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Old 01-10-2021, 05:13 AM   #21
1996SL11.9L
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

On both saturns I had the Alt was the source of the bad bearing sound. Both had around 150k miles when the noise started.

On my 2002 when I replaced the Alt I checked everything with the belt off and my water pump had nasty play but wasnít leaking so it got a water pump as wall.

If you can find a factory tensioner go that route. I had bought 2 of them years ago and used my last one on my 02 around the 200k mile Mark.

If you have a bad Alt bearing and the top engine mount is off and engine is up in the air to make room you may as well replace the tensioner assembly and the idler as well. Beats doing just those later.......
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
cool trick, so great to learn these things!

Wasn't able to get a long enough screwdriver, tho. And my HF stethoscope is missing half the probe, so I had to rig some wire onto the end of it. Waiting to catch it when it's making noise.
I've actually got several different noises, caught this cricket type thing on video. https://imgur.com/a/EFo9FgN

I tried spraying water onto the belt. At first the cricket got louder, then a moment later it ceased, then another moment and it was back. How long will the water silence the noise (if it's the belt)
Also, I do have some aerospace 303. Does this actually increase belt life? Can I just apply this to front/back of belt while it's installed? Somehow I feel like it would actually make the belt slip? Like I should keep it off the pulleys? I haven't actually used the product yet, so I have no experience with it.

I don't know why, I had blinders on about the ALT and water pump. Yes, those could be the issue, too, although I couldn't figure out how to listen to the water pump. It's only 30K old, tho.

What is the part# for the gatorback belt you guys use? I've been plopping down $30 at the GM dealership and sounds like that is a good alternative.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:33 PM   #23
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

The water isn't necessarily going to silence a slipping belt, it just changes the sound so you know the problem really is a belt slip, not a bearing someplace. Whatever effect the water, or any other liquid, will have is very temporary. That "303" is supposed to be a protectant from UV light, of no real use for this under-the-hood (dark) application.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Belts (most my experience with obsolete Vee belts) can generate a
tremendous variety of noise, either from misalignment, contamination,
or slippage (possible cause of squeak?).

Applying water can oft clean off contamination. I oft use a paint brush and a cup of water with a couple drops of liquid dish detergent; then rinse without the detergent. Apply to belt when stationary, move to access all belt, start engine
to agitate & dry.

With belt loose from tensioner, rotate each pulley to check for bearing noise,
or stiffness/binding.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:32 PM   #25
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Didn't think to clean the belt, thanks! Had some warm weather so I washed the belt and pulleys, even though they seemed pretty darn clean.

High pitched noise, still there and intermittent. Still need to drive it more to try to get intermittent-ness to progress to always-ness.

With those bolts spinning on the water pump, I'm a little hesitant to stick my half-assed stethoscope down there, but the probe should go right on the center ring, right? Just seems hard to get in from that angle and avoid the bolts.

I hate to plop down another $30 to buy a new belt, because this one looks perfect. But that's what happened last time - belt looked good (tiny cracks appeared when removed) but a new one solved the noise.

Can't find a gatorback locally, I think one of the shops has the continental in the 778, but I think I need to 780, right (OEM tensioner, PS+AC)? Fortunately, the Big River does have 780 listed. It's only a few bucks less than OEM, currently.
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Old 01-19-2021, 07:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

You have not replaced the tensioner yet, have you? I, too, went through that "musical belts" routine, trying to fix an intermittent squeak caused by a broken tensioner. The tensioner bearing was fine, it was the "springiness" of the arm that wasn't proper.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:37 AM   #27
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Full disclosure....

Once before i reported my quick trick for belt cleaning ...
which i used after accidently dropping some motor oil on the inside of a serp belt.

Not long after, OldNuc offered a correction:

> Remove the belt, submerge in a bucket of water & soap/detergent...
dry, clean pulleys ... re-assemble !!
....................


I used to use an insecticide sprayer on a garden hose (with liquid
dish detergent instead of insecticide) to clean the little diesel in my VW Rabbit. But, when careless, the fluid could wash lube out of the idler.
Made a clean engine compartment, though!
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:27 AM   #28
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Replace the belt and tensioner and idler pulley together.

The aftermarket tensioners have a smaller pulley which requires a smaller belt than OEM.

A year or so after my Alt replacement I had a belt chirp and put a new belt on and that didnít fix it. I didnít realize my 02 had a aftermarket tensioner on until I removed it. I had a factory tensioner I purchased as a spare.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:50 PM   #29
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
Full disclosure....

Once before i reported my quick trick for belt cleaning ...
which i used after accidently dropping some motor oil on the inside of a serp belt.

Not long after, OldNuc offered a correction:

> Remove the belt, submerge in a bucket of water & soap/detergent...
dry, clean pulleys ... re-assemble !!
....................


I used to use an insecticide sprayer on a garden hose (with liquid
dish detergent instead of insecticide) to clean the little diesel in my VW Rabbit. But, when careless, the fluid could wash lube out of the idler.
Made a clean engine compartment, though!
Yeah, I did it in-situ and was a little paranoid about it because of stuff like that.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:55 PM   #30
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
You have not replaced the tensioner yet, have you? I, too, went through that "musical belts" routine, trying to fix an intermittent squeak caused by a broken tensioner. The tensioner bearing was fine, it was the "springiness" of the arm that wasn't proper.
Yes, OEM tensioner at nearly 79K miles.
Not sure how I'd be able to tell if the arm is the issue (the belt is tight, but I know yours was, too).
I certainly am not familiar with the normal feel of it, to be able to know if it was bad. Other than just replacing it and seeing if that solves it. Certainly easier for me to try a new belt, first, which is my next step.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:06 PM   #31
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

With the belt on, note where the pulley position i,s relative to pushing against the belt. Then take the belt off and see if the pulley springs past that noted position, in the direction that would push against the belt (if it where there). The pulley should go about 1" more in the "tensioning" direction, and the force required to move it should be about the same through the full range of tensioning motion.
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

quick update.

