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Old 05-30-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Car question

Why don't they make the serpentine belt a chain? For some reason I thought of this today, and it makes sense. Because chains are a lot less likely to break, right? I know Toyota has started using timing chains in some of their stuff, which means that you don't have to change the timing belt every 60,000 miles, so why not do the same for the serpentine?
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car question

Good idea... In theory it seems like it would work, but at the same time, you've got to wonder if it was that easy, it would already be done.

But it's an interesting question nonetheless... anyone have an answer?
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car question

I've heard the belts are are quieter and and cheaper, but I can't hear the engine in most cars unless I take it over 3000 revs, so I can't see the noise being too much of an issue.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber314Chicken View Post
Why don't they make the serpentine belt a chain? For some reason I thought of this today, and it makes sense. Because chains are a lot less likely to break, right? I know Toyota has started using timing chains in some of their stuff, which means that you don't have to change the timing belt every 60,000 miles, so why not do the same for the serpentine?
First of all, a serpentine belt and a timing chain are two different things.

The serpentine belt is the belt that runs the accessories like the alternator, AC compressor and water pump. It runs off a crankshaft pulley. They use belts because they are quieter than chains. If you had a chain that was hooked to all those accessories and had 3 or 4 gears it was going around it would make an awful whining noise under the hood, a lot of unnecessary racket.

The timing chain runs off the crankshaft as well, but it has a much more important job of keeping the camshaft in time with the engine at whetever timing degree it is supposed to be set at (straight up, advanced or retarded however many degrees). Some engines use timing belts and some use timing chains, you can tell which use timing chains because they will emit a small whine from the engine bay.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car question

Also you can fit a belt and pulleys in a smaller space than a chain and gears.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car question

Sure belts can crack and break and you do have to replace them every so often, but if you had a chain you'd have to oil it so it doesn't squeak. Could you imagine a long chain on a car that needs oiled? How much noise that would make......omg! Plus a belt also runs smoother and causes less drag than a chain and gears, the smoother it runs and the less drag it has, the better.

There are a lot of reasons to use a belt instead of a chain. A good bit of motorcycles even use belts now instead of chains.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car question

Then you run into the problem of the chain stretching and slapping against other components.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car question

Or the chain could bind and break something on the engine since it is exposed to the elements. A belt can't do much harm if it comes off, a chain can do a lot of damage.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber314Chicken View Post
I've heard the belts are are quieter and and cheaper, but I can't hear the engine in most cars unless I take it over 3000 revs, so I can't see the noise being too much of an issue.
u can hear mine at 900rps : /
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car question

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Originally Posted by sniperviper21 View Post
u can hear mine at 900rps : /
Holy smokes, I can see why you can hear yours.

900rps = 54000 rpm
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