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  #1  
Old 07-15-2017, 06:14 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default belt noise

Hi All. Yes, I know there are other threads on belt noise. I'm working through the issue, but need sympathy.

A few days ago, I discovered the belt on my '99 3.0L was literally shredded, split lengthwise in a couple places for a foot or two. It was making a kind of a swooshing noise as it was rotated around the pulleys. So... off I went to Autozone to find a new belt. They sold me a Dayco belt, VERY pretty! I put it on, and it was brilliantly quite... at Idle. As I drove it for the first few minutes, it started to CHIRP. The higher the RPM, the louder and faster the chirp.

I drove through a rain shower the next day, and it got quiet, but didn't stay quiet. I think that means it's not a bearing somewhere.

I checked to make sure the belt was properly centered on the pulleys, and that all the pulleys spun true. Off I went to Autozone again, and I came home with and installed new tensioner pulley and idler pulley. I did NOT change the tensioner itself... YET. Put it back together, and CHIRP is still there.

It looks like the pulleys are reasonably well aligned, except possibly the tensioner pulley. the belt seems very close to the forward edge of that. The belt doesn't really appear to jump around.

The tensioner seems reasonable. It's not stuck, and takes a reasonable amount of force to move to release the tension.

I have now ordered a Continental Elite belt, previously Gates GatorBack I believe. That should show up by next weekend, so I'll try that and see if it solves the problem.

Thanks for listening! Any other suggestions? Think I'm on the right track?

Jim
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2017, 07:08 PM
JAMMANICA JAMMANICA is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

It isn't the belt or the pulleys. It's your cam synchronizer.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2017, 08:35 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

You mean the sensor at the back of the engine? I didn't have the chirp until I changed the belt, and it's definitely not coming from the back of the engine.

Tomorrow I'm going to try lightly scuffing the label on the flat side of the belt, and I may try running the belt in the opposite direction. The chirp definitely happens exactly once per revolution of the belt.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:30 AM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Get a good stainless steel wire brush, remove the belt.

Clean all the grooved pulleys, make sure to brush the entire circumference and all the groves of each pulley.

Make sure to clean the smooth pulleys if you have any that have not been replaced with some fine grit sand paper, Emory cloth or scotch bright pad.

You have a 1999 truck if the tensioner is original you should have replaced the entire part not just the pulley.

The tensioner can be picked up online for less than just the pulley if you purchased it at a local supply house.

While the belt is off the engine, use a mechanics stethoscope or long screw driver and listen for noises while you spin each accessory.

Doing this to my 2002 2.3 I found noisy alternator bearings, noisy water pump, noisy fan clutch drive bearing, and belt tensioner pulley with a weak tensioner spring
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2017, 05:22 AM
JAMMANICA JAMMANICA is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

I didn't think mine was coming from the back of the engine either but it was. I bothered to replace all the pulley bearings. Mine seemed to stop for a while when it got wet too, ended up being a coincidence.

Replaced it, squeak gone, I even posted a video here of me twisting it by hand after it was removed and it squeaks just like a front pulley.

Depending on the mileage of your motor and being a 3.0 you should replace it anyway.
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00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 my new baby
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap in progress.
98 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 dead
99 EXPO donor motor for dead one and parts for the others.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2017, 06:22 AM
NoPower NoPower is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMMANICA View Post
I didn't think mine was coming from the back of the engine either but it was. I bothered to replace all the pulley bearings. Mine seemed to stop for a while when it got wet too, ended up being a coincidence.

Replaced it, squeak gone, I even posted a video here of me twisting it by hand after it was removed and it squeaks just like a front pulley.

Depending on the mileage of your motor and being a 3.0 you should replace it anyway.
X2, Thats ok. When it breaks he will be in the same boat I am in. With a Ranger and a V6 anchor!!! Right Jim?
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Last edited by NoPower; 07-16-2017 at 06:24 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:46 AM
Grumpa Grumpa is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

You should follow the advice given by EAOutlaw (post #4), or you will be reducing the life of your new belt and it will just drive you nuts again with noises. Once a serpentine belt starts slipping, it wears quick. Avoid using chemicals that can break down the belt's materials too! You should check the cam synch too as suggested. That's wise preventative maintenance that could save you a ton of money and grief.
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2017, 02:22 PM
JAMMANICA JAMMANICA is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPower View Post
X2, Thats ok. When it breaks he will be in the same boat I am in. With a Ranger and a V6 anchor!!! Right Jim?
Unfortunately the results can be drastic. Still looking for a motor Don

Jim22, after you do all the belt cleaning and the new belt I really hope it solves your problem and I hope I'm wrong. But if you still hear squeaking it is for sure the cam synch. I would have put money on mine being something in front and in fact I didn't replace it because of squeaking... I replaced it because I had extremely low power. After replacing it I noticed the squeaking had stopped.
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00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 my new baby
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap in progress.
98 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 dead
99 EXPO donor motor for dead one and parts for the others.
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2017, 06:58 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Update:

I guess I'll look into the Cam Sync, if I ever solve the belt issue.

