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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old February 18th, 2018, 15:13   #1
97B4TDi
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Default Alternator Belt Popped Off

I went to Chicago over the weekend and I accidentally popped the alternator belt off on and extreme hill start.

I understand I need to twist the tensioner to allow enough slack to put it back into place however when I do that the crow bar is in the way of putting the belt where it belongs.

Do you guys have any tips or tricks for popping back into place?
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Old February 18th, 2018, 15:22   #2
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i use an adjustable wrench either 10" or 12" on tensioner arm. i think the tensioner roller has a nut or bolt on it that you can use. i find adj wrench works real good.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 15:40   #3
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I use either an adjustable wrench at the bend of the arm, or a flat head screwdriver between the pulley and arm. Personally, I like the screwdriver better.

-Todd
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Old February 18th, 2018, 16:20   #4
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AHU or ALH
on the AHU, i jsut use a flat head screwdriver between the arm and the pulley, push it back, its tricky.

HOW did it just pop off? sounds like you have a faulty idle arm
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Old February 18th, 2018, 17:25   #5
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Okay thanks guys that helps a lot.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened because I wasn’t aware anything was wrong until we were about 45 minutes outside of the city. We parked in a self parking ramp and in the entrance there was a steep incline I was held on with a car behind me waiting for cars in front of me to enter. Since my parking brake is currently stuck and non-functional you can imagine how tricky it was to pull off... with the “jerky” pull off and tricky pedal maneuvering I think it may have jolted the sucker off.

I’ll get everything put back in place and hope that was the cause.

Needless to say it seemed like one of the longest drives ever with the battery light on and not knowing how far you can run on just the charge remaining in the battery...

If it pops off again I’ll report back.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 17:40   #6
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technically, a diesel engine needs NO power at all to stay running, if the ECU gets no power, it would run like crap and you have no lights lol

I had this happen years back, but it broke the pully off the crank, sheared the bolts, i fixed it on the side of the road in town 200 miles away from home, i had some tools and i broke down irght next to a ace hardware so i was in luck for a easy out and new bolts, what happend was a bolt sheared off at a light, kicked up and when i got on the clutch it fell back down and into the belt breaking the other 3 bolts off !!!!!
inspect things around that area for missing bolts or nuts, might have happend to you from something that fell down there and just popped the belt off. or maybe a random rock that got up there and fell down, belts just dont come off unless they break or the pullies go out of alignment.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 20:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
AHU or ALH
on the AHU, i jsut use a flat head screwdriver between the arm and the pulley, push it back, its tricky.

HOW did it just pop off? sounds like you have a faulty idle arm
No Mk3 or B4 was shipped with an ALH, only Mk4 cars had the ALH and that's in a different forum.

If the arm is worn the spring sometimes doesn't work properly or sufficiently to keep the belt under tension. In that instance it can come off.

I find the adjustable wrench works well to operate the tensioner.

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Old February 18th, 2018, 20:46   #8
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I also wonder why he keeps asking, in the A3/B4 forum, if the engine is an ALH.

But I have also had the belt come off when the bearing on the tensioner pulley goes bad. It's easy to check with the belt off it, not so much with the belt providing tension.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 08:27   #9
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Finally started her up again today since I got the belt put back in place. The pulley was melted and worn which seems to be what the issue was.

I have the shaft out to do the pulley replacement but I was wondering what kind of grease I should use to re-lube the shaft?

Thanks!
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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:25   #10
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if you mean the tensioner pulley, i bet you also want to replace the spring pack. cannt say that it(a new one) takes grease(pulley i mean), for the pivot arm some good quality synthetic grease would work ok. check i dont know if its installed dry.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmydiesels View Post
if you mean the tensioner pulley, i bet you also want to replace the spring pack. cannt say that it(a new one) takes grease(pulley i mean), for the pivot arm some good quality synthetic grease would work ok. check i dont know if its installed dry.
Sometimes, if you have to guess at answers, it's better to stay silent.

Replace the (plastic) pivot shaft bushings, pay special attention to any wear on the shaft - replace the shaft if it's really bad. Spring packs do wear out, but tensioner chatter happens more as a function of loading/unloading of the belt via the rotating mass in the alternator.

Although AHU/1Z cars were not equipped from the factory, it is a good idea to retrofit a clutched alternator pulley from an ALH - this reduces belt chatter significantly, and also reduces the loads on the crank pulley which can lead to wear on the pulley/crank and eventual timing issues or valve collisions (in bad examples). I would not run and AHU/1Z without one.

Coating the shaft with a good EP/moly grease works well for the tensioner shaft.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 12:25   #12
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there is an upgrade for that plastic pulley, i think its from a ford, i cant find the part number, look on the forums for the upgrade. it fits like a glove with a washer on the back side, all metal and no fuss. 360K miles on the clock and the stock spring is still fine, its not difficult to replace i think, but i never have.

I had no idea about the alternator upgrade, ill check into that.

Oh never mind, i found it
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old February 21st, 2018, 17:57   #13
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That's not a direct fit, you have to press the center out of the old pulley, provided it's the right one (not the weaker/smaller Chinese pulley), and press it into the new Ford Mustang pulley. Without it the pulley won't bolt on.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 20:39   #14
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Quote:
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That's not a direct fit, you have to press the center out of the old pulley, provided it's the right one (not the weaker/smaller Chinese pulley), and press it into the new Ford Mustang pulley. Without it the pulley won't bolt on.
well, it is on my AHU, what engine are you saying it does not fit?Other than needing a washer to get clearance, it fit perfectly.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 21:49   #15
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Next time on a hill ease out the clutch until it'll hold on the hill then release the brake and get on the accelerator.

I takes a ell of a ill for the engine not to be able to hold the car from rolling back at idle. Reason being that the ECU wants to hold the idle speed. I adds fuel for you.
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