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Old 09-24-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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FYI on belt tensioner removal

FE BB TC with 5.9, the tensioner can be accessed by doing a reach around from the doghouse.

Putting it back on...we'll see as soon as I get the new part. Dayco 89219.
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:59 PM   #2
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Upon inspection, the old part had the locating pin broken off. It appears the bus mech didn't have right belt length and knocked the pin off to clock the tensioner to accept a short belt.
I installed the tensioner and the belt was too short by quite a bit. I re-clocked the tensioner within the limits of the locating pin and the belt is too long. So I reinstalled the tensioner properly and now I need a longer belt.

The belt on the engine was 69in. A look around the internet showed I may need an 81 in. belt. I cannot measure, no access for that without pulling the CAC and Rad.

My plan is to get an 81 and maybe a 78ish and try them to see which is THE belt.

Anyone know?

This is a bitch of a job btw.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:47 PM   #3
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i've wondered how to change that belt. that sure looks like a job if you have to do it from the top! Belts are always harder than they look!

Good luck!!!!
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:47 AM   #4
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With 2 ppl it wouldn't be as tough.

I am learning some new (words) techniques.

The 2 ac comp. are driven off the outer crank pulley, their belts must removed to r and r the serp. belt. A lot of braille work.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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A/C definitely adds another factor in... as ive seen the AC pulley be an actually bolt on to the existing lower pulley usiong longer bolts.. other-times its already there.(the case of my bus, the pulley was used also on the straight trucks so it already had the A/C groove)..

and sometimes the A/C installer uses the existing belt train with the serp belt and uses a longer belt.. i have seen a tag placed on the bus.. usually near the controller for the A/C where the amount of freon along with the correct belt lengths asre written...

A/C was not added by ther chassis builder.. and ot may or may not have been added by the bus body builder.... its often a send-out..

some schools would bid theire bus buys, get their busses, and then aftyer they arrived to a bid out to have A/C installed on some or all of them.. thats why you see bluebirds sometimes with thermoking, other times, carrier, transiar, red dot, ProAir, etc..

and if that wasnt bad enough, sometimes a school would send an individual bus out to have A/C added..

each installer did it differently so there are lots of combinations of pulleys, belts, and brackets out there...

if you have a Bus with A/C you are keeping, I would either read the numbers off the belt when you first get it if they are readable, or yank the belt and have it measured,
just in case you break and lose it completely at some point..

-Christopher
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
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OK, all done and road ready.

This started when upon starting the engine and doing my walk around, I could hear the tensioner pulley beginning to chirp.

Removed the old and found the lack of locating pin issue.
The belt in use was 69in.

Reinstalled the new tensioner and the belt wouldn't reach...Not even close.

New belt of 81in. was tried per some online info. Way too long.

Got a 77in....Quite a bit too long.

I discovered a new to me online resource...Gates FLEET catalog! http://www.gates.com/~/media/files/g...6_lr.pdf?la=en

The correct belt for THIS bus is 74 - 5/8in.

New AC belts were installed also.

All's well in 2K4S-Land.

Next month=1200 mile trip. 2 nights Joshua Tree CA. NP, 4 nights at a friend's in CA., 3 nights at Pleasant Valley CG in Bishop CA., 2 nights at Calico Ghost Town CG and 2 nights at River Island SP AZ. then home.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:41 AM   #7
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Don't mean to discourage anyone from doing this maintenance task on their FE bus. To not do it is to risk an on the road breakdown and possible extra damage to surrounding parts. The tensioner pulley was heading towards failure and in the driveway repair beats on the road every time.

The AC belt removal makes the job easier by allowing better access.

If the correct belt would have been in place the job would have been much easier.

If I had to do this again it would take a couple hours instead of the 10 or so I used. Our house is 25 miles from the nearest AP store and I made 3 round trips!
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:50 PM   #8
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Off we go..

On our 2 week trip, leave in the morning.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:27 PM   #9
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Great weather, bus is doing well. In Green Valley Ca at a friend's after 2 nights at Joshua Tree NP. 500 minutes down.
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Old 10-23-2016, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
Great weather, bus is doing well. In Green Valley Ca at a friend's after 2 nights at Joshua Tree NP. 500 ->miles<- down.
1200 miles and home, a bit of a coolant leak but we made it.

Pics coming.
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