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Old 10-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
JohnnyBfromPeoria

 
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IPF Pulley Failure

Yep, it happened to me yesterday. I was driving back from Las Vegas to Phoenix. 13 miles south of Wikieup, AZ (MapQuest that if you want to see; I'm talking about THE middle of nowhere), the small pulley on the left (facing the engine) seized and snapped my serpentine belt. Of course I knew right where my stock belt was at, in the shed at home.

Luckily, I actually had cell phone service, but only if I stood still and faced a certain direction. I called GM Roadside Assistance, who after asking many questions, finally got a guy out of Wikieup to come and flat bed the car 65 miles back to Kingman, AZ, opposite my direction of travel. Lucky for me on several counts: it was a nice afternoon, the driver was nice enough to stop at Auto Zone in Kingman to allow me to buy a stock belt, and he had both a 1/2" drive ratchet and extension for the tensioner and most importantly he had the proper size Allen key to allow me to remove the seized pulley. This last part is important, as the stock belt would otherwise ride on the underside of that pulley in the stock routing and since it wouldn't turn, the belt would not have lasted a block.

And you've probably wondered, what happens when you have a Vortech supercharger plumbed inline but it's not turning while the engine is running? Will the car still run acceptably with the IPF S/C tune but the S/C not turning? Well, I know these answers now, and I'm very happy to report the car ran perfectly the 180 miles home. I mean perfectly. When I got close to home I even ran the car to redline on a freeway entrance ramp and it did just great, felt very powerful and as though there was nothing at all at issue. It was if the S/C had never been installed and the car had never been tuned.

Lessons? Put the stock belt in the trunk. Carry a 1/2" ratchet and a short extension. Carry the proper sized Allen key in case you ever need to remove that pulley and reinstall the stock belt.

Long term solution? I don't know. I will take this up with IPF today. It is an issue with their kit, not a Vortech part. Early on, I had a forum member caution me about this particular problem, but I had been reassured by Jesse, formerly of IPF, that the pulleys were tested and would last. Now I'm not so sure. And now I have what's left of the S/C length drive belt double and triple tangled in the supercharger pulleys that I will have to dig out. It's a big mess and I'm fortunate that the failure did not take out any other components. I'm thankful for GM Roadside Assistance, even though they were seriously confused about where I was, how to handle it and who to call. The tow truck driver was concerned about getting paid properly by them as well. I'm thankful he had the right tools and was able to help me with the belt tensioner (belt routing is in the owner's manual; carry it with you!). The guy was kind of a crack up, too and he reminded me of a cross between Dennis Miller and John Travolta, look-wise, not that I cared, but we had time to shoot the sh!t during the drive.

I will let everyone know how this gets handled.

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
Lil' Nasty
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Keep us updated, hope they have some upgraded pulleys for you...
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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Good to hear you got it back home ok!
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #4
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You proved that you can drive it back home without a belt. Glad all is well now get it fixed lol. Another claim RX made about what their kit can do and not the IPF kit has been debunked.

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Old 10-09-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can't_C_Me View Post
You proved that you can drive it back home without a belt. Glad all is well now get it fixed lol. Another claim RX made about what their kit can do and not the IPF kit has been debunked.

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I think what you are saying is that RX claimed that the car would be undriveable with the supercharger disabled in the IPF kit. Obviously, as you stated, and I demonstrated, this is untrue. Completely.

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Old 10-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Good news from the good guys (Andy) at IPF. He has already called me and offered to replace both of my pulleys with the upgraded design and will also include a new belt. He also asked me if I incurred any towing charges, which I did not, and I appreciate the rapid response from him.

I am in town and can drive, so I can pick up the replacement parts as soon as Andy confirms they are in stock.

These guys rock.

Andy also wanted to point out that owners of any early kits are encouraged to contact IPF for free upgrades to the newest pulley design at no charge. They are covered under warranty.

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
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I'm glad you got it fixed. I deleted my previous comment. You answered my previous concern. Il hit them up soon.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thats great news Johnny.

