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Old 09-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
foo
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1997 SL1
Default Will putting in a shorter alternator belt help improve fuel efficiency/mileage?

I was thinking of putting in a smaller belt since my a/c compressor isn't working. I was thinking that by bypassing the extra pulley/bearings on/in the compressor that that would probably increase performance, but I'm not sure.

Anyone think that it's possible that cutting out the extra length in the belt and bypassing the extra unit in the system that it will perform more efficiently, enough to save some gas?

I read a post on Yahoo about a guy going with a shorter belt that's made for the non a/c version of my '97 SL1. He had to have the compressor removed and found out he could get a shorter belt. So it made me think that maybe I should remove mine from the equation as well until some future day that I doubt I would fix the a/c...

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Will putting in a shorter alternator belt help improve fuel efficiency/mileage?

Sure it can be done, eliminating the a/c compressor and using a shorter belt. There may little savings in fuel though as the compressor has a sturdy idler bearing that's good for the life of the car otherwise the belt wouldn't be spinning so easily. The combination of removing the entire a/c system may increase mileage a little but not drastically. Removing the compressor, and condenser coil will reduce weight in the front as well as allow the radiator more air flow if the condenser coil isn't blocking the radiator.

Look at the compressor; there's a large bearing that allows the serpentine belt to spin as it acts as a full time idler bearing whether the compressor is running or not. Some owners like reducing the front weight removing all the a/c parts with no intention of using a/c again. There are short belts for
this purpose.

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Old 09-07-2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Will putting in a shorter alternator belt help improve fuel efficiency/mileage?

Even if the A/C doesnt work or cycling but is still in the loop, it is a parasitic drain on the belt drive, really the size of the belt itself isnt a big issue.

Bypass that sucker and even though you might not notice anything amazingly different with your MPG's, you will avoid the chance of the a/c clutch seizing and shredding your belt down the road....

They commonly offer aftermarket idler pulleys to take place of an A/C pulley because it is quite common for the compressor to go bad on a higher mileage or 10 year old car, and instead of replacing the compressor, a pulley is installed and the same belt is used.

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