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I have been reading a lot of posts but haven't seen this mentioned. I bought a 2000 T&C awd with the power steering pump missing. After going to a u pull yard to find out how to install the pump I finally got it put in. From the first start up there was a whining from somewhere in the belts route. I put about 6000 miles on it before the belt broke. When I tried to put on the new belt I discovered the tensioner was bad. Replaced it and the belt (96 3/16") I believe was too short. Ended up putting in a solution kit and that belt was too short (95 3/4" ribbed on both sides). According to an insert in the box with the kit, installing after market ps pump or AC pump with an over sized pulley was the problem so I bought a 70 mm idler pulley and the belt is still to short. Apparently belt is for application W/O AC. Do they sell the double ribbed belt in the correct size? I can't find one. Or what are my options?
 

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Is the belt routed correctly? Never had a problem with mine. I have seen the belt put around the water pump pulley the wrong way, causing the engine to run hot. Also, double ribbed kit is a bandaid fix for a worn out/bad tensioner. Mine and my sister's 97 didn't need the kit, although my sister's van did start throwing the belt when wet. I fixed that with a new tensioner, and a couple of idler pulleys with rounded shoulders on them to keep the belt centered. That way we could always use a standard belt from any parts store.
 
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I've learned not to try to slide it over the alternator while installing. Slide the last bit over the idler pulley as it's smooth.
Always go for a smooth pulley. Cranking the tensioner more than is needed isn't a good thing. The spring can snap.
 
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I have been reading a lot of posts but haven't seen this mentioned. I bought a 2000 T&C awd with the power steering pump missing. After going to a u pull yard to find out how to install the pump I finally got it put in. From the first start up there was a whining from somewhere in the belts route. I put about 6000 miles on it before the belt broke. When I tried to put on the new belt I discovered the tensioner was bad. Replaced it and the belt (96 3/16") I believe was too short. Ended up putting in a solution kit and that belt was too short (95 3/4" ribbed on both sides). According to an insert in the box with the kit, installing after market ps pump or AC pump with an over sized pulley was the problem so I bought a 70 mm idler pulley and the belt is still to short. Apparently belt is for application W/O AC. Do they sell the double ribbed belt in the correct size? I can't find one. Or what are my options?
Funny you said your belt was too short! I had a nightmare experience recently with O'Reilly's house brand: MasterPro serpentine belt (K060966), on my 99 Chrysler TC, Limited. It was too long, slightly, but definitively too long! After driven a mile or so, the tensioner started to wobble to and fro, creating some loud rattling sound. At first, I thought the belt tensioner was not tightened enough, so I re-did it. It was a brand new Gates tensioner. I first tried to tackle it from under, but could not get the socket onto that nut, so I had to do it from the top again. Removing the cowl cover, the wiper tray, the alternator, etc, etc. After re-seating and re-tightening the tensioner, it still wobbled to and fro, creating the same loud rattling sound. And the tensioner wasn't loose, btw. I thought I might get by till the next day, when I planned on changing all the components in the serpentine belt system. So I drove to my gym, ready for a shower. I did the serpentine belt and tensioner job twice in a day, so I was very tired. Mid-way to the gym, I heard some loud noise coming from my engine bay. It sounded like a nut or bolt was loose and flying around there. Not wanting to destroy the motor, I stopped the engine and parked by the curb. Popping up the hood, I could not find anything the unusual, even with the help of the flashlight. It was around 5 or 6 PM. So I started the engine again, the same noise, but I could not pinpoint the source of the noise. After starting the engine again and with the same scary noise, I finally noticed that strips of the serpentine belt were separating from the belt! It was those strips that were thrashing against the adjacent parts, creating those hellish sounds!

I cut off those loose strips, continued to drive to my gym. About 4 or 5 blocks later, same hellish sound occurred! I had to park in the middle turning lane; I wasn't in a right lane. I called AAA for towing. No other choice was available. After a night of rest, I decided to change many components in the serpentine belt system: the tensioner, the idler pulley, the belt, and a re-built factory alternator. The first three items were all Gates brand, and the serpentine belt has been working fine ever since. This was about a month ago.

Lessons learned:

1. Always use quality, name brand parts. Gates in this case is a good name or brand, whereas MasterPro is not.

2. Make sure all the pulleys in that serpentine belt system are factory. If any of those pulleys is not factory, then you might have problems from belt being too long or short or noise in the belt.

3. A lesson learned from past: when the idler pulley's bolt is not tightened enough, noise could occur. The torque spec for that bolt is 40 ft/lbs, but you cannot put a torque wrench there, so you have to go by feel. However, do NOT over torque that bolt, either. It goes through a metal bracket connected to the timing cover. If you snap that bolt by over-torquing, you might have created more trouble than you can handle. Use your judgement.

In short, do NOT use the Master Pro serpentine belt for our 3rd gen Chrysler minivans. It is slightly longer than the correct length. The Gates belt worked perfectly. When I put the Gates belt on, I had to turn the tensioner noticeably harder to put the belt on. That tells me it is a little shorter than the Master Pro belt.

A tip about installing and removing the serpentine belt: when installing, I first route the belt correctly over all the pulleys, except the crank pulley. I then crank the tensioner bolt clockwise, and slide the belt onto the crank pulley. I do it from under and never had a problem this way. Once I did, it turned out that tensioner was too old and needed to be changed.