When is the cutoff date from the early IPF kits?... Just recently got mine so i think i'll be ok, but just curious..
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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Lil Nast, I'm not sure. I'm not even sure that I didn't already have the newer pulleys. I'll let you know if there's a visual difference. Keep in mind that by design, these small pulleys spin at an incredible speed relative to the speed of the larger pulleys in the belt's travels. I am always going to keep the tools necessary to change to the stock belt with me from now on. I suggest you do, too.

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Old 10-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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I still have the old pulleys. the belt was very tight at first. a coouple of hundred miles later it gave a little. I have 12000 miles on the system now. Now close to holloween you put the scare in me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:58 PM   #11
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That's the one nice thing about the RX system, since the super charger belt has its own belt I was fine when my bracket broke. Just took off the supercharger belt and ran NA.

Glad everything worked out for you.

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Old 10-09-2013, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
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That's the one nice thing about the RX system.

It's touching that you have something nice to say about them.

Hahahahaha. Ha.

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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It's touching that you have something nice to say about them.

Hahahahaha. Ha.

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I still have the old pulleys.... I have 12000 miles on the system now.
Just about the same number of miles as I have on my installation. Get them changed out NOW. It's far easier to change out the two little pulleys than it is to change out the belt, as to do that, you have to unmate the two halves of the brackets.

Still waiting to hear back on the in-stock situation of the parts.

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Anyone needing replacement pulleys has been asked to contact IPF at support@kpe-products.com

John B.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #16
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thanks, will look into this. NOW
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:52 PM   #17
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Just checked mine, except for a small fraying area on the engine side about 5 inches long, belt looks good and the pulley's still turn freely (took the belt off the alternator).

Sucks it happened, but at least IPF is taking care of it. Wonder if it would be a worthwhile upgrade to go to an 8 rib system instead of 6 ribs.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #18
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Don't know about that part, GB, but my belt went from near-perfect to shrapnel in ten seconds flat once the pulley locked up. Not sure any belt could withstand that.

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Old 10-09-2013, 05:12 PM   #19
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A Chuck Norris belt could handle that with ease.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:31 PM   #20
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Sorry to hear of your misfortune. But it good to hear ipf step up for repairs.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #21
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Sorry for my ignorance (haven't seen the IPF up close), but does the pulley have a sealed bearing?
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
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It's touching that you have something nice to say about them.

Hahahahaha. Ha.

John B.


I'm glad to hear that IPF jumped in so quickly to get this solved
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #23
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Take you bad set and remove the snap ring, go to a bearing supply house and get FAG bearings and replace, then you will have a spare emergency set. get a belt and the tools and you can change all in about 15 minutes if needed. It would be best if these pullys were a little larger to reduce rpm and use a alternator or tensioner bearing. also sealed bearings are better as the metal shielded tend to let out the lubricant and allow dust to enter.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:44 PM   #24
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The new bearings are sealed German units instead of the Japanese bearings that were used initially. I took both of my units in this afternoon and they pulled the snap rings and pressed out the spacers (one on each side) and the two bearings per pulley, then pressed in the new bearings, then the snap ring, then the spacers were pressed in. I was given a new belt as well. The pulleys both seem smoother than they ever were initially. The shop guy that did the work for me (thanks!) said he was the one who had originally put everything together in the first place. I compared the bearings and they are indeed different.

I just have to split the unit and reinstall the belt, but not today.

If you order new bearings, you will need to have a vice and appropriate sized sockets to help do the pressing in and out of the various parts. It's all pretty apparent what to do when you see everything. An 8 mm Allen key removes the bolts that hold the pulleys.

Excellent, excellent customer service from IPF/KPE (the shop that IPF works out of). Today they had a Porsche from Kuwait that had been shipped over for them to hop up, a Panoz (new) and a bunch of other exotic stuff.

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Old 10-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #25
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Thanks for the heads up John! E-mail sent. Since we purchased at the same time, I'm sure I can benefit from an upgrade as well.

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