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Old 11-25-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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After asking the question on this forum as to ifthis wasa doable project, I want to report on the success of same, and a simple "how to".

Simply put, it was a piece of cake.

It took about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. This includes laying on my back under the MH devedlping a stategy on how to do it.

The replacement belt is a Gates Micro V, K061080, and cost $31(they make a cheaper model but feel that this upgrade was worth the extra $5 or $6)

A routing diagram is necessary unless you still have part of the belt still on the engine so you can see the routing.

Although the WH manual says to remove the air intake duct, I found on my Damon Challenger, I could get in behind the wheels and still reach the belt with my hands or the below noted awning tool.

Required tools - a 3/8" rachet wrench and the awning tool

1. lifted the MH in the front so that the wheels were off the ground ( I know that this is not "recommended" , but it gives you a lot more working room.

2. Turned the wheels in order to get working room behind the tires

3. From underneath, with routing diagram down there with me, placed the belt around the lower pulleys (held it in place with a piece of duct tape), pushed the double belt behind the tension
device and up toward the alternator.

4. Turned the wheels so I could get up behind the left tire (with the rig up, I could sqeeze in behind the tire - and I an 6', 200#) Using the "all in one tool" (the awning rod)I hooked the belt and pulled it over the upper left pulley.

5. Turned the wheels again, so I could reach the belt from teh right side,and put it over the alternator pulley.

6. Back underneath to put a 3/8" rachet on the tensioning device, rotated it back, aligned the belt, let the tension device return to position, and "Whaa La" - job done!

To the gentleman who replied to my initial question and said he paid in excess of $250 to have belt replaced - you got ripped off to the tune of labor at about $400 an hour!!! I had teh jobdone in teh aforementioned 20 minutes, saved $250 and had plenty of time to have a martini (too many carbs in beer)

I don't know about the authorized WH facilities that are truck operations, but I am convinced that WH repair facilities that are automobile dealers (primariy Chevy) will overcharge you on work every time! After all they have to pay for those flashy new buildings somehow.

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Old 11-25-2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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After asking the question on this forum as to ifthis wasa doable project, I want to report on the success of same, and a simple "how to".

Simply put, it was a piece of cake.

It took about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. This includes laying on my back under the MH devedlping a stategy on how to do it.

The replacement belt is a Gates Micro V, K061080, and cost $31(they make a cheaper model but feel that this upgrade was worth the extra $5 or $6)

A routing diagram is necessary unless you still have part of the belt still on the engine so you can see the routing.

Although the WH manual says to remove the air intake duct, I found on my Damon Challenger, I could get in behind the wheels and still reach the belt with my hands or the below noted awning tool.

Required tools - a 3/8" rachet wrench and the awning tool

1. lifted the MH in the front so that the wheels were off the ground ( I know that this is not "recommended" , but it gives you a lot more working room.

2. Turned the wheels in order to get working room behind the tires

3. From underneath, with routing diagram down there with me, placed the belt around the lower pulleys (held it in place with a piece of duct tape), pushed the double belt behind the tension
device and up toward the alternator.

4. Turned the wheels so I could get up behind the left tire (with the rig up, I could sqeeze in behind the tire - and I an 6', 200#) Using the "all in one tool" (the awning rod)I hooked the belt and pulled it over the upper left pulley.

5. Turned the wheels again, so I could reach the belt from teh right side,and put it over the alternator pulley.

6. Back underneath to put a 3/8" rachet on the tensioning device, rotated it back, aligned the belt, let the tension device return to position, and "Whaa La" - job done!

To the gentleman who replied to my initial question and said he paid in excess of $250 to have belt replaced - you got ripped off to the tune of labor at about $400 an hour!!! I had teh jobdone in teh aforementioned 20 minutes, saved $250 and had plenty of time to have a martini (too many carbs in beer)

I don't know about the authorized WH facilities that are truck operations, but I am convinced that WH repair facilities that are automobile dealers (primariy Chevy) will overcharge you on work every time! After all they have to pay for those flashy new buildings somehow.

title typo
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for a great post Kayo, I love the DIY tips on this site...
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Old 11-25-2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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Just wondering, when do you need to start looking at replacing the fan belt? I noticed that you have a 2004. Was there a problem with your old belt or just trying to stay ahead of any problems down the road?

Thanks for posting this, I will do my own and save the money.
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Old 11-25-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Paul and Sue:
Just wondering, when do you need to start looking at replacing the fan belt? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>The fan belt has a 100,000 mile duty schedule. It should not need replacing unless problems arise with the belt itself which could be due to some type of mechanical failure.

