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Old 09-16-2017, 10:37 PM   #1
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Fun with belts

Alright boys and girls pay attention because there will be a quiz.

As it happens we are going camping for a few days with friends so I thought I should get the Hagarstream out to see if it still runs. After a bath, oil change, lube job, sanitize the water tank and some other routine maintenance items things were looking pretty good except for ..... fan belts. Yeah they had a squeal.

The belts looked to be in good shape but they seemed to stretch a lot. I would tighten them but before long they would be squealing again. I thought about changing them but they always looked to be in good shape. So I would tighten them and continue down the road.

Anyway yesterday I decided the time had arrived, it was time for new belts ....tomorrow. I had already worked too hard for the day.

This morning after a good nights rest I attacked the doghouse. After removing the radio compartment and all the bolts holding the cover panel, I could see the belts. Again they looked great but loose. Anyway after many cuts and bruises up the my elbows on both arms I had the belts in hand.

Reaching for the new belts I realized something was amiss.

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Now I may be feeble in both mind and body but to me the numbers on those belts are identical but the belts certainly are not. Help me out here guys, am I seeing things or have the Airstream gods finally turned my mind to mush?

Anyway after many more cuts and bruises the new belts are on and seem to be doing what they are supposed to do. The new belts seem to look good on the pulleys so now for the quiz. Am I nuts or are the Airstream Gods or Mr. Mitsubishi running a scam on me?
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:40 PM   #2
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I vote nuts !
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve, I was leaning that way.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:25 PM   #4
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Are they longer? Or just wider?
What the heck is going on here?
Last year I had "thrown a belt" that was only a year old
I'm pretty sure I compared them (old agents new) when I installed them... but now I don't remember? Guess I'm just as feebleminded as you
I do hope your going to keep the old ones as emergency spares?!
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:43 PM   #5
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LOL.
Yeah, keep the old ones so in the future you can REALLY confuse yourself!
Good news is that at least by posting it here someone will remember what you did!
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:57 PM   #6
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A possible reason may be that one of the belt sets is counterfeit. It's been known to happen, and the fakes are not exactly the right size or length. They look genuine, and it's surprising who may be selling them, thinking they are genuine.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
...

Am I nuts or are the Airstream Gods or Mr. Mitsubishi running a scam on me?
I vote, All the above.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:45 AM   #8
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Actually I cut the other one off. The belts on an Isuzu diesel aren't exactly easy to get at. It took a 4lb mallet and a length of 2x4 through the wheel well to move the alternator in to try and remove and install the belts. I had to pry the belt off the pulley while laying on the top of the engine through the doghouse while my helper was on the ground rolling the engine with a large screwdriver through an access hole to the ring gear. Putting the new wider, stiffer belts back on was even more fun.

The old belts go in the trash and a new spare set will be ordered on Monday. As much hassle as it is there is no way anything but a new proper sized set will be carried as a spare.

I will say those belts probably have 70,000 miles on them. I replaced a set of 7/16" auto belts the PO was running. They looked really wide compared to the narrow auto belts and have lasted for a lot of miles so I really can't complain too much. That being said I do not wish to have to change these again.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:54 AM   #9
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NutZ or otherwise, Assuming the old belt sat low in the pulley, it is just ware, if it sat normal in the pulley, the new one will sit high and may come off. I would check the manufactures specs.
BTW on my 1984 454 they installed a pusher screw on a ell bracket to assist tightening the belt.
Also, the pulley in the photo is the wrong one, it was too narrow and the belt rode high and squealed under high alternator loads. I went to a alternator shop and got the proper size pulley and no more problems.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:43 AM   #10
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Am I nuts or are the Airstream Gods or Mr. Mitsubishi running a scam on me?
Dan,

I wouldn't say you're nuts, one can shy of a six pack might be a better description.....

If the belt sits flush with the top of the pulley I'd say you're good to go. It will be interesting to see what the width is of the spare belts are that you're going to order.

Brad
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:05 AM   #11
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Actually I cut the other one off. The belts on an Isuzu diesel aren't exactly easy to get at. It took a 4lb mallet and a length of 2x4 through the wheel well to move the alternator in to try and remove and install the belts. I had to pry the belt off the pulley while laying on the top of the engine through the doghouse while my helper was on the ground rolling the engine with a large screwdriver through an access hole to the ring gear. Putting the new wider, stiffer belts back on was even more fun.

The old belts go in the trash and a new spare set will be ordered on Monday. As much hassle as it is there is no way anything but a new proper sized set will be carried as a spare.

I will say those belts probably have 70,000 miles on them. I replaced a set of 7/16" auto belts the PO was running. They looked really wide compared to the narrow auto belts and have lasted for a lot of miles so I really can't complain too much. That being said I do not wish to have to change these again.
Dan, not sure if you're looking for new belts or not but for my Isuzu, I'm running SPB1280 metric belts. 17mm width at the top and 13mm deep I believe. I get them from Vbelt Supply online. They ride just right in the pulley.

