: Annoying Problem



FrankyCorleone
10-12-05, 01:06 PM
I recently had to replace the idler pulley, alternator and tensioner, it was all suprising to me, considering the car only had 40,000 miles. I replaced all of them, they had pulley problems. Anywho, afterwards everything was fine, I developed a belt squeel, I replaced the belt, problem was fine for a week. The squeel redeveloped, what is causing this problem?

I can't afford to keep dumping money into the car. What baffles me more than anything is what caused allof those pulleys to go bad, is my problem deeper than I expect?

What is causing the belt to squeel?

dkozloski
10-12-05, 02:09 PM
What do you mean "the pulleys went bad"? Worn out? Wobbling? Cracked? Sqealing means the belt is slipping. Either the belt is loose for whatever reason or something is hard to turn. Is the belt running true on all the pulleys?

mcowden
10-12-05, 04:02 PM
What do you mean "the pulleys went bad"? Worn out? Wobbling? Cracked? Sqealing means the belt is slipping. Either the belt is loose for whatever reason or something is hard to turn. Is the belt running true on all the pulleys?

In what condition is your battery? If it's low or the cables are corroded or loose, the alternator might have to work harder than usual, thereby contributing to a squealing belt. Does it get better if you shut off the A/C? Is the power steering reservoir full but not overfull? Does the power steering pump pulley turn freely and easily if the belt is removed? Is the belt in good condition? Is it possible it could have been damaged by a wobbling or misaligned tensioner, alternator, or idler pulley? Was it squealing before the pulleys were replaced? What was the original symptom that prompted you to change the tensioner, idler, and alternator? Was the whole tensioner replaced or just the pulley? Does the tensioner move freely and keep good tension on the belt?

Proper diagnosis is key to cost-effective repairs. New alternators don't necessarily come with new pulleys. If the pulley is the problem and only the alternator was swapped, the problem will be inherited.

FrankyCorleone
10-12-05, 04:26 PM
Original problems were a grinding, squeeling.
Replaced the tensioner and idler pully, both had bad bearings. Soon after, a few days or so, alternator had bad bearings as well, wasmaking a similar noise. A few days later, alternator stopped charging, replaced alternator. Everything was fine for a week, s queeling continued, replaced the belt, a week goes on, squeeling is back.

My car is a 1998 Fleetwood limited with 40,000 miles. Battery is fine.
Car was garage kept, and rarely driven.

Idler, tensioner, alternator, powersteering, all rotate freely and easily.

I don't use my AC.(Rather have windows down.)

Like I said, the belt is brand new.

Whole tensioner assembly was replaced.

PS: ONly does it under throttle.

mcowden
10-12-05, 04:46 PM
Original problems were a grinding, squeeling.
Replaced the tensioner and idler pully, both had bad bearings. Soon after, a few days or so, alternator had bad bearings as well, wasmaking a similar noise. A few days later, alternator stopped charging, replaced alternator. Everything was fine for a week, s queeling continued, replaced the belt, a week goes on, squeeling is back.

My car is a 1998 Fleetwood limited with 40,000 miles. Battery is fine.
Car was garage kept, and rarely driven.

Idler, tensioner, alternator, powersteering, all rotate freely and easily.

I don't use my AC.(Rather have windows down.)

Like I said, the belt is brand new.

Whole tensioner assembly was replaced.


OK, so that rules out a lot of stuff. Have you checked the battery cables? They can look fine on the outside, but when you take them off they are badly corroded inside and need to be cleaned thoroughly and reinstalled tightly. That will cause the alternator to work very hard while the car is running, but it will start fine because there is enough current to arc across the corrosion. Make sure the cables are clean and tight on both ends. Does the problem change with electrical load? If you idle the engine with all accessories turned off, does it make noise? Does it change when you turn on the rear defroster, bright lights, seat heaters, hazard lights, windshield heater, fog lights, high fan speed, etc? (high-drain devices)

While the car is running, what does the charging voltage show on the dash? 12 volts? 11.2 volts? 13.8 volts? 14.6? With the car off and all doors closed, what is the battery voltage as checked with a VOM? If the cables are clean and tight, try charging the battery with a trickle charger overnight and see if the problem changes.

The squealing could also be the A/C compressor clutch. Run the A/C and see if the problem changes at all.

So would you definitely call it a squeal more than a whining or grinding sound? I'm not sure if your car has a smog pump or not. It's very unlikely I would say.

FrankyCorleone
10-12-05, 05:12 PM
13.2 volts.

It's definately a squeeling, stops if I put soap on the belt.

chevelle
10-12-05, 09:42 PM
If the squeeling is consistent it may be a symptom of a misalignment somewhere.

Make positively sure the belt is tracking correctly on all the pulleys and that the belt grooves are properly installed on all the grooved pulleys. It is very easy to get the belt one groove off on some of the pulleys and it will run crooked and squeel.

Look at the power steering pump. Specifically the mounting bracket for the power steering pump. The mounting bracket sits under the pump cradling it and attaching it to the block. On the front of the mounting bracket is a tab that hangs down over the front edge of the engine block. That tab must be flush to the front face of the block...i.e..with no gap between it and the block surface. If there is a gap, loosen the mounting bolt for the power steering pump bracket (down beside the cam cover on the right hand side of the engine (rear of the engine compartment side). Push the power steering pump rearward on the engine (toward the drivers side) so that the alignment tab is firmly against the engine block and tighten the mounting bolt for the bracket. You may have to loosen the bolt and wiggle the bracket around to get it completely rearward as the bracket wedges against the block on the left (front) side and may want to jam or stick unless you wiggle it free first.

With the new generator and new pulley bearings there shouldn't be any belt noise.

I assume you have checked and that the belt is the correct PN and that the belt routing is correct and tensioner is in the normal range of operation so that it is actively tensioning the belt. That is important, also.

Unlikely, but possible, is that the crank damper pulley is misaligned or that elastomeric bond on the damper pulley has failed and that the outer ring is walking off of the damper. The pulley grooves are cut in the outer ring of the damper so if the outer ring starts to walk off due to the elasomeric damper layer failing the pulley will be out of alignment. Rare but possible and worth a look. You should be able to see the pulley alignment just by sighting down the belt.

Ranger
10-12-05, 11:53 PM
I agree with Chevelle. Something is misaligned or the tensioner is not intalled properly and therefore not providing the proper tension.

FrankyCorleone
10-13-05, 12:03 AM
I almost think it is the tensioner, I didn't install it, but aren't they pretty straight forward to be installed? I compared the tension of the belt to the belt on my 95 gmc sierra, and it was alot more loose than it is on my truck.
My truck I can only move a bit, the one on the cadillac I can almost flip it around 360 degrees.

dkozloski
10-13-05, 12:25 AM
The belt is loose and slipping. The alternator won't work under those conditions either. It won't turn under load. The tensioner must be installed wrong or the belt is routed wrong.