Video: Watch a Supercharger Belt Tensioner at Work

Under high-horsepower loads, the serpentine belt of your engine can stretch, leaving an increased risk of it slipping off.

To combat this, cars like this supercharged COPO Camaro have a specialized belt tensioner to keep the belt completely taut during runs down the quarter-mile.

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Mazdax605 PowerDork
10/19/20 1:28 p.m.

I wonder how the belt tensioner on the Ram truck E-torque system works. It's using a belt to supplement power via the alternator/motor combo, and some batteries. Pretty ingenious.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 2:04 p.m.

It's not so much that the belt stretches.. It's that there's a lot of momentum in all the spinny bits of the belt drive and when your crankshaft speed drops faster than the rest of it can coast down, it creates tension in the opposite direction from usual. That's why the belt tensioner is moving so much. If there was no momentum/inertia in the belt drive components it would barely move at all. 

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