OTC 7654A Serpentine Belt Installation Tool

Last updated date: July 9, 2020

DWYM Score
9.3

OTC 7654A Serpentine Belt Installation Tool

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We looked at the top Serpentine Belt Tools and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Serpentine Belt Tool you should buy.

Overall Take

This tool is specifically designed for help in maneuvering the actual serpentine belt — not releasing the tension bar. That said, it makes the placement of the belt much easier. The three-pronged head is designed to fit into grooves on both V-belts and timing belts. In our analysis of 2 expert reviews, the OTC OTC 7654A Serpentine Belt Installation Tool placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 9, 2020:
Checkout The Best Serpentine Belt Tool for a detailed review of all the top serpentine belt tools.

Expert Summarized Score
0.0
0 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.8
71 user reviews
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From The Manufacturer

The OTC 7654A has a three-pin design to accommodate serpentine, V-belts and timing belts and provides extra control for push/pull applications. Ergonomic handle gives technician twisting control to install belts in confined, hard to reach areas. 25" long. This durable tool provides extra control and reach during serpentine belt installation.

Overall Product Rankings

Performance Tool W89716 Serpentine Belt Tool, 16-Piece
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Overall Score: 9.9
Expert Reviews: 1
Powerbuilt 648629 Alltrade 52 Serpentine Belt Tool Set
2. Powerbuilt 648629 Alltrade 52 Serpentine Belt Tool Set
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OEM TOOLS 25149 Serpentine Belt Tool Set
3. OEM TOOLS 25149 Serpentine Belt Tool Set
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 1
OTC 7654A Serpentine Belt Installation Tool
4. OTC 7654A Serpentine Belt Installation Tool
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 0
GEARWRENCH Serpentine Belt Tool Set, 15-Pieces
5. GEARWRENCH Serpentine Belt Tool Set, 15-Pieces
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 0
EWK Mini Cooper Serpentine Tool Belt Tensioner
6. EWK Mini Cooper Serpentine Tool Belt Tensioner
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 0
ATD Tools 8604 Tru-Grip Serpentine Belt Tool
7. ATD Tools 8604 Tru-Grip Serpentine Belt Tool
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 0
CTA Tools 1016 Mini Cooper Serpentine Belt Tool Set
8. CTA Tools 1016 Mini Cooper Serpentine Belt Tool Set
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 0
Lisle 59000 Ratcheting Serpentine Belt Tool
10. Lisle 59000 Ratcheting Serpentine Belt Tool
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 0

An Overview On Serpentine Belt Tools

There are tools in a mechanic’s garage that are absolutely necessary and are well suited to a variety of jobs: The ratchet wrench, pliers, a crowbar and the like. Let’s be clear that a serpentine belt tool is not one of those items. It’s specifically designed for one job, although it can be surprisingly adaptable (especially in cramped spaces). But ask any mechanic who has had to that difficult job and they’ll swear by this deceptively simple bar.

First, a little background on the serpentine belt. This aptly-named strip of reinforced rubber is an essential part of the system that drives any component not powered directly by the car’s engine. Most often, that includes but is not limited to the alternator, power steering, emissions control systems and the water pump. As you can imagine, things can go south very quickly if this belt breaks or slips off its pulleys — but it does happen.

The problem is that replacing this simple belt can be a time-consuming activity for any professional mechanic, not to mention an amateur one. The belt snakes over a series of pulleys that are attached to the accessories that it powers, and those pulleys are usually placed far apart in cramped areas towards the front of the engine compartment. In most cars, there is a tension mechanism that you can adjust with a wrench, thereby loosening the belt. Mechanics might need to remove several components like the wheel well or engine cover in order to get enough elbow room to loosen that tensioner — if they’re doing it the hard way.

The easy way is to use a serpentine belt tool. Bear in mind there are actually two types of serpentine belt tools: One specifically designed for getting to and adjusting that pesky tensioner, and the other to help you grab and place the belt.

In its most basic form, the first kind is a long, thin bar with a drive square on one end. Once you put the correct socket on, you’ve got a wrench that can extend down into the hard-to-reach areas under the hood. You can use it to adjust the tensioner without having to take half your car apart, and that can save a lot of time and sweat.

These tools will often come in kits that include not just an array of common sockets for the job, but one or more extension bars. In some cars, the tensioner isn’t just placed in a tight spot; it can also be in an awkward one. Extension bars can be added to the end of a serpentine belt tool, allowing you to get leverage from a variety of angles. In many cases, you can even fasten a standard wrench onto the end of the tool.

The second kind of serpentine belt tool is used not to loosen the pulleys, but to manipulate the belt itself. Serpentine belts can wind across many pulleys in spots that are even more difficult to access than the tensioner. A serpentine belt installation tool is a long rod with a two or three-pronged fork at the end. This fork is situated at a right angle to the main bar, and the tines are meant to fit between the grooves in the belt. This makes it much easier to grab and stretch over pulleys without having to actually reach them.

In either case, you’ll want it made of sturdy metal. That’s especially true for the first type of serpentine belt tool, which is going to be subject to a lot of pushing and pulling. A selection of the different socket sizes is a big plus, especially if you plan to work on more vehicles than just your own. And don’t overlook the grip: A non-slip rubber handle can make all the difference when you’re leaning into a too-tight tensioner.

DWYM Fun Fact

Serpentine belts are fairly ubiquitous these days, but they’re actually a fairly recent innovation. The first cars to use a serpentine belt were Ford Mustangs in the late 1970s, thanks to the design of inventor Jim Vance. They quickly caught on, and by the mid-80s were commonplace in most cars.

The Serpentine Belt Tool Buying Guide

It’s typically pretty easy to tell if your serpentine belt needs to replaced in the first place. There are even tiny gauges that can measure the acceptable level of wear in your grooves if you really want to do your own diagnosis. But while you’re looking for wear, check your tensioner arm first by giving it a look while the engine is running. A smoothly-operating tensioner should run without wobbling in the belt at all, though the tensioner itself might vibrate slightly. If the tensioner arm is moving side to side by 1/4 inch or more, you may want to have it replaced before it puts more wear onto a new serpentine belt.