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Old 01-06-2013, 05:15 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,253
Mein Auto: 545i
Originally Posted by H F View Post
i didnt change the a/c belt so didnt need that tool , but looks like ill need it now.. since that belt broke too,,,
Yeah putting the AC belt on without the tool got the better of me. I bought a cheaper tool to install stretch belts but it wasn't the same design and there wasn't room for it to fit past the bracket that supports AC lines. I needed the car quickly so I threw in the towel and brought it to my mechanic. 5 minutes later (no charge) I was in business.

Agree with other posters that it is important to visually check to make sure the alternator pulley is perfectly aligned with the other pulleys (a long straight edge such as a level works well). If the alternator is not seated against the alternator bracket squarely (yes the dreaded alternator bracket with the profile gasket underneath that likes to leak and requires raising the engine off its mount to remove the last bolt) the pulley will also be out of alignment and stress the belt. Also the wrong pulley or a cocked pulley can cause the same thing. Examine both edges of the broken belt for wear to see if the belt was being pushed out of alignment.

Other possibility could be belt tension if you removed and reinstalled the tensioner. If you just took the tension off of it while uninstalling and installing the belt then it shouldn't have changed.

I carry my old belts in the trunk as backups for the road. I don't carry all of the tools necessary to install it myself but at least I can hand the backup belt to a mechanic to install instead of waiting to obtain a belt to get back on the road. If you didn't keep the old belt you may want to buy two so you have a spare. If the reason the belt broke is not that it was defective and you can't discover another reason, the next belt probably won't last much longer than the last one and you need to be ready to replace it on the road. I would also carry the proper torx bit, breaker bar and 3/16" drill bit for a couple of months in your trunk so you can install a replacement yourself on the road until you are sure you are "out of the woods" so to speak.
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