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9/17/13 12:49am - Original Message: 'original engine belts'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
I have the eventual goal of replacing all three of my new-style (cogged) drive belts with the original style (OEM or repro).  Since I am in the process of replacing my radiator, I thought now would be a good time to start with at least one (all three are in good condition, American made so it's hard to toss them).  I thought I'd start with the alternator belt since I think that's the one that squeals every once in a while when I goose the throttle.  I ordered a standard length repro belt for early '76 out of a catalog and tonight when I went to install I remembered why I couldn't do that.  The valve covers I have to use with vortec heads don't allow the alternator to rotate fully towards the water pump pulley so there's not enough slack to slide the belt on.  When I was putting things together last year I had to have the parts store guy help me out by figuring stock length and then going the next size up.  Is that my only option here or is there a way I'm missing to get the belt on over all three pulleys?  The belt I have is GM 9433657, 53.5".  Looks like I could get 9433764, 56" but it's not cheap and hoping to not have to do that.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/17/13 4:40pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Can you possibly loosen the valve cover, and move it enough to get the belt on? I think I have the same problem with one of the belts on the '74, but can't remember if it's the alternator, or A/C belt....Wacko

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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9/20/13 2:05am - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks, Joel.  I think I'd have to move it about an inch for it to clear and I don't think the rockers will allow that.  I think I may send the belt back for the time being and go with the cogged one.  What are the issues with using new style cogged belts?  Do they sit in the pulley grooves too deep?  And then they don't get the correct contact pattern so they slip?  

Anyone know why you can't get the original style v-belts at the parts stores any more?  It seems like when I first bought the Vette 12 years ago you still could get the correct belts, but now every place I look just has the cogged ones.  Or maybe there are parts stores that can get you the correct ones and I just haven't found them?  Can you still get them at Chevy dealers? 


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/20/13 1:09pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
The "cog" belts are fine...IF they have the correct cut on them. By cut I mean angle, where it fits down into the V groove of the pulleys. The top of the belt should be even with(or just slightly above) the top edge of the pulley groove when installed. If it sits down in the groove, or way above the groove, it is the wrong belt. Belts are made with different angle cuts, and thickness of the sidewalls, as are pulleys. Newer stuff has a shallower angle, compared to older stuff, so most of the newer belts will sit too far down in the pulleys, and they do not make full contact with the sides of the pulley grooves, so it's only using a very small portion of the belt surface...which is why they tend to squeal. A belt that sits too far down in the groove also changes the speed of that pulley, since the belt is running on a smaller diameter area of the pulley. Same is true of the opposite...and old style belt on newer pulley puts the belt too far up in the groove, and that will speed up the pulley. It's not a huge difference in speed, but a difference none the less.
Also....a lot of the newer made belts are "stretchy"....they don't have the same nylon corded construction, so they tend to "flop" while running. The flop doesn't hurt the belt, but it can create a new vibration ya never had before, and can be hard to figure out if ya don't know about it.
Bottom line..if you can get a belt that you can install without disassembling the engine, go for it, as long as it fits in the groove properly.
I have an engineering paper somewhere that explains the different cuts of belts, the different angles used, and why they make them like that...I'll prolly never find it, but I'll look....Thumbs Up

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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9/20/13 7:42pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
rraider1
Former Member
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
On my 77 to put the alt belt on I need to loosen the 2 bolts that holds the alt bracket to the block, get the belt on the pulley, tighten the 2 bolts then adjust the alternator belt tension and it just barely clears the valve cover.

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Bob R
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9/21/13 7:54pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
Willis76 Lifetime Member
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Rockland, MA - USA

Vette(s):
76, L48, 4spd & 09, LS3, 6spd

Joined: 1/30/2003
Posts: 578
Another question on belts - which belts should route around the water pump and crank, and which should route to only one or the other, and why? I have a feeling that my AC belt on the 76 was routed wrong. I took it off a few years ago when I replaced the stamped steel valve covers with aluminum ones. (Belt was too short to clear covers) always wanted to replace belt for one that fits, but want to get one that fits proper routing. Need to check my AIM again. Thanks

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9/22/13 12:18am - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
My back belt goes over the water pump and the alternator. My middle belt goes over the water pump and the a/c compressor.  My front belt just goes to the power steering pump. 

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9/22/13 12:40pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Mine are the exact same as Gary.  My '76 does not have an A.I.R. pump - not sure how that belt is routed if there is one.  

Joel and Bob: thanks for the further input.  I did try to loosen the valve cover and it wasn't enough.  The shape of the center bolt covers must be just different enough to make it not fit.  I put everything back together with my cogged replacement belts.  Joel, you're definitely correct, they do sit down in the grooves too far.  But they're working, not making any unusual noises or vibrations and they only slip occasionally.  So how do you find the wider replacement belts that have correct cross section to fit in our grooves better?  


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/22/13 7:05pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Quanta Products

____________________________________
Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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9/23/13 11:30am - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
rraider1
Former Member
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
here are the belt configurations for 1977
 
 
 1978-79
 


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Bob R
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9/23/13 5:55pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
corvette440hp Lifetime Member
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Joined: 7/2/2006
Posts: 8205
Chirp or Squeal? You might want to watch this informative video...

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corvette440hp
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9/24/13 10:31am - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
daveo76
Standard Member
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks for sharing, Larry!  Informative vid!

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/24/13 8:53pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
Willis76 Lifetime Member
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Rockland, MA - USA

Vette(s):
76, L48, 4spd & 09, LS3, 6spd

Joined: 1/30/2003
Posts: 578
Thanks Bob, this is a great help. 😎

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9/24/13 8:57pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
rraider1
Former Member
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
Thumbs Up

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Bob R
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9/24/13 10:10pm - Reply: 'Re: original engine belts'
apasbigal
Former Member
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goldens bridge, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1972 T-Top 350 auto, matching numbers,Blue, ac

Joined: 11/3/2003
Posts: 498
GREAT INFO. THANKS Big Al

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