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Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed this problem before while raining, but yesterday as I drove L in heavy rain, it became more prominent. It starts fine, runs fine except the voltage gauge drops down to 12 abruptly and all the dash lights gets dimmer and after a while like 1 or 2 min the voltage gets back to normal 14.2V and all the lights get to normal. At this time when the voltage is rising from 12v to 14.2v, it makes a lot of belt squealing noise (belt squealing sound always happens at random times while driving in rain) and once the voltage jumps to 14.2v the noise stops. It keeps stable for a while and when I hit stagnant water on the road or apply brakes at freeway speeds, the voltage again drops back to 12v. All this happens abruptly, no indication ahead and this ONLY happens in rain.

Any ideas why this is happening??

thanks,
-Pavan
 

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Your serpentine belt (24v/12v) or alternator belt (12v) is slipping when it gets wet. Maybe it is under tensioned, tensioner pivot frozen (24v) or belt(s) worn. Also do you have black plastic fairing shield removed between headlight and a/c condensor/radiator or front inner plastic fender liner removed/damaged or a hole worn through it from tire rubbing?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Your serpentine belt (24v/12v) or alternator belt (12v) is slipping when it gets wet. Maybe it is under tensioned, tensioner pivot frozen (24v) or belt(s) worn. Also do you have black plastic fairing shield removed between headlight and a/c condensor/radiator or front inner plastic fender liner removed/damaged or a hole worn through it from tire rubbing?
Yes, there is hole to the fender liner just before the idler pulley. I dont see any plastic shield between headlight and alternator :eek:

-Pavan.
 

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Yes, there is hole to the fender liner just before the idler pulley. I dont see any plastic shield between headlight and alternator :eek:

-Pavan.
I take it you are talking about "Mr. Dependable" the 12v 164 you drive.

Worn hole in finder liner from tire rubbing will induce much water when driving in the rain as can very easier cause serpentine belt to slip and cause alternator to stop turning fast enough to charge battery.

Don't drive fast in the rain and try to avoid standing water on the roadway.

The plastic shields go between inner edge of headlights and side tanks of radiator and attached by one screw under rubber seal around headlight.

Sometimes they have been removed by people who think more air into engine compartment along sides of radiator will help. Usually one in front of alternator is not missing though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I take it you are talking about "Mr. Dependable" the 12v 164 you drive.

Worn hole in finder liner from tire rubbing will induce much water when driving in the rain as can very easier cause serpentine belt to slip and cause alternator to stop turning fast enough to charge battery.

Don't drive fast in the rain and try to avoid standing water on the roadway.

The plastic shields go between inner edge of headlights and side tanks of radiator and attached by one screw under rubber seal around headlight.

Sometimes they have been removed by people who think more air into engine compartment along sides of radiator will help. Usually one in front of alternator is not missing though.
Yes, its Mr.Dependable (which is L). I do have those plastic pieces between headlights and radiator. The hole in the fender liner seems like someone made it on purpose and not by rubbing of tire. Maybe I will try to attach a piece of plastic to tht hole using hot gun and re tension the alternator belt. Its kinda hard to tension it by one person, since you have to lift the alternator with one hand while tghtening the screws :mad:. As far as I know, belts are new and I had my alternator tested at two different places and it came out good. Also I would like to have a skid plate underneath the engine atleast at the front if its available, but I dont think so :rolleyes:.

-Pavan.
 

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It seems that people have removed the lhs (of car) plastic shield on 24v cars, as many feel that with the shield in place the ignition modules behind it will overheat. Since the 24v cooling system appears to be more efficient than that of the 12v, the removal of this lhs shield is not a problem for engine cooling.

These shields (left and right) should be installed at all times for the 12v, however, as to remove one or both will indeed introduce more air around the sides of the radiator into the engine compartment, but this will effectively reduce the air through the radiator because the engine compartment gets a little more pressurized from this outside air, thus making the cooling system less efficient. Engine compartment pressurization and subsequent airflow out and under the car is a complicated design consideration, and must be taken into account for optimum cooling as well as vehicle drag.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My svx has a skid plate tht covers almost half of engine bay underneath and keeps the engine safe from road rage, water etc, but it becomes cumbersome to work underneath when you have to take it off to work and being fixed by 12 screws or so....

-Pavan
 

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Yup. Friend of mine years ago had a Ferrari 250GT 2+2 with a full belly pan. With it off the car would do about 132 mph but with it on it would go 145+. The car was designed to be able to dump the engine compartment ram air at speed with the pan but the aero was screwed up with it off. Too much drag from the underbelly of the car from rough air and from too much air from the engine compartment being pushed under as well.
 

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Yes, its Mr.Dependable (which is L). I do have those plastic pieces between headlights and radiator. The hole in the fender liner seems like someone made it on purpose and not by rubbing of tire. Maybe I will try to attach a piece of plastic to tht hole using hot gun and re tension the alternator belt. Its kinda hard to tension it by one person, since you have to lift the alternator with one hand while tghtening the screws :mad:. As far as I know, belts are new and I had my alternator tested at two different places and it came out good. Also I would like to have a skid plate underneath the engine atleast at the front if its available, but I dont think so :rolleyes:.

