Battery Light Flickering, Serpentine belt shredded. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:43 PM
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Battery Light Flickering, Serpentine belt shredded.

Hey guys, I have a problem i want to pick your brains about.

So the other morning i jump in the truck to go to work and the alternator/battery light was kinda flickering on and off. I killed it and popped the hood, and my less than a year old belt was down to about half as wide, it had jumped grooved in both directions and both sides of it had been destroyed so it was down to about 3 grooves left.

I was pissed to say the least and looked around to see why it would have done this, the bay is clean i don't off road it is a highway work rig. I would have assumed idler or tensioner if it had only jumped in one direction but almost every single pulley was in a different position. I had a goodyear Gatorback in there which i have had exceptional experience with on all of my other trucks.

Ok so i run to the store, no one carries Gatorback in town anymore so i settle on a Gates belt and put it in and it seems fine for the first trip but then the light is now back on, i can see the headlights surge in power with the batt light, this new belt has not jumped grooves.

My theory is that the belts is for some reason not gaining enough traction on the alternator and not spinning it fast enough. It could be because the alternator has gone bad maybe bearings. It could also just be the gates belt is a poor quality unit and i need to go back to the gatorback. I don't know if the first belt shredding has anything to do with the alternator problem but it is also a concern which i can only think it is because of an older tensioner loosing tension.

Have any of you guys had either of the issues or any advice. I really have trouble tearing down the motor these days (just had twins, work 5 days a week and i take my weekend days during the week to watch the kids) so i really don't want to start throwing parts at this thing or have the ability to do exhaustive tests, i am just hoping some one else has had a simular issue. Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:10 PM
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There could be many things causing your issues.

The first thing to do would be to check the voltage at the batteries while running with the headlights on. It should be 13.5-14 volts.

Check the batteries with the meter before starting it to make sure they're holding 12 volts.

Check the wiring between the batteries and alternator to make sure the connections are ok.

It seems most likely to me that you have a bad alternator
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:35 AM
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When the kids go down for their nap ill give that a shot, i do have one older battery and one costco one so it could be a possibility that the old one died. I hope it is not the alternator or wiring.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:24 PM
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So finally found the volt tester, batteries look really good. and once running they seem to stick to the 13-14v range but i also did not see the battery light while in the driveway. I was doing a bunch of research running down the jumping belt problem and only came back to a bad idler pulley then found some interesting details on the belt.

Apparently the belt changed lengths mid 2000 and also being different for cold weather package. My Oasis does not say i have a cold weather package which would call for a shorter belt, but it is a Canada truck so it is possible. The cold weather pkg had a 1" ish shorter belt, and mid 2000 they did away with the slightly smaller belt from what i have learned so the 01-03 trucks all have the same belt for single alt. My truck had 3 belt options so it is a possibility my belt is loose, hence the jumping belt/slipping belt. I had already began to change out idler pulleys just to rule them out when i found this so i ordered 2 more gatorback belts on amazon in both sizes and will try them both if the shorter one fits then lesson learned. Today i saw that on the AC compressor the belt has jumped a tooth already so the problem is maturing faster because this brand new belt has been on for 4 days. I hope before my 6 hour drive saturday i can get another belt and the new idlers on there. i guess i will be traveling with a tool box and some spares this weekend.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:11 PM
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i suggest a spare alternator in the back seat for your trip just to be safe
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:42 AM
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my harmonic balancer on my car started to separate and caused the belt to shred length wise. The movement from seperating would walk the belt off one chord at a time. I ended up with about 1/3 of my belt before I caught it.another option to check
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:52 PM
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any advice on how to inspect the harmonic balancer?

So today was sunny when i got home so i finished up the job and did some inspecting, and in the sun i could barely see a small deflection the the tensioner so off it came and you cant tell at all when it is in there but it was separated and probably one of the main problems. So back up to the parts store i went to shell out more cash.

So now i have the shorter gatorback belt, new pulley, and a new tensioner, thank god i have the dual alternator hose on there it has made this whole process quicker. I dont have the cash this weekend for a spare alternator, but did take it down the street to the battery place and they say it looks great. I also double checked my AAA towing just incase something does happen. Thanks for your advice and help, i hope the balancer is not next on the list.
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