Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 21:58:02 +0000 (UTC)
From: Joe Morris <>
Subject: Re: Tossed a belt...

- Bob - <> writes: >First, here's a page with the belt route - stock is the diagram on the >LEFT: FWIW -- several years ago the tension idler on my 97 900 failed -- the entire bearing assembly crumbled -- at night, in January, in the mountains of east Tennessee. (And just past the 50K miles point...) I was (barely) able to get off the interstate into the parking lot of a truck tire repair shop and (skipping much detail) later got a ride into Knoxville (~70 miles away) and back to buy a new idler and belt. The reason for this note is that I got the dealer there to print out the manual page showing the belt route -- and it didn't look anything like what I had to install. A little experimentation and lots of cusswords helped me reverse-engineer the path. >The upper idler pulley that goes bad is the one shown at the top >integrated with the tensioner. The break up after 50K miles - so next >time replace it around 45K. In my case the idler was completely broken; the actual pulley had nothing to connect it to the mounting bolt. Also (and something I've not seen noted in this thread) the inner (grooved) surface of the belt was melted, and had deposited its excreta into the grooves on the other pulleys. I suspect that the idler seized, then failed catastrophically. If the OP's belt shows this, check the grooved pulleys for contamination and carefully pry out enough of the mess to ensure that the belt gets a good grip on each pulley. And especially if the replacement is being done outside a garage, it's worth making sure that you have a long rod (such as an old chicken band antenna) to push the (stiff) belt where it needs to go. One side note: Last time I looked at a new Saab engine (in the showroom, waiting for a repair) the serpentine belt was buried under lots of engine-compartment devices. I asked the service people about it; they agreed that it was a major pain for them (in the shop!) to replace the belt, and (IIRC) carried a flat-rate charge of two hours. (No, I don't recall the model involved.) Joe Morris

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