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Old 07-22-2018, 10:40 AM   #1
dhcp
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Dizzy Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Thanks for indulging another "belt tensioner" issue I am having. I think, I am having. Here is the situation. I replaced my AC Compressor(Saturn unit via Car-part) and then had this system charged properly by a professional. All was good but it did emit some classic BT(belt tensioner) noise at idle. AC is great!! Now, 10 days later, the alternator isn't keeping up...12.4v then 12 then 11.8 then down from there. Running the AC accelerates the decline. I can't hear slipping but it appears to be. Additonally, I am running an OEM BT, ACDelco 21007465 GM Original Equipment Drive Belt Tensioner, installed about 10k miles ago. The belt had 20k, AC Delco, on it and I just replaced it this morning with a new 780 length. Following the r/r voltage measures 12.2v ish and declines to 11.8ish with AC engaged. The alt was changed with a new DB Elec less than 20K ago. The effort to move the BT to relieve tension seemed light, I add. All pulleys move with ease. Could this rapscallion BT have failed?

97 SW2, 374,800 miles

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Old 07-22-2018, 10:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Isn't a 778 belt the OEM stock? I realize 2mm isn't much difference, but it seems to matter with these beasts.

What brand belt are you using? The groove depth varys with different brands. I feel the Goodyear "Gatorback" is better than many others; can grip the pulleys better.

Are the pulley grooves fairly clean, not a lot of grit or debris in the roots than can hold the belt out of contact (thinking primarily about the alt pulley)?

PS: There are belt-tension gauges. I'm not confident in their accuracy, but probably would show a gross problem with tension.

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:06 AM   #3
dhcp
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Billr, Thank you. OEM, great question as to proper length. The searches all point to 780. The replaced belt was clearly longer, stretched I think. I took a generous amt of brake clean to every pulley. I didn't wirebrush them but...maybe I should.

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Billr, I just used a Drive Rite belt from AAP, only one in stock. Hoped to see a change.

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

780 is OE length. 778 is what some use with noisy aftermarket tensioners.

Have you checked the idler pulley?

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Old 07-22-2018, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Cheyne, Idler pulley feels smooth for having been there for 250k miles.

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Press down on the drive belt. Does it deflect easily or not? Between 45-60 lbs of tension should not allow a drive belt to deflect with finger pressure. Assured of correct belt tension and all pulleys move freely without binding, you're left to consider a failing alternator, poor battery cables and their connections to starter and two grounds (chassis and engine block).

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Most definitely deflecting. I can move the belt, with fingers, 1/2 inch easy between AC and idler pulley.

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

780 belt is too long. Replace it with the shorter 778 belt. Some suspect the belt stretched after replacing belt tensioners when it may be an aftermarket pulley with a smaller diameter.

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Old 07-22-2018, 12:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

There is the 90mm belt tensioner, used with a 780 belt,

And the 76mm tensioner, used with the 778 belt...

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...r+pulley,10346

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Old 07-22-2018, 01:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Belt Tensioner? AGAIN?????

Great responses. In review, Currently running an oem BT, 90 mm, just over 10k miles. Belt I replaced, 780mm, appeared longer when held side by side against the newly installed, today, 780mm belt.

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