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Emergency belt


JonMac46

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My alternator has seized and broken the belt that also runs the water pump. It is a Fiat 2.8 idTD.

It is about 2 miles to the nearest garage.

1. Could I just drive there watching the temperature gauge?

2. Could I rig a temporary belt to the water pump? Old stories were about using nylon stockings as emergency fan belts... .

What do you think?

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Jon has said that his motorhome’s alternator seized and this caused the alternator/water-pump’s drive-belt to snap.

 

His inquiry is whether he can drive the motorhome with no drive-belt to a garage 2 miles away (where, presumably, a replacement alternator will be fitted) safely and without mechanically harming the vehicle, or whether it’s a realistic proposition to rig up some sort of temporary belt to drive the water-pump during the journey to the garage.

 

My answers to those two questions would be respectively “Don’t” and “Probably not”, but it would be interesting to know what the garage would advise.

 

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Our 1.9 ltr Ducato takes at least 3 miles before it gets anywhere near working temperature so I would say the water pump would not be a problem but the lack of the power steering assistance would not be something I would like to attempt.

 

 

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My response to a question seeking a Yes or No answer is generally “If you have to ask, the answer’s No”.

 

I’m guessing from Jon’s most recent previous posting that the altenator-seizing problem occurred at Jon’s home and, if that’s the case, there would appear to be no overwhelming need to drive the motorhome ‘belt-less’ the 2 miles to the nearest garage and take the (probably small) risk that this might cause damage.

 

Conversely, if the event took place in the Back of Beyond and there were a requirement to get the motorhome to the garage and have repairs carried out as quickly as possible, driving there and accepting the risk of damage would become more attractive.

 

I’ve driven badly-wounded vehicles significant distances when it’s suited me to do so and with the certain knowledge that doing this could make matters worse, but I wouldn’t do this if it were easily avoidable.

 

(I suspect Jon’s going to drive to the garage whatever’s said... ;-) )

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Please don't drive it without the Water Pump working.

 

Your engine produces most heat in the Cylinder Head. There is a lot of additional Cold water in the Cylinder jacket and pipe work. When the pump is working all of this water will circulate, preventing the Cylinder head from overheating too quickly.

 

With out the water being circulated the only Cooling fluid available to the hot cylinder head (especially around the exhaust valves) will be what is in the Head and this wont move much.

You are therefore likely to get hot spots around the hottest part of the Cylinder head, in less than a minute, which can then generate steam. This steam then creates a pocket of 'gas' pushing away the water where you want it the most. So the head gets hotter producing more Steam which expels the water, etc.

 

The water in the rest of the engine could still be relatively cool, but without the Pump it won't get to where it is needed. That may mean that the temperature gauge shows 'cool' the whole time dependent on location.

Also possible the Thermostat won't get any hot water, so won't open until the damage is happening.

If it was a 1950's Austin which utilised Thermo Syphoning in addition to pump it might be different.

 

Overheat a modern Diesel and you are looking at big Invoices.

How about a mobile mechanic?

 

 

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Derek is right, the van is at my home.

I am concerned about overheating the cylinder head, which is why I asked about a temporary belt. However, after looking at the pulleys, I don't see how that would work [not like the deep V-shape of my youth].

I have AA Home Start so I'll get them to tow me to the garage.

Thanks.

Jon

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Aandcaravann is basically correct but driving it in might be possible depending on how easy a drive it will be .

 

If the 'van is already on the road and its downhill all the way to the garage with no holdups the amount of fuel used on a day like today near freezing point the amount of fuel used is small and chances of damage are very low.

 

If getting it onto the road is difficult and its uphill with heavy traffic then homestart is the sensible option.

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We rebuild engines that have their roots in 1935, Compared to that anything is modern.

 

We also rebuild the Indenor Diesels from circa 1975 that were used in Boats, Tractors, Road sweepers, Air port vehicles, etc as well as the legendary Peugeot 504, many of which still trundle around South Africa with, literally, a million miles on the 'Clock'.

 

Compared to these it is an exceptionally modern engine.

 

Normally we would class the 2.8 injection engines as older technology, as it was designed in 1974, by Sofim out of the Fiat, Renault and Alfa Romeo collaboration, but in the context of Cylinder Heads and overheating, it is very modern.

In fact this engines migration to Turbo charging in the mid 1980's was delayed due to Cylinder Head Heat issues. So probably more susceptible than most?

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: I had the camper towed to the nearby garage, it rode off on the back of a recovery lorry. It turns out that in Ireland at least, the AA's maximum size to rescue a camper is 5.5m length. When I said I also had ADAC, he said OK, contact them, they'll send us a fax, and then we'll tow you... . I have since cancelled the AA subscription.

The alternator was sent for a rebuild, the bearings had completely seized up.

Now back on the road.

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JonMac46 - 2016-04-02 4:46 PM

 

Update: I had the camper towed to the nearby garage, it rode off on the back of a recovery lorry. It turns out that in Ireland at least, the AA's maximum size to rescue a camper is 5.5m length. When I said I also had ADAC, he said OK, contact them, they'll send us a fax, and then we'll tow you... . I have since cancelled the AA subscription...

 

Standard breakdown/recovery insurance policies target ‘cars’ and, consequently, it’s commonplace for the terms and conditions to include restrictions regarding a vehicle’s dimensions and/or maximum weight.

 

This link compares AA, Green Flag and RAC products:

 

http://www.breakdowncover.co.uk/breakdown-recovery.html

 

The “Which vehicles are covered?” sections all show a 3500kg maximum weight limit. At least for the UK (apparently!) the AA policy does not have a vehicle-length limit, but the RAC’s is 5.5m and Green Flag’s is 7m.

 

Breakdown/recovery policies’ vehicle size/weight restrictions have caught out motorcaravanners in the past. As advised in this link

 

http://www.gocompare.com/breakdown-cover/motorhome/

 

it would be wise to check the terms and conditions of a policy (before buying it) to confirm that it will be suitable.

 

IAEFRTFP ;-)

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