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My A/C Compressor locked up on me and started smoking badly, so I pulled over in time to watch my serpentine belt melt in two from the metal on metal contact. The compressor pulley could no longer be spun at all so obviously a new belt would do no good. This is the situation that led me to this experimentation.

I carry a spare belt just in case, but obviously it does no good if you have a seized compressor. I looked into buying a non-A/C belt as a quick fix to get back on the road since I haven't used my A/C in 4 years anyway. Turns out the Non A/C version is actually longer than the A/C belt and has a different routing path, so that option is out.

*Disclaimer* I am not a mechanic. I have done all the work on my jeep minus the welding and I have a good general understanding of how things operate, but again, I am not a mechanic and in no way am I advising that this is a cheap way to avoid a costly repair. I am simply reporting my findings on an option to get back off the trail until you can get it fixed properly. If anyone sees a major issue with this, please reply and let me know.


Using a 70" 6 rib serpentine belt available for $20. You can reroute the serpentine to avoid the A/C compressor all together. Here is the diagram of the way I routed it.

Overlayed in blue is the original routing. You can see that everything except for the idler pulley spins in the correct direction, with the only obvious downside being the long stretch from the power steering to the Alternator.

I did a 20 minute Idle test and watched for slips, bounces, squeals, and excessive vibration and found none. Then a road test with my battery charge indicator running also came up positive.

I enjoy my backcountry time and try to always be prepared for the kind of catastrophic breaks that leave you stranded, and in this case my belt would have done me no good. So I will now carry my short belt just in case. Comments Appreciated.
 
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