Finally took the belt off (waiting until car was regularly making The Noise but it comes and goes) and spun the pulleys.

The only one that made noise was the water pump, and it barely makes noise. Kind of like a squeaky rubber type thing.

I'm not totally convinced this is a bad thing, mostly because I dread having to replace the water pump.

Is there a magic product to recondition that seal on the water pump...?

I confess that I have had a very small coolant loss issue for a while. I have residue on the firewall, but also residue around the hose connections.
(note to self, clean that up and reassess!)
In the beginning I figured I'd have to replace the water pump again, but here I am years later (sure, maybe just a few thousand miles ) and the coolant loss remains minimal.

I never find wet coolant drips anywhere. In particular, below the weep hole.

Again, I'm not convinced this is a bad enough thing to replace the water pump.

Also remembered to finally check my coolant concentration, oops, it's up to 70%.

I'm still wondering if the noise is mostly due to belt age ( I did a half-hearted cleaning and there are no cracks on the belt) and maybe that water pump pulley noise is normal.
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:27 PM   #33
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

I don't think there is a magic bullet for the seal.

I know OldNuc was pretty adamant about not adding sealers to the antifreeze with the exception of . . Golden Root? Golden Seal? I forget the exact name, but apparently the S series came with a tablet or two of that stuff from the factory. That's a "probably won't help but definitely can't hurt" type of thing.

edit: also, double check hose clamp tightness?
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #34
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Good point - I haven't touched those clamps for a while so maybe just a bit of maintenance there.
Also forgot about the Bar's Leaks tablets. I hope that's the same as the stuff OldNuc refered to.
I get how they could stop a leak but they do also claim to lubricate, so I'll def try that. Plus a new belt, for funsies. Last time a new belt did solve my (totally different) noise issue.
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Old 03-20-2021, 01:35 AM   #35
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

I'm late (lazy) at joining in here. I find that slight pump leaks don't show up easily because the little bit of coolant "flashes" to vapor as soon as it gets out. The leak has to get bad enough that it can dribble out when the engine is cold with no coolant pressure before you notice it. However, that "slight" leakage does get into the bearing and damage it. A pressure check of the cold cooling system can help a lot in finding slight leaks.
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Old 03-20-2021, 01:14 PM   #36
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I'm late (lazy) at joining in here. I find that slight pump leaks don't show up easily because the little bit of coolant "flashes" to vapor as soon as it gets out. The leak has to get bad enough that it can dribble out when the engine is cold with no coolant pressure before you notice it. However, that "slight" leakage does get into the bearing and damage it. A pressure check of the cold cooling system can help a lot in finding slight leaks.
I sure appreciate you weighing in! With another (obvious) idea that somehow did not occur to me.

I tried to do some pressure testing on my vehicles a few years back with the loaner kit from the FLAPS; no big surprise that I could not make heads nor tails of it. I'm sure I consulted Mr. You Tube, as well. A little more surprising that none of the kids or old timers at the FLAPS had a clue, either.

Guess I'll try again... or find a shop.
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Old 03-20-2021, 06:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Last year, I had been tracking a slight coolant loss. It did not appear at all when cold and would hold pressure when tested. It only showed up when warmed up.

My daughter was working on her PPL, and I had already determined it was the water pump. Since I was teaching her about engines as part of her training, I had her work with me on the water pump. It was one of the most enjoyable days of working on a vehicle that I've ever had.

The leak was only visible when the engine was warmed and looking directly at the pump. Absolutely no leaking when cold. I finally determined it was the pump due to some very slight markings on the bottom of the crank from underneath, and it became evident of the exact source when we removed the pulley on an aftermarket pump that was less than a year old.

You would do well, if you suspect a bad water pump, to do a close inspection from underneath.

The Bar's Leak tablets are fine. I use them in mine.
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:43 PM   #38
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Those steam leaks can be a pain. When my coolant tank cracked it would only leak after warmed up for 20-30 minutes, and then only showed itself when the crack got big enough to condense into droplets.

Luckily, it went from slow leak that was impossible to find to leaking enough to track down without any major coolant loss. I was glad to have found it when I did.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:32 PM   #39
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

Still messing around with this.
The bars leaks did resolve the small squeak in the water pump pulley.
My belt is clean and no cracks, but since this noise is not constant, and doesn’t vary with rpm, I’m wondering what else it could be? I was going to run it with the belt off for a sec (this is safe, right?) but forgot to.

It reminds me vaguely of the twang that the ac compressor makes when it kicks in. Otherwise, it’s somewhat like a rattle, coming from pass side. The top and lower motor mount are tight. Wondering about exhaust components. I’ve looked / listened under the car while running , can’t see anything moving or pinpoint the noise.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:41 PM   #40
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Default Re: pulley noise, maybe

I was able to run the engine without a belt for a second, and the sound went away.
With the belt off, I broke out my trusty flexy inspection mirror and did find yellow powder on the underside of the water pump (my coolant is yellow).

So I guess that, plus the noise, plus missing coolant, means water pump despite me not being able to find an actual leak. I know it's an easy fix for most of you but I was reallllly hoping this was something else.

This water pump was a duralast from AutoZone with the lifetime warranty, however, they cannot find my purchase info from my online order, so I guess I get to spring for a new one.
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