Loose Alternator Belt - and then the rattling started... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Cry Like A Baby Loose Alternator Belt - and then the rattling started...

Oh, deep joy. I tightened the alternator belt last weekend because it was a bit loose. Set off for the west country yesterday on a business trip and by the time I arrived there was a metallic rattling sound underscoring the usual burble from my flat-4. At first it was fairly unobtrusive, and I put it down to the gearbox input shaft, but as the miles clocked off it got progressively louder and crucially did not go away when I put the clutch in.

By the time I was back at Portsmouth (240 miles), I knew what it must be. The water pump is on the way out

I've run the engine up today without the alternator belt and guess what? Yes, quiet as a mouse. I can feel play on the the pulley shaft as well. Fortunately the water seal hasn't gone yet, but I guess its only a matter of time. The pump was new with the engine, which now has 19,000 miles on the clock. Is 20k miles about right for a water pump these days???

Oh well - that's another thing to add to the already long list of jobs to do this winter!

Lauren

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Sad to haer that...

Often the lifespan of the replaced parts are far behind the factory mounted ones,
gaskets, oil seal rings, HT leads, clutch plates and thermostats in my case.

But this would be a "good" ocasion to put the alternator & A/C compressor
union on the engine

George
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Thanks Lonewolf, that's a good point - I'm going to have to remove the rear bulkhead and the cambelts to get access to the pump anyway (and the belts need replacing, their 2 years is almost up). Trouble is... I'm still not convinced I am going to go with A/C, and I probably won't keep my current engine - I have a 1.6 8v (1500 with 1.7 crank) engine to build up for that. Not sure the torque curve of a half-race engine is appropriate for driving an A/C compressor!

I've loosened off the drive belt to reduce the wear on the water pump bearings, but that will have a negative impact on battery charging, so I will be looking to replace the pump sooner rather than later...

Lauren
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"I have a 1.6 8v (1500 with 1.7 crank) engine to build up for that. Not sure the torque curve of a half-race engine is appropriate for driving an A/C compressor!"

I've used the same configuration in my 1.5 IE 33 until 2008. Then the piston shoulder broke between the
first and the second compression ring in the 3rd cylinder, so i decided to move forward by increasing the
bore of the cylinders and replace the pistons to 87mm ones.
I haven't noticed serious torque problems with the A/C engaged, but this was with injection (Jetronic).

The solution for the engines with carburettor: slightly increased depression should be applied
to the distributor's vacuum chamber when the compressor is engaged (with a solenoid valve).
The increased ignition advance will compensate some torque loss at part throttle, and raises
(or at least keeps) the idle too.
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Sorry to read about this problem Lauren - Do you think the belt could have been too tight? 19K miles seems very low mileage.
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Hi Philip - yes, its possible. I had a loose drive belt before and the lack of charge resulted in my only embarrassing breakdown. I'm pretty sure I tensioned the belt according to the book though.

Oh well, its done now. I'll just have to make doubly sure the new pump doesn't go the same way

Hi Lonewolf - thanks for the good advice regarding the A/C compressor - I have heard about ignition advance solenoids for A/C and emissions-equipped vehicles. I'm still considering doing without A/C though, using a combination of removable sunroof panels and Lexan side glass with aircraft style vents...

Lauren
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Quick question.

What's the original width and length of the crank pulley belt that drives the water pump and alternator?

I have a non-OE crank pulley and changing it for an original from a sud.

The belt now is 10 x 850 but the 10mm appears too wide for the crank pulley.

Should it be 9mm wide? maybe 9 x 845? (The tensioner on the alternator is almost at the end of the slide part).
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