Elastic V-ribbed belts are becoming increasingly popular in modern engines. Since they maintain their tension themselves, they do not require any additional tension take-up, which reduces the costs for the drive.
A few special features have to be taken into account when changing elastic belts. Power transmission specialist ContiTech Power Transmission Group has summarised the key tips – and offers workshops a comprehensive range for expert aftermarket replacement.
Elastic belts power the ancillary components and are suitable for drives in the lower and medium output ranges wherever there are fixed center distances. Even if the dimensions are identical, under no circumstances may standard V-ribbed belts be used where elastic belts are required. «The latter do not stretch and therefore do not apply the necessary initial tension to the belt pulleys – or cannot even be fitted in the first place,» explains Markus Pirsch, Head of the Automotive Aftermarket Marketing Service in the ContiTech Power Transmission Group.
Changing the belt requires a certain force since elastic belts have to be stretched when being fitted. Special tools are therefore always required to ensure correct fitting. It is essential not to resort to other fitting methods involving, for example, the use of a screwdriver or other tools which are not fit for purpose,“ advises Pirsch. «Not just because the belt and pulley can be damaged in the process, but also because there is the risk of injury to the fitter.»
ContiTech supplies elastic V-ribbed belts to almost all renowned automakers. To ensure safe, correct replacement, the company offers elastic belts together with a disposable tool in a complete kit for the automotive aftermarket for many vehicle types. The kits, whose quality matches that of the original equipment, meet the specifications of the vehicle manufacturers. Additionally, all the elastic belts in the range are also available individually.
In the case of vehicle types for which no kit is available, ContiTech recommends its special tools: «The UNI TOOL ELAST is especially versatile since it is also suitable for flat belt pulleys without any indentation, with the exception of double pulleys of the same diameter,» explains Pirsch. A practical instruction video showing how to use the tool can be viewed at www.contitech.de/aam in the Service & Accessories section and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/contitechptgaam online.
ContiTech also offers the ELAST TOOL F01 especially for the Ford Focus, C-Max and Mondeo 1.4/1.6l petrol engines and Volvo S40, C30, V50 1.6l petrol engines with the above-mentioned double belt pulley for fitting the alternator belt, which cannot be installed without this special tool.
All elastic belt-related products can be found in the usual catalog systems such as TecDoc.