Serpentine Belt "Chirps" when Driving

Discussion in 'Petrol Heads Forum' started by CDsDontBurn, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    My car in question is my 1997 Ford Thunderbird 4.6L v8.

    Back Story:
    For most of last year I was technically living in two places at the same time while I was working at PowerColor. I would stay with my aunt during the week and then go to my mother in law's to be with my daughter and fiancee for the weekend. Story behind that, but I'm not getting into that here. Anyways, the drive from PowerColor to my mother in laws was 2hrs / 110 miles long.

    Over the summer, the serpentine belt decided to snap while driving to my mother in law's house and I had to pull over and left it overnight at a rest area until the following day when I replaced the belt. I thought everything was fine after replacing the belt, but I immediately noticed that there was a "chirping" noise once I installed the new belt which was not noticeable before with the old belt.

    Troubleshooting already done
    • Removed the belt and reinstalled it thinking that I missed a groove / tooth when I installed the belt the first time
    • I have sprayed the crap out of idler and tensioner pulleys with WD-40 thinking it would be a bad pulley

    What is most likely the cause of the chirping noise?
    • The tensioner or idler pulley?
    • An improperly installed belt even though I've already removed it and put it back on?
    • A miss-aligned pulley system?
    • Something else?

    The videos below are ones I came across. The first video is one I came across yesterday and based on what it said, I hadn't even thought about it being misaligned pulleys! That makes me wonder if that could be the problem. But, I'm not sure why it would have happened with the new belt and not with the old belt.



     
  2. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    more often than not.. it's a new belt fitting into worn and formed aged pulleys that have to work themselves in. Or the tightener is just not apply quite enough tension.

    Sometimes you just gotta run it a few hundred or thousand miles before the new belt make full contact with the pulleys.

    Chirping isn't a big deal.. it's a steady squeal that you would have to be concerned about.

    Recently replaced the belt on an engine that has over 500,000km on it.... new belt chirps if you hammer on it or even just making fast/rapid steering changes. I believe the tightener is rated for 12lbs and it was only doing about 8lbs.... that mostly fixed it up...

    Either way.... Having delt with literally hundreds of belt driven implements and conditions.... 99% of the time if it started doing it right after a new belt has been installed.. it's going to be the best causing it.

    You can get a can of belt applicator that'll possibly solve the chirp too.
     
  3. steves6403

    steves6403 Active Member

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    Just a heads up WD40 is not a lasting lubricant .Its only good to free up bits. Only use grease on the pullys or make sure you use grease very soon after.
    What judas said is your best bet.
    You'll probably find its the tensioner causing the problems.The spring inside can become weak and not do the job properly.
     
  4. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    All the pulleys on this car are steel and are unlikely to be mis-shapen.

    Well, as I said in my OP, this happened during summer. Since summer I have put on nearly 12k miles on the car. If you still think I need to drive it around more, then your suggestion of doing that some more is wrong.

    I will however agree that it may be the tensioner pulley, and that is one of the parts I ordered along with an Idler pulley. Hopefully the problem is one of those two and not something else.

    Right, the WD-40 was more to check to see if a pulley had bad bearings. If it did, the noise would have gone away and come back within a few days. That never happened and the noise stayed.
     
  5. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    A shiny spot on the belt or often referred to as a burn could be it. Especially if its an idler pulley that was incorrectly put on and then readjusted.
    Belts are cheap, just try a new one.
    If you do not smell anything, you might be okay.
    I have seen pulley bearings fail but that is rare.
    good luck.
     
  6. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    The belt is relatively new as I said in my OP. 12k miles or so tops since putting it on. There aren't any "spots" on the idler or tensioner pulleys either.

    I forgot to mention, earlier today I went out and checked for some "give" - as mentioned by one of the two videos I linked above in my OP - and the idler pulley has very similar give to it.

    I already ordered the idler pulley as well as a tensioner pulley to replace both of those. I should have everything by Friday.
     
  7. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    Any chance the chirp happens when the AC compressor turns on/off/on?
     
  8. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    All environmental controls on this car have failed. The "heater" during winter is the residual heat that penetrates the firewall and into cabin. The "AC" during summer is my 2-60. You know, 2 windows down going 60MPH. :lol:

    Well, I take it back....a little. All environmental hasn't failed. If I turn it on, just the blower motor will go on. But the vent door that controls how much heat / ambient temp / AC to let into the cabin is broken so it's stuck at the "cold" setting.
     
  9. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    well, I sure hope it isnt the AC clutch, you have to replace the whole bloody unit and get it recharged. I have done that.
     
  10. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    If it is, I saw an "AC Pulley" as replacement instead of replacing the entire AC compressor. It's a $35 pulley as opposed to a $350 AC compressor.

    But in this car, I think the entire AC system is shot. I know that there was a leak in it somewhere at one point in time and my fiancee didn't take it to get fixed because they quoted her something like $1,500 to get it all fixed. I could probably fix it all myself for closer to $800, but I would have to do a lot of reading up on AC systems, haha.
     
  11. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood HH's curmudgeon

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    I was just wondering if the chirp was happening when the compressor clutch kicked in... Doesn't matter if it works or not... It's still turning that compressor.
     
  12. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    As I mentioned earlier, that sounds like the most likely problem, but then it would have an audible sound it made on the low cycle that would diminish when the engine revs up.
     
  13. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Being steel has nothing to do with evading wear over time.... all the pulleys and pieces on half million dollar implements I've been around and operated have steel pullers and cast pulleys...... they still will wear and form to a belt that has also worn down to it as well.

    Not all belts are made equal either.

    BTW even if the environmental controls have failed.... AC still can kick in unpredictably or at any given time.. AC actually will start up in the winter along with the heat which will reduce moisture build up on the windows in the car while operating.
     
  14. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Quite the opposite. This chirping noise gets louder as I rev the engine as I mentioned in my OP.
     
  15. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    Christ, a bearing then, either in the idler or you have a rubbish AC unit, or far worse, your alternator is crap. At least you can drive it right? And it is an automatic right?

    Btw, did you look at the belt to see if it had a shiny patch on it?
     
  16. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    I've already ordered the idler pulley and I have also ordered a new tensioner as well as that has been my suspect issue on this.

    The belt itself is relatively brand new and has around 12k miles since being purchased last year around July / August. There are no signs of patches on the belt.

    The alternator isn't the original one. My fiancee says it was replaced in 2006. Yes it still drives. I drove it to work today which is a 45 mile trip one way. 90 miles round trip.

    And yes, it's an AT. These only came in AT.
     
  17. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    Very well, I am a Chrysler man myself, but the other marks captured some of my interest as a boy. I think since 1986 though, I have only owned Ford Products in the U.S. There was an Opel GT once, but it would have broken my heart and checkbook trying to fix it all the time.

    Good Luck.
     
  18. CDsDontBurn

    CDsDontBurn AMD & Petrol Heads Mod

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    Thanks Jeff. I'll post back how it all went. Perhaps with pictures :).
     
  19. Falstaff

    Falstaff Old Codger

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    Alrighty then. ;)
     
  20. steves6403

    steves6403 Active Member

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    Have you removed the belt and spun all the pullys individualy? If so please disregade the ramblings of an old man
     

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