A complete repair with more inside!
1/9/17 / INA
Making repairs on the FEAD today means interfering with a complex system. Over 40 years ago, if the V-belt broke, you could easily replace it with a woman’s silk stocking and drive to the nearest garage. While in the past only the crankshaft, water pump, and alternator were connected by the V-belt, today there is a complex system under the hood with many different auxiliaries. You won’t
get far repairing an FEAD system today by replacing just individual parts. Increasingly, more energy-consuming features – like air conditioning, seat heating, or a start-stop system – have to be powered. When designing an FEAD system today, true works of art are created with complex paths taken by one or more belts around several components.
All components must be optimally tuned to work together perfectly
This comprehensive system no longer allows the replacement of only a single component – because every single component affects the whole. “We have to understand today’s front end auxiliary drive as something completely different than a few years ago,” says Dr. Robert Felger, Senior Vice President for Product and Marketing, Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket. “And the reason for this is the large number of different auxiliaries requiring a completely different belt geometry.” In contrast to earlier simple V-belts, today’s belts have several specially formed ribs, sometimes on both sides. This makes the belt more flexible and ensures better power transfer to the ever more powerful auxiliaries it drives. “With today’s increased demands on belts, it is necessary that the belt performs at its best despite these demands throughout its service life,” adds Robert Felger. But this is only possible if it works flawlessly with components like tension rollers, idlers, and additional components.
While mechanical or hydraulic tensioning elements primarily ensure consistent belt tension, the overrunning alternator pulley (OAP) decouples the alternator from the rotational irregularities of the engine. With its free-wheel attributes, it transfers power at engine acceleration and lets the belt rotate freely during deceleration, making FEAD operation even smoother.
Today, some vehicle manufacturers are employing a crankshaft pulley decoupler (PYD), the latest development in the area of vibration damping. This pulley with integrated arc spring decoupler has an additional torsion vibration damper and makes the use of further decoupling systems or an OAP unnecessary. The PYD not only reduces vibrations and irregularities in the FEAD, it also ensures lower frictional losses for a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. As the only supplier in the automotive aftermarket, Schaeffler will offer this innovative development as part of its repair solutions under the INA brand beginning in 2017.
Replacing one part changes the entire system
If you repair a damaged FEAD and only replace a single part, you interfere with a system that operates perfectly. At the start of its life, all FEAD components are tuned to work optimally together. During their operating life, they are mutually dependent upon each other. Only in this way can they operate at their top capacity. Even when every component itself has a long service life, they can undergo different levels of wear, making them no longer tuned to optimally work together, which could cause more components to fail. When, for example, the tensioning arm breaks, the cause for this can be a worn-down torsion vibration damper or an overrunning alternator pulley that is no longer intact. If the true cause of the damage is not repaired, the same damage can occur again a short time later. “If you are changing something on the front end auxiliary drive, you would do well to replace all relevant components of the system along with it,” explains Robert Felger. This is why several vehicle manufacturers have already reacted and specify fixed inspection and replacement intervals for the system.
The INA FEAD KIT offers security
To avoid follow-up damage from ever happening, the experts at Schaeffler always recommend holistic repair. “You can’t always pinpoint without a doubt what is really causing the problems in the front end auxiliary drive,” says Robert Felger. “It’s best not to go just half way here. The most dependable method is to renew the entire system. This prevents unforeseen damages, and the car owner can be sure that no expensive follow-up repairs will be necessary.”
For the aftermarket, Schaeffler combines all necessary components for the optimal repair solution in original-equipment quality. Mechanics who use the INA FEAT KIT receive precisely those parts that manufacturers and Schaeffler specify for optimal repair of the FEAD. Nothing more, but most importantly nothing less. This saves the garage valuable time in identifying the necessary replacement parts for the vehicle they are repairing, and it gives the mechanic the security that he is doing a professional installation. The INA FEAD KIT portfolio, which offers over 200 different KITs, has the right repair solution available for nearly all current vehicles. Every KIT contains poly V-belts, tensioner and guide pulleys, and all the accessory parts needed for installation. Depending on vehicle type and load demands on the system, the KIT can also contain an OAP, a TVD, a PYD, or a water pump. For older vehicles, with less complex FEAD systems, a complete KIT is less efficient. For this, Schaeffler naturally continues to offer about 1,600 individual articles that currently cover more than 97 percent of all cars on the road in Europe.