-Pavan.
Alternator belt usually not the one that slips on 12v in the rain. It is larger serpentine belt that gets water soaked when you have a hole in fender liner or go threough major water puddles. Check tension on that one with fender liner and wheel off.

As for alternator belt tension with engine off see if you can slip alternator pulley inside belt with your hand if so then you need to retension it. Yes it is hard but life can be difficult so work it out. three of the four bolts screw into head and four one has a nut on bolt under alternator above rear of compressor so you need to get under car (on stands) to get socket on nut to loosen.
 

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As for alternator belt tension with engine off see if you can slip alternator pulley inside belt with your hand if so then you need to retension it.... three of the four bolts screw into head and four one has a nut on bolt under alternator above rear of compressor so you need to get under car (on stands) to get socket on nut to loosen.
My own experience is that I can access that nut from the engine compartment, reaching in over the radiator and around the alternator instead of coming in from the bottom of the engine compartment. Am I the only one? Or maybe my memory is really, really bad.

Michael
 

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My own experience is that I can access that nut from the engine compartment, reaching in over the radiator and around the alternator instead of coming in from the bottom of the engine compartment. Am I the only one? Or maybe my memory is really, really bad.

Michael
I always tension/replace the alternator belt from the top too. Need to reach down and get a suitable long socket (or box wrench) on that rear nut to loosen the bolt. But it probably is easier to see that nut if going from below!

I suggest putting in a new belt whenever a belt has experienced slippage. Dayco (Part # 5050273 in this case) belt appears to work good for in my experience.
 

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Ah, but this is a 24V engine about which Steve and Pavan are speaking. Maybe they are different of access. I know I've seen a front manifold heat shield in diagrams, which is not present for the 12V system. You (Bob) will know the differences better than I.
 

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I believe we're talking about his "L" (Mr. Dependable! Is that really :p? Hmm, dependable Alfa :rolleyes:, perhaps relatively speaking I guess ;)!).

I actually have a feeling that the slipping problem could be on the more troublesome water pump belt (use Dayco 5070425). That belt tends to slip much easier than the alternator belt. The alternator belt does not need that much tension - as long as it is not loose then it most likely should be OK.
 

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Ah, but this is a 24V engine about which Steve and Pavan are speaking. Maybe they are different of access. I know I've seen a front manifold heat shield in diagrams, which is not present for the 12V system. You (Bob) will know the differences better than I.
No, it is his 12v 164.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ok guys, its 164L so its 12V and I got the pic of fender liner and there is 100% possibility that the waterpump belt is slipping in rain... check the pic below...



there is hole someone made at the idler pulley place and also at the bottom where you can see the belt clearly. Sorry for poor quality pic, I took it with my cell while I am out checkin it, actually for some bad fuel smell that I get for first few minutes of starting the car, from the vents. It turns to be the hose that goes from the fuel rail to fuel pressure regulator which got loose. Now its fixed....

Maybe i need to cut two pieces of plastic on each side of the holes and seal them.

-Pavan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I believe we're talking about his "L" (Mr. Dependable! Is that really :p? Hmm, dependable Alfa :rolleyes:, perhaps relatively speaking I guess ;)!).
Yes, its Mr.Dependable :), for me atleast.... It never stranded me alone in the middle of nowhere and it never gave me trouble on long trips even I am doing 130 - 140mph except for the cooling system which I took care by installed additional switch. Other than that everything else are small things. Afterall whts the meaning of owning something which you cant work on and get max satisfaction in return :).

-Pavan.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My own experience is that I can access that nut from the engine compartment, reaching in over the radiator and around the alternator instead of coming in from the bottom of the engine compartment. Am I the only one? Or maybe my memory is really, really bad.

Michael
I also reach it from top and leave that wrench on that nut against engine and use the outside bolt head to tighten it...

-pavan
 

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Check long serpentine belt for cracks etc. before you go much further - I usually find they are glazed, with many small cracks. Pretty easy to change thanks to the design of that tensioner bearing on its bracket, but I can't help but wonder if any FIAT/Lancia/Alfa design engineers have ever worked on a Toyota or Nissan, where you can tension the belts by slackening a couple of nuts and then by winding out a long bolt that locates the moving adjustment point.

On my cars I pry against things with a tyre lever while I tighten the adjustment point with the other hand - a ratcheting ring spanner helps.

As for the wheel arch liner repair - even foil tape or duct tape (both sides) makes a servicable repair if you give it a wipe with methylated spirits first. Otherwise your hot-glue-and-plastic repair sounds like a goer.

-Alex
 

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The upper hole is really a problem, the lower one, not so much. I bought a massive prybar from Northern Tool (Chinese of course) for a song and a dance that has been VERY handy for prying things and it bends fairly easily, so I know when I'm applying too much force on something.
Charles
 
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