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RedArrow 01-15-2013 10:40 PM

Belt squeals
Started doing it today… Issue #1: My alternator belt squeals as the engine revolution goes up. It ONLY happens if the heat is switched on in the 2nd position or up (3rd or 4th). :) Symptom #2: When I switch the heat on, the voltage gauge shows the voltage dropping quickly down, immediately, from 14-15V to 10V. It gets even lower if the headlights are on, even more if the high beam is on (with the heat). Rising rpm does not stop the squeal nor rises the voltage levels back to normal. If heat is not on, there is no squeal.
In the past I rarely saw my voltage dropping down lower than 12V, and never more than 1-2 Volts at once... and those times it always happened gradually/slowly (for example when I switched the seat heaters on with full blast of heat, radio, headlights+front fog lights+rear fog lights on +radio +etc ). That`s normal, I think, that in that case the voltage drops from 15 to 12-13-14, whatever, and stays there, being lower than the average I see when driving with nothing on (daytime).
Now, as I put the heat on, the voltage immediately jumps down from 15V to 10-11Volts and the belt starts to squeal too as the rpm increases. It does not stop. If the heat is not on, the voltage stays around 14-15V and there is no belt noise at all. (PS.: The digital Voltmeter shows 14.06V in battery after many days of no-use.)
It’s a nasty cold rain here and completely dark now but I`d like to figure this out tomorrow. Any ideas so far?

ngoma 01-16-2013 10:56 AM

Alternator belt needs to be very tight on these. If yours slips when electrical load is applied, see if you can solve the problem by tightening the belt. Helps to use a crowbar for leverage but be careful not to place the crowbar against any fragile parts.

Also, check the condition of the belt itself.

If the belt is slipping, the gauge will read lower because the alternator is not able to meet the electrical demand.

If tightening the belt does not help (should at least stop the squealing), then start looking at possible failing heater fan or resistor pack, and wiring issues.

RedArrow 01-16-2013 02:25 PM

Belt was not tight at all.
Thanks Ngoma for your opinion! Right after I posted my question here around midnight, I could not got to sleep (again) so I adjusted the belt in the middle of the night. (I was about to post another question again with the results of the fix.) I then saw that you answered me... Just as you suggested, the belt was not tight at all. It has a Volvo belt on the alternator and it looks, feels healthy. Squealing stopped right after tightening the belt. I did what you suggested but I was not sure how tight it is allowed to be. I attacked the 13mm nut and adjusted it... now it`s tighter but I can still push the belt `down` half an inch. Shall I go ahead and do it again?
I still have the voltage gauge drop big time if stuff inside the car is turned on, especially when I turn the heat on full blast (with lights etc)....
The high-pitched squealing belt noise stopped though. I might want to go back and tighten the belt more. How would you make sure that tension is right?
I`m curious if it is a good idea to use an additional bolt/nut in that gap to avoid any future incidents like this one?

ngoma 01-16-2013 03:04 PM

If the belt stopped slipping (squealing) then you got it tight enough. How much did that improve the low voltage situation?

PS: Try a different DVOM. A fully charged 12V auto battery should read 12.6-12.8 VDC. Your measurement of 14.06 for a resting battery is way too high.

Your FLAPS should offer free testing of the charging system and battery, have you tried that?

RedArrow 01-16-2013 07:22 PM

Alternator belt tension
I tightened the belt. I could make it even tighter if I knew how much the desired/suggested max tension is. At this stage I can still bend the belt slightly or push it down half an inch. It could be tighter but I was not sure about specifications. The slipping ended so there`s no belt noise any more but voltage still drops down immediately to 10-11 Volts right after I switch things on such as heating, fogs, headlights, etc, especially if I combine these... I will check on the battery but I guess it is not malfunctioning yet. I do remember though that my voltage gauge showed around 15-16V all times throughout thousands of miles. Also, my newish loose alternator belt issue might be somehow related to my power steering pump minor leaking and/or that belt`s abnormal running angle (misaligned a bit). I have a post about that too. I can`t think too much about this car or anything right now these days but will be on it very soon, hopefully.

v8volvo 01-17-2013 11:07 PM

Did the tachometer reading also drop when the squealing occurs? Usually when the alternator belt is slipping you can see it on the tach, since the tach reads RPM off the alternator.

