Saturday, September 4, 2010

OK, those lucky members who convoyed with me to GeoPalooza will recall that my alt belt broke, and we got a new one in Liberty. On the trip I tightened that belt probably five times. It would be fine for a while, then start squealing when I stopped for a bit, then quiet down when I got rolling.

It has been pretty quiet since I got back (no big trips since) but now it has started back squealing a little when cold. I decided to have a look, and was a little surprised.

The belt is still fairly tight, but it is thin and flexible. I can pull the grooves together with my fingers. It also appears to be glazed a bit. There is black rubber powder all over the place. So obviously I need a new belt, but good grief, I have to get more miles out of a belt! 

Car Nut
Sep 1 2010, 08:46 PM
Worked on a Mazda Protege last year with a similar issue. Belt would squeal & stop. Squeal & stop again.....Alternator bearing froze up. Seems it was locking up for a second, then running free for a while, lock up again.....
I hope it's not the alt going bad......
On second thought, if the alt froze up, the battery light should come on, right? I know that hasn't happened.

Took the belt off:

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You see how flexible it is. Also smooth and not grippy, contributing to the squeal.

Well, all I can do is the obvious; try to line up the pulley, replace the belt, roughen the grooves, apply belt dressing.

If that's not it I guess I will replace the alt bearing.

(Edited and cross-posted from "Belt-eating" thread)
Sure enough,looks like it was the alternator going out. I disassembled it, and look what I found:

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So there went $50 for a junkyard special. Hope this one works better.

I do have a lot of success through, they have a very good collection of Metro parts. Usually you can do good if the part is shippable, like an alternator. For body panels and such, it's harder to find a deal around here, since there's only one or two places in driving distance. It does tell you how far away the place is. You can sort by distance or price, very helpful.

UPDATE: The new alternator arrived yesterday, and is now installed. Seems to be more in line with the other pulleys, too. Seems to run fine, we'll see about the belt life.......