The return of the alternator belt muncher.

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macplaxton
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The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 22 May 2015, 22:09

Well it feels that way.

Went out to start the GS at 2.30am and it was no joy at all. So in went the lawnmower can just in case the fuel gauge was telling fibs, but fuel was getting through, so it was more hope than anything else. With a 3am start, I then proceed to flatten the battery. Dig out a pair from the shed. Mess around with the Ducellier by LED torchlight and remove it and reset the points. Eyeball mk1 guess of the original position for timing. Vaguely right, that'll do.

Having jump started the car, I get the first leg of the journey to the motorway done. Then I have the sinking realisation that the battery ain't charging. Please get me to work, PLEASE. Get half-way there before the engine stops sparking and coast down a slip road to the bottom. Out with the small socket set. Grill off, yes the belt has gone on holiday. Spare belt in glovebox. Have a stab at fitting that, but that idea quickly went out of the window when I couldn't slacken off the 13mm nut on the alternator mount. Only had a 11mm spanner with me, the rest was all 3/8" drive sockets. Bugger! I didn't even have a 10mm for the battery terminals, nor even a crappy adjustable.

But I did have two battery in the back and I did have my jump leads....

Image
IMG_20150522_174907_294 by macplaxton, on Flickr
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IMG_20150522_175040_578 by macplaxton, on Flickr

1½ hrs late, but fortunately the schedule was recoverable to a reasonable degree.

At least tomorrow is not a week day, so it'll be a Honda day. :twisted:

Anyway. I was wondering if it's just this particular car that likes eating belts? I've certainly chained it once before during my ownership, can't remember exactly when, but I guess it within the first few thousand miles I covered since Sept 2008 (I've done around 20k so far myself). I found it annoying then that it didn't have a battery warning light to flag up the issue and only religious checking of the volt meter gave any clue and it was usually fading dashboard lights that were the give-away when it was too late!
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Mothman
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by Mothman » 22 May 2015, 22:15

Cant give you much advice here bud as although i own a GSA, never driven her yet. However, i never leave home in any of my BXs without a toolbox in the back of the motor that has every spanner or diddly bit i might need in case of a breakdown and you cant imagine some of the stuff in it thats saved my bacon. So, dont forget in future!!

Andy
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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 22 May 2015, 23:24

I must be a sucker for living life on the edge. I sometimes carry a toolbox and various bits, but not all the time. Must have at least 6 socket sets now, but that's spread between a greater number of cars :oops:

I now feel the need to assemble the most comprehensive and compact set I can lay my hands on...
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by Stonehopper » 23 May 2015, 08:38

Check the alignment of the alternator to fan pulley. If it's out much it will wear belts prematurely.

- And beware of 'kitchen sink' syndrome!
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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 23 May 2015, 20:04

I was going to check the alignment, but in the "need the car for tomorrow" rush and half-way through a six day run of a working week, skipped it. :roll:

Suggestions on how to check it with all that tin ware in place on a postcard please... :lol:

Stonehopper wrote:- And beware of 'kitchen sink' syndrome!


I know what you mean! Might have to err on the side of that though. I haven't had proper breakdown cover since 2002.
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by sandybx » 24 May 2015, 21:01

Dear Mac,
Try to beg or borrow the correct spanner from somebody else,s car tool kit ( SAAB, s have a pair of swan necked grips in the boot tool kit )
Second attempt would be to try and get a tad slightly longer fan belt.
Third attempt and my favourite ) is, it totally do able to force your spare fan belt, even though it will appear to be a tad on the short side. :) with out having to be able to undo the 13 mm pinch bolt that secures the alternator. You can just wriggle the new fan belt carefully over the plastic fan blades and force over the alternator pulley first, with your fingers :) and then use the starting handle ( under the bonnet ) to turn the engine over forcing the fan belt around the bottom fan pulley . :) Or, if it a tad too difficult, flick it over on the starter motor :wink: :)
That should be job done =D> 8-) :)
Vince :)
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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 24 May 2015, 22:25

Did this job in the "comfort" of the driveway.

What is this correct spanner you speak of Vince? I just got the 3/8 drive socket out (which I had with me the other morning to get to the bolt head. Normal spanner was fine for the nut, although I can see it being handier if it were cranked. For the nut & bolt on the adjustment slot it was easier with a pair of 11mm spanners.

