Anyone “upgraded” from the tensioner style AC compressor to the stretchy belt?

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91RS

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I’m looking into replacing my AC compressor because both belts have come off twice now at WOT on the 2-3 shift. I’m not convinced the AC compressor is the problem because it only happens on the 2-3 shift since my new transmission and tune revision, but I was considering doing it anyway before GM discontinues the OEM compressor. So, I might just go ahead and do it so no one can claim that’s my problem. I was considering switching to the stretchy belt one to eliminate the tensioner. It looks like only the compressor and accumulator are different. I didn’t look up any of the lines but the condenser and evaporators are the same. Has anyone tried this? I don’t really see why it wouldn’t work.
 
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I "think" you can just unbolt and remove the tensioner and switch to a newer (shorter) belt.

I know when going the other way you just have to buy and install the tensioner and switch to the older style/longer belt.
 
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91RS

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The compressor is different for the years with the stretchy belt. I’m sure it has stronger bearings to handle the strain from the belt.
 

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I’m looking into replacing my AC compressor because both belts have come off twice now at WOT on the 2-3 shift. I’m not convinced the AC compressor is the problem because it only happens on the 2-3 shift since my new transmission and tune revision, but I was considering doing it anyway before GM discontinues the OEM compressor. So, I might just go ahead and do it so no one can claim that’s my problem. I was considering switching to the stretchy belt one to eliminate the tensioner. It looks like only the compressor and accumulator are different. I didn’t look up any of the lines but the condenser and evaporators are the same. Has anyone tried this? I don’t really see why it wouldn’t work.
This was happening a couple years ago on my '07, and even replaced the compressor with new, but it was still happening. Went to the stretch belt and no more problems.
 
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91RS

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So, a number of you have put on the stretchy belt but haven't changed the compressor to the newer one? Interesting. The new compressor is a little bit cheaper. I just replaced my AC belt tensioner 6 months ago because the pulley was making noise. Kinda annoying.

I still wonder why the accumulator is different between the years also. The amount of oil and the refrigerant capacity doesn't change either.
 

j91z28d1

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you can buy the belts different size stretchy belts to. so I don't think you'd need to change the compressor?



I fought thru the belts on my c6. proper annoying. Google around and holy crap, it's a ls thing. there's a 100 page thread on a gto board. once it starts it doesn't stop on its own. the older sports cars had a upper idler pulley which seemed to help. there was a company that made add on one years ago but I emailed them and wouldn't make any.

after a good 6 months of trying things, including a Lazer belt alignment tool made by gates, I didn't get it. I got a go pro video of it. a kinda non car guy friend of mine saw the video, commented the belt wasn't centers on the crank pulley. I'm like sure it is, what are you looking at?

long story short, I got to looking and he was right. damn compressor wasn't aligned right. there's no adjustments, it just bolts to the block and over 100k miles of hard use never a issue. but once it did it, it kept doing it. I could toss it on demand. 2 new oem tensioners, different belts, nothing. in the end a old school starter shim put under both rear bolts, belt centered up on the crank pulley and never threw it again.

I got nothing.. my only theory is core shift in the block.

Screenshot_20240517-174601.png

I honestly didn't see it at first, it was towards the front of the pulley in this Pic. once shimmer up it ran even on both sides and never have had a issue since. beat the crap out of it trying.


here's it rolling off.
 
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91RS

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I actually had thought about asking around to see if anyone I know has a GoPro I could borrow to see what’s going on. I do see in your video it looks like the belt is pushed toward the front of the balancer. The AC compressor bolts to a bracket in the trucks, it could be possible there’s just enough movement in the bracket to the block and in the compressor to the bracket that it could be misaligned, or maybe the bracket could bend a little with age. I don’t think the C6 has a bracket though, but it’s been a while since I’ve done a compressor on a C6. I was thinking about trying those gates green HD belts but that may not doing anything.

I still was planning to replace my AC compressor at some point anyway before I get stuck with a crappy aftermarket one, but if replacing it won’t fix this issue, then I’m not sure it needs to be on the immediately if not sooner list. And then I don’t know if I should get the 07-09 compressor or the 10-14 compressor. I’ve known they were different for a while but always assumed it had stronger bearings to deal with the stretchy belt but, something else has to be different if the accumulator is different. Both OEM accumulators are discontinued. I found a seller on eBay with 10 of the early accumulators but haven’t looked for the later one yet.
 
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Scrappycrow

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in the end a old school starter shim put under both rear bolts, belt centered up on the crank pulley and never threw it again.
In a similar vein, I used old-school suspension shims to align the brackets/pulleys on an aftermarket serpentine system the previous owner had installed on the 401 in my '79 AMC Spirit. You can get sets on Amazon for under $15 and there will likely be more than enough 1/64", 1/32", etc. to take care of any/all brackets on an engine.
 

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