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Cloth Reproduction fan belts

901 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Chevelle SS 396/375
When I first put my L79 together I spent the extra money for reproduction belts. The alternator needed some shimming and the first time I wound it up both the AC and alternator belt flipped upside down. I hate the look of saw tooth belts but wondering if any body else has had an issue. The other day I took her through the gears and when I got home the AC belt was upside down. I noticed the cloth was worn on one side exposing the rubber beneath it. I did correct the alignment issue but the belt did still flip. Can I assume the belt is no longer usable and I should just buy a new one or the belts do not work well and I should just by a better belt. I really like the look of the repro's. Thanks

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I guess one can say I am impulsive and ordered the two belts. If it fails again with new cloth belts and alignment done I will need to change another belt. But these had to go after looking at them so I do not do more damage to the hood insulation or worse my original shroud. However if anyone has some input I would still like to hear it.
this just recently happened to me. once the belt flipped and the rubber was exposed, i asked myself if the cost of the belt is worth possible engine damage. i say this because my belt flipped and stopped turning my water pump fast enough and the temps pegged the gauge. i saw it and stopped the engine. how it didn't lay waste to the heads i don't know. this was a cloth Gates belt. to me, if the rubber is exposed it is trash!! Good Luck!!
Good to know. When I saw rubber on one side and cloth on the other I could visualize a slippage difference that would cause a twisting effect. How many miles did you get out of them? If I see wear on my new ones they will be replaced without the cloth but I assumed the damage was caused by initially not having perfect alignment.
I was led to believe that once a belt flip's its no good. Some of the nylon threads on one side of the belt have given up. Nothing you can do except get another.. Don't try aligning the pulleys if they all look straight because the issue is in the belts not the pulleys. Unless your pulleys are worn out. These new aluminum pulleys don't last too long.. Also make sure the belt goes inside the pulley grove just a little. The sides of the belt and pulleys are what's doing all the work here... I look for those Gates belts with the green writing on them. There are a few other belt manufactures that are just as good though..
What ever you do don't get one of those complicated serpentine belt systems..
I bought the belts from Quanta and they are supposed to be well made belts. Expensive for sure. The power steering and alternator belts fit in nicely within the groove. However the AC belt is wider however I verified that is how they are. My wife's 71 Camaro AC belt is also the same. My alternator belt was off and I knew it but I figured it was good enough for a while. Guess what I was wrong. The alternator belt got under the AC belt and off went that belt. If these new ones fail again I will just buy a reliable belt that looks decent. Can you recommend any? Thanks

Oh the pulleys are original and in good shape. I really wish Chevy used the deep grove pulleys on L79 cars and not just Vettes. Same engine but the Nova or Chevelle never were equipped with deep groove

I would think the L79 would have come with deep groove pulleys like the L78’s. Although my ‘67 L78 actually just had a standard pulley on the alternator from the factory, so mistakes were made on assembly lines! To this day haven’t been able to find a deep groove water pump pulley for my ‘67 L78, so I opted for the standard pulley....hope it works.

I. Never threw a water pump belt back in the day, however I threw the power steering belt off a few times. This makes me wonder if the factory messed up by not installing the cast iron deep groove p.s. pulley as well!

Don’t you wish fan belts were as cheap today as back in the day! LOL! What did they cost...something like $1.75?

I will have to deal the belt issue when I get by build done....hope it’s not a pain! I also don’t like the sawtooth belts...smooth is the only way to go!
Chevy only put deep groove pulleys on mechanical lifter cars. Corvette just carried them over from the L65 with the 3030 cam and kept using them for the hydraulic L79 engine. They do use quite a bit of HP with increased drag. Personally if this was not a number matching engine I would go with ribbed belts with an idler to keep them tight.
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