Pep Boys Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts

Get all the knowledge about the Pep Boys Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts, their installation techniques, and their unique characteristics. 

The Polyrib serpentine belt has become a favorite with vehicle manufacturers around the world. Accounting for approximately ninety-five percent of new cars and light trucks sold today. But as with everything else in life, there is a trade-off. All the accessories being powered by the serpentine belt have to be located in one single plane. This isn’t too difficult with north/south engines on rear-wheel-drive vehicles but with the east-west or transverse engines, engineers face more of an opportunity.

Automotive manufacturers found it necessary to locate an accessory outside of the plane. Because of space weight and especially cost constraints, they didn’t want to add yet another tensioner. So they asked for an elastic type belt that has the ability to get installed by stretching it onto the pulleys and then would maintain the correct tension.

Dayco Europe developed such a belt for ford Europe, the Ford C1 Sigma 2003 was the first engine to use it, and was called the Elastica belt. Now Dayco introduces an aftermarket version of this belt with the name shortened to ELA, using the same construction as the Dayco Europe OEM Elastica belt.

What is Dayco ELA Belt?

ELA belts utilize a proprietary EPDM construction and polyamide tensile member that is designed to elongate over a fixed pulley system, then maintain the required belt tension over the life of the belt. Because ELA belts must stretch during installation, their length is shorter than the nominal drive length in order to provide the correct belt drive tension. For this reason, ELA belts are not interchangeable with Dayco’s standard poly rib belts. Installation procedures for the ELA belt also differ substantially.

The Dayco ELA Installation Tools

Here are the tools used; the Dayco ELA installation tool and the three-eighths inch wide zip tie. A specific application uses either one or the other tool, never both. Speaking of never, never use a screwdriver to pry an ELA belt or any other belt onto a pulley. A deep socket wrench or equivalent will be needed to turn the crankshaft.

the Dayco ELA installation tool

How to use ELA Installation Tools?

Let’s take a look at how these tools have few representative applications.

Our first application is a 2009 Chevy 1500 truck with a 5.3-liter engine. The stretchy belt powers the AC compressor.

As a safety precaution; turn off the engine, take the keys out of the ignition, and disconnect the battery. Since the stretchy belt is behind the primary poly rib belt, this primary belt must be removed to obtain access.

The first step is to cut off the old stretchy belt.

Dayco ELA Belt


On this application, the best approach is to loop the new ELA belt behind the crankshaft pulley all the way to the crankshaft itself. This will give you enough belt length to then install the ELA belt on the AC pulley.

Then use the Dayco ELA tool to seat the belt into the crankshaft pulley. Since this crankshaft pulley does not have a concave shape, the bolt is not needed with the tool.

loop the new ELA belt

Now, you have the ELA belt ready to be installed onto the crankshaft pulley.

Place the Dayco ELA tool snugly into the interface between the crankshaft pulley and the ELA belt, so that the belt holds it in place, orient the ELA tool as shown.


Using a deep socket wrench, slowly rotate the crankshaft pulley. The ELA tool will slide the belt across its surface until the belt ribs fit into their respective pulley grooves. Continue rotating the crankshaft pulley until the belt is fully installed, then remove the ELA tool.

To finish the installation, reinstall the primary poly rib belt and reconnect the battery. Dayco recommends cranking the engine over a few times to verify that the belt is properly seated into the pulley grooves.

ELA Belt Zip Tie Installation Method

For an example of the zip tie installation method, we’re featuring a 2005 MAZDA tribute with a three-liter v6 engine. On this transverse engine model pulley mounted on a camshaft is driving the water pump below. Once again as a safety precaution turn off the engine, take the keys out of the ignition and disconnect the battery.

1. To get started remove the three bolts holding on the engine cover and remove it.

Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts at the Pep Boys

2. This will give you access to the driver pulley mounted on the camshaft.

Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts at the Pep Boys

3. Next, take off the right front wheel and unbolt and lower the splash shield as much as necessary in order to access the crankshaft pulley.

take off the right front wheel and unbolt and lower the splash shield

To begin the installation, cut off the old belt.

