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Starter bellows
#1303330 Sat Mar 16 2019 07:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 798
F
Forty9 Offline OP
Shop Shark
49 chevy 3100. looking for recommendations on a quality bellows. Mine always seem to tear at the bottom after about 3-4 months. I know Steele offers one at a premium price and I wonder if it's worth it. Thanks


Ed
Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303332 Sat Mar 16 2019 08:20 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 7,529
B
General Purpose
Up until a few years ago, I would say without any doubt that Steele Rubber Products were far superior to the "off shore" products. Steele is a USA company, using quality rubber, made with quality extrusion and molding machines. However, sad to say, that they now have products made overseas. They claim that they "inspect" them to be sure they meet standards. You can't "inspect" the quality of the rubber. You have to test the composition. We don't know which are not made in their USA factory. The off shore rubber will not be the same quality as other USA Steele products. Only the form, fit and function will be near the same. The rubber quality is what controls the deterioration/strength/flexibility.

While the Steele Co. bellows is twice the price, it is probably better to buy their bellows because we are not talking about a lot of money. We can always inquire and find out if a particular part is made by Steele or supplied to Steele.

No one can ever know what goes into the "rubber" at a Chinese factory. Lots of garbage for sure. Recycled, cracks in 3 months trash. Not virgin latex/polymer.


Watch out for careful drivers!!!
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.
You can't teach a new dog old tricks.


Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303422 Sun Mar 17 2019 02:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 798
F
Forty9 Offline OP
Shop Shark
Solved! Found a GM bellows on an auction site for a reasonable price. Hopefully it will last longer than the usual suspects.


Ed
Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303426 Sun Mar 17 2019 03:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,240
H
Boltergeist
If "original equipment" appearance isn't an issue, I'd be tempted to adapt a bellows from a rack & pinion steering system. They're made to flex tens of thousands of times- - - -more than a lifetime of engine starts.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303444 Sun Mar 17 2019 04:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 530
'
Shop Shark
Pic of starter bellows that I purchased back in 2008 .

This will fit your 1949 3100 .

PIC

https://i.postimg.cc/J7pv1wCG/Starter-Bellows-NOS.jpg


George
'54 3600


1954 3600
Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303463 Sun Mar 17 2019 06:40 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 7,529
B
General Purpose
What is a GM bellows? Hope you don't mean N.O.S.
We must be careful with the word N.O.S. It always seems exciting to find something never used. It is exciting for parts that are not made of, or contain, plastic or rubber. I would not recommend buying plastic or rubber parts that are already 30-70 years old for our trucks. Chances are that the rubber has lost all of it's properties and will fail in short order.
Parts with N.O.S. springs, gaskets, o-rings, seals and diaphragms would be on my no-no list also unless these would be rebuilt with actual new innards.

The above also applies to "used" parts of course.


Watch out for careful drivers!!!
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.
You can't teach a new dog old tricks.


Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303502 Mon Mar 18 2019 12:18 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 798
F
Forty9 Offline OP
Shop Shark
Guess I will just have to see how it holds up. Thanks for all the inputs.


Ed
Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303503 Mon Mar 18 2019 12:22 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 7,529
B
General Purpose
I guess if George bought NOS 11 years ago, there is hope. But he didn't say if it's still not split. I have a bunch of documentation about using old rubber. Not just my opinion. I dealt a lot with rubber in my career however. I warn about NOS from time to time. Hope you have good luck on the piece.


Watch out for careful drivers!!!
I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30.
I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV.
I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal.
Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition.
You can't teach a new dog old tricks.


Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303527 Mon Mar 18 2019 02:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,757
F
Fox Online
A teacher, but always an apprentice.
That’s a neat idea, Jerry.


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Re: Starter bellows
Forty9 #1303537 Mon Mar 18 2019 06:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 530
'
Shop Shark
Bartamos ,

I agree with you about 98% on old nos rubber parts .

You need to be highly selective when buying those old rubber parts .

I've only purchased what I consider to be near perfect survivor's .

I have ( 4 ) of these old old rod seals , I'm still on the first one.

The one's that I have stashed have all been massaged thoroughly with silicone rubber protective spray

and are in vacuum packed sealed bags for future use .

My truck has ( 0 ) zero made in china stuff / offshore parts .

I own a Chevrolet not a chinamobile .


George
'54 3600








Last edited by Justhorsenround; Mon Mar 18 2019 12:38 PM. Reason: Mild profanity

1954 3600
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