my problem], I have a whining noise coming off the belt somewhere. I check all the wheels for rotation and they all rotate relatively freely. The Alternator was quite heavy though I think this seems normal as it’s seems like a weighted item which keeps rotating for a bit once you stop. Any tips on how to locate such a noise?

  7. Hi Collin, Sounds a bit like wheel bearings my friend. If its worse as you say going over dips and more constant when you have a load in the boot or a couple of larger people in the back I’d put my money on rears at least. Worth a shot.
    Also thanks to Craig for his photos…well done!


  8. Mik,
    Yes, the setup is similar on your vehicle. Basically the tensioner is the same and is moved in the same way. The only differences that I can remember are the belt is routed differently and there is a plastic cover that sits on top of the power steer pump and runs across the tappet cover to the thermostat housing and needs to be removed to allow easier access to the belt. One 10mm nut on the thermostat housing side and removing the lid of the power steer reservoir will allow removal of this cover.


  9. Wow when I picked up my new drive belt from Repco the guy there said are you going to do this yourself, I said yes he then commented that it took his mechanic 3 hours. I found this web site and it took me an amazing 12 minutes well done what a fantastic site keep up the good work. David. 2000 AUII Forte

  10. do you have instructions on this topic for the BA V8?
    I need to change the alternator and any detail would be much appreciated.

  11. Thank you for posting this detailed information. It has greatly helped me to replace my alternator ($50 from the wreckers)on my 98 XH ute.
    My local auto elec would have charged me around $200 fitted, for a change-over item. Works great, cheap repair.

  12. Hi Craig
    Great information. I would like to meet the stupid Ford engineer who designed the bracket to take a 3/8 inch drive when the standard size in everyones tool kit is 1/2 inch. Instead of buying you a beer you can collect it together with free accomdation if you every visit Johannesburg, South Africa.

  13. funny little thing just happened this mate done a pulley on his au series 2 and we forgot how the belt went back on…..after waiting by the road for nealy an hour to get a belt map…we were just about to put the belt ver the the power steer pulley and his wife pointed out the belt diagram on the underside of the bonnet………..haha

  14. Paul,
    Love it! Don’t mean to laugh but I suppose that’s all you can do in those situations! If only a few more manufacturers would do the same there would be less frustration I’m sure.

    Take Care,

  15. every time i putt petrol into my car the car will not start it miss and back fires only wen petrol gose in the car

  16. Just spent hours taking the tensioner and stuff off. Wish I had seen this sooner. I have an Au2 and we spend about 3 hours trying to get the stuff back on.

  17. Daveman, exact same principle with the spring loaded tensioner. The only differences are that the pulleys/components are in a slightly different configuration and you will have a cover that needs to be removed that sits over the power steering pump and is bolted to the thermostat housing with a 10mm nut.

    Also the air intake to the air filter box will need to be removed before you can remove the electric cooling fans (two phillips head screws). You can change the belt without removing the fans but after the amount of skin I’ve lost doing it that way I always recommend you remove them first. I also recommend that you write down the route that the belt follows before you remove the old one, that is if there is no diagram sticker on the inside of the bonnet.

    Hope that helps.


  18. Hi Craig,
    I have a drone / whine that comes from the drivers side front, maybe the wheel. happens after about 5 to 10min of driving. I’m thinking wheel bearings???? (ba fairlane)

  19. I did this on my EL without removing the fans, just the power steer cover. 3/8 ratchet with a jack handle attached, 5-10 minute job.

  20. Hi Craig,

    Bloody oath I’ll buy you a beer. Great site. Even having a stroker HK streeter that I run at the drags,I don’t pretend to know everything. Thanks mate,I knew there’d be a simple trick to it.

    Just 8’s Car Club Sunshine Coast inc

  21. Many thanks. Actually stated this job and it looked more difficult than it should. So good old google lead me to you great site and advise. Think it will save me hours. many thanks and keep up the great work. Ta.

  22. Man, this is the best “tutorial” I’ve found, however, I,ve just got one question:

    Whats the socket size of the 3/8 drive ratchet ? How many mm? I ask that because I only got the 3/8 so that i’ve gotta buy the specific socket size.

    Thanks, appreciate!

  23. Hi,
    The ratchet end itself is used to move the belt tensioner, as in no sockets are needed, just the ‘drive’ of a 3/8 ratchet will fit into the tensioner.

    Hope that helps!


  24. Thanks Craig, this was a great find.
    Never owned a Ford before so finding out how to do this so simply without having to remove the fan shroud is brilliant.

    Just one question though:
    Those two small alignment marks on the tensioner …. One is on the fixed tensioner base & the other one is on the movable arm. Where should they sit when the belt is in good condition /correct fit etc.?

  25. hi ive just replaced my belt and idler pulley but now it squeals.
    it only happens on start up for about 5 seconds then it stops. also when I put ac on it does it 5 sec again.

    ive gone through 3 belts trying to stop it, have degreased engine twice plus tried belt grip and cooking oil spray. could it be the auto tensioner? do they go slack over time? 244 thou on the clock

    cheers trav

  26. Had a whining noise coming from my engine bay, thought it was my turbo at first, but decided to take off my drive belt, and stumbled upon this.

    Very helpful, took the belt off in about 10 minutes, and the whine was gone once started.

  27. Thank you, the diagram was a lifesaver, my came off while driving, so had no idea how to fit it correctly

  28. Hi Craig, I have a xr6 ba 2003, there is a noise coming from my belt I think, goes faster as revs increase, ideas? Also noticed a loud ticking sound quite loud from around the engine, any help would be appreciated thanks.

  29. I don’t even know the way I stopped up right here, but I
    believed this publish used to be good. I don’t recognise who you’re however
    certainly you are going to a famous blogger should you are not already.

  30. Well, it had me bluffed.
    I couldn’t move the tensioner far enough to fit the belt.
    But I was trying to put the belt over the power steering pulley like the book says.

    Putting it over the water pump pulley was sooooo much easier.

    I’m now off to find Max Ellery and shove his bloody workshop manual up his arse, opened and wide side first !!!

  31. Hi, Thanks for the items I found them really useful but My AU 3 has a kink, I have bent the handle of a 3/8 Drive breaker bar trying to loosen the tension on the pully via the square hole in same. Do you have any experience of these things jamming ? and how would you suggest I try to fix same

  32. Hi Guys, I thought that I would answer my question myself. This turned into a 5 hour investigation which resulted in me replacing the cast aluminium housing for the tensioner spring and the pulley as well as the idler pulley. The car’s previous owner, faced with a broken tensioner spring or something similar, had drilled the housing and hammered a pin through the spring assy thereby freezing the tensioner. The problem was not a jammed tensioner, it was a low intelligence owner who simply fixed his problem without paying for it. I picked up a replacement for $10 from a wrecker. Thanks for your help and really useful notes, but this one was unfixable.

  33. Hi Craig thx for the advice,
    I have replaced the alternator and belt on ford Fairmont 1997 el . It started after repair and i went for ride all was good even battery was staying charged little more than half. Then next morning car didn’t start battery was flat again. Then with jumper leads from other car it cranks but won’t start. After cranking slowly it cliks. Can you please advice on the matter as I’ve no idea it could be wrong timing, spark plugs , starter or battery etc.

  34. Hi Paul, as long as your battery connections/terminals etc are clean and secure my guess would be a faulty battery. Having said that, were you able to check the charging voltage of the alternator while it was running?

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