Next, put the new ELA belt into the correct position on the lower driven water pump pulley. On the upper driver pulley, mounted on the camshaft, thread a three-eighths inch wide zip tie through one of the openings in the side of the pulley and secure the belt where the ribs are first entering the pulley. Pull the zip tie as tight as possible,

Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts at the Pep Boys

Now heaven assistants slowly rotate the camshaft using a deep socket wrench, while you guide the belt into the driven pulley grooves. After the belt snaps into the correct grooves, tell your assistant to stop and then carefully remove the zip tie from the pulley. Reinstall the splash guard right wheel and engine cover and reconnect the battery.

Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belts at the Pep Boys

As mentioned earlier Dayco recommends cranking the engine over a few times to verify that the belt has seated properly into the pulley grooves.

ELA Belt Ensure Perfect Tension

Dayco developed the ELA belt for those specially designed OE drives that require a stretchy belt. Thereby taking the guesswork out of tensioning these fixed center drives. Remember however ELA belts are not interchangeable with Dayco standard poly rib belts. Because of their unique design, Dayco ELA belts will provide the correct amount of tension at installation. Thus providing worry-free performance throughout the life of the belt.

Pep Boys Dayco W-Profile Belts

Ever since Dayco developed the first automotive serpentine belt for the 1979 Ford Mustang. This design is virtually taken over on the automotive accessory drives of manufacturers all over the world.

The standard Poly-V belt has served as well for decades but now it’s time to kick it up a letter for new generations.

Introducing day codes new Polyrib W-profile belt, the next generation of belt innovation. The wow factor in the W profile belt is the innovative groove in the tip of the ribs which enables it to conform to the worn misaligned drives in older applications.

This worn plastic pulley has dished sides and a bad bearing causing side-to-side displacement. the W profile belt also uses a proprietary EPDM rubber compound to extend the life of the belt. Within this rubber are aramid fibers that buffer noise from the belt drive especially those original equipment drives that have become infamous in bays throughout the country for their annoying belt squeal. Dayco’s next-generation W-profile belt is simply the perfect belt for imperfect drives.

Why you may wonder Dayco decide that the next generation of belt innovation was needed?

As it has throughout its history Dayco responded to the needs of today’s aftermarket. Today’s engines run quieter so any belt noise is more noticeable. In the quest for better mileage smaller, more streamlined vehicle designs have led to elevated underhood temperatures. Today’s hired torque accessories but more demand on belts requiring higher belt tension, which in turn generates more heat. Engine idle speeds are lower but belts must still power accessories even at lower RPMs demanding peak torque transfer even on worn drives. Horsepower is higher especially on four-cylinder cars which exerts more torque putting more stress on the belts. In addition to these evolving engine characteristics, the specific design of the engine success we drive can sometimes create problems.

Car manufacturers are still producing some poorly engineered serpentine drives. Here’s why?

  • They utilize offset tensioner design.
  • They design high or low tensioned accessory drives.
  • The amount of belt contact on an accessory pulley is inadequate to carry the required load.
  • They add high load accessories such as much higher output alternators.

These poor designs often produce belt noise which is mistakenly blamed on the belt.

Why Dayco developed W-Belt Designs?

So to help compensate for poor OEM designs Dayco developed the perfect belt for imperfect drives. On the road to innovation, Dayco discovered that one construction wouldn’t work for all applications. Certain foreign nameplate engines used deeper pulley grooves necessitating increased rib depth. To help support this increased depth, extra layers of material were added to the rib stock in the belt.

Of course, aramid fibers were also used in this design to buffer any noise in the drive. Dayco’s newest belt innovations also got a chance of incorporation into Dayco’s premium heavy-duty gold label serpentine belts, for use on the big rigs. A straight rib construction is still used for its additional strength on high torque diesel engines. Dayco’s proprietary EPDM rubber compound helps extends belt life, a critical factor for long-range truckers. The increased amount of aramid fiber ensures reduced buffer noise.

Whether it’s W-profile deep ribbed belts or gold label heavy-duty, Dayco has been working hard to deliver to the aftermarket replacement belts that in all cases meet and in many cases exceed the original equipment manufacturers requirements. That’s why the company thought it was time for the next generation of belt innovation.


Get the best deals for Pep Boys Dayco ELA and W-Profile Belt and other Pep Boys products. As a driver, you should check your engine essential parts such as serpentine belt, timing belt, etc. and should know their signs of wear. You should make sure you get the best replacement parts for your vehicle and Pep Boys can be your one top choice. Also, check the latest Pep Boys deals for additives, chemicals, and motors oils.


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