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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do serpentine accessory drive belts tend to have automatic tension adjusters? It this because of some unique property of such a long belt? Or is it simply to eliminate the need to retighten the belt periodically as it stretches? I'm p.o.'d because the one on my wife's car has given up the ghost and it costs $300.00 for a new one.
 

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Maybee the serpentines don't require as much pressure to work properly.

Just a guess,,, I hate the price of simple things I would hit the yards,,,
 

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Not to sound rude, but what the heck kind of car does your wife have? $300.00 for a serpentine belt? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

I just want to make sure my wife, never gets one those? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/30.gif
 

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$300.00 !!! I just replace the one on my van and it was $20.00 and some change. ?? Maybe it some crazy exchange rate 'ey?

But I have to laugh because the dealer wanted $300.00 to replace the PRNDL lamp in the same van. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Not to sound rude, but what the heck kind of car does your wife have? $300.00 for a serpentine belt?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not sure, but I think he meant the belt tensioner.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Not to sound rude, but what the heck kind of car does your wife have? $300.00 for a serpentine belt?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not sure, but I think he meant the belt tensioner.

[/ QUOTE ]

Still, I can buy a lot of penetrating oil and free it up for $300.00 or press in a new bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its a 98 Toyota Corolla with a 1.8 engine. The tensioner is a 4" long strut with an eyelet on each end. Internally, it contains either a gas spring or spring, and contains oil, which has leaked out. It appears to have lost its pushing power, as the idler pulley now oscillates at idle. Looks like a miniature shock absorber. Locally, it is only available from the dealor for $285.00. I see they are available mailorder from the USA for $185.00 USD. From searches on the net, it sounds like this part is quite unreliable, and people are having to replace them within a few years of initial purchase. Otherwise, its a good solid little car.

Tim
 

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Sorry for the misread, thanks for setting me straight.

I read this a little before my bedtime, maybe it was a little after my bedtime! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

But that still seems a little high.

I've owned Toyotas before,(great cars IMO) maybe it'll be the last thing it ever needs. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think it was your misread so much as my poor wording of what I was getting at. I'm considering replacing the adjuster with a homemade solid adjuster that will just tighten down by turning a screw.

I'm just wondering if there is some reason for the "dynamic" adjuster on serpentines.

Is it there because its part of the general trend towards maintenance free vehicles, or do serpentines need them to stay at the right tension under different conditions.
 

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My guess is the "dynamic style" allows for the belt to stretch over time and use... but still stay at the proper tension.
 

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For either $185 or $300 I think it's time to spend a few hours tearing into that sucker and seeing if you can fab it up some to start working again. At least tear it apart to see why it failed. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Took the old adjuster off today. Its a combination coil spring and hydraulic shock absorber. It appears the oil seals gave out and fluid has leaked out of the dampner. This allows the spring to go into oscillation at certain rpms. I talked to a guy at the parts store, and he told me that older Honda's had serpentine belts and no automatic adjuster. You just tightened down a solid assembly. I replaced the assembly with a homemade strut I made from a 1/2" bolt. Looks very similar to a drum brake adjuster. I simply turn a nut to lengthen the strut and tighten the serpentine belt. Cost me nothing, made it from scraps lying around. I'll save my money for stuff I can't make, like gasoline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Jim, I tried ebay previously and couldn't find this particular style. Its like a miniature coil over shock absorber, and that's why its so much more expensive than the ones that use a straight spring loaded pulley. Best I could find was $185.00 usd. Appreciate you looking.

Tim
 

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Serpentine belts suck. 1992 Chev. Astro van. 4.3L. Refridgerant leaked out of A/C system, again. We now have another main car. I didn't unplug the compressor. Compressor tried to turn, especially with defroster on. Compressor seized. Burned up magnetic clutch bearing. You can't just reconfigure the belt without the compressor. So just to keep the vehicle operational I bought several belts to fit without the tensioner. It's a snug fit but not tight enough for a permanent repair. So we have been useing the van just for short trips. $400 for a new compressor, $150 for junk yard gamble, $18 for tool to pull clutch and a yet to be named price for the new bearing(pending price due to bearing removal. Currently soaking in PB Blaster. Also need large bolt and washer to act as a puller.) Icing on the cake: I have gone through 2 alternators. Not for anything electrical - front bearings. ???? The tensioner is located next to the alternator. This, in my educated opinion, causes a high side load on the front bearing of the alternator. Can someone tell me how a serpentine belt is progress?
 
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