Vern, I'm going to copy this to the list.
I know someone out there is going to have the same problem some day. If the
fan belt breaks on the road the best advice I have is that there be an
"emergency fan belt" in the trunk when that happens. See below for details.
In a message dated 98-12-14 18:03:15 EST, you write:
> Just read your "coil" e-mail. In 1968, I purchased a new TR4A which
> Jeanne and I still own. <<snip>>
> Well, I was well equipped. I had a spare coil, fan belt, etc in the
> boot. The fan belt gave out after about a month. I was on the side of
> I-85, but absolutely certain that I could fix the problem. Well, no
> matter what I did, the thing would not clear the chassis brace. Gave up
> after 45 minutes and called Triple A. Knowledgeable mechanic arrives.
> One hour later still no belt on car. Knowledgeable mechanic says, "l am
> sure it is not the correct way to install the belt, but let's loosen the
> motor mounts and jack up motor". Works great and in less than 5 minutes,
> the belt is on. The guy was so embarrassed that he did not charge me
Same thing happened to me in '92 as I was on my way to my first Triumph club
outing about 45 miles away. There I was - alone on a beautiful 2 lane Florida
road when the ignition warning light came on. I stopped, opened the hood and
saw a twisted piece of fan belt. I had an extra in the trunk - so no problem.
Wrong, couldn't get the belt between the chassis bar and the pulley. Finally
some guy in a beat up old Chevy sedan stopped. He had a crow bar and, after
loosening the engine mounts, we used it to raise the engine enough to get the
belt on. I was wearing white trousers which were completely black (from the
tire) after the job was done. I arrived an hour late for the club outing
looking like a bum. Not a very auspicious start for a new club member.
After I threw 3 more belts within the next nine months I realized that we had
pried the engine up by placing the crow bar under the generator and so had
broken the generator mount. This had caused the generator front bolt to
loosen and spin, which then caused the generator to move downward about 1/16th
of an inch. That put the generator pulley out of the plane of the other
pulleys. That caused the belt to rub and caused the 3 subsequent breaks.
> Go to dealer and ask, "how do you change fan belt as it is too big".
> Answer, loosen motor mounts and jack up motor!
Right. That's OK in the garage - I know because I did it the 3 subsequent
times. I loosened the motor mounts, put a floor jack under the frame, jacked
up the car and then lowered it onto a bubble jack which I had placed under the
engine. That gave me the 1/8 inch or so clearance necessary to slip the belt
between the pulley and the crossmember.
> Well, Triumph knew of the problem for at least as long as the 4A had been
> out (over 2 years as my 4A is in the last 200 built). Maybe longer as I
> still do not know if the TR4 has the same problem. Was the technique in
> owners manual? I am sure you know the answer.
AFAIK - Not in the owner's manual. BUT I now carry an "emergency belt", one
of those belts that are open and which you put around the pulleys and then
connect the ends together. That will get me home so I can do the "loosen the
engine mounts and jack it up" trick. BTW that's exactly what I did those
other three times.
When I realized, after replacing 3 belts, (duh!) that the generator had moved
downward and that was why I kept breaking belts, I replaced the front
generator mount and the bolt. No problems since -- but I still carry that
spare emergency belt in the trunk along with a regular spare belt. The
emergency belt will get me to a place where I can loosen the mounts and jack
up the engine in relative calm.