Does belt choice affect alternator performance?
Certainly, belt quality will have a dramatic affect on both alternator performance and the life of the belt itself. We find that high quality belts, such as the Top Cog belt by Dayco or the Green Stripe belt by Gates, will provide the best performance and longest life possible. Keep in mind, the width of the belt limits that belt’s horsepower capacity. As a result, any belt — no matter what quality it might be — will fail before its time when the alternator load exceeds the belt’s capacity. Once again, if the belt is narrower than 7/16″, the maximum amperage load we can safely carry is 80 amps. If the belt is 1/2″ wide, 110 amps is our upper limit. Any alternator in excess of 110-amp output will require dual belts, or multi-groove flat belts.