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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,first post here and needing advice on major problem :cry:
yesterday was very cold appx -2 deg C and big snowfall,started car and went to clear snow off outside after roughly one minute i notice smoke coming out of heater vents inside car,i instantly switch off engine and open bonnet where i find the drive belt is totally shredded,not just snapped :x
so the big question is have i done some serious damage or does it look worse than it actually is? and would it be repairable by myself or am i looking forward to a huge repair bill?
 

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First of all welcome to SAAB Central :)

It's not a big issue so don't worry. Ususally the pulley shreds off and takes the belt with it. You just have to replace the pulley and the belt. Check to see if any of the vacuum hoses, radiator hoses and electrical wires got damged from flying debris. If no other damage than the belt you'r looking and maybe 40 GBPAnd it's a very common DIY so don't worry it's not difficult to do
I'm not sure if the Scotland version had the extra pulley on the 1998 or not. If you do, you can make the short belt mod as well (more reliable)
http://www.geocities.com/ng900set/Serp_Belt/idler_pulleys.html
http://pages.infinit.net/mlbriand/saab/shortbelt/page1.html
 

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Welcome to the forum.

The engine does not overheat in one minute, so no, no major damage.
The most likely thing that happened is that one or both of the idler pulleys have gone bad. This is very common on our cars, especially in winter.

First check under the car to make sure there is no oil on the ground. This is very unlikely, but on some cars the shredded belt whips around and it can cut the hoses which lead to the oil cooler, even though they are reinforced.

Aside from that, you are lucky it happend at your home.

The most common fix is to replace the upper idler pulley, and bypass the lower idler with a so-called "short-belt" configuration. Similar to what the later model 9-3 had from the factory.

Example:

Short Belt Modification

More information on idler pulleys, including part numbers:

Belt and Idler Pulleys

edit:

darn you are quick hk! LOL :cheesy:
 

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PMI said:
Welcome to the forum.

The engine does not overheat in one minute, so no, no major damage.
The most likely thing that happened is that one or both of the idler pulleys have gone bad. This is very common on our cars, especially in winter.

First check under the car to make sure there is no oil on the ground. This is very unlikely, but on some cars the shredded belt whips around and it can cut the hoses which lead to the oil cooler, even though they are reinforced.

Aside from that, you are lucky it happend at your home.

The most common fix is to replace the upper idler pulley, and bypass the lower idler with a so-called "short-belt" configuration. Similar to what the later model 9-3 had from the factory.

Example:

Short Belt Modification

More information on idler pulleys, including part numbers:

Belt and Idler Pulleys

edit:

darn you are quick hk! LOL :cheesy:
Haha beat you by seconds. Your tutorial are the best Pete; they helped sooooo many SAABers so far. Good Karma man :cheesy:
 

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hkayssi said:
Haha beat you by seconds. Your tutorial are the best Pete; they helped sooooo many SAABers so far. Good Karma man :cheesy:
I think its my car that needs the Good Karma, <chuckle>
 

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Welcome to Saab Central, Mansfield

http://pages.infinit.net/mlbriand/index.shtml
as a sample, thanx to Mr Briand

I have no idea what your abilities are, Mansfield. Changing the serpentine belt and pulleys is far more challenging than doing the good old fashioned fan belt from another time..IMO, everyone has mechanical abilities, it is a matter of positive thinking and self-confidence..
Study the links with pics, there are many of them. This job should about,$40, $30, and one hour of labor ..Maybe more for clean up..
$40 - pulley
$30 - Goodyear Gatorback belt.
The cause of this catastrophic event must be known; the pumps and the alternator must be good..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your all for your help and advice :) is there a uk based parts
dealer i can source a new belt and possibly pulleys from,or do you get a replacement part pack as this seems to be a known fault?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The surface of the upper/central idler puley was all uneven and grooved,looked **** someone had taken a blow torch to it :cry:
I bought a new belt from a local factor and installed it as a temporary measure until I ordered a new pulley from PFS. I didn't do the short belt thing as I know standard sized belts are available locally. Changing the pulley was a bit of a nightmare,I ended up jamming a big screwdriver between it and the engineblock,and breaking it with a cold chisel,then removing the retaining bolt with grips. Refitting was a bit fiddly as well :evil: as there as very little room to work.Anyway new belt and new pulley are now on and so far so good.The temp belt I fitted was showing signs of wear after a week,so drive belt checks will be carried out on a regular basis from now on :p
 

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Dusting off the thread for an update...

My 2001 9-3 SE shredded the serpentine belt this afternoon... fortunately close to home. It was about 3/4 of a mile, and I drove it without the power steering and the temp gauge climbing FAST. Hopefully I didn't blow a head gasket, I don't think so, though I did apparently boil off a bit of coolant (slight spray in the engine compartment near the overflow tank).

The plastic vbelt pulley on the tensioner was shredded and seized, I'm hoping thats my only problem. Probably not, as the AC has been grindy on and off for the whole summer. So I'll probably be into that before I am done as well (thanks for the bearing replacement thread here: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76943&highlight=compressor).

Anyway, Advance Auto stocked the serpentine belt (Dayco, $50 or so). They did not carru the pulley, but they can order (next day) the pulley and tensioner assembly ($70). I just wanted that pulley, but perhaps after 130,000+ miles, buying the whole new tensioner assembly isn't a terrible idea.

