V8 Jeep, belts, alternator, low voltmeter


Old 12-22-02, 01:33 PM
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V8 Jeep, belts, alternator, low voltmeter


Thanks in advance for your help

My car is a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, automatic, V8

1) Belts squeal loudly
2) Voltmeter reads between 8-13.

One year ago I replaced the alternator and the battery. While taking a trip a few days after replacing the alternator I noticed the belts squealed at 50+ mph. I did not adjust or replace the belts at that time.

Recently my car would not start. I jumped the car and recharged the battery. The battery held the charge but after a few days it was in the 8-13 volt range.

Recently also the belts have squealed at lower mph and rpm.

Today I tried to adjust the alternator to tighen the belts and remove the squeal. The belts are arranged in a triangle or V pattern. There are two belts that drive the alternator (they are side by side). One has about 1 inch of "give" the other 1/2 to 3/4 inch of give. I noticed that after running the car a short while the "wheel" or groove that the belts run through on the alternator was VERY HOT. None of the other belt contact points were hot.

I adjusted the alternator to make the belts tighter. The squeal became louder (even at low rpm's) BUT the voltmeter read above 14.

I adjusted the alternator to make the belts looser. The squel was reduced (and happened at higher rpm) BUT the voltmeter read below 13 (about 11).

I would like to try and fix
1) The squealing
2) The low voltmeter reading

It seemed, may be coincidence, that the tightness of the belts affected the "squealing" and the voltmeter.

Please let me know if you need any more info

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Old 12-22-02, 02:13 PM
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Did you buy new or used alternator? What brand of belt did you buy? Take belts off to see that all of your accessories spin freely. It seems that you have a accessory that is not spinning, that would explain the louder squeal when tightened. In what you described that the losser belt must drive the alternator and the second belt runs something else from the alternator. Hope this will help. Please reply with info from above.
Old 12-22-02, 03:37 PM
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Pitch all the belts for quality Gates or Dayco replacements, they sound spent and WAY overdue to be changed.

I agree with the brand of alternator, the quality varies widely on rebuilts out there. Purchase a good name brand rebuilt one, eithe from Chrysler, AC Delco or one of the more reliable ones out there.

If memory serves me right, this old horse uses a Ford charging system, if so, a Motorcraft rebuilt would be the best bet and would rival the OEM Chrysler one for quality.

Change the belts first. If the output is still low (You are using a digital meter to check output and not the dash gauge, right?????), the alternator is likely spent.
Old 12-22-02, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 431
Also if your alternator runs off of 2 V-belts they must be replaced with what is called a "matched set". An experienced auto parts dealer should know how to check this out. They use the manufacturing codes on the belts(not just the part numbers)...they must be the same...if they are not then they very well be 2 different lengths...it only takes a fraction of an inch for one belt to work and the other to flap in the breeze or squeel. Your alternator has 2 belts to handle higher loads. This use to be a big problem on the old Mopar police cars with large amperage alternators.

Read this article from Gates Rubber. V-80 system.

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