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Old 03-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Serpentine Belt

My 04 Itasca with a 330 Cat has 43,000 miles on it. Should I be concerned about the Serpentine Belt? If so, how do I check to see if it needs to be replaced? Also, should it fail can it do damage to either the engine or the coach? I have heard that all that will happen is the engine will shut down and I have also heard some horror story possibilities. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Golf Nut; I have the same year and mileage. When my coach was in for Valve lash adjustment I had the Cat tech replace, the Serpentine, and the two other belts, all radiator hosed and theromast and coolant. About $1k but this is not a roadside repair. All of these components have served me well so I'm good for at least 8 more years of good operations.....
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Unless you like being towed to get your repairs done, I would change the belts ASAP. I had only 14000 miles on my coach when the serpentine belt broke out in the middle of the desert. Now I carry spares just in case.





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Old 03-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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Golf Nut, My serpentine belt broke when my alternator bearing seized. It kept running until I shut it down due to high coolant temperature. I thought the thermostat had failed, until I removed the engine cover and saw no belt. The alternator wouldn't turn, and the belt flying around had ruined the fan blades. 1,100 dollars to replace the alternator, belt, and fan. Not bad for a high labor job.

Bottom line: You won't know right away if the belt breaks, Kepp an eye on the temp.

............DOug
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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I had my belt go three times.

14,000 miles - snapped about an hour from home on a Saturday night on way to vacation. Lost 2 days as it was not repaired until Monday.
30,000 miles - alternator froze and snapped the belt. Lucky that one was in my driveway.
45,000 miles - A/C compressor froze and snapped the belt in Casper, WY. Back on road next day by using a shorter belt that bypassed the A/C compressor. (see below).

Now I carry a spare full size belt plus a spare short belt to bypass the A/C.

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
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My '03 Cummins has 67k. No belt problems to date ...inspect belts & hoses at least annually.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
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We have about 66,000 on our Vectra & have not replaced any of the belts to date. I have them inspected at Gaffney every year & the techs have indicated they're fine up to this point. I will, however, be calling Pat and ordering replacement belts and a new fuel filter (the one I have is several years old) 'just in case". We have a side radiator, so serpentine & AC belt replacement is not as difficult as it is with the rear rads.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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My Cat 330 had the fan bearing fail at about 32000 miles. That shredded the fan belt. You asked about checking the fan belt. You have to get to where you can see the belt and then look for cracks on the inside surface. Small cracks are normal - deeper and longer cracks indicate a need to replace the belt. A broken belt could possibly cause damage to wires and hoses but will cause the motor to over heat. That's how I found mine was gone - dash overheat warning came on.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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Serpentine Belt

Thanks fellas. I think I will take it to Cat for replacement and will keep the old one as an extra. Cat said it is about a 2 hour job plus parts, so I guess I am looking at around $400.

Thanks again for your input.

Hank
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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Hank,
I would suggest you buy two new belts and vacuum bag one as the spare rather keep the old one. If you run into a situation where you use the old spare you are then going to replace it. Why do two installations?

I vacuum bag (meal saver) my spare belts to protect them and keep them from drying out over time. Same with spare filters.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:08 AM   #12
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Serpentine Belt

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTotem View Post
Hank,
I would suggest you buy two new belts and vacuum bag one as the spare rather keep the old one. If you run into a situation where you use the old spare you are then going to replace it. Why do two installations?

I vacuum bag (meal saver) my spare belts to protect them and keep them from drying out over time. Same with spare filters.
Bill, Thanks for the common sense advice. Makes alot of sense which is why I probably didn't think of it. Bye bye old belt.

Hank
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