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Old 06-19-2018, 10:38 AM   #1
1999saturnsl
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Default Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Hey y'all,
I tightened up the tensioner and replaced the water pump last week, and now I've got this metal scraping noise in my engine. Real bad when I start up, and sometimes shows up again at stoplights. S Belt?

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Old 06-19-2018, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Er, how did you 'tighten up' the belt tensioner?

Usually, they are cheap enough that they are just out right replaced, not repaired or 'tightened up'.

There are several fans here who have rebuilt theirs with new bearings, is that what you meant?

Perhaps, the tightening process you did, has not lasted and that tensioner is now causing the noise?

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Old 06-19-2018, 12:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

On a cold engine, remove the belt and start the car. If the noise is gone, it's either the belt or tensioner. You can run the car for a minute or so with the belt off, but probably won't need more than a few seconds.

Some of the aftermarket tensioners have slightly different diameter pulleys and require a slightly shorter belt. You can measure yours - I think the stock size has been posted somewhere here

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Old 06-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

I just gave it a couple twists of a ratchet, as I thought that was the thing to do..is that not suggested?

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Old 06-19-2018, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Now I'm even more confused

What did you tighten, exactly? There are three bolts total.

Two of them (10mm?) are for mounting the tensioner and you should not have been able to tighten them much (red lines).

There's one bolt for the pulley (blue line) and all that does is release the tension so you can remove the belt. I think it's 13mm~14mm. Did you hold the pulley down and tighten that?
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Yes, I turned the blue one

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Old 06-21-2018, 02:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Normally, when you put just a wrench on that and turn, the whole pulley moves (it's how you release tension on the belt to remove it)

If you held the pulley still and then turned the bolt . . . we're in uncharted territory here. I've never heard of anybody doing that before
(congratulations, I guess? )

Because I'd be worried about damage from tightening that bolt, I'd replace the whole tensioner. The pulley is supposed to spin freely

If I didn't have the money to replace it, I might try and do the same thing in reverse . . . hold the pulley still and back the bolt out exactly as much you tightened it.

Good luck, tell us how it goes

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Old 07-27-2018, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

Brought a more mechanically-aligned friend over, who said the tensioner was out of place, lower than it should be. Suggested replacement. Thoughts?

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Old 07-28-2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Scraping noise in 99 sl engine

On 6/19 I mentioned "Perhaps, the tightening process you did, has not lasted and that tensioner is now causing the noise?" ='s replacement needed.

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