When removing the belt, I crank the tensioner bolt clockwise, and slide the belt off the tensioner pulley. Never had a problem this way, either. I do it from the top when removing.

For the tool, I cut off the open end of a 15mm wrench and fit the wrench into a cheater tube of the right diameter. This way, you could have the needed leverage to crank the tensioner and the possibility of shortening the tool to clear it from the wheel well.

And apologies for this very long post. I have to get my points across, nevertheless.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Always go for a smooth pulley. Cranking the tensioner more than is needed isn't a good thing. The spring can snap.
Because I installed the stupid solution kit both the idler and tensioner pulleys grooved. I can get the belt on but the tensioner is almost fully deployed when I release it. Now though the belt immediately jumps both pulleys and rides to the inside until coming completely off. I'm going to check pulley alignment but all I ha
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Because I installed the stupid solution kit both the idler and tensioner pulleys grooved. I can get the belt on but the tensioner is almost fully deployed when I release it. Now though the belt immediately jumps both pulleys and rides to the inside until coming completely off. I'm going to check pulley alignment but all I ha
Have is a straight edge. Thank you all for
Funny you said your belt was too short! I had a nightmare experience recently with O'Reilly's house brand: MasterPro serpentine belt (K060966), on my 99 Chrysler TC, Limited. It was too long, slightly, but definitively too long! After driven a mile or so, the tensioner started to wobble to and fro, creating some loud rattling sound. At first, I thought the belt tensioner was not tightened enough, so I re-did it. It was a brand new Gates tensioner. I first tried to tackle it from under, but could not get the socket onto that nut, so I had to do it from the top again. Removing the cowl cover, the wiper tray, the alternator, etc, etc. After re-seating and re-tightening the tensioner, it still wobbled to and fro, creating the same loud rattling sound. And the tensioner wasn't loose, btw. I thought I might get by till the next day, when I planned on changing all the components in the serpentine belt system. So I drove to my gym, ready for a shower. I did the serpentine belt and tensioner job twice in a day, so I was very tired. Mid-way to the gym, I heard some loud noise coming from my engine bay. It sounded like a nut or bolt was loose and flying around there. Not wanting to destroy the motor, I stopped the engine and parked by the curb. Popping up the hood, I could not find anything the unusual, even with the help of the flashlight. It was around 5 or 6 PM. So I started the engine again, the same noise, but I could not pinpoint the source of the noise. After starting the engine again and with the same scary noise, I finally noticed that strips of the serpentine belt were separating from the belt! It was those strips that were thrashing against the adjacent parts, creating those hellish sounds!

I cut off those loose strips, continued to drive to my gym. About 4 or 5 blocks later, same hellish sound occurred! I had to park in the middle turning lane; I wasn't in a right lane. I called AAA for towing. No other choice was available. After a night of rest, I decided to change many components in the serpentine belt system: the tensioner, the idler pulley, the belt, and a re-built factory alternator. The first three items were all Gates brand, and the serpentine belt has been working fine ever since. This was about a month ago.

Lessons learned:

1. Always use quality, name brand parts. Gates in this case is a good name or brand, whereas MasterPro is not.

2. Make sure all the pulleys in that serpentine belt system are factory. If any of those pulleys is not factory, then you might have problems from belt being too long or short or noise in the belt.

3. A lesson learned from past: when the idler pulley's bolt is not tightened enough, noise could occur. The torque spec for that bolt is 40 ft/lbs, but you cannot put a torque wrench there, so you have to go by feel. However, do NOT over torque that bolt, either. It goes through a metal bracket connected to the timing cover. If you snap that bolt by over-torquing, you might have created more trouble than you can handle. Use your judgement.

In short, do NOT use the Master Pro serpentine belt for our 3rd gen Chrysler minivans. It is slightly longer than the correct length. The Gates belt worked perfectly. When I put the Gates belt on, I had to turn the tensioner noticeably harder to put the belt on. That tells me it is a little shorter than the Master Pro belt.

A tip about installing and removing the serpentine belt: when installing, I first route the belt correctly over all the pulleys, except the crank pulley. I then crank the tensioner bolt clockwise, and slide the belt onto the crank pulley. I do it from under and never had a problem this way. Once I did, it turned out that tensioner was too old and needed to be changed.

When removing the belt, I crank the tensioner bolt clockwise, and slide the belt off the tensioner pulley. Never had a problem this way, either. I do it from the top when removing.

For the tool, I cut off the open end of a 15mm wrench and fit the wrench into a cheater tube of the right diameter. This way, you could have the needed leverage to crank the tensioner and the possibility of shortening the tool to clear it from the wheel well.

And apologies for this very long post. I have to get my points across, nevertheless.
All I have is a straight edge. Thank you all for your responses. They are much appreciated and helpful
 

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....... Now though the belt immediately jumps both pulleys and rides to the inside until coming completely off. I'm going to check pulley alignment but all I ha
This tells me one or two or possibly more pulleys were NOT pressed on enough--correctly, that is. Double check that all the pulleys are seated within factory specs.

Working on vehicles is like a lot of things in life: you have to be methodic, patient, persistent, dedicated......

Good luck!
 
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