Fan Belt Problem

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RJake1

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Posts
20
Fan belt on my 1985 GM (24' Coachmen Classic) was squeeling to beat the band.  Of course, I ignored it.  Finally, the belt broke or tossed.  So I had the RV inspected and replaced all three belts, including the fan belt.  I then drove RV back home (130 miles) and it ran fine.  No noise, no squeels, battery was getting charged. 

Did some putzing around at home and in the evening started it up to take it to the storage lot.  Can you believe the belts were squealing so loud my neighbors thought I'd run over a pack of cats! And the voltage meter was discharging. 

So whats the deal?  $388 later and I'm in the same boat as before.  Any thoughts?
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
If not the belts? ?probably the Altenator  I'd take it off and take it to a parts store and get it checked.  Checkers, NAPA, Car Quest,  any of them./
 

3labs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Posts
57
Location
New Hampshire
I agree, It could be the alternator beering macking the noise, you could also remove the belt on the alternator and see if it still makes noise. Also check the pulleys and see if they have rust on them this happended to me and I cleaned the pulley and allset.
 

Shayne

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Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Idler pulleys are great for causing those problems also.
 

Jeff

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Apr 8, 2005
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8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Our 83 454 had a problem because GM or Fleetwood used a belt that wasn't wide enough and it rode in the bottom of the groove on the pulleys which will cause it to squeal under a heavy load.
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
I responded to your earlier post in the $348 gas cap discussion about the same problem that you are (where?) having. I suggest you review it, and post a problem in only one area,  as this will get you the best coverage and responses to your concerns. Thanks.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
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25,212
Location
Davison Michigan
There are two kinds of belts (Actually 3 but one is not on the market)  Standard fan belts where you loosen something and move it to tension the belts (usually the alternator or generator) and serpetine belts which have a spring loaded idler wheel which provides (in theory) the proper amount of tension all the time

The third type is regular fan belts but with an automatic tensioning device that was designed and submitted to the auto companies but which never was put into use for some reason.  The company which designed it was my Mother's Employeer

If you have the regular belt sometimes called a "V" belt..... the belt can stretch.  This may be due to heat/cold or age or other things, And if this happens it will need re-tensioning.

I have had 2 cars and spoke with owners of 3 others where drive all day, no problems, drive at night, no start in morning (Dead battery) turns out every one of them had a loose fan belt save one, which had the wrong size fan belt (not wide enough) which caused it to act loose.
 

rankjo

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
337
When you replace a fan belt, you don't know how long it has been hanging on the garage wall before it was replaced. You drove home 130 miles and it heated up  a bit, and may have stretched a bit already, though all it needs now is re-tensioned. I have had that happen on my own vehicle with serpentine belts too, when I replaced them.
One neat trick is to get a can of Belt Spray, or FanBelt Spray, available, of course, in your local auto store. If a belt starts to squeal, you just spray it while it's running and the squeal will go away IMMEDIATELY if it is the belt at fault. It will probably get you home too, without squealing. It's basically a glue of sorts, and makes the belt stop slipping for a while. (It won't work though if the belt has been squealing for three months!)
If it is any of those things mentioned in the other posts, like alternator bearings or whatever, Belt spray won't do anything for it.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,212
Location
Davison Michigan
This has happened to me not one time but 2, and to at least 3 other folks that I have personally assisted.  That's five times in my personal experience and I am NOT a professional auto technician.

You drive all day, stop and go, No problems,,, You drive at night and the battery is dead in the morning.

It happened to a caller to the popular PBS show "CAR TALK"  The brothers advised her to replace the alternator (Which by the way will fix it)

IN all five cases where I got to see it it was as Ranjko said, the belt had streatched, re-tensioning the belt fixed the problem (Last step in replacing the alternator is to re-tension the belt which is why replacing the alternator will work)

In one case I had to replace the belts with a different size, the books were wrong on the car

But in all cases proper tension on the belt solved the problem
 
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