Now that the squealing is gone, but you are still noticing the voltmeter reading low when the electrical load is high, does the tach still stay steady? If you are seeing big variations in your voltmeter reading but the tach is reading normally, then the belt is probably tight enough now and the voltmeter is probably just a little oversensitive given the range of its fluctuation. Well, either that or the voltage regulator is acting up and/or brushes are worn.... You might want to get access to a known accurate voltmeter and check charging voltage at the battery with engine idling and electrical accessories, lights etc turned on to ensure that the alternator output is sufficient and correct, but it sounds like you have probably cured it.

84wagon321 01-20-2013 03:15 PM

belt issue
My two 84 wagon's belts (both of them!) squealed right after startup due to glow plug and starter drain. Would eventually go away. Eventually, you should be getting more voltage even under loads presented by heater, lights, whatever. I believe you have a regulator/alt problem to further diagnose.

RedArrow 12-26-2014 03:56 PM

Long gone alternator belt squeaky noise came back as a Xmas present
4 Attachment(s)
Well, I grabbed the 13mm+a longer bar &Carefully tightened the belt. Probably not enough because noise stays so I`ll redo it tomorrow.

Usually after cold starts, I started hearing this sh!t squeal again. (for up to a minute). Higher loads (Using heater+fogs+radio,etc) can still trigger same sounds while car`s in motion at lower rpm (any speed, obviously) -->

The belt is definitely not tight. A closer look is telling me it is not in best shape either... WTHeck. (After `cracking up` at multiple spots, did it go elongated enough to become loose??)
I`ll be trying to find a Seller (Volvoparts,tasca,Ipd dont have it)... an 85 D Volvo is almost always non-existent in most of the search boxes.

How important is it to use OE? Sayings about Volvo quality are not always true but This same exact belt have already had its side/edge damages present years ago but never gave up really so i left it alone...by now it does look more disintegrated.

Written on belt: `VOLVO 966 894 9,5 x 750 La Made in Germany 6135`
I`m sure Volvo used same belt on many of their other models also.
Thanks for suggestions. I attached a few fresh pictures to illustrate this cr@p.

745 TurboGreasel 12-27-2014 09:39 PM

Belts get narrower, dryer and slicker with age. If they werar down to hit the bottom of the V, they always slip. Slip also glazes the pulley, promoting more slip. All of these things add likely hood of squeal. Volvo's wierd acessory bushings don't help much either. That belt is old enough even a crap one will be better.
Sometimes wire bushing belts with the engine running will give them a few more weeks, but sometimes you lose your brush. Easier on cars without a mechanical fan usually.

The blower motor is also probably against you, it's a huge current draw, and since they are mounted in such a way as to water the bearing, in 740's they are never in good shape(at least they are easy to change).

Funny story, I took a ride in my friends all electric Chevy Spark which can monitor such things, and in town with heats and light, our power consumption was ~45% propulsion, 55% driver comfort.

v8volvo 12-29-2014 03:44 PM

That belt looks pretty tired. Not at all important to use OE here; any good-quality V-belt will do. Conti, Gates, Dayco, etc. The alt belt on these is short and wears more quickly than the others.

Getting it tight and keeping it that way takes some tricks... I like to loosen the large (13mm head) bolt that goes thru the end of the lower adjuster strap into the oil pump, loosen the adjuster nut, tension the belt, tighten the adjuster nut while leaving the bolt at the other end loose, let off my prybar to let the belt pull the slack out of the joint where the bolt is, tighten the bolt, then loosen the adjuster nut and tighten belt again. Keeps the adjustment from shifting; without doing this I usually find it needs re-tensioned pretty soon afterwards. Also be careful not to overtighten that long bolt through the oil pump and squish the gasket, and don't pry against the aluminum pump body, use the square chunk of iron engine block right next to it. R&R of the oil pump on this motor is not fun. (edit: see here)

Interesting but I guess kinda not surprising to know how much of the juice goes to accessories vs driving -- I assume this was calculated over time for in-town driving? At low speeds, with not much wind/road resistance and plenty of regen braking, the numbers make some sense, even as odd as they are....

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