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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    111

    Default 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.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lafayette, La
    Posts
    319

    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote 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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    732

    Default

    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.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    guilford, ct
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    858

    Default

    i second bretsk.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Queens NY
    Posts
    1,547

    Default

    i've seen it happen on occasion, not often though. How old is the belt?
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    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

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    111

    Default

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Langley BC Canada
    Posts
    4,634

    Default

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    111

    Default

    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.
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