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Old 10-03-2011, 08:51   #1 (permalink)
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Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

The recent thread about a tune-up has me thinking. My 2001 G.Marquis LS now has 32,000 miles on it and is of course 10 years old.
When I got it last year it had the original tires with most of their tread left but I changed them all due to age and sidewall cracking.
Now I'm thinking that the same logic should be followed with the belts and hoses. Ten years seems like a good time to replace these even with the low mileage although everything looks OK.

My question is this; Is there a brand that I should be looking for to get at least original equipment quality? I'm certainly not going to purchase these at the dealer. And do you think I should go ahead and do this project even though I don't see any wear? Maybe modern materials degrade slower and will last longer? Still, I do plan to take some long trips and would like the peace of mind. Thanks-Brian
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:33   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

The drive belt will last the longest if you get an OEM (Motorcraft) or Goodyear. The Gates wear out twice as fast, in our experience. If you can find a Police version Crown Vic in a wrecking yard, see if it has the blue silicon hoses. They last forever. The lower hose is 2 piece with an oil cooler in line so you probably wouldn't be able to use it.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

Thanks Bert.

I forgot that these new cars just have one belt. So it will be easy I guess to just loosen an idler and slip the belt off.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

That's what's nice about the newer cars, just spin the tensioner and take the belt off. No bolts to loosen.
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Old 10-04-2011, 14:01   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

compared to my car having to loosen the alternator to get belt off and using tire iron as leverage to get alternator to pull belt tight again
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:29   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

Hello No Leaks:
Just a couple of thoughts regarding OEM and aftermarket parts from a SoCal neighbor (Oak Hills).
I worked for a large city agency for 31 years, until retirement ten years ago. We had a large fleet of Crown Victorias, and of course, the city purchased parts at wholesale prices. I couldn't help but notice the difference in wholesale prices the city paid for parts, and the dealer prices I paid, retail. It seems that retail prices averaged about 5 times that of wholesale! So, I feel your pain when I have to buy parts at dealer prices, and I own six Fords. Can anybody say ROBBERY! I still, however, bite the bullet and buy OEM parts if the car is a "keeper". Here's why.

I have been building hot rods and cars from the frame up for many years. I have learned that OEM parts always give better service. They just plain fit and perform well, like when the car was new. I cannot say that for all aftermarket parts. I have learned from my mistakes scratch building hot rods, that even the best parts will not result in good performance if not engineered to work with the other hundreds of parts found in a car. Now, think of the cumulative effect of all the after market parts we might install over the life of our cars. We might get lucky, but most of the time we wind up with a bunch of Chinese parts (no offense meant) kind of designed and machined to fit our cars, and performance will suffer. (I know that Ford parts are made all over the world, but they are made to Ford specs.)

Of course there are many good aftermarket products that have been proven. Bert's mention of Goodyear is one I totally agree with. But for those all important internal parts, I use OEM, and my cars seem to run as well as when new.

Try asking your parts guy for a loyal customer discount. We have many Ford dealers here in SoCal, and if they want your business, they will usually give you a price break. If they won't, you can go down the street to another dealer. When you find a dealer that does, stick with him. Every little bit helps.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:11   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?

Great advice Bajarider. I agree with your assessment regarding OEM and aftermarket and for key items I will splurge for the good stuff.
I am guessing that Motorcraft branded parts are pretty much the best bet for regular maintenance stuff.
As for Goodyear, it is a trusted name but I wonder,so many "trusted brands" these days are just a name stamped half way through the Chinese pot metal. Like the "Moog" parts made in Korea and China.( actually I have no data that Moog quality has slipped as a result)

The other day I was crawling under the GM and noticed that the AC Compressor had a big label proclaiming "Made in Korea" and my first thought was "aftermarket replacement",then I realized that maybe Ford shops around and would buy a part from anywhere in the world if it was up to spec and the best price.

I too have found that dealers do have a little wiggle room with prices, usually 10-20 % if you really try.- Brian

Bert; I was just at the junk yard and there where dozens of taxi CVs most ex-cop cars but they all had 4-500K miles and I would be hesitant to use the hoses from one of those. I guess I'll wait for a wrecked cop car to hit the lot.Or just get Motorcraft. Thanks.
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Last edited by NoLeaks2001; 10-05-2011 at 10:14. Reason: clearify Moog ref.
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