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- alternator belt problem on '90 Dakota
March 5, 2012, 7:31 am
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1990 Dakota, rear wheel drive, 2.5L 4cyl, five speed, w/AC died and
would not crank. Replaced battery and it fired up. But it died again
when battery cable was removed. Put in new alternator. Fired up but,
after just a few seconds, made a rattling noise. Shut it down and found
alternator belt shredded. Replaced belt and bumped ignition, then
checked belt position. It still wants to throw off the front of the
center pulley where the smooth side of the belt is routed. Can't seem to
solve by adjusting tension. Any ideas?
Of note: New alternator seems deeper (front to back) than old one. But
parts stores were already closed yesterday when I got to the current
point. Could it be the wrong part with the pulley too far forward?
Thanks in advance, folks.
Re: alternator belt problem on '90 Dakota
Never, ever remove a battery cable with the engine running--that will
blow the alternator, and sometimes other things.
Sounds very much like the wrong alternator, and yes, that could/would
screw up belt alignment.
I'm never going to grow up.
Follow-up - Re: alternator belt problem on '90 Dakota
Turns out it wasn't the alternator itself but the PULLEY on the
alternator. New pulley had 5 blades and was easily 1/4" thicker than the
old one which had only 3. The Auto Zone shop still had my core return so
we swapped the pulleys and the old truck purrs like a kitten with no
Interestingly enough, this is the second time I've run into this. The
last time was with a 1987 Toyota Tercel. They were made differently
before and after May 31 of that model year so I thought that split might
have been the difference. But no such mid-year difference appears to
apply to the old Dodge. So I'm guessing all new alternators are made
with thicker pulleys? Dunno what that's all about but I'm definitely
filing this in the ol' gray matter for future reference.
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