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I have an 2004 Ford Freestar and I am changing the alternator. I cannot loosen the tension to slip the belt back on. the ratchet I have is too big to fit in this small space Is there something I can do, or maybe a size I need. I do not want to strip the bolt.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Angel, You should be able to add an extension to have more clearance, if not try a shorter ratchet. You can also try to use a wrench with a cheater bar for leverage.

Bogi Lateiner, Owner and Technician at 180 Degrees Automotive Hi Angel, You will probably have better luck using a ratchet and the correct size socket. I don*t know off hand what size that is, but you will likely want to get just a small socket set instead of just one socket. Definitely do not want to strip the bolt - it will cost you lots more money in the long run. Take your time and you will get it! Good luck Bogi Lateiner

Karen Davis, Service Manager at Smith Stokes There should be a square on the tensioner that you can insert the ratchet into to pry up on the tensioner to loosen the belt instead of having to use a socket. Good luck

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