Author Topic: Serpentine Belts  (Read 215 times)

Offline stokester

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Serpentine Belts
« on: October 05, 2019, 07:15:13 PM »
I replaced the serpentine belt in my 2005 F150 a while ago because of age and mileage.  In addition to the belt itself I also replaced the tensioner and idler pulleys as a complete package.

Recently I was asked by a friend how to determine when the belt needed to be replaced.  She said her belt wasn't cracked or frayed and had been in for over ten years (she's always concerned that a shop is upselling her on unneeded maintenance).  In this era of EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber as a replacement for chloroprene material it is difficult to tell by just a simple inspection.  I use the OEM recommendation if published regardless of how the belt looks.

Previously if the belt did not break you were to look for any fraying, chunks missing or cracks close together to determine if it needs replacement.  The EPDM rubber belts of today wear like tires and do not show visual wear.  The major replacement belt manufacturers have excellent web sites and videos on belt replacement and wear.  Both Gates and Dayco have small gauges to check your belts to determine if they are worn, I think the Gates one has been updated since I got mine.

With most of the replacement intervals now at 75-100K it is cheap insurance to replace the whole drive belt assembly.

I found that RockAuto had a complete Gates kit with tensioner and idler pulleys for a good price.
Nick
Yorktown, VA

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 07:34:11 PM »
Good point Nick! Cheap insurance and peace of mind for sure.

Offline slip knot

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 08:40:00 PM »
I usually replace mine every time the waterpump gets changed. ;D

BTW don't pitch the old belt, it works wonders for a endless choker in the yard. way strong enough to wrap around limbs and drag them off with the lawn tractor. I've even used them to tow a dead machine in the shop.

Offline john k

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 09:07:31 PM »
replaced the serp belt  on my 08 Jeep at 190k, and ten years, just no wear to speak of.   Compared to the new belt it did look somewhat dry.  Still running OEM water pump. 220k. 

Offline wilbilt

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 05:17:55 PM »
I usually replace mine every time the waterpump gets changed. ;D

BTW don't pitch the old belt, it works wonders for a endless choker in the yard. way strong enough to wrap around limbs and drag them off with the lawn tractor. I've even used them to tow a dead machine in the shop.

Damn. I just tossed a bunch of them that were in my way.  ???

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 01:37:44 PM »
i normally put the old serpentine belt behind the seat of the truck when I replace one.  Figure not a bad idea to have a spare.

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Serpentine Belts
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 01:43:05 PM »
i normally put the old serpentine belt behind the seat of the truck when I replace one.  Figure not a bad idea to have a spare.


+1 -- same here. All the cars and trucks have a the old take-off set in the trunk, or behind the truck bench seat. For the Caddy DTS with the 4.6L Northstar I also keep a spare water pump tensioner along with the belt. They are notorious for wasting tensioners.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 01:44:47 PM by goodfellow »