We will see how it goes tomorrow when I have the first round of parts.
 

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Just buy the pulley. I got mine on ebay $13 for a brand new Scantch pulley.
I second this, other than the bearing, which is constantly under load, the tensioner just sits and just last forever.
This eBay is amazing, is it not ??
Maybe in 2020 there will be no Walmart(the physical brick and mortar) and only the INTERNET!!
 

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Well, complimentary errors...

The tensioner had the "insert 1/2 inch drive breaker bar" socket half broken out. I noticed this when I did my alternator replacement after my UBoat incident this summer, but had put it out of mind. It broke more when I was fussing with it last night, so I'm OK with having it out of there. That pulley was still fairly intact, but may be at 140k miles now or so (don't know the history before I bought it... I put 60k on it). It also had lots of old melty belt bits on it... so I don't mind replacing it.

Of course the pulley that I thought was destroyed wasn't the one attached to the tensioner. It was the idler pulley instead. So now I am off to hunt down one of those, and they are a lot harder to source locally. None of the local auto parts stores can get them quickly, and they want $50 for the stupid thing anyway. Off to the Saab dealer, where it will no doubt be $75, but hopefully they will have it in stock. If not I'll have to mail order (or call advance auto, who can get it in within 3 days). I'm riding the Buell in the meantime, and hoping it doesn't rain much. :)

Here is a related mystery... For about a year now, the air conditioner compressor has been making grindy noises... some a bit loud. I was assuming it was just a worn out compressor and was waiting for it to finally die so I could replace it. Researching this thread made me wonder if the compressor was OK, but maybe the bearings on the pulley (which near as I can figure are independent of the compressor) are just bad.

I reached down there last night, and they feel fine. No notchy movement, no grinding, they don't feel dry. And with the symptom, it would go away when the AC was turned off (econo mode).

When the serpentine belt went, I figured that compressor had locked up and roached it. But the damage was on that idler pulley and tensioner pulley.

I guess I'll find out when I get it back together with the new belt and pulley. I'll give that AC button a quick stab and see if something starts howling when the compressor clutch engages, and see if the occasional noise is gone. If not, I'll dig further into the bearing.
 

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I'm pretty sure there is a thread here somewhere about a guy that makes these idler pulley out of aluminum. You'll have to do a search. Also, replacing the bearing in the A/C clutch isn't too bad, if it's indeed bad. I did it a few years ago. Luckily one of my co-workers is a machinist and he removed the old bearing and pressed in the new one free of charge.

Try this: http://wazeepulleys.com/saab/pulleys.htm
 

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Thanks! "Just Saab" of Dayton has three on the shelf. $50, so they are making good money on them, but they have them in stock so I won't whine much. I appreciate them stocking them.

I restore old dirt bikes, so I know more about pressing out and then sourcing old bearings then I ever hoped to learn. :) I hope it's just a bad bearing, but I suspect it's a bad compressor... thus explaining why turning off the AC makes the bad noises stop.
 

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OK, got the new bearing and belt in. Not a bad job at all.

My "grind" is still there though. And now it is there with the AC on or off. This is oddly good news to me, as before when it would come and go with the AC, that made me think AC compressor ($300+). Now that it is on all the time, it makes me think AC Pulley bearings ($15?).

I'm assuming you can get that pulley off the compressor with the compressor still on the car. Do you pull the wheel well shield and the under engine shield and go up from the bottom? Is there enough room to get a pulley puller in there? I have a stack of them from various motorcycle rebuilds over the years, so I suspect I have several that would work.

It's an old bearing, so even if that doesn't turn out to be the problem and the grind is still there, I won't whine. I've now done the tensioner pulley replacement, the idler pulley replacement, and the alternator recently. So that leaves the AC bearing, the coolant pump, the power steering pump, and the crankshaft as the likely culprits. I'll work from cheapest and easiest to most expensive and hardest. :)
 

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I took my pulley off with the compresser still on the car. Yes, you'll have to remove the front right tire and a part of the inner fender. I had to use a strap to hold the A/C hoses out of the way to get the gear puller in there. I must have broken the seal around the hose crimp. The A/C system leaks (I did that green stuff).
You can do the "short belt mod" to rule out the A/C clutch bearing. You'll have to did a bit to find it.

Try this:http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76943&highlight=bearing

http://84.40.23.30/forums/showthread.php?t=78966

http://84.40.23.30/forums/showthread.php?t=78966 this is for the belt mod.
 

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Great, thanks!

Nobody local had the part on the shelf, but a local bearing supplier could get it here by noon tomorrow. And I don't think they are predicting rain so I can keep riding the Buell without leaving a puddle at my desk when I get to work. :)

For future people searching, the part is:

NKS 35BD5020DUK
OD=50mm
ID=35mm
Width=20mm

They had a hard time sourcing that exact part, as it is sealed on one side but not the other. They had an easy time sourcing a sealed on both sides part. Sealed on both sides sounds better to me anyway, and if there is a reason not to use that, I can peel out one seal anyway.

I also suspect the width of the bearing is not super critical, so 20mm can probably vary a bit as well.

Now the car just has to get me 20 miles home. It doesn't grind cool, only when it warms up (for the moment). So I hope she has 20 miles left in her before that thing locks up and ruins my new belt...
 
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