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noahsdad said:
Okay - think I found it. After removing the belt and turning all the pulleys, the only one with any resistance was the AC compressor (but, it's a compressor - it should have some resistance, right?) Left the belt off and started the engine - noise was gone completely. Put the belt back on, observe everything in action and all looks fine, until - WTF? Sparks coming from the compressor? Yep, actual sparks, about 1 every 15 seconds, from the pulley side. Not rubbing, the sparks are coming from inside, Noise found. The air hasn't worked in 2 years because of a compressor leak anyway, so I'm taking it to the local AC specialist and having it done. That's my Christmas present for this year...
I am afraid it's going to be an expensive one...
 
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