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Old 02-16-2014, 09:55 PM
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Weird problem

I'm noticing when my 97 tj is cold and I have a few things on... Lights, heater, stereo... Sometimes it will run real rough and squeal... I notice the battery gauge going real low... If I turn stuff off it will recover... Battery is brand new... Does it sound like alternator? Seems to only do it when cold stops after I'm driving a few miles

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Old 02-16-2014, 10:25 PM   #2
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What motor ?

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Old 02-16-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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Alternators are actually harder to turn when supplying more power. That sounds like the cause to me. Very cool really. First real example I have heard of it causing a problem. Usually comes up in electric fan debates. Good luck brother.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:32 PM
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2.5 4cyl
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:53 PM   #5
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Squealing normally indicates a loose or worn belt.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:00 PM   #6
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Without a doubt loose/worn/glazed/wrong belt.

With engine NOT running, grab alternator fan and try to turn. If you can turn, belt is cause. Inspect and attempt to tighten.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:14 PM   #7
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Hmmm how does turning stuff off fix a belt? His symptoms change turning stuff off... Hey bro turn off the heater it will tighten the belt? What's your logic?
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #8
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I feel that you are having 2 separate issues / lose belt or alt on the fritz and possible deteriorated vacuum elbow on the throttle body. You have starting fluid to fog around the vacuum lines or a propane torch? Use caution with either of these
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:49 PM   #9
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I feel that you are having 2 separate issues / lose belt or alt on the fritz and possible deteriorated vacuum elbow on the throttle body. You have starting fluid to fog around the vacuum lines or a propane torch? Use caution with either of these
You sound like you know well more than I do. I've heard of starting fluid. For OP if it gets sucked into a vacuum leak you will hear a engine change. My question Robert0069 is what to do with a torch? Never heard of it and want to learn.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:56 PM   #10
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When the combustible propane is sucked into the lean-running engine, it will smooth out and speed up slightly. Similarly, you can spray water or motor oil onto a suspected leak and achieve the same end. When the water gets sucked into the leak, it momentarily interrupts the extra O2 stream, and the engine's idle will change.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:03 AM   #11
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When the combustible propane is sucked into the lean-running engine, it will smooth out and speed up slightly. Similarly, you can spray water or motor oil onto a suspected leak and achieve the same end. When the water gets sucked into the leak, it momentarily interrupts the extra O2 stream, and the engine's idle will change.
Very cool. I was imagining a lit torch. Thanks for the fast reply.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:07 AM   #12
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No prob ! Same as the unlit starting fluid used for achieving the same results
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:38 AM
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Uh on throttle body... You're getting beyond me... I'm gonna change the alternator..: if that wolves problem great I can handle that... If it doesn't I'll prolly have to take it to a shop... I'm petty limiter mechanically
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:57 AM   #14
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Hmmm how does turning stuff off fix a belt? His symptoms change turning stuff off... Hey bro turn off the heater it will tighten the belt? What's your logic?
As mentioned earlier, the alternator imparts a load on the engine based on the electrical load of the system. If the belt is loose or glazed the additional load from turning high current drawing devices on could increase the load enough to cause the belt to slip.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:07 PM
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Belt looks perfect to me... Local mechanic said belt looks fine... I got a new alternator hopefully get time to put it in tonight I'll keep y'all posted
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:44 PM   #16
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Soak your adjuster with wd40 FYI
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:50 PM
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Dammit now you guys got me thinking I'm gonna change the alternator for nothing... The belt didn't seem overly tight I'm sure it isn't spec... Maybe I'll start it... Turn everything on and try to make it happen... See what's squealing... If belt I'll tighten and try to recreate again... If hate to go through putting a new alt on just to find out it wasn't the problem... Just makes me wonder why batt gauge was dipping when it happened... Ugh
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #18
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Your on the right track , run to advance auto and have them test it. It's free
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cogburn View Post
Dammit now you guys got me thinking I'm gonna change the alternator for nothing... The belt didn't seem overly tight I'm sure it isn't spec... Maybe I'll start it... Turn everything on and try to make it happen... See what's squealing... If belt I'll tighten and try to recreate again... If hate to go through putting a new alt on just to find out it wasn't the problem... Just makes me wonder why batt gauge was dipping when it happened... Ugh
At the longest unsupported section of the belt, you should only be able to push it about 1/2".
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:10 PM
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Oh duh... They can test it... Geesh good thinking man
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:18 PM   #21
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Soak your adjuster /tensioner lol
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:53 PM   #22
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Mine has been doing the same thing but my tensioner in gone somehow so I'm getting a new one and belt and see if that works.


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Old 02-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #23
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Okay lets explain this all in simple layman's terms.
Belt spins the alternator, the harder the alternator has to work the harder it becomes to turn. With no load it's pretty easy to spin the alternator, even a loose belt will do so.

