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Unread 02-11-2013, 06:20 AM   #1
PhatBasturd
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RIPP SC field repairs: Serpentine belt

One of the items I like to keep onboard for field repairs is an extra serpentine belt. On a stock JK it's a quick <5 minute replacement.

Now, let's add a RIPP supercharger to this scenario. This complicates things a bit or at least seems to...

Looking at the SC setup, it appears that you would have to dismount the SC in order to feed a new belt through the system which probably explains why the belt comes preinstalled with the RIPP kit.

So, if you loose the serpentine belt in the field/on the road it appears as though you have 2 choices (3 if you count towing):
  1. Dismount and tear down the Vortec SC assembly and feed in a new belt (probably <2 hours)
  2. Carry an extra OEM belt and bypass the SC in order to make it home (<10 mins)

Depending on the situation, I would think #2 would be the best solution to get home or to a repair shop where dismounting and refeeding the SC would be easier.

MY QUESTIONS ARE (for those of you with the RIPP SC):
  1. Can you mount and run the OEM belt while the SC is still in place?
  2. Any issues running the RIPP SC tune while using the OEM belt (short term/long term)?


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Unread 02-11-2013, 06:43 AM   #2
ArticRubi
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You're 100% correct, the blower has to be removed to replace the belt. I've shredded 3 of them so far, I have my swap time down to 35 minutes flat

I don't see there being enough room to route an OEM belt in with the blower unit installed, tolerances are really tight there.

Removing and reinstalling the blower can be done pretty quickly with a metric 3/8 drive ratchet set, flat head, and an adjustable wrench or channel locks. Very quick.

My problems throwing the belt (to add a bit of depth to the discussion) have the same source: high engine speeds in mud. My best guess is I get some mud sucked into the belt drive around the crank pulley and it throws the belt off. Problem with the blower bracket is it cages the belt so it can't just fall off, it gets destroyed.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticRubi View Post
... I have my swap time down to 35 minutes flat
That is impressive. It took me 35+ minutes just to get the #8 (back left) upper intake plenum screw back in and tightened. Talk about tight...
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Unread 02-11-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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You don't have to remove the intake plenum to change the belt. The three bolts that go into the front of the block, the other two bracket bolts, then the four bolts holding the blower to the main bracket. Then just two hoses, one for the blowoff valve and the other to the intercooler. It helps to have an extra set of hands to loosen the belt tensioner when routing the belt.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticRubi View Post
You don't have to remove the intake plenum to change the belt...
Not what I meant - was just comparing you being able to change out the belt in 35 minutes and me reinstalling a simple, single 10mm bolt on the back of the plenum. That was a pain in the arse with there being no room on the back side and the bolt being under the fuel hard line, etc, etc...

So based on your description, you literally have to pull the entire blower assembly out correct? Which means the water pump pulley has to come off as well.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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Ah - gotcha. The intake plenum is definitely a PITA. Even with the "right" tools those bolts at the back really suck.

You're right, I did leave out the water pump pulley, needs to be pulled to access one of the three bolt going into the front of the block. It's definitely less than ideal to have to do all that just to change the damn belt. The first time I threw mine and I realized what I had to do to change it....there was a pretty nice string of expletives. I want to say my first crack at it took me north of an hour to finish.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatBasturd View Post
That is impressive. It took me 35+ minutes just to get the #8 (back left) upper intake plenum screw back in and tightened. Talk about tight...
LMAO!!! Ohhh...I remember that $!@#$% bolt! Yes, it took well into an hour to install that bolt. Maybe it was the beer that seemed to make time slow down. I was cursing the Jeep engineers for placing that bolt so close to the firewall.

Option #2 is the best bet. Just throw a stock belt back on there, by-passing the SC. We all drove the JK without the SC installed in the first place. We can learn to drive more slowly (stock power) until we limp off the trail and get back home to get a new SC belt.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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Option #2 is the best bet. Just throw a stock belt back on there, by-passing the SC. We all drove the JK without the SC installed in the first place. We can learn to drive more slowly (stock power) until we limp off the trail and get back home to get a new SC belt.
I have to disagree here... for one, why carry around a $35 part that you may or may not use? Second, I don't believe it's a great idea to run your RIPP tune with the blower out of the loop. You'll be creating an extremely rich environment which can lead to detonation. Even if you retune to stock, you'll need to factor in about 10 minutes just to reflash.

It's a really quick job, I can do it quicker than the time it takes most people to change an busted U joint. I've done it on flat ground, 2 feet deep in a mud hole, and waaaay off camber half way through a rock climb. Not to mention if you don't go ahead and do it, it's a job that needs to be redone later.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArticRubi View Post
I have to disagree here... for one, why carry around a $35 part that you may or may not use? Second, I don't believe it's a great idea to run your RIPP tune with the blower out of the loop. You'll be creating an extremely rich environment which can lead to detonation. Even if you retune to stock, you'll need to factor in about 10 minutes just to reflash.
No worries. Ask RIPP tech if you don't believe me. The computer will recognize that the SC is not in the loop and automatically adjust for it. No need to replace the injectors, spark plugs, MAP sensor back to stock. Just throw the old belt back on and go!
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Unread 02-11-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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All seems pretty inconvenient. Chewing up serp belts is nearly my rig's hobby. Thank goodness it takes me less than 10 minutes to change it.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 10:51 AM   #11
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All seems pretty inconvenient. Chewing up serp belts is nearly my rig's hobby. Thank goodness it takes me less than 10 minutes to change it.
Any particular reason it keeps chewing up serp belts?
I've 41,000 miles on my JK, about 5000 with the SC on it and never eaten a serp belt...yet.
Do you go into a lot of mud or something? Just curious as to what to watch out for.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #12
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No worries. Ask RIPP tech if you don't believe me. The computer will recognize that the SC is not in the loop and automatically adjust for it. No need to replace the injectors, spark plugs, MAP sensor back to stock. Just throw the old belt back on and go!
Fair enough...the same still holds true, why bother doing a job twice? If it was an hour job vs a 5 minute swap, I could buy it. I believe if I had a pit crew I could get it down to under 30 minutes

Different strokes I guess.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
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Fair enough...the same still holds true, why bother doing a job twice? If it was an hour job vs a 5 minute swap, I could buy it. I believe if I had a pit crew I could get it down to under 30 minutes

Different strokes I guess.
I keep both a stock and a spare SC serp belt handy. Already paid for the stock belt, so who know who may need it (a buddy)? If I have a bad day and trash both SC serp belts, I know I can still use the stock belt.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 11:41 AM   #14
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I too, would be curious as to a common cause for destroying a belt. Was thinking about this as my next mod, now not so sure....I like reliability, not a problem child.
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Unread 02-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #15
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To neverhide and rocky, it has proven to be a bit of a problem for me...that being said, I know how to avoid it. The only time it has ever happened is in deep mud at wide open throttle. I know I should avoid it, I regret it pretty much every time I get in it...sometimes my inner redneck needs to be satisfied, what can I say?

I have been thinking about designing some kind of shroud to go under the crank pulley, hopefully it will prevent lots of mud getting there in the future. That said, it could prove to do more harm than good if it traps debris around the belt.
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