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How to tension the alternator belt
Many car owners are interested in the question – how to tighten the alternator belt? After all, the battery charge level and the voltage in the car’s power supply network depend on this. Also from how to tighten the alternator belt depends on the condition of the belt itself, as well as the condition of the crankshaft bearings and the generator shaft. Next, we will analyze in detail, how to tighten the alternator belt with a concrete example.
The importance of the level of tension and its verification
Consider what unpleasant consequences will lead to an incorrect level of stretch. If he weakened, there is a high probability of slippage. That is, the generator drive will not work at nominal speed, which in turn will lead to the fact that the level of voltage generated by it will be below normal. As a result, there is an insufficient level of battery charge, insufficient amount of electricity to power the car’s systems, and the work of the electrical system with increased load. In addition, with slippage, the temperature of the belt itself rises significantly, that is, it overheats, due to which loses its resource and may prematurely fail.
If the belt is tight, this can also lead to excessive wear on the belt itself. And in the worst case, even to its cliff. Also, excessive tension adversely affects the bearings of the crankshaft and generator shaft, because they have to work under conditions of increased mechanical load. This leads to their excessive wear and closer to the term of their failure.
Tension Testing Process
Now consider the issue of checking the tension. It is worth mentioning right away that the values of efforts are unique, and depend not only on the make and model of the machine, but also on the generators and belts used. Therefore, look for relevant information in the manuals for your car or in the operating instructions for the generator or belt. Also, the presence of additional equipment installed in the car – power steering and air conditioning will affect this. In general terms, we can say that if you press on the belt for the longest section between the pulleys with a force of about 10 kg, then it should deviate by about 1 cm (for example, for a VAZ 2115 automobile, when applying a force of 10 kg, the belt deflection limits are 10. 15 mm for generators 37.3701 and 6. 10 mm for generators of the type 9402.3701).
If during the check you find that you have a weak or tight tension on the alternator belt, you must adjust the tension. This can be done in two ways, depending on what kind of machine you have – with the help of the adjustment bar or with the help of the adjustment bolt. Let’s consider them in order.
Adjustment bar tension
Fixing the generator with a bracket
This method is used for older cars (for example, “classic” VAZs). It is based on the fact that the generator is attached to the engine using a special arcuate plank, as well as a bolt with a nut. By loosening the mount, you can move the bar with the generator relative to the engine to the required distance, thereby adjusting the level of tension.
Actions are performed according to the following algorithm:
- We unscrew the fixing nut on the arcuate bar;
- With the help of a mount we adjust the position (we move) of the generator relative to the engine;
- Tighten the nut, fixing the new position of the generator.
The procedure is simple, it can be repeated if you failed to achieve the necessary level of tension the first time.
Tension with an adjusting bolt
Adjustment by a bolt on the VAZ-2110
This method is more advanced and is used in most modern machines. It is based on the use of special adjusting bolt, scrolling which you can adjust the position of the generator relative to the engine. The algorithm of actions in this case will be as follows:
Video: How to Attach a Belt to a Trimmer Energoprom
- Weaken the mount of the generator, its upper and lower mount;
- Using the adjusting bolt we change the position of the generator;
- Fix and tighten the generator mount.
The level of belt tension in this case can be carried out during the adjustment process.
Roller tension adjustment
Adjusting roller and key to it
Some modern machines use special adjusting rollers. They allow quick and easy belt tensioning. As an example of using this method, let us consider belt adjustment on a Lada Priora car with air conditioning and power steering, as one of the most popular cars in our country.
How to tension the alternator belt on the “Prior”
Voltage adjustment process
To adjust with a 17 key, you need to slightly unscrew the fixing bolt that holds the adjustment roller, and then use the special key to turn the roller a little in order to increase (most often) or decrease the belt tension. After that, lock the adjusting roller again with a 17 key. The procedure is simple and even an inexperienced car owner can handle it. It is only important to choose the right effort.
After you have completed the tension, check necessary. To do this, start the engine and turn on the maximum consumers of electricity – high beam, rear window heating, air conditioning. If they work properly, and at the same time the belt does not make a whistle – it means that you have performed the stretch correctly.
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During the operation of the car, the owner is faced with many problems, including an unpleasant situation with the alternator belt. He begins, seemingly for no reason, to “whistle”, and to guess immediately why this is happening is not so simple. In our case, we are not talking about a worn or old belt. Everything is clear here – I replaced all things. No, everything is much more interesting, and, as in an exciting English detective story, we will look for a causal relationship.
Inspecting the belt and finding the reasons why the belt whistles.
So, why does the new alternator belt “whistle”? As it turns out, there are several reasons for this, and they are all presented below.
Briefly about a hinged belt
Belt drive is the most common way of transmitting rotation to a generator rotor. The method has been used for a long time and differs from the others in its simplicity: only two pulleys on the shafts that are connected by a belt.
The belt itself is responsible for a lot. It is he who bears the responsibility of transmitting rotation from pulley to pulley. You should know that one part of the belt is tighter than the other. It is the difference in these tension that determines the pulling force and its coefficient.
The belt provides a clear transmission and is quiet in operation. High-quality products are able to withstand prolonged loads, smooth shocks and jerks. They are compact, take up little space, but simultaneously operate several important components of the car: generator, pump, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump.
The rotor of the generator must rotate constantly. This is facilitated by just a belt connection with the crankshaft. The pulleys that are screwed onto the shafts of the generator and crankshaft are connected by a belt, which is necessarily flexible.
The “whistle” of the belt is similar to a hideous clang. It is caused by the fact that the belt slips. The sound from such a whistle is unpleasant and you can hear it at a great distance. Of course, you should not ride in such a situation.
Belt whistle and its causes
Some motorists claim that the belt caught low-quality and carry out a replacement, but it all starts again. For this reason, in order not to lose precious time and extra money, it is recommended to inspect the entire belt drive. An analysis of the conditions under which a whistle appears is the most useful judgment that the car owner makes.
Verification is reduced to the following actions:
- Belt integrity checked (we agree with the version that even new products can be of poor quality today);
- The degree of tension is checked (as you know, belt creaks often occur due to weak tension);
- Shaft cleanliness is checked (another reason for the "whistle", which is described in detail below);
- The line of the two pulleys is checked for displacement.
Five main reasons why the generator whistles
The following is a list of the most common causes of a “whistle” generator belt:
The cleanliness of car parts is an important rule that the owner of the vehicle must observe. Butter, which is accidental hit the belt or shaft, becomes the cause of an unpleasant squeak. This happens due to the fact that the belt loses its former grip on the shaft surface and slips.
The provisions listed above are basic. But this does not mean that there can be no other reasons. The most important thing is to respond to the problem in a timely manner and take urgent measures to eliminate them, then you will forget how the alternator belt whistles.