No body should have to pay $400.00 labor to have a fan belt installed at a WCC service center. There is a shop book that tells you what they allow for a belt install and that's all you should be held liable to pay.
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #6
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My mechanic wants me to change the idler pulley (tensioner) whenever
I replace the fan belt. Said it is cheap insurannce, so I do!!

Dont know what the workhorse position is?
Drive what say you! TENN.
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
No body should have to pay $400.00 labor to have a fan belt installed at a WCC service center. There is a shop book that tells you what they allow for a belt install and that's all you should be held liable to pay.[/QUOTE]

If I paided $200 for an oil change and $200 for a tire rotation at a WCC service center, then $400 for a belt change sounds possible. Maybe someone should be checking on the WCC srevice centers???
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Old 11-25-2006, 05:13 PM   #8
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Good Job Kayo, I was wondering what the "awning tool" was but I figured it out. Good idea!
Why did you change yours? Cracks? Seems some belts last a long time and others start cracking in a year or so.
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Old 11-26-2006, 04:03 AM   #9
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Ireplaced the belt after is partially self destructed (half ofthe beltremained on the pulleys) While they may claim that it is a 100,000 belt there were several replies to my original post that this is not always the case .

And Driver, the $400 per hour was a mathamatical calculation based on the time it "actually" takes to replacethe belt, and not anything that is written in a flat rate labor manual. A flat rate manual was develped in order to come upwith a method of paying a mechanic so much money to perform a given task. If he (or she)can do it faster than the alloted time, they make more money. The hourly rate in the book is what is charged to the customer, regardless of how long it really takes. Most of, if not all autmotive shops that deal in RV's charge $100 or more per flat rate hour. In two cases that I know of, the RV rate is $10 to $20 more than charged for automotive repair work.
Lastly, automotive operations use a term of "service absorption", which means that they try to cover as much of the dealership's total operating cost in the sevice department as they can,leaving vehicle sales to come up with the operating profit.

I do know that the gentleman in question claims that he paid over $250 to have a belt changed. I changed the belt in 20 minutes, and I am sure a mechanic could do it in less time.

I have no idea what the book says about a fan belt replacement, but if it is more than an hour, it is somthing that favors the dealer and not the RV owner. Also, there is no law or rule that I am aware of that prohibits a dealer for charging more than the listed time for any repair requires the dealer to change anything hewants to for any given operation, or to "add" other things to it.

I think it would behove all of us to ask going in what a task is going to cost. I also feel that an RV owner has to have some basic mechaical know-how or the "adventure" is going to cost them an arm and a leg
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:34 AM   #10
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Most rate books used by auto, truck, and RV dealers or authorized repair centers designate a standardized task time for each event.

My experience has been that these rates are considered guides and are not always followed. The local hourly labor rate will greatly influenace the bottom line.

I have found that getting an estimated cost from the shop is a good idea. If it seems high, I ask them what the rate book suggests. I try to negotiate a lower price. This usually brings the final cost down some. If I get resistance, I will report them everytime !!
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:13 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by kayo:
And Driver, the $400 per hour was a mathematical calculation based on the time it "actually" takes to replace the belt, and not anything that is written in a flat rate labor manual. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>You can calculate this thing any way you want but according to the "Engine Mechanical" Labor rate page; Serpentine Belt, Drive - Replace Labor Code: J0667- Base Hours: 0.5Hrs.

My suggestion is that there is no need to go to extremes or off the chart when having to deal with these types of issues.

A good consumer is their own best friend and if any service is required by a customer out of warranty all that is required is a simple call to the TAC to get pre-oriented with how much a process should cost and then you can proceed as an informed consumer.

Remember these and many answers can be obtained right here for FREE.

Yet another service brought to you by ... Your friendly neighborhood iRV2 web site.
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:54 AM   #12
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I'm the guy who paid $273.40 for the fan belt change. I know I paid too much. Here's my 2 cents:
The info provided on this forum is much appreciated, and congrats to those who can make the change. But consider this:
-I'm on the shoulder of I-95 in Maryland; lots of heavy traffic. Not a good place to conduct maint.
-Did not have diagrams & tech data
-Did not have a spare belt
-Did not have the benefit of excellent info from this forum.
-I'm not a mechanic
-I was in a hurry to visit my son who was in the hospital, from an accident, resulting in broken bones in his back.

Under the circumstances, perhaps some of you would have taken similar actions, regardless of cost.

Respectfully,

Thudman
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:27 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Thudman:
I'm the guy who paid $273.40 for the fan belt change. I know I paid too much. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Thudman, Under those circumstances and given the imperative of getting back on the road you did OK. If whatever you paid for the service is agreeable with "you" who's to say you paid too much.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:36 AM   #14
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All that DriVer said. Circumstances make it so. I would have done no different.
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