Rehab alternator bearings? Rusted S-belt stuff question, too. -
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Unread 12-08-2004, 08:57 PM   #1
Registered User
1995 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southington, CT
Posts: 99
Rehab alternator bearings? Rusted S-belt stuff question, too.

I decided to take the Jeep for some fun during/after some heavy rain we had here in Connecticut around Thanksgiving. Some quick splashes into deep puddles (not quite up to the bottom of the tub) and some sliding in a pretty serious mud pit left a big grin on my face even though I stayed well away from the deep mud.

Unfortunately, it appears to have been too much for my original, 180k mile alternator. When it's cold I get a loud screeching sound from the front corner of the engine bay. It's rpm dependant and goes away as the motor warms up. The volts are fine.

First question: Does it sound like I'm on the right path or is there something else I should check? Is there any way to re-lubricate the bearings so I can eek by until spring time and warmer weather to change it out?

Second, the belt system on this thing is old and practically FUBARed. PO lived in Springfield, Ma and they love salting roads up there. Pretty much every non-stainless, non-painted ferrous piece of metal under the hood is rusted to high heaven including the parts that adjust tension in the belt. Anybody dealt with that? Any solutions?

Thanks for any help, I won't be diving into puddles with reckless abandon anymore. lol


1995 YJ, 5spd, Forest Green, 4.0L, off road package, soft top, 230k miles and counting
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Unread 12-09-2004, 03:24 PM   #2
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,388
Sounds like it might just be the belt slipping. If the belt is old it might be getting glazed to the point that it is slipping and making that noise.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that belt tensioner on serpentine belt engines is just a spring loaded pully that keeps a set amount of pressure on the belt. When I changed the serp belt on my Buick, I used a big 1/2" drive socket handle to pull that pulley back enough to slip the belt out of the way and swap it out.

If your belt looks old, I'd replace that first and see if it solves the problem. A belt will be alot cheaper than a new alternator, and might as well be done anyway since you'd have to remove it to replace the alternator anyway. If it does turn out to be alternator bearings, I don't know of any way to grease them.. I think once they're shot, they're shot.
'87 YJ Laredo - 4.0L, AX-15, NP231, 4.10s: 3.5" BDS, 31" Muds

'95 XJ - Donated drive train to the YJ, Parted out the rest

'51 CJ-3A - Buick 225 V6: Painless Wiring Harness, Warn Overdrive & Hubs, 2" Lift, 31" Muds
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Unread 12-09-2004, 07:33 PM   #3
Web Wheeler
1993 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Morton IL
Posts: 5,371
On my 93 4.0L the tensioner is near the water pump. It has a keeper bolt and another bolt that you screw in and out to make or releive tension. If you do not have air it is much easier to just loosen the alternater, swing it down. Take the old belt off and put the new one on. Use a pry bar to put the alternater back in the orginal position and bolt it back down.
93 YJ SOA 2" springs front, XJ springs rear w/main leaf added, High pinon 9 inch rear detroit locker front Dana 44 ARB 4.56 Gears, 36 inch Irok tires too much to list.
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