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BELT BUYING HASSLES


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#1 mrmr56 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:15 AM

Some times, I feel as if the world has left me behind and I can't seem to catch up. I needed an alternator belt early this morning. To save me a trip to town, I took my old belt and went to the closest auto parts store. I handed the clerk a 3/8" width belt and said that I needed one 1 1/2" shorter. The first question was "what does it go on?", and that is when I decided to play their game. I told her that it was an alternator belt for a 1978 MTD 990 garden tractor with a transplanted Kubota Z482 2 cylinder diesel out of a Carrier PC6000 auxiliary power unit. When she said she couldn't find it with that information, I then said to get me one like the sample except 1 1/2 inches shorter. She goes back and measures it and comes back with a 1/2" width belt. I said that's fine except it is too wide upon which she refers me to the computer screen and she points out that it is 15/32" wide. Again, I said that's fine but a 3/8" belt is 12/32" wide. Needless to say, that got her scratching her head as it was well over her head. About that time, the manager came out so you can guess what I did. I finally walked out with a belt like I requested in the first place. I guess it shouldn't aggravate me so much but it does. I thought that bringing the belt and requesting the required length would be enough. I apologize for the rant, but 55 years in the business makes me glad that I was born when I was. Have a great weekend and I hope your's starts out better.


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#2 Cvans OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:45 AM

You can't really blame the lady, it's just the way she has been taught. Some people have a hard time thinking beyond that. 

 

I don't like the parts stores web sites for the same reason. You want to look and see if they have a belt in stock and what is the first question that pops up? What vehicle is this for and on some sites your not going to get around this. 

 

By the way, was your belt 3/8" or 10mm?  :smilewink:


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#3 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:45 AM

If it ain't in the computer, it doesn't exist


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#4 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 09:48 AM

Thats why in my area NAPA is making a come back. NAPA had died off over the last 15 years, now they have opened new stores in the area. They are training their people right also, they have computers and books.


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#5 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:28 AM

Well first thing you did wrong was go to an autoparts store :D  :poke:

 

 

You should have checked with me :D 


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#6 Jazz ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:42 AM

My friend told me the local bearing supply shop carries a huge assortment of belts and much cheaper  than the $60 I just paid for a drive belt for my snowblower.,, a belt which is all of 20".


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#7 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:49 AM

You make me realize now how fortunate I am to have an old school type of store nearby. If I go in with a torn belt, the first thing they do is get a tape measure. And ask how much is missing.
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#8 hamman OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:51 AM

Our son works at ACE Hdwr locally here and I've always told him ........ forget the computer look for what the customer wants first. Then if you can't find it look it up on the computer. My dad told me long ago when we worked on furnaces and needed a belt. A V belt is measured from the outside not the inside. Try to explain that to a "Box Auto Parts" store employee still in or just out of high school. Having the same problem here in town with a 1/2" X 96.3" belt for the Troybilt Pony rider LT.   Thank for sharing the story. I like how you answered her question and she still had no clue. Not her fault really just not taught to reason first probably. JM2CW!                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roger


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#9 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 11:38 AM

Just think..what if the cash register didn't tell them how much change to give you back after you pay...


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#10 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 05:33 PM

Some times, I feel as if the world has left me behind and I can't seem to catch up. I needed an alternator belt early this morning. To save me a trip to town, I took my old belt and went to the closest auto parts store. I handed the clerk a 3/8" width belt and said that I needed one 1 1/2" shorter.

 

I agree on the incompetence found in many retail stores at present. 

 

We sold Gates belts for L&G equipment for many years, but if you came to us with the same request, we could probably not fulfill your request.   .....With very few exceptions, L&G belts were sold in 1" increments.

 

Automotive belts, on the other hand have many odd-size belts available, but some have a different side angle than L&G belts, so care must be used in belt selection.


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#11 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2016 - 10:32 PM

I had a very similar problem last June, that is why I HATE SEARS.

I walked in, with the old pulley off a Briggs motor I accidentally destroyed the carb on, looking for a pulley for the new Honda clone. Me thinking things are gonna be fantastic, I wait in line for my turn, the first thing the witch at the parts counter asked for was the serial number and year. FOR A FREAKIN PULLEY!!! I mean come on!!! I need a pulley this size but with 3/4" bore not 1 inch!!!

So I walked out, barely keeping a series of foul names contained, took a tour around town looking for a 3 1/2x3/8x3/4" pulley. At the end of my rope I stopped at the cub cadet dealership.

BAM! Parts lady came back with OPTIONS! She brought one a touch bigger and a touch smaller.

That is why I like my cub cadet dealership. Rosslyn service is the place to stop if you're ever in my area
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#12 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 07:58 AM

We recently moved out of town so I'm trying to establish a relationship with businesses. We have a KOI (Kentucky,Ohio,Indiana) & Napa locally. I can't believe the difference in these places. When I call for a part the amount of info they ask tells me someone dosen't know what their doing. Both of these places have served me well over the years at our old place so I won't bash either one of them. I'll just say here in the country Napa has the (know how).

Edited by Sawdust, May 01, 2016 - 07:59 AM.


#13 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 12:10 PM

If im at work an a customer comes in like you circumstance i measure the belt an go look for one with out even going to the computer. In most case if its not a newer car i go to the book since i trust that more then the computer. Same with filters for just about all off highway equipment the book is easier.


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#14 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 12:35 PM

Thats why in my area NAPA is making a come back. NAPA had died off over the last 15 years, now they have opened new stores in the area. They are training their people right also, they have computers and books.

I've started going to NAPA more myself, but I find some of the local store's stuff is lacking just a little.  They seem to have a hard time looking up spark plugs, I usually go to Advance Auto for that, 2or3 minutes and I almost always leave with the plug I need.  Fuel line, cotter pins, grease fittings, J8c spark plugs, ect. I buy in bulk online.  I only use Advance's hose clamps as they work good, so I just stick with them. 






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