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I want to be able to take my alternator out myself, but the only thing that is stopping me is how to properly take off the belt and loosen the auto tensioner.. Could anyone help me out? I assume the belt doesn't have to come off but just needs to be pretty loose to slide the alternator out.
 

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Remove the old serpentine belt (aka drive belt). To do this, you place your breaker bar with the appropriate sized socket on the drive belt tensioner and pull the bar toward the driver's side. The belt will become slack and you can remove it.

draw a picture of the belt route so you can get it back together correctly
 
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