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Chrysler 300m V-Belt woes - HELP!!!

Old 05-09-2016, 01:36 PM
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Angry Chrysler 300m V-Belt woes - HELP!!!

Alrightythennnnn.... so I have this 2000 Chrysler 300m



148k miles on the clock and in pretty good condition. I've had to do some minor things to it, but for 900 bucks, can't really get mad.

The problem I'm having is with the V-Belt. Yes, v-belt. There are 2, well technically 3 - but I'm not counting the timing belt right now, belts for the accessory drive. There is a serpentine belt which powers the power steering pump and alternator, and there is a v-belt that powers the AC compressor... THAT'S IT. Each belt has its own belt tensioner idler pulley... note: NOT self-adjusting.

The problem started when the AC compressor locked up. No warning, not slow leak of refrigerant, no "hey this thing is not cooling anymore", just hot air blowing from it.

Bought a new AC compressor and belt and installed both, filled with R134a and shut the hood. Everything worked great... until it didn't.

The belt I just put on had snapped and took the serpentine belt with it. So I had to buy TWO new belts and put them on. Broke the v-belt again. Inspected the pulleys and the tensioner pulley for the v-belt was clearly bent, so I replaced that. New belt again... thew the belt and took a chunk out of it. New belt with more tension... snapped. New belt with less tension... inverted and thrown... flipped the belt back over and put it back on with a little more tension... belt inverted itself again.

I'm so done with this car, I would sell it for scrap at this point. It's sad, 'cause I really love driving the car. It's comfortable, it's sporty, it fits us all with room to spare, and it's actually pretty quick! It's really fun to drive.... but I can't get the stupid thing to quite throwing the stupid AC belts anymore.

HELP!!!!
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
Alrightythennnnn.... so I have this 2000 Chrysler 300m



148k miles on the clock and in pretty good condition. I've had to do some minor things to it, but for 900 bucks, can't really get mad.

The problem I'm having is with the V-Belt. Yes, v-belt. There are 2, well technically 3 - but I'm not counting the timing belt right now, belts for the accessory drive. There is a serpentine belt which powers the power steering pump and alternator, and there is a v-belt that powers the AC compressor... THAT'S IT. Each belt has its own belt tensioner idler pulley... note: NOT self-adjusting.

The problem started when the AC compressor locked up. No warning, not slow leak of refrigerant, no "hey this thing is not cooling anymore", just hot air blowing from it.

Bought a new AC compressor and belt and installed both, filled with R134a and shut the hood. Everything worked great... until it didn't.

The belt I just put on had snapped and took the serpentine belt with it. So I had to buy TWO new belts and put them on. Broke the v-belt again. Inspected the pulleys and the tensioner pulley for the v-belt was clearly bent, so I replaced that. New belt again... thew the belt and took a chunk out of it. New belt with more tension... snapped. New belt with less tension... inverted and thrown... flipped the belt back over and put it back on with a little more tension... belt inverted itself again.

I'm so done with this car, I would sell it for scrap at this point. It's sad, 'cause I really love driving the car. It's comfortable, it's sporty, it fits us all with room to spare, and it's actually pretty quick! It's really fun to drive.... but I can't get the stupid thing to quite throwing the stupid AC belts anymore.

HELP!!!!
It sounds like you need to make sure the belt alignment is spot on. Replacing the compressor and not getting it aligned perfectly with the drive pulley causes the belt to be thrown. Can you straight edge the tensioner, compressor, and drive pulleys?
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by KaMoore View Post
It sounds like you need to make sure the belt alignment is spot on. Replacing the compressor and not getting it aligned perfectly with the drive pulley causes the belt to be thrown. Can you straight edge the tensioner, compressor, and drive pulleys?
I can... I did that with the power steering pump when I replaced it, but didn't think to do it with the AC compressor - the compressor came with the clutch and pulley already on it... so I'm not even sure I could adjust the alignment.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
I can... I did that with the power steering pump when I replaced it, but didn't think to do it with the AC compressor - the compressor came with the clutch and pulley already on it... so I'm not even sure I could adjust the alignment.
All a/c compressors have a 4 bolt mount either vertically or horizontally. Straight edging is mandatory. I have an International semi tractor that has to have it done. I am unlucky in that the compressor mounts vertically and the bolts are between the back side of the compressor and the engine block with no easy access. It has to be done with a cold engine or you burn your hands from the engine heat. I also have to use a special wrench I bent to get to the bolts.

