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serp belt vs. v-belts

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ryan22re, Aug 3, 2005.

?

serp or v-belts?

  1. serp belt

    67.7%
  2. v-belts

    32.3%
  1. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    if you had access to both setups which one would you pick?

    ryan
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  2. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Serp is far nicer :) Definitely go for a serp if you've got access to both!
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'll take V belts. If you blow a serp you're screwed because all the belt run accessories are now not turning. Blow a V belt and it only affects one or possibly two accesories. Plus, depending on which belt went you could always move one belt to the other location. I did this when an alt belt went in the middle of BFE. Swapped the good power steering belt to the alt/water pump location and carried on until I could find a place that sold belts.


    That's my thinking anyways...I think adding accessories like OBA is probably easier with 'V' belts too.

    Rene
     
  4. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Serp belts rock until an alternator bearing seizes. Now what??? (Been there, done that, it sucked!) But most newer stuff already has the serp belts on it, so what to do...

    Like tRusty said, if you can just keep the water pump turning, then you have a great chance of continuing your journey. :cool1:

    If I had a rig that was already setup for V-belts, I sure as hell wouldn't waste any money swapping to the serp setup. :rolleyes:
     
  5. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    What he said! Oh, and i forgot to add, a pair of pantyhose can get ya home in a pinch. Done it. I don't think that can be said for serpentine.

    Where you get the pantyhose is your business!!! :wink1:
     
  6. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I picked v- belts . Because :

    Although I need 3 spare belts , 2 go around the fan , 2 go around alternator and fan , and 2 go around power steering :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2005
  7. k5redneck

    k5redneck 1/2 ton status

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    surp belt, one belt keeps it eazy :D
     
  8. ProJunkRacing

    ProJunkRacing 1/2 ton status

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    serp by far i love the tensioner and easyness to use but i spent a lil coin to do a serp setup like 20-40 bucks spent on mine for the yard
     
  9. down4thakrown

    down4thakrown 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    yep what he said, and duct tape will work for about 10 feet and lucklily thats all we needed because sombody came along with some tools. probably would of got us further if we would of messed with it longer.
     
  10. jhellwig

    jhellwig 1/2 ton status

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    V belts all the way. Serpentine belts are to easy to trow and when it goes everything goes. They must be perfectly aligned to work.

    V belts can run with the most ragged twisted up pos belt. If you bent up a bracket and knock something out of alignmnt it will still work.
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I prefer deep groove pullys for V-belts.
     
  12. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    for a DD is a serp is cool... only need 1 replacement belt and the tensioner system is nice and easy to work with.

    for a trail rig / beater, I like v-belts... easier to jerry rig and if I take accessories off (like my AC compressor) or add an accessory (like a york) I have more flexibility to do so.

    j
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Alternator bearing seizes, you spring a PS leak, a tensioner or idler fails, all will leave you screwing something up, or stuck.

    Having to only carry one spare is nice, as long as it's the only problem you ever experience with the setup.

    Serpentine has a better "grip" than v-belts, but that quality doesn't mean a thing when you are 100 miles away from the nearest auto parts store when something seizes up, it's 20* outside, and snowing.
     
  14. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I like my serpentine belt. Trail or daily driving. You can talk all you want about alternator bearings siezing up or any other accessory failing, fact is these parts don't just fail without first screaming or making other noises. If I take off and hear my Alt singing to me and it fails on the trail, shame on me. Same goes for the p/s, a/c or tensioner. These parts don't just instantly lock up without warning very often (if at all).

    Fact is the OEM's have spent millions of dollars designing the serpentine setups and spent countless hours and miles in durability testing. As long as the accessories of good quality (no cheesy bottom feeder reman parts) and are in good working order the chances for failure are no more than the same parts with a v-belt on it.

    Yes there is no way to deny the fact that if one part fails it can shut everything down. I realize that fact and make sure my stuff is ship shape before I leave to minimize any chance for failure. Yes I carry a spare belt on the trail. Have I needed it yet, no. Still take it with me along with tools and other spares. Being prepared for anything I guess.

    As for belt slippage, never had it on this setup. On the alignment issue, if you use the factory GM brackets the only pulley that you can even move in or out is the p/s pulley. Heck you can even use your old p/s pump you just have to press the serp pulley on, just use a straight edge to line it up to the other pullies. If one wanted onboard air, Kilby has the brackets to install a york in place of the stock a/c compressor (using the serp belt) or install it beside the alternator and run it off of the alt with a v-belt from a combo v-belt/serp pulley on the alt.

