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Belt problems?

This is a discussion on Belt problems? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Ok, this may be a silly question. To start, my car is a '00 WS/6. Everything ahead of the throttle ...

  1. #1
    Drivin It Like I Stole It JWSmythe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tampa, FL

    '00 TransAm WS/6

    Belt problems?

    Ok, this may be a silly question.

    To start, my car is a '00 WS/6. Everything ahead of the throttle body has been changed (air lid, MAF, duct). I also have the Borla Y pipe, and lightened flywheel.

    I went autocross racing a couple weeks ago. When got there, while I was checking over the motor, I pulled out the air cleaner. It was a little dirty, so I wanted the extra horsepower. It sounded better too. Everything checked out fine. Fluids were all good. Tire pressures perfect. I was ready to run.

    When we were staging to run, I let the car idle for about 15 minutes. It was cold, and I had a full tank of gas. Everything was still fine.

    A few years ago, I did the throttle body hot water bypass mod. I'm in warm weather areas, I didn't want to warm up my incoming air.

    Playfully, I revved the engine a few times, telling the guy ahead of me to go. As I drove about 100 feet to the start line, I was blowing steam from under the hood. {sigh} It turned out to be the hot water bypass ripped.

    There was enough to work with, so I fixed it, and let it run long enough to let the engine dry off.

    All happy that I was ready to go, I reached in, and hit the throttle all the way up for a second. That blew the serpentine belt off.

    Without tools, two of us sweet talked the belt back on, and I could finally race. I did rev the engine a couple times to make sure everything was OK, but not to full throttle. I noticed the idler was going all the way down, so the engine was pulling on the belt way too hard.

    I know the belt has been a little squeaky when it's cold, since my previous cooling problem that soaked the engine (I posted a few weeks ago).

    My question is, with the air cleaner off, and with the other airflow mods, am I revving up too fast, and the belt can't stay on? I know my car revs up about twice as fast as my friends '00 Camaro SS. I had this happen with an old smallblock 350 that I built for power. Revving it with no load (clutch in) to 6k RPM would blow off the alternator belt every time. What should I do? Is there a better belt I should put on?

    This is a Gatorback belt, so it should stick, but it's worn so maybe that's the problem. Maybe there was still some water somewhere, but the belt wasn't squeeking, so I assumed all the drive surfaces were dry.

    Does anyone have any advice? I'd suspect my worst point for failure is the water pump. It has the pressed on bell pulley, so I can't change it for one with ridges.

    I'm going racing again on Feb 21. Until then, it's my daily driver, so I won't run into problems going to and from work.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beaver Dam KY

    79 T/A -91 Firebird
    1998 Trans Am -Oynx Black

    Your tensioner is shot. Your belt should NEVER come off.

  3. #3
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    1999 TA WS.6

    Katech is for you. I bought one the first time my belt slipped off 2 ribs.. and it has never acted up.

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