Now let's put a load on it by turning on all kinds of things; lights, blower motor, radio and such. Each component coming on makes the alternator work harder to compensate.

Now having to work harder it becomes harder to turn. And if the belt is glazed,worn,loose, etc. it can't grip the alternator pulley tight enough and it begins to slip. And it squeals in protest, while at the same time the alternator cannot keep up with the demand of all the things you have turned on. And so the voltage starts to drop and you see it on your gauge.
Because your battery is being depleted and the alternator cannot replenish what it's loosing.

Now then as the voltage drops and starts to go below 12 volts your computer senses this, and a couple of things happen. First as the computer is your alternator's voltage regulator, it will command the alternator to produce more voltage. This just makes the problem worse as it makes the alternator even harder to turn. The belt slips even more and the voltage plummets faster.

Seeing all this happening the computer and rest of items in your Jeep start to act up, they need 12 volts to work, go below that and they just won't do their job.

The above is in a "perfect world", for the problem.
Poor connections/ corrosion/ a weak battery can also add to an alternators load as it has to work harder just to overcome that, let alone if you start dumping more loads on it.

Like said a 1/2" deflection on the belt at the widest span is a good check for tension. But you need to look at the belt for glazing, cracks, wear, and such.


And since the OP doesn't sound like they have a lot of mechanical skills, I would strongly not recommend that they go around using starting fluid or propane around a running engine to check for a vacuum leak.

Highly flammable gases and an errant spark is not a pretty sight, and could cause damage and injury.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:27 PM   #24
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lol one on every forum!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby427 View Post
Okay lets explain this all in simple layman's terms.
Belt spins the alternator, the harder the alternator has to work the harder it becomes to turn. With no load it's pretty easy to spin the alternator, even a loose belt will do so.

Now let's put a load on it by turning on all kinds of things; lights, blower motor, radio and such. Each component coming on makes the alternator work harder to compensate.

Now having to work harder it becomes harder to turn. And if the belt is glazed,worn,loose, etc. it can't grip the alternator pulley tight enough and it begins to slip. And it squeals in protest, while at the same time the alternator cannot keep up with the demand of all the things you have turned on. And so the voltage starts to drop and you see it on your gauge.
Because your battery is being depleted and the alternator cannot replenish what it's loosing.

Now then as the voltage drops and starts to go below 12 volts your computer senses this, and a couple of things happen. First as the computer is your alternator's voltage regulator, it will command the alternator to produce more voltage. This just makes the problem worse as it makes the alternator even harder to turn. The belt slips even more and the voltage plummets faster.

Seeing all this happening the computer and rest of items in your Jeep start to act up, they need 12 volts to work, go below that and they just won't do their job.

The above is in a "perfect world", for the problem.
Poor connections/ corrosion/ a weak battery can also add to an alternators load as it has to work harder just to overcome that, let alone if you start dumping more loads on it.

Like said a 1/2" deflection on the belt at the widest span is a good check for tension. But you need to look at the belt for glazing, cracks, wear, and such.


And since the OP doesn't sound like they have a lot of mechanical skills, I would strongly not recommend that they go around using starting fluid or propane around a running engine to check for a vacuum leak.

Highly flammable gases and an errant spark is not a pretty sight, and could cause damage and injury.

Errant : erring or straying from the proper course or standards.

I don't recall a misfire, misfire code stated, or an arcing alternator. I'm not sure how you light your propane torch down south or on the road to PA but we use strikers or lighters in Ohio and that is a source of "errant spark"!

Here's your approved source for finding vacuum leaks without a fog machine notice I used the word caution in my post which is opposite of your reckless reply

How to Find a Vacuum Leak - Smoking Out Vacuum Leaks - Popular Mechanics

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Old 02-17-2014, 05:46 PM   #25
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I am with Shelby on this one....... DO NOT go smoking out a vacuum leak with PROPANE, not matter WHAT some DORKASAURUS in a magazine says. PROPANE is HIGHLY volatile and can be set off by ANY errant spark (faulty plug wire, unintentionally dropped wrench, accidental contact with battery, need I continue???). Not to mention what will happen if/when the rest of the propane cylinder goes.

Use a can of Carb Cleaner OR the alternate method mentioned in that article about using water or oil.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:59 PM
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alternator is fine… belt is loose as hell… got new belt… just need to throw it on… thanks for all the help guys
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:19 PM   #27
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Good glad your making progress
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:47 PM   #28
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ALMOST ALWAYS the belt.... or corroded cables......... just so all of you know...... been doing this for ALMOST 40 years now.......

Batteries SOMETIMES...... alternators almost never........generators sometimes....
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:49 PM
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well its got a brand new battery… an alternator that works just fine… and it'll have a brand new belt in about an hour… good to go thanks again for the help guys
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:25 PM   #30
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Take care !

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