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Serpentine Belt Splitting Down The Middle

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  • Serpentine Belt Splitting Down The Middle

    This isn't a welding question, but there are enough threads here regarding motor vehicles so I'll go ahead and post this along with a photo of the belt in question.

    Ever see a belt split down the middle like this? I have no clue what happened as it was fine last time I looked under the hood. It's very fortunate that I found this at home this morning when I opened the hood to add a can of R-134A or I could have been stuck on the highway in the 95 degree heat. It still turns all of the pulleys, but there is only half a belt. Going to get a new one as soon as NAPA opens and install it this evening when the temperatures will be cooler.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Never seen anything like that. Those belts are pretty tough. I'd make sure there are no hose clamp ends or metal brackets touching the belt before installing the new one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wb5jhy
      Never seen anything like that. Those belts are pretty tough. I'd make sure there are no hose clamp ends or metal brackets touching the belt before installing the new one.
      I fully intend to check for anything that could have cut into the belt, as well as the alignment and rotation of everything that this belt turns.

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      • #4
        check all of your idlers and pulley for wear. my '88 chevy did that for a while until I discovered that one of the plastic idlers had worn a taper into it and was forcing the belt onto the edge of the A/C compressor pulley. I replaced the pulley w/ a metal one from NAPA and it's been fine since.
        Bobcat 225NT
        Cutmaster 52
        Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 buzz box
        Caterpillar TH63
        '07 Kawasaki ZZR600

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        • #5
          i second bretsk.
          Trailblazer 302g
          coolmate4
          hf-251d-1
          super s-32p
          you can never know enough

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          • #6
            i've seen it happen on occasion, not often though. How old is the belt?
            Dynasty 200 DX
            Millermatic 175
            Spectrum 375
            All kinds of Smith OA gear

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            • #7
              yep check the alignment to find the cause, some thing must be out of alignment.nice of it to keep 1/2 still on to get you home, good truck buy it a fresh round of oil to say thanks for saving you a walk.
              thanks for the help
              ......or..........
              hope i helped
              sigpic
              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
              JAMES

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              • #8
                The belt is only around a year old and I just gave the engine fresh oil and a filter less than two weeks ago.

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                • #9
                  I've seen that happen for two reasons:

                  1. the belt was either defective, old and checked, or had cut and develops a flap that peels itself off.

                  2. someone leaves a rag under the hood, serpentine belt eats the rag, momentarily rides on the bunched rag and gets out of alingment and splits the belt.
                  Coalsmoke's Website

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                  • #10
                    I think I figured out what happened. The idler pulley is rubbing against the mounting bracket. This probably caused the edge of the belt to rub which in turn caused it to tear. I'm really surprised that belt split cleanly in half instead of just breaking. I found the other half of the belt wrapped around the back of the fan. Of course that is very lucky for me since it didn't leave me stuck. The vehicle in question is a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 4.0L I6. Attached is another photo highlighting the problem.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Seen the exact same thing often on mercedes.

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                      • #12
                        the ? is why is it rubbing??? bad bearings or loose?? how easy is it to fix so it dosent happen to his new belt tomarow?
                        thanks for the help
                        ......or..........
                        hope i helped
                        sigpic
                        feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                        summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                        JAMES

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                        • #13
                          Pull whats left of the belt off and check the idler for slop. Probably a bearing starting to come apart or it is just bent/out of alignment. Once you get the belt off and feel around youll find the problem.

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                          • #14
                            The idler pully turned out to be bent and out of alignment. This was causing the pulley and belt to rub against the mounting bracket. The other problem that this caused was that the half of the belt that tore off wrapped itself around the fan and fan clutch and did some damage there. Replaced the belt, idler, fan, and fan clutch and everything seems to be working fine. Thanks for your suggestions and information.

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