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Old 09-13-2017, 08:25 AM   #1
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Replacing serpentine belt

I want to replace my serpentine belt on my '05 Diplomat 40PRQ. It was replaced 4 years ago at the Cummins facility in Phoenix. I have a "north/south" bed so I must go through the hatch or come up from the bottom. Is this an "owner" thing or should I have it replace at a service center. I just wonder how difficult it is to loosen the idler or whatever ? Any help would be appreciated. I'm mechanically competent but short on arm length!
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:58 AM   #2
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It's a fairly easy job but I've found it's a 2 person job as when pulling down on the idler I can't reach up to put the belt over the top pulleys need someone reaching down through the hatch. That being said at 4 years your belt really doesn't need to be changed they really last a long time
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipS View Post
I want to replace my serpentine belt on my '05 Diplomat 40PRQ. It was replaced 4 years ago at the Cummins facility in Phoenix. I have a "north/south" bed so I must go through the hatch or come up from the bottom. Is this an "owner" thing or should I have it replace at a service center. I just wonder how difficult it is to loosen the idler or whatever ? Any help would be appreciated. I'm mechanically competent but short on arm length!
I carry a spare but have never replaced mine. I check it for cracking or wearing, but it's still going strong.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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50 years around the automotive and truck service industry I have never seen a " serpentine multi rib belt " just fail, without some other underlying issue.

I've seen them with 400k + miles on them and have no issues...... the cracks you may see, may not even mean anything, I would be more concerned about chunking.

Today's quality serpentine belts are made of EPDM ethylene propylene diene terpolymer and this stuff is about bullet proof.

Every time I ever saw a tech that replaced a failed " serpentine " belt that he believed was for no reason and just crapped out ?...... that vehicle was soon to return along with a teed off customer that now had to bite the bullet and fix the real issue ... be it a failed alternator, failing a/c compressor an idler pulley bearing or a belt tensioner or whatever. and another serpentine belt.

Silicone based hoses ..IMO the same thing ....never seen one just fail due to age and miles, it always ended up that some sort of physical damaged was the reason for replacement

My belts on my 500ISM would take 10 min to change if that . and are 13 years old and the originals, I have no intention of ever changing them unless something fails and destroys it and the reason I do carry a spare.

As far as belt quality IMO ? ...you can't beat OEM.

Don't believe that most belts are made by ( insert mfg here ) and are all the same ....because although that could be true that they are indeed made by the same mfg, they are made specific to an engineered spec that the OEM people called out.

Any time that I ever saw an issue with an aftermarket belt and all the other system components checked out good ...... replacing the aftermarket belt with an OEM belt fixed the issue, be it noise, slip under load, whatever.

Don't believe that all the millions of oil filters that are made my by "Champion labs" are the same.... they are NOT and are made to the brand labels spec, the same applies to batteries manufactured at the likes of " Johnson controls... they are not all the same quality.....not even close in some cases...and I'm talking about way more than just the rating on the battery capacity spec.


I wouldn't even think of changing that belt unless I had seen something wrong with it.


Happy Trails
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
50 years around the automotive and truck service industry I have never seen a " serpentine multi rib belt " just fail, without some other underlying issue.

I've seen them with 400k + miles on them and have no issues...... the cracks you may see, may not even mean anything, I would be more concerned about chunking.

Today's quality serpentine belts are made of EPDM ethylene propylene diene terpolymer and this stuff is about bullet proof.

Every time I ever saw a tech that replaced a failed " serpentine " belt that he believed was for no reason and just crapped out ?...... that vehicle was soon to return along with a teed off customer that now had to bite the bullet and fix the real issue ... be it a failed alternator, failing a/c compressor an idler pulley bearing or a belt tensioner or whatever. and another serpentine belt.

Silicone based hoses ..IMO the same thing ....never seen one just fail due to age and miles, it always ended up that some sort of physical damaged was the reason for replacement

My belts on my 500ISM would take 10 min to change if that . and are 13 years old and the originals, I have no intention of ever changing them unless something fails and destroys it and the reason I do carry a spare.

As far as belt quality IMO ? ...you can't beat OEM.

Don't believe that most belts are made by ( insert mfg here ) and are all the same ....because although that could be true that they are indeed made by the same mfg, they are made specific to an engineered spec that the OEM people called out.

Any time that I ever saw an issue with an aftermarket belt and all the other system components checked out good ...... replacing the aftermarket belt with an OEM belt fixed the issue, be it noise, slip under load, whatever.

Don't believe that all the millions of oil filters that are made my by "Champion labs" are the same.... they are NOT and are made to the brand labels spec, the same applies to batteries manufactured at the likes of " Johnson controls... they are not all the same quality.....not even close in some cases...and I'm talking about way more than just the rating on the battery capacity spec.


I wouldn't even think of changing that belt unless I had seen something wrong with it.


Happy Trails


Thanks.....I do believe I might order a Cummins OEM belt just to have a spare!
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:42 PM   #6
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I just replaced the serpentine belts on our coach yesterday. I found the Cummins part number on Quick Serve and then cross referenced it to the new Gates HD belts. The new HD belts are made with Kevlar and are supposed to be the best available. The Gates HD belt price on Amazon was less than the Cummins belt price.

I have two serpentine belts, one for the AC system and a huge one for the main engine water pump and alternator. The main engine belt is on the outside and the smaller AC belt is on the inside.

The tensioner pulley for the main belt has a 1/2" square drive hole. I used a large 1/2" drive breaker bar and inserted it directly into the tensioner pulley arm hole. It rotated about 1" and locked into place. This made it easy to unwind and remove the old belt. The AC belt used a 15mm socket to release tension, but this one did not lock in the open position. This required some manipulation to both hold the tensioner open and remove the belt. I positioned the new belt into place except for the AC pump pulley, then applied pressure to the tensioner with one hand while slipping the belt over the AC pump with the other. I have a side radiator, so it is easier to access than a rear radiator.

I then installed the new outer main belt and released the tensioner.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:13 PM   #7
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The tensioner is the big PITA for this job. Eventually I used a long ratchet, a short pipe and some cord. Pulled it down till hit hit the stop (this is important, first few tries I did not pull it down far enough) and then tied it up so it would not move. This let me work on it alone. IIRC, I tied to the frame piece that was just below my piece of pipe. I weight about 185 and I needed that pipe to get that tensioner to the stop--if you are bigger you may be able to do it with just a longer extension.
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