Question about 1986 Ford Bronco

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Belt and auto-tensioner

'92 Full-size Bronco w/ 300-six, AT, 4x4, w/o AC. This is the third time in eight months that the belt has come off. The first time, I replaced the belt and auto-tensioner. That lasted for five months. The second time, I replaced only the belt. That lasted for three months. Yesterday, the belt came off again and is broken this time. My annual mileage is fairly low. Most of this mileage is on good gravel roads and fair paved roads here in Alaska. Three belts in eight months: does this indicate a deeper problem, or should I just continue replacing belts and/or auto-tensioners as needed?

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While installing a used belt just to get the truck home, I discovered that the pulley-bushing on the power steering pump was worn. This allows the pulley to move fore and aft, thus throwing the belt occasionally. What I learned from all of this can be catagorized as very basic troubleshooting. If you lose a belt that looks to be in good shape, then before you replace that belt, check all of your pullies and devices(water pump, alternator, power steering pump, AC, etc.). Look for pullies that can move or wiggle. And, look for lose or missing mounting bolts on the various devices. A loose or missing bolt may allow that device to become cocked at a slight angle, instead of remaining straight and true, thus throwing the belt.
Thanks
jklong, Alaska

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

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