Also, check the tensioner pulley. it might need replaced.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KaMoore View Post
All a/c compressors have a 4 bolt mount either vertically or horizontally. Straight edging is mandatory. I have an International semi tractor that has to have it done. I am unlucky in that the compressor mounts vertically and the bolts are between the back side of the compressor and the engine block with no easy access. It has to be done with a cold engine or you burn your hands from the engine heat. I also have to use a special wrench I bent to get to the bolts.

Also, check the tensioner pulley. it might need replaced.
Good to know. I'll have to do that tomorrow on my day off. Tensioner pulley is brand new and straight as an arrow. I just replaced it a month ago.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:46 AM
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Did you ever get it fixed ?
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:37 PM
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Yup... When I replaced the AC belt idler pulley, I put the bearing race IN FRONT OF the pulley instead of behind it. It's been fixed now for about a month and a half with no more issues.

Only thing NOW is that groove on the BRAND NEW pulley on the BRAND NEW ac compressor is too wide so the belt falls all the way down into the groove instead of riding the sides of the groove. Not really a big deal except you get more traction from the sides AND the grooves in the belt cause a "whining" noise because of making contact with the pulley.

BUT... other than that, everything's 10-4
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
Yup... When I replaced the AC belt idler pulley, I put the bearing race IN FRONT OF the pulley instead of behind it. It's been fixed now for about a month and a half with no more issues.

Only thing NOW is that groove on the BRAND NEW pulley on the BRAND NEW ac compressor is too wide so the belt falls all the way down into the groove instead of riding the sides of the groove. Not really a big deal except you get more traction from the sides AND the grooves in the belt cause a "whining" noise because of making contact with the pulley.

BUT... other than that, everything's 10-4
Get a belt the next mm wider than your current one. Also try to get a belt about 3mm longer as well. That way the belt will ride the sides of the pulley.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by KaMoore View Post
Get a belt the next mm wider than your current one. Also try to get a belt about 3mm longer as well. That way the belt will ride the sides of the pulley.
Never even knew that was an option... thanks.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
Never even knew that was an option... thanks.
When you do this, don't talk to the young idiot behind the parts counter. Try to find an old man to talk to. The parts pup that just uses the computer will want to know what you are putting the belt on. The old man parts person will not try to be a smart a** and tell you that's not the right belt. What I usually do is just walk in with the belt and ask for the next wider & longer. If they ask me what it's for I tell them it's for my homemade table saw.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KaMoore View Post
When you do this, don't talk to the young idiot behind the parts counter. Try to find an old man to talk to. The parts pup that just uses the computer will want to know what you are putting the belt on. The old man parts person will not try to be a smart a** and tell you that's not the right belt. What I usually do is just walk in with the belt and ask for the next wider & longer. If they ask me what it's for I tell them it's for my homemade table saw.
Never thought about telling them it's for a custom application. I'll try that! As far as the young bucks behind the counter, I usually just walk in with a part number anyway and just tell them "part numberrrrr" and they just look it up and grab it from there. Usually the only time I'm walking into a parts store for a part is if a) I can't wait for it to be shipped or b) I can't find a good deal for a part online -or- the part is the same quality and price either way.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
Never thought about telling them it's for a custom application. I'll try that! As far as the young bucks behind the counter, I usually just walk in with a part number anyway and just tell them "part numberrrrr" and they just look it up and grab it from there. Usually the only time I'm walking into a parts store for a part is if a) I can't wait for it to be shipped or b) I can't find a good deal for a part online -or- the part is the same quality and price either way.
I had the same problem with the A/C belt on the semi I mentioned, and took the old belt number in and asked for the next size larger, and the "idiot" kept asking me what vehicle it was for. Finally told it was for my custom table saw.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:02 PM
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Well at least you can pre-empt that now.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Basslicks View Post
Well at least you can pre-empt that now.
Good luck on the belt.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:34 PM
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Thank ya.
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