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Wood Turner plays Mechanic

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by nailed_nailer, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. nailed_nailer

    nailed_nailer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    805
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Ma
    Good quick-fix story.

    My neighbor comes over last night about 10 minutes before I have to head out for a Cub Scout pack meeting.
    He has a shredded serpentine belt in his hand.
    His Dodge Truck with 5.7 L Hemi ate the belt on his ride home. He tells me he has no mechanical skills and asks if I can help out.
    I let him know I have a meeting but will help when I get back about 8:30PM (dark).
    I tell him if he gets the parts I'll put them in for him. I take a quick look at the motor and everything else seems OK.
    I tell him to run to the Auto parts place (20 miles away) and get a new belt.
    I go to the meeting and get back around 8:30. He had gone to the parts place and picked up a belt.
    I grab my portable light and my tool kit(s) and set up on the top of his engine.
    I download a diagram of the belt path off the web (Dodge does not have the belt diagram in the engine compartment).
    We figure it out and start working the belt around the pulleys and idlers.
    I get to the bottom idler pulley and figure out (again in the dark) that it is seized and was the original cause of the shredded belt.
    Well, the parts places are all closed by now and my neighbor has to be to work by 6:30AM.
    So, I start digging and see if I can come up with something in my basement.
    I find an old urethane roller blade wheel with a bearing that matches the shaft diameter of the mounting bolt (Metric BTW).

    Of course the roller blade wheel is V shaped so I chucked it in a screw chuck on my wood lathe and turn the outside surface flat.
    After turning it flat, it is about 2-1/2" in diameter.
    I pack the roller blade wheel bearing with as much Hi-temp bearing grease as I can get in there and mount the wheel in place on the motor.
    I run the belt around and it sits pretty good. The tension arm has enough adjustment to take up the wrong size of the (new) idler pulley.
    The belt even sits on the new pulley OK. We fire up the motor and it seems to work well enough.

    Now I know the roller blade bearings are no where near designed for the RPM of a motor. And that it will probably also disintegrate.
    But for a in the dark fix to get a guy to work the next day We had to try it.
    Worst case he loses another belt and has to limp to work.

    I was quite happy with the quick fix and if it holds together until he can get to a parts store today and get the right pulley all the better.

    I'd call that a good bodge job.

    If I still drank I would have popped a cold one and celebrated.

    Just thought I'd share.

    ---Nailer---
    Jack Straw likes this.

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  2. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,480
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Don't worry, the same company in China probably makes all the bearings anyway.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Yeah Rear Wheel Drive vehicles like pickups are cake for belt changes. Could be worse, it could be a FWD car that snakes the belt thru the motor mounts, and it clears the fender by about .010" or my favorite, my wife's old Honda that had individual belts for every accessory.

    Great seat-of-the-pants fix! Sometimes you can pry the seals out of the old pulley/bearing, clean it up, break it free, lube it up, and it will get you to the parts store.
  4. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,224
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Nice work. Let us know how long it held up for him.
  5. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    Real Yankee ingenuity! Good for you!
  6. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,451
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    Good job. I to have did some heavy improvising when I couldn't make it to or afford a parts store. I've made my own specialty tools. Once wedged a stone inbetween socket and bolt to make the right size on a rounded odd size bolt. Amazing what you can come up with in a pinch with a little thought.

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