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Old 09-23-2007, 01:59 AM   #1
Phredawgy
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Default Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

I noticed in the few months since I replaced my Radiator that I have developed a rather loud rattle when the a/c is on.......so I have been meaning to get back under there and make sure the condensor, radiator and fan cover are all snug and not the likely source of this rattle. Just a few minutes ago I had the hood popped(checking the oil) and had someone start the car for me.....no rattle......turn the ac on.....with the car still in park......no rattle.......but when the car is put into reverse the engine moves(it's hard to describe the movement) but it looks like down and back a little when put into R....and the rattle from hell shows up.......coming from the idler/tensioner/power steering area of the engine......and it is loud....at first I thought it was the timing chain because of how loud it was and the area.......but now when the a/c is turned off(car still in R) the rattle goes away.......I heard it for about 3 seconds when the car was backing out of my carport and going on a little downslope with the wheels turned to back out at an angle.......then it left...but the moment you put the a/c on if the car is in Reverse it is louder than hell.......it's not so loud with the car in D....... not really there when the /ac is on and the car is in Park....the timing chain wouldn't move or rattle when the engine moves around would it...but not rattle other times.......I replaced the upper engine mount about a year or so ago.......but haven't touched the other mounts.....would the need to replace any of these be causing this intermittent rattle when in gear with the AC on? I'd like to figure this out for obvious reasons....so any help as always is very very very appreciated.

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Old 09-23-2007, 02:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Check all engine mounts and the threads covering how to visually inspect for worn/broken mounts.

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Old 09-23-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

IT does sound like a engine mount.I just changed my upper mount.I was having same issues that you have

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Old 09-23-2007, 01:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

What if you leave it in park but hit the high beams and rear window defogger? That would point to a belt problem with the added load of the alternator. (Figuring the automatic trans is taking some amperage to run "reverse"). Otherwise I agree with the motor mount theory.

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Old 09-23-2007, 03:41 PM   #5
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Check the idler pulley too. The one on the SL1 came loose, and would only rattle under load, and then only under certain conditions.

I took it off, ready to press out and replace the bearing. Turned out the bearing was fine. Simply put it back on, cost of repair $0.

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Old 09-24-2007, 12:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino View Post
What if you leave it in park but hit the high beams and rear window defogger? That would point to a belt problem with the added load of the alternator. (Figuring the automatic trans is taking some amperage to run "reverse"). Otherwise I agree with the motor mount theory.
I never thought about something like that.......I am sure the other 3 TAM mounts need replacing and as I couldn't get to the Saturn dealership when I changed the upper one I got an aftermarket one....though when I looked at it yesterday it was ok.......

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Old 09-24-2007, 12:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signmaster View Post
Check the idler pulley too. The one on the SL1 came loose, and would only rattle under load, and then only under certain conditions.

I took it off, ready to press out and replace the bearing. Turned out the bearing was fine. Simply put it back on, cost of repair $0.
I hope it's not the idler , I replaced that about 9 months ago along with the belt and the tensioner about 6 months ago.......but that doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't go bad again.......

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Old 09-24-2007, 01:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Phredawgy -

I *doubt* this is the problem, but have you checked the headlight adjustment bolt? It drove me nuts for over a year :

Tapping Valves or Timing Chain or ?!?!?!?!?
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93037

CarloSW2

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Old 09-24-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Phredawgy -

I *doubt* this is the problem, but have you checked the headlight adjustment bolt? It drove me nuts for over a year :

Tapping Valves or Timing Chain or ?!?!?!?!?
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93037

CarloSW2
thanks.....wether or not this is the problem I believe they are both loose and it couldn't hurt to tighten them......

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Phredawgy -

I *doubt* this is the problem, but have you checked the headlight adjustment bolt? It drove me nuts for over a year :

Tapping Valves or Timing Chain or ?!?!?!?!?
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93037

CarloSW2
To add to the list of annoying rattles that sound like timing chain or valves:

I've been freaking out about the noise for over two years thinking my engine is about to die (180k), until recently I found my fender was making the weird rattle that would come and go at idle. Sounded loud enough to think it was the timing chain, but you could never figure out where it comes from exactly.

In your case though, I would definitely check out the lower engine mounts. One right beside the oil filter in particular.

If you have any rattling while driving that increases with speed, I can tell you all about stripped gear teeth in my ex-automatic

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:33 AM   #11
Phredawgy
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic torpedo View Post
To add to the list of annoying rattles that sound like timing chain or valves:

I've been freaking out about the noise for over two years thinking my engine is about to die (180k), until recently I found my fender was making the weird rattle that would come and go at idle. Sounded loud enough to think it was the timing chain, but you could never figure out where it comes from exactly.

In your case though, I would definitely check out the lower engine mounts. One right beside the oil filter in particular.

If you have any rattling while driving that increases with speed, I can tell you all about stripped gear teeth in my ex-automatic
heh I'm leaning more and more towards the mounts...but have to check other things too....I'm going to replace the mounts as soon as I can get them and have time anyway...as I am betting they are the originals and this car has 208k on it.....but I want to make sure that's what is causing this and it's not something else like the alternator or one of the pulleys...so I will attack this tomorrow after work...and after going to buy a stethescope

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Oh, check the exhaust too! There are many things there that could get bent/unscrewed and start rattling. Just recently I had one of the clamp screws come loose and make a horrible noise that would increase with RPMs and sounded like my engine was toast! Nasty stuff I tell ya

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Old 09-24-2007, 09:15 AM   #13
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Question Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

I have the EXACT same noise from the idler pulley. New belt, new idler pulley, new water pump, new timing chain-basically new motor in a '95 SL2. I thought new bearings were kaput already for some strange reason & pulled oil pan, no problems.
Carefull prybar placement on "shaking" pulley bolt only and noise is transmitted to frame. I even switched idler from my '91 SL2 (which is only 3 months old) and same sound!
This only happens when electrical is loaded to max. Alternator bolts tight.
If you find a cure-or if I do first-please tell what fixed it.

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Old 09-27-2007, 07:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipster View Post
I have the EXACT same noise from the idler pulley. New belt, new idler pulley, new water pump, new timing chain-basically new motor in a '95 SL2. I thought new bearings were kaput already for some strange reason & pulled oil pan, no problems.
Carefull prybar placement on "shaking" pulley bolt only and noise is transmitted to frame. I even switched idler from my '91 SL2 (which is only 3 months old) and same sound!
This only happens when electrical is loaded to max. Alternator bolts tight.
If you find a cure-or if I do first-please tell what fixed it.
Well I got under the car to check the heat sheild for the exhaust....motor mount is fine.....I hear the noise on some of the spots around the belt side of the engine...but it sounds like someone tapping on a piece of plastic right on my ear when I put the stethescope on the top mounting bolt for the tensioner......I haven't even had it six months...and I guess I am going to have to replace it.....unless its the pulley bolt that needs tightened...it looks a bit wobbly when turning......

...
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Intermittent Rattle on belt side of engine

Could be either of the pulleys. When my idler pulley came loose, I was almost positive it was the tensioner. Just like you, my tensioner wasn't very old. I had put it off just because I was busy when I noticed the belt was tracking different on the idler pulley. Just before I noticed it the noise changed a little bit, but I still thought it was the tensioner.

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