1983 Chevy 305 small block.

Hearing a grinding sound near the alternator.

Is this a bearing or something grinding near the belt ?

Not exactly sure how to diagnose.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuYaW0GNYvo&feature=youtu.be


  • Is that supposed to be a "305" Small Block Chevy? The largest factory SBC was a 400 cubic inch engine. Jul 23, 2016 at 13:42
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Yes, fixed
    – Snapple
    Jul 24, 2016 at 2:45

2 Answers 2


The sound you are hearing is most likely the bearings going (gone) bad in the alternator.

As @resident_heretic suggested, removing the belt and checking the alternator by hand is a good suggestion. You can also isolate the sound by using an automotive stethoscope (can be bought at Harbor Freight for $5).

Even if you don't have that, you can isolate the noise by using a long, flat tipped screwdriver. Place the handle up to your ear (can even rest it on the bone behind your hear), then place the tip on the alternator housing and see if this amplifies the noise. You can touch it to other portions of the engine to see if the noise is there, as well. Be careful when doing this, though ... do not wear any dangling jewelry, ties, or loose fitting clothing. It's really easy to get this stuff caught up in the fan belt or other moving parts. Would pretty much ruin a good day otherwise.

I would bet, since you have a v-belt accessory system, you do not have a tensioner pulley or idler pulley on it. Those are pretty much relegated to serpentine belt systems.

  • Thanks will try that. Did not know such a thing existed but makes sense
    – Snapple
    Jul 24, 2016 at 2:48
  • @Paulster2: Thanks for the correction I am so used to serpentine belts. I forgot that V belts have no tensioners :)
    – Old_Fossil
    Jul 24, 2016 at 14:52

Judging by noise alone.... Could be a belt tensioner pulley or the alternator fan (the little metal thing on the front of the alternator with fins) scraping on something. One way to test is to remove the belt and turn the alternator manually. It could also the belt itself. Hard to be sure just by sound alone.

  • was thinki g its the fan blades too. Its strange that the sound is periodicly loud every 4 seconds and not constant. Will inspect blades.
    – Snapple
    Jul 24, 2016 at 2:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .