Series Land Rover (U.S.A./Canada)
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Series Land Rover Fan Belt Issues

Basically there are 3 issues - it slips, it makes noise and it breaks.
It Slips
Just because the tension was set correctly on the fanbelt some time ago does not mean that it is still gripping and turning the dynamo/alternator and water pump pulleys as it should. Engine vibration can gradually loosen the tensioning fixings and we should check for that 2.5cm total movement mid-way along the longest free stretch of fanbelt. Alternatively we find that the battery is no longer able to turn over the engine sufficiently to start-up, or the cooling system overheats more than it should on a really hot day.
We need to keep an eye on oil leaks, particularly from the crankcase pulley seal, as oil will do the job it is supposed to and reduce friction. Oil also rapidly deteriorates the rubber and leads to early breakage.
If the beltis allowed to slip for long, then the contact surface with the pulleys becomes shiny and slips even more and may lead to the familiar squeeling, especially at engine-start-up.

Series Land rover fanbelt   It makes noise
If tightening the fanbelt does not cure the squeeling then rubbing the 3 contact surfaces of the belt with dry hand soap can cure the problem temporarily. The engine of course should not be running and the fanbelt can be turned easiest with the help of the starter handle (ignition off).

It breaks
We need to inspect the fanbelt carefully and it is recommended that it be renewed immediately if any cracks are seen. This is because the outer covering of the fanbelt is actually more resistant to abrasion and wear than the relatively soft inner. So if a crack is seen in the surface then the internal part of the fanbelt is quite probably about to fail. Similarly, a crack-free exterior does not mean that internal damage has not begun. So keep checking the fanbelt periodically for tell-tail signs.

Always carry a spare fanbelt and remember that a Series Land Rover specification replacement is not essential. Just handing over the used/broken belt to an autoparts retailer should get you a close match for size. There is plenty of adjustment available to accommodate a non Series Land Rover fanbelt.

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Fascinating facts
(No.117)

The Austin Gypsy was planned as a competitor to the Land Rover in 1958.

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