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View Full Version : Another Serpentine belt? Really?


InnoVAN
08-26-2013, 03:15 PM
My sprinter, which I've had for 125,000 of its 250,000 miles has now chewed up 5 serpentine belts.

I have really not been driving her much lately, as my Saab wagon has been doing a great job of saving me dollars and hassles... But I was going kayaking this weekend, and 2 kayaks can fit IN the Sprinter... Guess I'll invest in a kayak rack for the Saab after this trip...

I hadn't driven it in about a month... had to recharge the battery to get started, left it running for about 10 minutes while I got organized. Drove to the take out spot on the river, then drove to the put in about 14 miles away... Parked. No issues.

After kayaking, drove the other vehicle up to the put in, then switched vehicles, drove back to take out, got the kayaks, and my girlfriend and drove back to pick up her vehicle at the put in... it's crazy all the shuffling for 7 miles downriver...

On the way back home I heard a weird hiss... gravelly sound from the engine and the battery light was on. I could tell it was the Serpentine. Heard that before... Got to my exit (about 1.5 miles from recognizing the problem, and pulled into a shopping center... no Power steering... yeesh.

Girlfriend behind, we made the last 2.5 miles to my house, keeping an eye on the temps, which got about half a bar from the red zone. in the driveway, yay.


Serpentine was gone. Not a strand left except for a couple bits stuck in the suspension/frame.

Last one was about a year ago... Leaky low pressure fuel line sprayed diesel on it on 100+ degree day and it just sorta disintegrated. I also replaced the accessory belt for the rear AC at this point.
Before that, Dr. A replaced it a couple months earlier. I think he also replaced the harmonic balancer which he said was about to explode.
Before that, I think I had one replaced in about 2010.
Before that, I had it explode on me in 2007. I've never had so many belts go.

Does sitting still do that much damage? I have been daily driving it up to late last year. This summer has been a lot of road trips, and I'm afraid to leave the area code with the sprinter these days!

Could I be dealing with something else? a misaligned pulley?

Aqua Puttana
08-26-2013, 03:38 PM
Does sitting still do that much damage? I have been daily driving it up to late last year.
By my experience I do believe that a vehicle sitting in Western NY is way harder on it than one that gets driven regularly. I've not had problems with serpentine belts, but rusty brake rotors, brake lines, rusty transmission pan, rusted rocker covers, and other mechanical stuff.

...
Could I be dealing with something else? a misaligned pulley?
You probably do have something wrong. Some things which I would check/consider...

Does everything look good while the belt runs over the components? Check at idle and with someone blipping the throttle. No wobble, no pulsing?

Alternator clutch one way pulley. Is there ever a chirp sound when you shut down the engine?

Tensioner pulley assembly. The spring can get weak or the parts bind as they age.

Idler pulley alignment. All alignment.

Check all items which are spun by the belt for possible bearing or alignment issues. Vacuum pump, water pump, A/C compressor, everything would be suspect. Good luck. vic

InnoVAN
08-26-2013, 03:45 PM
thanks AP.

It was actually the belt tensioner that Dr. A replaced... I was looking for serpentine belt threads and started reading the harmonic balancer thread, and I mad-libbed it in the blank in my rusty brainpan.

I'll test all the pulleys for possible issues... but recently replaced items include... belt tensioner, alternator, and I had the water pump done about 3-4 years ago when I had a massive coolant rupture.

I am about ready to sell it. Been a great van, but not a lot of reason to drive it around these days.

Matt

InnoVAN
08-26-2013, 10:12 PM
Removed what was left of the serpentine, from around the fan hub, plus lots of little strings in the spot where my rear AC belt WAS... guess I'm replacing TWO belts... both about a year old.

Cause: Idler Pulled split in half... groove wise... only 3 grooves worth were left. Convenielty, only 3 grooves of belt were left.

Total damage (barring any issues from the failure)

1 Serpentine belt
1 Idler Pulley
1 Accessory belt (Rear AC belt)

come to think of it... I am not sure the rear AC belt has been in place... I may have removed it to save on fuel. Brain foggy.

NelsonSprinter
08-27-2013, 01:03 AM
My sprinter, which I've had for 125,000 of its 250,000 miles has now chewed up 5 serpentine belts.
Could I be dealing with something else? a misaligned pulley?

Yes, if a pulley wobbles or makes a sound when you spin it, it's time for the pulleys to be replaced, and could be the cause of your belt eating.
What is the source / brand you have been replacing with? a CHEAP non-European belt may be the cause. IMHO a belt should last 5 years or 90,000

InnoVAN
08-27-2013, 01:18 PM
the last belt came straight from Dodge. The newest one is a 3-year warrantied GatesŪ Micro-V ATŪ Serpentine Belt.

Aqua Puttana
08-27-2013, 01:27 PM
the last belt came straight from Dodge. The newest one is a 3-year warrantied GatesŪ Micro-V ATŪ Serpentine Belt.
I've always had good results with Gates belts in vehicles and other drive applications.

The broken idler alone is enough to cause your problem. It likely just failed, but there is always the chicken or the egg question factor. vic

InnoVAN
08-27-2013, 08:18 PM
yes, I'm worried that it might have been the HB that caused an issue. all the other pulleys seem to be spinning nicely. I am not positive that I had my rear AC belt on since last year, but if it was, I guess it's possible that the broken idler causing the serpentine belt to unleash could have disconnected the AC belt, though it has very little give.... Come to think of it, I don't recall hearing the squeal of the rear A/C very much this year... and now I'm beginning to realize why I never got cold air from the rear AC...