As far as putting the belt on, I started back-to-front, putting the belt over the fan blades first, then spent I while cursing through one of the wide slots trying to get the belt hooked over the alternator pulley. Got there in the end, but I was using a Gates belt that they felt was a good idea to fold up into the cadrboard sleeve :evil: so it wasn't initially straightening out as preferred. Belts was a shorty one a 613 I think.

Does the GSA have a larger pulley that necessitates the slightly longer belt? (625?)

Seven hours on the old charger and a trip to work saw the voltmeter still left of centre, but the journey back this afternoon without lights, etc. was halfway in the solid normal zone.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 18 Jul 2015, 16:43

Was it only 24th May when I changed this?

When driving on Tues/Wed, had a suspicion it was gone again (Voltmeter low). Had a peek today and I can't see the belt over the alternator pulley through the tiny gap in the tinware between the alternator and the pulley. Popped down the local factors and asked for a 610 or 615. He didn't bother looking it up on the computer and thought seeing it might help. Despite being told "there's not much to see" he came out and I popped the bonnet. Asked him to look in the back for a 6282 (dodgy memory) and the nearest number he found was too long, so we both popped into the stores and I saw the shortest was a 600 and the next one hanging up behind it was a 650.

Went home and found the correct Gates number 6281MC (613 long) and phoned them up to get in a pair. A today job has now become a Monday job. :(

On the bright side, there are a gazillion and one things I could/need to be doing instead - such as cutting the grass and trying to get a (cloned) Honda HIM (Honda's Lexia) hooked up to one of the other cars working. So it's not like I'm going to be bored waiting! :D
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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 04 Aug 2015, 14:43

Belts €4 each.

The alternator would move, but not remove without getting the airbox/carb out of the way :grr:

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IMG_20150726_185855_243 by macplaxton, on Flickr

Pulley looks grotty. Done what I could with a wire brush, but could probably do with a new pulley.

Image
IMG_20150726_185925_955 by macplaxton, on Flickr
Image
IMG_20150726_185930_891 by macplaxton, on Flickr

Put it all back - losing a M7 nut in the process, probably under the starter - and left it at that. Substitute M7 borrowed from a Volvo rocker cover (Renault Cleon engine). I suppose I'll need to get that 42mm deep crank pulley starter dog socket some time....
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sandybx
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by sandybx » 05 Aug 2015, 20:58

Dear Mac,
if you were to use a 12" metal file Mac :wink: you need to get that pulley back to bare metal :) ( After looking at your photos Mac ) it is far too rusty in the vee parts where the belt makes contact :wink:
Once you have got the belt contact areas cleaned back to metal, just give 3 or 4 coats of stove enamal ( the black paint they use for repainting multi fuel log stoves ) Mac :)
At least you should be able to get some mileage like that :) I have done exactly the same as the above on quite a lot of the pulleys on my own cars over the years.
One other thing I must mention ( whist you have in pieces ) I would mark with tip ex or touch up, the single wire spade terminal that fits onto the fuel cut off solenoid on the carb top. As it is very possible to get that one mixed up with the single spade terminal that fits on the back of the alternator :idea: If fitted the wrong way the charge warning may stay on all time.
I hope this helps :)
Vince :wink:
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1992 Citroen BX TX i 1.6 auto with air con in White with 47,000 miles.
1988 SAAB classic 900 i with 3 spoke Ronals in rose quartz with 69,000 miles.

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macplaxton
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Re: The return of the alternator belt muncher.

Post by macplaxton » 05 Aug 2015, 21:50

Cheers Vince. I've not mixed my wires up and it's definitely on the right one. It's all gone back together, so I'll leave it until next time...

I've no charge warning, just a volt meter, which is part of the problem of not noticing the instant it breaks. I tend to notice the dim dashboard lighting first. :oops:

Yes I could go to the trouble of being more thorough cleaning the sheaves up, but then for all that effort I could buy a pulley. I'm not sure how much they are these days, but I remember 20 years ago buying Lucas ones for a few quid for ACR alternators - quite often those used to come without fan or pulley so it was either a case of swapping over the old ones or just getting new ones. I put a new one on a 16ACR and not long after broke down near Oban, because I didn't tighten it up properly and it worked loose shearing off the end of the shaft. That was then and I know better than to do that now!
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