1983 chevy caprice battery goes dead. updated

My original post was about my kids battery that was going dead. we removed alternator 3 times for testing. all 3 times shop said alternator good. (2 different shops). We had battery tested by shop. they said
battery is good. we also charged battery and perfomed test as suggested in original post. battery looks good.
we found a bad connector on alternator and thougt our problems were gone. Wrong. We never did get 13volts on battery when car was running. my kid lived out of town and works 6 days a week. His day off was not the same as my days off so trouble shooting time was limited.
He now lives at home and we looked at problem again. It would appear with all the in and out of alternator we did not get belt as tight as it should be. I was able to grab pully on alternator and spin it with little effort. we tightend it up and what do you know 13volts now being read across battery. however after car was driven to get gas it appears belt has loosened up. Can reach down and spin pully on alternator again. when feeling belt it felt as if it got hot and melted a little. and pully on alternator was hot.
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the original post. It was just yesterday I was complaining about changing my kids diaper and now we are working on his car. at least i thougt it was yesterday, or maybe yesterday X20.
the question is to replace the belt do I need to take fan off? or is there another trick. the alternator is the second belt from the fan. are we in agreement that we should replace the belt?
Thanks Rod
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On my 1982 Chevy 305, there was enough room to take the belt off (and put it back on) over the fan blades. That was a Trans Am though, not a Caprice.
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Thanks that info is greatly appreciated.
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I've not seen any vehicles that required the fan to be removed, you just work it over one blade at a time.
Yes, I agree, replace it. Also clean the pulleys, too.
Make sure the bolts are good, and properly torqued, to hold belt tension.
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wrote:

thanks again for you input. I did notice that pulley on altenator looked like it was rusty? I will have my son clean it with a wire brush before replacing belt.. do you think I should get a torque wrench? or since the car was made in usa i shouldn't worry about snapping bolt head off by over tightning it.
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Try not to damage the surface of the pulley. It could cause accelerated wear on the belt.

Tighten with reasonable care. Sure you could use a torque wrench if you are not sure. Torque specs should be in the shop manual.

Huh? Where it was made doesn't have any affect on breaking a bolt. Any bolt can break if over torqued, USA, European, or even (shudder) Korean.
You would not be tightening anywhere near the breaking point, either. Check the shop manual.

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You can use a little 600-1000 grit sandpaper to roughen the surface if it is polished and slipping. It wont hurt anything.
But a good belt, properly tightened, should work. If it doesnt, something else is wrong.
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Hi!

Well, you are getting closer.

When you say "spin" what exactly do you mean? You could turn it with sufficient force, but the belt should have enough tension against the pulley that this should be difficult. If the pulley actually *spins* when you stop applying a moving force to it, the belt isn't tight enough. It should be difficult to turn it by hand.

Alternators generate heat when they operate, and you have to consider all the other heat-producing goodies underhood.

No. When you slacken the belt, you should be able to get it over the fan with minor effort. Work it over the paddles both top and bottom, then take it out. Don't hit the radiator with your hand--you won't hurt it as much as it might hurt you--the fins can be sharp.
A replacement is cheap, so you might as well get one. Maybe the right belt isn't on there...who knows?
When you get your replacement, make it as tight as you can. An alternator that's working hard will pull hard on its belt, and can make it slip. When I did the one on my '84 GMC Sierra (6.2L diesel), I used a piece of rebar to apply force against the alternator while tightening the bolts holding it in place.
That truck, with its two batteries and the load it puts on them, stresses the 78 amp alternator it has pretty hard. And there's only a single, slim belt driving the alternator. A serpentine belt would be an improvement for it.
William
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wrote in message

"spin" may have been a bad term to use "turn" may have been better term to use. we tightened altenator using lug nut wrench. (not the star kind but the one that comes with newer cars jack). And pulley difficult to turn by hand. then we started car and let run. turned off and pulley was much easier to turn by hand. (something like when you put oil filter on car and you are making that last quarter to half turn spin). we made a scratch mark on metal bracket to see if alternator was shifting and it appeared it did not.
thank-you for advice. I was concerned that we could make belt to tight when replacing. and yes we have that single slim belt driving out alternator.
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Proper tension on the belt is, as you found out, absolutely necessary. Can you overtighten? An old mechanic friend once told me "no", but that isnt quite true. Those bearings can take a pretty good load, but, IMO, the proper way is to use a belt tension gauge (if you dont have a spring loaded tensioner in the belt path).
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Thank-you everone for you input. here is the latest on the caprice. it is now sitting in my neighbors driveway. my kid bought another car. (cheap) I told him we should still replace the alternator belt on the caprice and keep it for a few months in case the car he just bought breaks down. Who knows it could have came from hurricane Katrina.
My neighbor saw that my son now had 2 cars and she said she wanted to buy the caprice. I told her "you don't want this car". I told here this several times and wouldn't take her into my house to talk to my son. Well the next day she came over (while I was at work) and bought the car from my son. My son told her that the car had issues. She didn't care. She bought a new chrysler and she wanted a junker to drive during the winter.
Well I guess I didn't listen to my dad either.
Thanks Rod
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Thank-you everone for you input. here is the latest on the caprice. it is now sitting in my neighbors driveway. my kid bought another car. (cheap) I told him we should still replace the alternator belt on the caprice and keep it for a few months in case the car he just bought breaks down. Who knows it could have came from hurricane Katrina.
My neighbor saw that my son now had 2 cars and she said she wanted to buy the caprice. I told her "you don't want this car". I told here this several times and wouldn't take her into my house to talk to my son. Well the next day she came over (while I was at work) and bought the car from my son. My son told her that the car had issues. She didn't care. She bought a new chrysler and she wanted a junker to drive during the winter.
Well I guess I didn't listen to my dad either.
Thanks Rod
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Well, the Chrysler qualifies, IMO
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