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Old 09-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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Serpentine Belt

Main and only belt is begining to shred upon returning from my recent 1500 mile trip. It was squealing a little before and I sprayed it with belt dressing. All seemed OK and it looked good before we left.
I keep thinking that something is causing this but can't find a thing wrong and it does run true with no pulley wobbling anywhere that I can see. It has maybe 30K miles on it and came from Advanced Auto. I still have the original with 47K miles and changed it due to age and to have a spare that I knew would work, as they are so easy to change out anywhere along the road. So, for now, I'm off to NAPA this time for maybe some better luck and hopefully all this is due to just a poor quality belt.
What do you all think and what has been your experience with this sort of thing?
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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When you have the belt off be sure to check any pulleys to see if they turn freely. Mine done this because the AC compressor went out. Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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More likely a pulley problem than belt, but could be either. PUlleys need to turn freely and be maintaining alignment, and the idler pulley w/the spring needs to be pressing the belt at the right tension. IIWM for the cost of an idler pulley, I'd get a new one along w/the new belt.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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I did that to a belt I installed 1 groove off, on I think it was the AC pulley. Looks good, seems to run true, but in actuality there was a slightly taller lip on the AC pulley cutting the belt constantly. I noticed fraying maybe 3-4 thousand miles later?
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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Replace the belt tensioner Its probably weak.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Good info so far for things to check. Even a junk belt should last 60k. I have a Ford factory with 110k on it. If the belt ridges have 5 cracks per inch, it's time to think about replacing. If any ridge chunks are missing, replace soon....that's what I go by.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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New belt installed from NAPA that is made by gates. It's heavier than the last one and NAPA says that they have the cheaper economy version like like the one I had as well. This one was right under $40 with tax.
Inspected everything and can't see any other reason for the failure. Even got a second opinion from a mechanic on the tensioner and associated pulley which I was about to buy (the pulley) just for the sake of it. Watched the Gates video with the bad and bouncing spring tensioner assembly and mine is still strong and working as it should.
Could have been a groove off I guess, but seriously doubt it with the way I always inspect everything of this nature at least 3 times.
Anyway, I do thank everyone for their input and did follow through with each and every suggestion, so now time will tell I guess. Still carrying the original OEM around for an emergency spare and a sure way to match up a new one like I did today. Funny thing the part number said not for Motorhome, but the replacement is the exact same belt. Counter girl says that happens with their data base sometimes and a match is a match no matter.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #8
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Iíve always replaced the belts for my pickups with a Goodyear Gatorback. I was under the impression that they had a lifetime warranty, but I see that it wonít apply to my pickup (8800 lb. GVWR) or virtually all motorhomes. That said, they still seem to be very good belts.

Hereís the warranty information from a page from summitracing.com:
"Goodyear brand fan belts, bypasses, radiators, and heater hoses carry a limited lifetime warranty on the vehicle in which they were installed. Should any of these products wear out, as long as you own the vehicle, just return the part with your receipt to a Goodyear dealer and they will give you a replacement free of charge. This warranty does not apply to commercial vehicles or vehicles over 8,000 lbs."

My thoughts are that if they are willing to give a lifetime warranty, even if it doesnít apply to my truck, itís probably a quality product.

Good luck,
Ė Loren
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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Normally I do all my own maintenance, but when it comes to heavy chassis work (brakes, bushings, etc.) I have a guy that I trust that takes care of that for me. Does a lot of MH maintenance for others in the area as well. There's always a couple of them around his place. Anyway, when my first belt let go while on a busy downtown xway during rush hour and I manged to get it changed on my own, I asked my friend about it afterward. Was kind of surprised to hear the DP's rear engine was kind of hard on belts. He said 3-4 years or 30-40k miles was about all I should expect. After my experience, I tend to believe him! The coach's maintenance records show it was about due based on those recommendations...
FWIW, -Al
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