Mike
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:18 PM   #12
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There is a definite issue here. I have read about it before and pretty sure it was to do with a move to metric belts and slight, but visibly noticeable differences (width from memory). If impacted how they sit in the pulley. I'll try and find out where I saw that written down. Also clean any crud in the pulley grooves so the belt sits snugly. Have a look back at the chassis guide lash up, your Airstream manual and the service manual. When I looked at it, the ref numbers were inconsistent in Airstream manual.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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Check here. Two issues as I see it. Inconsistencies between GM and Airstream documentation and specifics relating to your set up and options e.g. Air con. Also, I think some motorhome options were different from standard P30 gear.
Second, this width issue. I think best to try and get the stock widths so they sit tightly in the pulleys

http://www.barthmobile.com/eve/forum...61/m/157104172
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:46 PM   #14
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How do the new belts sit in the pulley grooves? I'd say that the old belt was worn and sitting low in the groove, maybe even bottoming out on a pulley which is why you couldn't stop the sequel. Crazy is just a given!
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:30 PM   #15
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There is a definite issue here. I have read about it before and pretty sure it was to do with a move to metric belts and slight, but visibly noticeable differences (width from memory). If impacted how they sit in the pulley. I'll try and find out where I saw that written down. Also clean any crud in the pulley grooves so the belt sits snugly. Have a look back at the chassis guide lash up, your Airstream manual and the service manual. When I looked at it, the ref numbers were inconsistent in Airstream manual.
I may be wrong but I believe we are talking about the Isuzu Diesel not the 454. The Isuzu takes metric belts. Many have tried standard belts on the Isuzu and they end up giving them trouble, squealing, slipping, breaking, etc....
Tony has the Isuzu part number I think, I ended up getting them from Vbelt Supply. They have great selection of both standard and metric belts, very good prices too. The PO of my 310TD had put standard belts on mine and they rode below the top edge of the pulley. Ideally I think they should be flush or just slightly above the top edge of the pulley.

If we are talking about the 454 please disregard anything I've said here about belts cause I don't know ANYTHING!

Mike
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:53 PM   #16
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Well I went out and took another look at the situation with some rested eyes and a less sore body.

It is an Isuzu diesel not a 454 so they are metric belts. The belts I believe were purchased from Hamilton Engines and are Isuzu products as you can see the logo next to the part number. I don't remember if I purchased them at the same time or in different orders as I bought them many years ago.

As I said the PO had narrow auto belts installed by a shop and had always complained of overheating so I suspect years ago somebody put auto belts on and everybody after replaced with the same.

When I got the coach it was obvious the belts were wrong and I ordered some from Hamilton. I don't know if they were mismarked or what but they were so much better than the auto belts that I was happy.

The old belts measure about .490" which is about 12 1/2mm but it would make sense they started at 13mm. I can accept a little wear in the width but wearing down from 16 or 17mm seams a bit extreme as they really look to be in good shape.

The new belts measure about .630" as close as I can get trying to get some calipers on the belt while standing on my head reaching down in the hole. This would make them 16mm. Because of my position I won't argue that they weren't actually17mm.

At any rate the doghouse is back together and we are heading out tomorrow. I'll give Hamilton a call when I get back and see what they think about the situation.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:00 PM   #17
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and you can ignore everything I said, because I was referring to the 454..
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:28 PM   #18
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Yeah, I was going to say that they possibly could be Gates belts or another company had the same manufacturer that makes the Gates belts, make these. The Gates replacement belts for our Isuzu are 12.7mm or 1/2" belts and renown for destroying themselves after a while as they sat too far down in the pulleys and heat up too much.

As said in previous posts the right belts are 17mm and I got mine from a Hitachi heavy equipment parts place.

As for getting them on my coach; good freak-in luck. I had to cut off the old belts, and had the alternator in all the way no problem, but there was no way I could get the new belts on. The distance between the front cross member and the harmonic balancer was less than 3/8" on my rig.

Cheers
Tony

PS I do have a spare set in the coach and I will grab a part number and manufacturer tomorrow.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:47 PM   #19
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I remember buying a pair of Gates belts, after adjusting the alternator one belt was over tight and the other was so loose you could just about slip it off the pulley by hand. Pretty sad for a "matched set" so I took them back and ordered from Hamilton.

My Isuzu has a sort of pan under the front of the engine, you can't see or reach anything from underneath. Without a mirror it is almost impossible to see the crankshaft pulleys from above. To do much of anything on the front of the engine you have to pull the radiator.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:36 AM   #20
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I am going to keep an eye on your post! We have an '84 345 that as left us stranded on the side of the road because it throws fan belts! I love this motorhome and want to give it ONE LAST CHANCE before we switch to a trailer. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
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