Introduction: Replace Fanbelt With Pantyhose!

Picture of Replace Fanbelt With Pantyhose!

Next time you need a v-belt, try using pantyhose instead.
Fiona Grubb demonstrates how. It works great!

As seen on "Know How!"

Do you like this Instructable? Digg it! Then check out episodes one, three, four, five, and [six!

Step 1: Remove the Bad Belt

Picture of Remove the Bad Belt

If the belt is still in place but damaged so it doesn't turn the pulley properly, you'll need to cut it or loosen the pulleys to remove it.

There are usually two bolts holding the alternator in place.
Sometimes it's hard to find both of them, especially in new vehicles that are crowded with complications and you shouldn't own.

Step 2: Install Pantyhose

Picture of Install Pantyhose

As seen in the video, stretch out the pantyhose as far as you can and run it around the pulleys.
Use multiple layers if you can, to really fill the pulley with material so it gets a good grip.
Tie it off with any knot you like.
Cut the tails short.
Drive your car.

Step 3: Install New Belt

Picture of Install New Belt

If you ever decide to get a replacement belt, here's how to tighten it properly.
Use a crowbar or other lever to pry the alternator and tension the belt.
While doing that tighten the bolt with a wrench.


Bigdawg (author)2007-06-21

I hate to break it to you, Tim, but Fiona is a sight easier on the eyes than you. Think maybe you could lend her that nifty orange vest for the next one? ;-) Interesting Instructable. So now I need to carry some panty hose in the glove box. But how to explain that to the wife when she finds them?

BramonoS (author)Bigdawg2017-01-16

obviously you don't put your girlfriend's pantyhose there! put a brand new ones

BramonoS (author)2017-01-16

those hands are huge for someone wearing panythoses

mmartin27 (author)2013-03-05

Don't laugh. I had to do this with a dodge K car, the water pump is on the side not by the fan I was in Nashville Ten out skirts when I over headed, I poured water in the radiator that I had after it cooked down then drove to the next exit. stopped a a quickie store / gas station. they had no parts but said there was a auto zone 15 miles down the road. I bought a pair of panty hose tied a loop around the two pulleys and filled the radiator and drove to the auto zone the guy saw my temporary fix and laughed his butt off, got some tools and installed the new belt. They were still laughing when I left. but it did work

lucek (author)2011-09-17

Won't get you far but maybe far enough. Good ible.

angellicktrooper (author)2011-06-03

not to be rude because i do not really care for cars or whatever but that woman in the first picture is really hot :P so plz if you know her let her know (i dont mean it in a pervy way but a compliment ^^

paappraiser (author)2007-06-20

I'm shocked the old Toyota runs (1976?) . The 20R was amazing.

How about a 78 Corolla with 347,000 KM on the original engine (2TC 1.6), clutch and transmission? I sold mine when it read that on the odometer... I now run a 17 year old Toyota PU with the 22RE... They last forever! (well almost)

I got rid of mine when i would have had to get a custom exhausts and a new cat to pass emmisions.  No exhaust parts stocked any more past 20 years. (there was some new old stock, but they were throwing that out past 2001 if it didn't have another appllcation)

The timing chain had stretched out so I could only run premium and I could tell when the station was not selling you the full octane. I had to make a valve cover gasket out of pure RTV because the cover had warped so much.

I remember rolling it over 200k miles, and I drove it another year past that, so I think we're in the same ballpark.

kill-a-watt (author)kill-a-watt2009-11-08

78 Corolla w/   2TC and a manual. Two door hatchback.

the_eradicator (author)2009-06-18

I learned this trick in the Army, thank G*d for female soldiers ;-)

bill3504 (author)2009-05-28

yep did that when i was a kid, i,m 70 yrs old

bart_eu (author)2008-07-30

It is sad that you cannot do such thing with the another car belt - this one closer to engine....

CrouchingFather (author)2008-07-30

I'd cut my fan belt if i know she was goignto fix it!!:)

OneBadBird (author)2008-06-10

Kinda looks like the old belt would've worked just as well. Surely the hose slips, and how can it be stronger/less likely to break or untie than the damaged belt? Now, if it's just plain broken and you'd like to get home, that's different. What about rope too...

FreakCitySF (author)2007-06-21

Tim wears pantyhose! Tim wears pantyhose! hehe Question, If your belt is torn can you just pull it out without undoing the tensioner bolt and just loop the pantyhose in and tie it good? Or still a good idea to make it tight and then use tensioner?

allandnnn (author)FreakCitySF2008-04-13

you need the belt for your next belt to make for fit

xrobevansx (author)2008-01-17

20R's run forever. I almost bought a 80 Chinook with one...

BranchMonster (author)2008-01-08

This will help me fix a vacuum cleaner attachment for free! I have a bag full of ruined pantyhose! Thank you!

alpha1dk (author)2007-12-24

Really great idea....But I wish she was wearing the pantyhose instead of him!!!!!!

AT (author)2007-06-27

Is getting a pair of Pantyhose cheaper than a new belt? Nice fix. I will have to keep that one in mind if my belt ever goes south. I need to find some pantyhose for my emergency kit.....

KD7WHQ (author)2007-06-24

It will actually hold up longer than you'd think.. One pass of a single knee high kept my '71 Opel Ralley going for three months. I replaced the shortcut with a belt, and there was NO noticable wear. I miss the car, but remember the trick ;) Maybe someone can try this with a snapped serpentine belt , and report back...

Robyntheslug (author)2007-06-22

I'm impressed that it works, but how long will it last? (and will you find out when your car doesn't start).

Wade Tarzia (author)2007-06-21

You gotta admire a fellow with such a lack of self-consciousness. Think of all the macho-men out there, bones bleaching in the desert, because they refused to wear their spare parts! This instructable lends credence to a minor family legend -- my great-great aunt Nettie, so THEY say, once fixed her Model T fanbelt with a horse blanket pin. The family was despairing, but "Nonsense!" she says, and just fixes it and saves the day. What was she doing with a horse-blanket pin, you ask? The same thing Tim was doing with pantyhose.

Coolbreaze (author)2007-06-21

I'm a bit baffled to charge the 12v battery when you start your car your alternator should give 13.5v to 14.5v either your pantyhose isn't doing the thing or someone needs a new alternator.

ironsmiter (author)2007-06-21

Gotta love old ideas reborn. My grandfather, long ago, used this trick when motoring across America, and his spare belt broke also... obviously, the life on the "new belt" is gonna be MUCH shorter, so replace it as soon as possible. Nice video work :-)

TheCheese9921 (author)2007-06-20

NICE LEGS TIM, lol jk jk this is really smart, never new this

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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