91 Pontiac Bonneville 3.8L serpentine belt shredded/melted - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Default 91 Pontiac Bonneville 3.8L serpentine belt shredded/melted

Morning everyone!

New to this forum and hopefully someone might shed some light to this issue. Recently the car my girlfriend purchased about 4 years ago has been having that glorious moment of "when one part breaks and is replaced, something else goes wrong." The issue which the subject line is that the other day the serpentine belt was shredded and wedged itself between what I assume is the crank pulley and the engine.

When I took the belt to autozone the guy asked if something was wrong with my pulley. I said not that I was aware of and he pointed out not only was it obviously shredded(the length of the belt) but it had been warped by the heat of the engine.

Sadly im not car savvy in knowledge but its been breaking down alot and by looking at the manual and other auto specific books ive gained some knowledge. Now one this I noticed (and bare with me on describing it) it looks like the idler arm is slipping off? But I checked the mounting bolts and everything seems secure but it might be where the pulley that has the spring arm is sliding off...so I figure it must be the pulley trying to move the belt off with it...

All in all I dont think the alternator pulley is bad like one co worker suggested and the power steering is fine when they belt wasnt trying to slide off towards the engine.

Oh and I forgot to say that when it shredddd the other day the pulley looked like it was sitting really close to the w/p pulley and when I put the new belt on it had soooo much slack that I was worried. When I replaced it before the pulley was a despedate struggle to lift to give enough slack to get the belt fully on and tight. And that day it was able to slip onto all without any effort... though it randomly got tight again...

Anywaya ill stop blabing for now and see if anyone has insight into it. Hopefullh I gave enough info.

Cheers!
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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Sounds like either one of the idler pullies has seized, or the spring in the tensioner arm is not working. Remove the belt and turn each pulley by hand. The idler pullies are ones not attached to the crank, a/c, p/*, alternator. If any one of them does not spin freely, replace it. Place a wrench on the idler arm adjustment point and try to load and unload the tensioner. If it just flops back and forth with little or no resistance, replace it.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:18 PM   #3
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Well this has been a fun week...

So a long overdue update. I had the water pump replaced and it went on without any problems. Now when I was threading the belt back into place it seems that the tensioner arm was resting lower then what was normal.

SO now I have to replace the belt tensioner arm and that just does not want to come out! its driving me crazy. The one bolt to remove the Power steering pump does not want to come out since its very tightly in to where I cant fit a ratchet in there or a wrench.

Im sure I just gotta go look at the book and hope to find something.

If anyone has a easier method to removing the tensioner arm that would be awesome to get feed back.

Cheers~
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