I'm absolutely sure it's related to the belt. If I spray even the slightest bit of water on the ribbed side of the belt between the A/C compressor and the Power Steering pump, the noise immediately and completely goes away.

I took a little sandpaper to the labeled area of the belt, which was very slick compared to the rest of the belt. This may have changed the noise, but didn't eliminate it.

Then I checked for pulleys out of alignment, and found a .050" difference between the A/C compressor pulley and the power steering pump pulley. I rented a pulley puller and remedied that. It made no difference in the sound.

Then I reversed the direction of the belt. This may have helped slightly. I took the truck around the block and it seemed as if the noise reduced as I drove, and happens less at lower RPMs.

I ordered a Continental Elite belt on ebay, which seems to be the reincarnation of the Gates Gatorback. I should have it towards the end of the week. When I switch it over, I'll clean the pulleys as suggested. If the new belt chirps too, I guess the tensioner is next.

All I wanted to do was replace the old shreded belt! It was shreded, but it did NOT chirp. Do professional mechanics really clean all the pulleys when changing a belt? Maybe so. My pulleys look pretty clean, and they are certainly not wet with oil.

If I can't sort this out, I may have an engine for Jammanica!

Thanks for the help,
Jim
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2017, 07:42 PM
McCormack McCormack is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

The 3.0 is a poorly designed and pulls out of alignment easily. Put a straight edge on your tensioner pulley (with the serp belt on it and under tension) and compare it to your crank pulley. If it's out of alignment, you've found your problem. My belt was chirping and my tensioner was out of alignment so I shimmed the tensioner back into alignment using sheet metal and the chirping noise went away.

In a related issue, I had to struggle and strain to get my serp belt on and off and I noticed that the tensioner and idler pulleys were two different sizes, so I bought a pulley to match the smaller one and swapped it in and now my belt goes on and easily and the tensioner has far less strain on it.
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  #11  
Old 07-16-2017, 08:28 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

I did notice that the belt rides near the front edge of the tensioner pulley. Since it's flat, I figured that might be ok. My tensioner pully is much smaller than the idler pulley.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:23 PM
mtnrgr mtnrgr is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

...

Last edited by mtnrgr; 07-16-2017 at 09:36 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2017, 01:28 AM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim22 View Post
Update:

I guess I'll look into the Cam Sync, if I ever solve the belt issue.

I'm absolutely sure it's related to the belt. If I spray even the slightest bit of water on the ribbed side of the belt between the A/C compressor and the Power Steering pump, the noise immediately and completely goes away.

I took a little sandpaper to the labeled area of the belt, which was very slick compared to the rest of the belt. This may have changed the noise, but didn't eliminate it.

Then I checked for pulleys out of alignment, and found a .050" difference between the A/C compressor pulley and the power steering pump pulley. I rented a pulley puller and remedied that. It made no difference in the sound.

Then I reversed the direction of the belt. This may have helped slightly. I took the truck around the block and it seemed as if the noise reduced as I drove, and happens less at lower RPMs.

I ordered a Continental Elite belt on ebay, which seems to be the reincarnation of the Gates Gatorback. I should have it towards the end of the week. When I switch it over, I'll clean the pulleys as suggested. If the new belt chirps too, I guess the tensioner is next.

All I wanted to do was replace the old shreded belt! It was shreded, but it did NOT chirp. Do professional mechanics really clean all the pulleys when changing a belt? Maybe so. My pulleys look pretty clean, and they are certainly not wet with oil.

If I can't sort this out, I may have an engine for Jammanica!

Thanks for the help,
Jim
I worked on vehicles for many years, and yes when necessary pulleys need to be cleaned.

Cleaning them with a stainless steel brush also puts light scratches into the pulley grooves allowing better traction.

A older pulley will be polished and shiny from years of service, when you buy a new pulley these surfaces are not polished.

My bet is the tensioner is not applying enough torque to the belt.

The spring in the tensioner gets old, then you can make it worse simply by removing the belt.

Furthermore many Automotive and belt manufactures recommend like I do when you replace a serpentine belt you should replace the belt tensioner.

https://www.gatestechzone.com/en/pro...-failure-signs
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Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 07-17-2017 at 01:30 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2017, 01:32 PM
McCormack McCormack is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim22 View Post
I did notice that the belt rides near the front edge of the tensioner pulley. Since it's flat, I figured that might be ok. My tensioner pully is much smaller than the idler pulley.
If your serp belt is really hard to get on and off and then I would change your idler pulley to the smaller tensioner pulley size. That will take some of the pressure off of your pulley bearings, including your alternator and water pump's, and they should last longer.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:34 PM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: belt noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCormack View Post
If your serp belt is really hard to get on and off and then I would change your idler pulley to the smaller tensioner pulley size. That will take some of the pressure off of your pulley bearings, including your alternator and water pump's, and they should last longer.
If the belt is too hard to get off with the OEM parts, it is because your doing it wrong.
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