Serpentine Belt 2000 Grand Caravan

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  #1  
Old 12-30-07, 01:23 PM
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Question Serpentine Belt 2000 Grand Caravan

Hello,

I have read many articles referring to problems with belts coming off due to wet conditions. I have had our van for 6 years and never had a problem until the last few months.

Replaced water pump- bearings bad
Checked pulleys- seem to be okay

I noticed some fluid around the bottom when I put on belt last time, not alot just a drop or 2 and it looked as if it may have been power steering fluid, not sure. Could I have a leaking power steering pump and its getting on belt making it sling off.

If anyone has any thoughts on this I would appreciate any input.

Thank you,
Tom
 
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  #2  
Old 12-30-07, 06:57 PM
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Did you replace the belt when you replaced the water pump? Are you putting the same belt back on each time it comes off?

Oil on a belt doesn't work very well, but it's usually a bad belt or alignment problem that makes it jump off.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 
  #3  
Old 12-30-07, 10:51 PM
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Unhappy

Yes, I replaced the belt when I did the water pump. Thought the was the reason for it coming off. Then it happened again and then again. This is the third belt. I checked to make sure none of the pulleys had any play or wiggle in them. As for the alignment, it should be ok since I never had that problem the previous 5 - 5 1/2 years. I wil have to check the power steering pump to see if I do have a leak issue.

If you search this problem you would be surprised at the results. Vehicles taken to dealer for this issue several times and people still have a problem with this. It appears to be on late 90 early 2000 3.3L V6 models.

It really is a pain considering it is my wifes van and I don't want her to get stranded.

Tom
 
  #4  
Old 12-31-07, 03:29 PM
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Check your tensioner. When they begin to loose tension is when your belt is more likely to come off. Release the tension on your belt & see if it moves in a smooth motion & doesn't hang up. If it you feel any loss of tension or jerky motion, invest in a new one.
Corky
 
  #5  
Old 12-31-07, 06:07 PM
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The alignment issue can be a little more complicated as the vehicle gets older. With bearing wear you would start to have movement in components - front of engine to rear. An irregular wear on the surface of the pulleys in terms of side to side would give the belt a tension difference.

In a V belt system the wear is compensated for somewhat as everything is held in workable alignment by the belt. With a serpentine belt the alignment has to be there to keep the belt on.

With three belts, there would have to be something evident, either in the oil you're talking about or alignment/wear.

Are the belts throwing right after installation and do they show oil on them or any irregular wear patterns? Was it throwing belts before you replaced the water pump - was that one of the reasons you replaced the pump?
 
  #6  
Old 12-31-07, 07:01 PM
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I did some research on this thing. I found a lot of people with the same complaint - the belt coming off in wet conditions. However, all the complaints seem to be on vans that were three years and older.

Obviously, you shouldn't be throwing a belt just because you have a few miles on the van and get it wet, but it seems the wet conditions that brought about the thrown belt would have existed a number of times since the vehicle was new.

The belt system could be flawed - I couldn't say. I don't know of any recall on it. I had a 99 caravan for three years and never heard of the problem.
 
  #7  
Old 01-01-08, 06:09 AM
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Marbobj, as far as alignment and wear everything seems to be okay. All the pulleys seem to be free of drag and no wobble. I did see some fluid on the Power steering pulley which I believe to be my problem.

I did not start having this problem until after the water pump bearings went out. The belt does not sling off immediately after putting it on, it may last 1 week or 4 weeks, it varies. I don't have any kind of noise coming from anything in that area when it is running (aka bearing squealing or belt squealing).

I got a power steering pump yesterday and plan on putting it on today. Looks like a p-i-t-a to do but needs it done.

I will post my results later, hopefully it will be a positive post!!!

Thanks to everyone,
Tom
 
  #8  
Old 01-01-08, 06:14 AM
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Hopefully the PS pump will do it. If it doesn't, I would say look at the water pump pulley alignment.

If you used an aftermarket/rebuild the pulley may have not been pressed on just right. I've seen just about everything on those.

Good luck on it Tom,

Let us know
 
  #9  
Old 01-02-08, 03:12 PM
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Marbobj,

When I replaced the water pump the pulley just bolts to the pump. I used the existing pulley.

Wow, what a job!!! I went by repair manual and took catalytic converter off but can not get the pump out through that opening. I guess the pulley needs to be removed first. This has been one pain but I got it off now just got to put new one back on. I will update as to if this fixes this problem.

I appreciate all your input to help me get this fixed. I sure hope this does it. If not I guess I will get the retro kit and try that out, alot of people say it works good. I still think there is a problem if it just started after water pump went out.

Thanks and will let you know if it works,

Tom
 
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