Today we are looking at what is involved in replacing the drivebelt on a V6 VT Commodore. This is a nice easy job as long as you have either a 15mm spanner or 15mm socket and ratchet.
The spring-loaded belt tensioner is a little tricky to get to as the top radiator hose can get in the way but all it takes is a push down with the spanner and there will be enough slack in the belt to slide it off the waterpump pulley (we use the waterpump as the first and last pulley to remove/fit the belt as it is the largest pulley without a ‘locating groove’).
When the belt is completely removed from the waterpump pulley you can then release the tensioner (be careful as it can spring back rather quickly!). Once the tensioner is released, remove the belt from the rest of the pulleys and get ready to fit the new belt.
I find that starting with the alternator pulley and working my way around the rest of the pulleys while leaving the waterpump till last is the easiest method. Once you have the belt in place, run your hand around all of the pulleys to ensure that the belt is positioned correctly in the grooves.
Grab your 15mm spanner or socket and push down on the tensioner and slide the belt over the waterpump pulley and release the tensioner. If there is not enough slack in the belt to be able to slide it over the waterpump pulley or the slack is not taken up by the tensioner check how you have routed the belt and the size of the new belt – for a standard VT V6 with air conditioning the belt size is 6PK2830, which will be printed somewhere on the non-grooved side.
If all looks good start the engine and double-check that the belt is running correctly. Below are the belt route diagrams for the standard (with A/C) VT 6 cylinder, VT 6 cylinder without A/C and the info for the separate belt on the supercharged engines.