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Why does the Alternator belt keep stretching?

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One of the components in the belt system is most likely seized or not turning full capacity.You need to run your engine with the hood open and see what may not be rotating consistently.Is it a somewhat newer model with the serpentine belt system(1 belt for all components)?At the speed the belt turns,it may be difficult to tell unless it is pretty obvious or what to look for.If it is serpentine,just comment back and I will get an autolink to your post and try to explain further.If it is an older car with just 1 belt for the alternator only,also let me know.That one is a little easier to figure out too.Do you get squealing and rapid battery discharge also?Greg

Posted on Oct 10, 2010

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  • lmichael63 Oct 16, 2010

    I have the same problem on a 454 chevy. V-belt, drive pulley, water pump, alternator. I replaced the alternator, didn't solve the problem. I cheked the pulley alignment and shimmed the water pump pulley, the new belt lasted a little longer but still after 5 hours running stretched the belt to the max. It's difficult to check the pulley alignment because the engine is in a boat and it's too close to the bulkhead.. Could it be the water pump is not rotating freely? The engiine does not run hot

  • Greg McCarthy Oct 16, 2010

    If the water pump were not rotating correctly,there would usually be some overheating,at least slightly,depending on how far at a time you are traveling.20 min.run,2 straight hours of run time,etc.The accuracy of the alignment of the belt system depends on which system there is.Please though,I really need a little more info about the belt system.Is it 1 belt for all system or several different belts?Even if you could just tell me the year of the vehicle,because it is not mentioned,it would help me figure out what belt system there is.

  • lmichael63 Oct 18, 2010

    This is a chevy 454 (crusader model 350)) 1988. There are two belts. One from the drive pulley to the freshwater circulating pump to the alternator. The other from the drive pulley to the raw water circulating pump.Both are v-belts. As I said the engine is one of two in my 1988 33" Tiara. I removed all the pulleys this weekend and found them to be pitted and rusty. I sanded and painted the pulleys and shimmed the drive pulley to match the fresh water circulating pump pulley and alternator pulley.

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