It is necessary to measure the power steering belt length.
For example, power steering pump pulley and serpentine pulley have a common shaft axis, if not prepared ahead of time, it will be difficult to complete installation work due to lack of flexibility when the motor was mounted.
In addition, some cars have different lengths for front and rear with front wheel drive.
Therefore, you need to prepare equal length belts in advance and only then install them instead of those leftover ones.
In short, there are many reasons that make it necessary for us to measure the spatial dimensions or sizes of parts before installing them.
The following example describes how we can find out what size our power steering drive belt is:
Usually, their length is printed on the rubber part of belt.
6PK1455(1) for example, is a reference number showing that this particular belt was made by manufacturer No. 3 (Bosch in this case).
Tires and Wheels section has more pictures to help you measure precisely.
How to measure power steering drive belt or other belts? The following video demonstrates how to do it:
To make things even easier to understand we will explain what all those numbers mean. The first row shows these designations: 6PK1455; MS3357 and another reference number V1051-E70A which means it's an Eaton Corporation product and its alternator specification is 70A but there are also 50 and 100A versions of this belt.
V1051-E70A refers to a power steering drive belt. Its width is 1″ (25 mm) measured from the outside, its thickness is 0.114″ (2.90mm).
The 6PK in the beginning indicates that it's a product manufactured by Bosch Corporation with their No. 3 plant in South Africa: Bosch No.3(6PK).
The “1455” part means it was made on 14th November 1955 and also shows its specification number which should help you find more information about this particular drive belt on the Internet or some specialist shops online but for now let's concentrate only on numbers before MS3357 as they are very specific and important.
UK – 4PK1455; 6PK1455; 8PK1455; 12PK1456; 14PK1455; 18PK1455, etc.
USA – 746-146, 746-154 etc.
First column shows its width in millimeters (mm) measured from the outside of belt to outside of belt.
Second number is a thickness of the drive belt measured in millimeters (mm).
Third column shows the amount of teeth that fit on one side of this particular power steering drive belt: If we take No. 3 as our example it's going to be 1440 links per meter but there are also other numbers like 1150, 1500, 1650, 1825 etc. (links per meter).
Let's examine the belt more closely by looking at its teeth: They have rounded tips and not very sharp edges as one might think especially on belts with smaller links per meter numbers because they were made for clothes driers and similar household appliances.
Look closer at the picture above – it shows: ANSI/ASME B40.1-1980 refers to a standard used in United States of America that specifies power steering drive belt dimensions to facilitate interchangeability between different manufacturers products.
You will see this standard right after part number V1051-E70A when you search for further information about this particular belt online or visit your local shop engaged in selling automotive parts but you may also see other standards like DIN/ISO, BS/GB and others.
The last two numbers – 70A – tell us that this belt was made for use in alternators with a specified output of 70 amperes but there are also 50 and 100 ampere versions available although a narrower belt is used in case the alternator's max input power is limited to 50A .
On the Internet you can find different websites sell replacement belts for cars but they all have detailed information about which size fits which vehicle so you should be able to find out what kind of belt your car needs before going shopping or ordering it online.
Some commercials show people measuring their existing belts with analog calipers instead of digital ones to avoid getting wrong results but even they need to double check with a measuring tape or ruler.