    Each setup has it's positives and negatives and it boils down to personal preference. Like I said, I like mine. When I had to replace my leaking water pump recently all I had to do was remove the fan, then the belt, the lower hose and then the 4 bolts that hold the pump. took 15 minutes to get it out and I was working in the dark (no driveway lights :doah: ) with only a flash light. Never had to touch the other accessories like I would have on a v-belt setup (and set tension on 3 belts later!). Every other accessory is just as easy (the p/s pump is the hardest, no harder than the v-belt) and the best part is, ZERO adjustment. Bolt on and install the belt. No more Alternator belt adjustments coming loose (causing slippage and low charge), no more need to buy 3 belts for spares, no more flipping or chucking belts at high engine rpm.

    Run what you want, I say.
     
  15. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I've had TWO, yes TWO GM alternators fail about 10 seconds after the "warning scream" started. One of them locked up solid and actually stalled a 4.3L V6 when I stopped to find the source of the racket. :eek1: The starter was totally useless until I removed the belt. The belt had such a good grip on the locked up alternator that the starter couldn't crank the engine. Of course I then had no power steering, no water pump,etc. after I had to remove the belt. Luckily I was just a few miles above Silverton when it happened and was able to coast most of the way back to town. Had it failed a day earlier or later my rig would have been stranded several miles from the nearest road, as we were wheeling all over the trails in the Ouray/Telluride/Silverton area that week. :mad:

    So be happy in your bliss, but be aware that in the event of an accessory failure on a serpentine belt setup, you might get to put some miles on your sneakers. ;)
     
  16. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldn't go out of my way to convert in either direction, IE: V belts, or serp.

    With that said, I have serp on everything,89 K5, 97 Z71, and 01 4wd Tahoe. As for acess failure, I'm not really worried about that. It can happen, true.. but the list of things that can happen and leave you stranded are long and distiguished.. just like my johnson. :haha: Sorry.. had to say that.

    Anyway.. you could have a serp or V, and still be dead in the water cause the fuel pump takes a dump. Theres no way to carry everything you *might* need. Sometimes we have to venture out at the mercy of the "murpheys law". I'd rather spend my time having fun.. than worring about what might crap out.

    I like having to only carry one spare belt.
     
  17. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Harry, I don't think I'm going to convince you since you got stuck by it. The alternator on my truck has been on this engine since around 1996 when the engine was in my buddy's truck. I installed the engine (with serp already on it) 2 years ago and put at least 4 times the mileage that my buddy did without a single problem. I make the 45 mile trip from Pueblo to the Colorado springs airport and back at least every other week, drive it around town and wheeling. Again, no problems so far. No problems when it was in my buddy's truck for 6 years either. Think of just the sheer volume of GM trucks that were produced with serpentine. From 1988 and up to 1999/2000 (gen 1 small blocks). thats more than a million trucks (even more if you add up the astro's, S10's and G-vans with the same setup) If the design was SO flawed that there were even a tenth of one percent failed causing accidents due to a stall, don't you think there would have been a recall or something from NHTSA? Never seen or heard one yet...Heck GM even sells the same exact setup I have through GM performance parts for over $500.

    I'll still say that a failure like that is rare. Like txfiremank5 there are pleanty of other things that can let go on the trail to make me put miles on my sneakers.

    With either setup the same parts can fail. I make a point of taking what I can to be prepared and not going alone so that if something fails I can fix what I can, or at least have a ride to go get what I need and come back and fix it. If you are broke at least you are not stuck walking back to civilization to get what you need.

    I can say this, the serpentine setup is less likely to fry a bearing/bushing on any accessory as compared to a v-belt that was overtightend. Been there done that too. The plain reality is you can get junk right off the part store shelf these days. Whether its from the GM dealer, ac delco, NAPA or even Autozone there is always a chance that the part you just bought is junk. even if you pay for the new part vs the reman part. That would be a separate issue from the belt setup.

    We can agree to disagree on this one.
     
  18. big_truxx

    big_truxx 1/2 ton status

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    rene brother, you expressed my exact thoughts! ;)
     
  19. big_truxx

    big_truxx 1/2 ton status

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    i am in no way trying to be an @$$ here... but people on here would do that? :eek1: one has to know the propper tension of belts, but thats so simple and kinda basic.
     
  20. blazerpro79

    blazerpro79 1/2 ton status

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    either way is fine, but all these 'inconviences' from a vbelt setup...

    carrying 3 belts instead of 1 is not a big deal, how much space does it take up?? not much...

    adjusting vbelts and tightening them, that takes about 1 minuts with a prybar and air ratchet...

    RE: changing water pump post above...

    it only takes about 5-10 mins longer to change any belt driven accessory. its so easy in fact, that i bought a new water pump to put in, knowing my alternator was coming in the mail anyday, and i didnt even think to wait to put them on at the same time, the water pump took about 30 mins, the alternator took about 10 mins...
     

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