Curse me for having a mind like a sieve!

Matt

vanven
08-28-2013, 01:28 AM
yes, I'm worried that it might have been the HB that caused an issue. all the other pulleys seem to be spinning nicely. I am not positive that I had my rear AC belt on since last year, but if it was, I guess it's possible that the broken idler causing the serpentine belt to unleash could have disconnected the AC belt, though it has very little give.... Come to think of it, I don't recall hearing the squeal of the rear A/C very much this year... and now I'm beginning to realize why I never got cold air from the rear AC...

Curse me for having a mind like a sieve!

Matt

Are you putting the correct length belt on? Europarts sold me a too short belt once. It was a bear to get on and only lasted about 20k miles.

seans
08-28-2013, 03:41 AM
I guess it's possible that the broken idler causing the serpentine belt to unleash could have disconnected the AC belt, though it has very little give....

When my serpentine belt departed while the van was idling in the driveway, it dislodged my rear AC belt as well.

cahaak
08-28-2013, 03:53 AM
When I lost my serp belt about 4 weeks ago on the freeway, the rear AC belt was still there and intact. I think it depends on how it breaks. It is a real pain to get all of the fiber strands out of the fan area, you really need some type of tool to fish them out with.

Chris

Aqua Puttana
08-28-2013, 04:00 AM
Are you putting the correct length belt on? Europarts sold me a too short belt once. It was a bear to get on and only lasted about 20k miles.
Good thinking.

Here's what I found for my 2004.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=42035#post42035

There was also another thread about a split down the middle failure of an idler.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=120473#post120473

FWIW. vic

InnoVAN
08-28-2013, 04:38 AM
thanks AP... any trick to getting the pulley off? looks like a larger torx, but there's not a lot of clearance between it and the fan. all my larger torx are sockets, and I don't think there's clearance for socket AND ratchet... doubt my flip out torx would have the leverage, being as it'd probably be in the fan shroud... do I need to find a set of short reach torx Allen L wrenches?

InnoVAN
08-28-2013, 04:40 AM
mine went exactly as that last one. Split down the middle, the back 3 grooves were in tact. The serpentine looked new... well, half new... and half... gone.

Aqua Puttana
08-28-2013, 04:55 AM
thanks AP... any trick to getting the pulley off? looks like a larger torx, but there's not a lot of clearance between it and the fan. all my larger torx are sockets, and I don't think there's clearance for socket AND ratchet... doubt my flip out torx would have the leverage, being as it'd probably be in the fan shroud... do I need to find a set of short reach torx Allen L wrenches?
I've had some success using a pair of Vice Grips with the curved jaw pattern on a socket in close quarters. Not the most convenient and may chew up the surface of the socket, but it works to give you leverage. I'm no longer a professional, just a shade tree mechanic. vic

InnoVAN
09-12-2013, 01:57 AM
ok, got the tools to remove the fan, got the pulley off and the new one on.

This couldn't be THAT easy, right? While dealing with it, I noticed a broken sensor...

I went into the service manual and found it... the Fuel Quantity Control Valve. Awesome. My $100 fix is turning into a $500 fukk up. I do hate when a $30 part (Idler Pulley) breaks all manner of expensive shyt in the engine. It's a cancer. I'm really pissed.

Is there any way to get a cheaper tha $300 FQCV???

FQ, Sprinter. FQ.

NelsonSprinter
09-12-2013, 07:41 PM
Is there any way to get a cheaper than $300 FQCV??? FQ, Sprinter. FQ.

There are used ones at auto recyclers, maybe WayneRodd or Dr. Andy have one for much less

InnoVAN
09-24-2013, 07:50 PM
Is this the part I'm trying to replace???

It's showing as Valve, but I can't tell if it is the exact part I'm looking for...

http://www.moparpartsoverstock.com/p/__/VALVE/6776238/05137291AA.html
05137291AA

InnoVAN
09-24-2013, 08:30 PM
If it is, I'm glad! I think I was getting tricked by my google searches... only about $29. I thought it was 10 times that!

InnoVAN
09-24-2013, 09:16 PM
part no longer available, only available as part of fuel rail... Price X 40. FML.

InnoVAN
09-25-2013, 12:46 PM
ok, maybe I'm looking at the wrong parts diagrams... This is the part in question...

can somebody give me the part # for this on an '04?

http://s9.postimg.org/gnbuggyxb/IMG_20130925_083526.jpg

It's just above the Idler pulley and under the dipstick base. The part is broken in half... the connector end is attached to the wire socket on the elbow at right. the part is small and round and has 2 metal nodes sticking out of it just above the idler pulley.

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/attachments/diesel-discussion/51813d1201696850-best-mercedes-engine-recommendation-sprinter-engine-om647-2.jpg

It can be seen here from the front, angling up and left \ at 11:00 to the fan. Just right of dipstick.

Can someone track down an actual part name... part number... not having a lot of luck locating one.

LuckyDawgz Jim
09-25-2013, 03:54 PM
If your alternator clutch is locked, that will wear the belt and can cause it to come off.

InnoVAN
09-25-2013, 04:33 PM
The belt was almost new, but the idler pulley cracked in half, causing a catastrophic belt disintegration.

Is the item I posted the Fuel Quantity Control Valve? If so, where is one available for purchase?

abittenbinder
09-26-2013, 01:28 AM
Is the item I posted the Fuel Quantity Control Valve? If so, where is one available for purchase?

Yes, that is the fuel quantity valve. It is available as a separate part# (from high pump) and best price is likely from MBenz Sprinter dealer.

Doktor A