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Username Post: stopping serpentine belt squeal        (Topic#216465)
heygibb 
Member
Posts: 126

Loc: New Bern, NC
Reg: 02-11-03
05-08-09 12:55 PM - Post#1693858    

I recently had to replace the serpentine belt on my truck. The old one was splitting into pieces. I had no squeal with any pulleys or wheels. I put an exact fit belt on and I got a little chirping from one of the pulleys. I'm pretty sure it's the AC compressor. After a day of use (thinking it would stretch a bit),I returned it and got a belt one inch longer....same chirp. I used it a day or so before returning it for a longer belt (by one inch). I now have a full squeal going on and it's driving me nuts. I tried WD 40 around all the pulleys and wheels at the shaft/bearing area with no luck.
What is the best way to handle this?
Is the belt tensioner adjustable?
It's driving me nuts.
Thanks
Tim
1989 GMC Sierra K1500 w/91 Chevy 5.7L, AT


 
Phazer 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3004
Phazer
Loc: Armpit of the Universe
Reg: 10-10-03
05-08-09 01:26 PM - Post#1693871    
    In response to heygibb

Yes the belt tension is available. I'd highly suggest going back to the original length belt.

The serpentine belts can get dirt in the grooves, (pulleys & belts), and cause the belt to "not grip" to it's full potential. Clean the grooves of the pulleys with a pocket scredriver or anything else that will reach to the bottom of the groove.

Tensioners going bad can be hard to pinpoint unless the don't spring back when released. I don't know of any torque/pressure/tension specs goven on these.
My "To Do List" for this weekend:
Nothing but womens names...
and drugs....

92 Bravada
96 Sunfire
00 Impala
05 Stratus
90 Wrangler
77 Cub Lo-boy
87 Intruder VS700
95 Intruder VS1400


 
BBC-454 
Senior Member
Posts: 1400
BBC-454
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Reg: 05-11-03
05-08-09 01:38 PM - Post#1693876    
    In response to Phazer

Probably the tensioner. The spring relaxes over time and it wont be visibly worn, it just wont have the same pressure on the belt.

To check the idler pulley or ac pulley, take the belt right off and give them a spin. If they growl, change it.

Wd40 is bad for belts also, petroleum based lubricants destroy rubber. just so you know!
Josh R.L.
Licensed Automotive Mechanic
1966 Buick Special 2 door
1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 panel van
1995 GMC K2500
2011 VW Jetta TDI


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25142
someotherguy
Age: 43
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-08-09 02:33 PM - Post#1693907    
    In response to BBC-454

Also, I've noticed several people complaining that they developed a chirp or squeal after replacing the belt, and it turned out to be the brand of belt - Dayco. Seen more than one person with this symptom replace it with a Gatorback (Goodyear) or a Gates belt, and the problem went away.

I personally always use Gates.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 94 C1500 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
Hugo 
Senior Member
Posts: 702

Loc: Los Angeles, Ca
Reg: 09-03-00
05-08-09 03:10 PM - Post#1693939    
    In response to heygibb

I'd go with a Gates. I've had a Dayco snap after a short time(under 1 year) and a New Gatorback squeal.

 
Boog 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 3493
Boog
Loc: Central Arkansas
Reg: 04-28-02
05-08-09 05:49 PM - Post#1693993    
    In response to Hugo

If 3 new belts did not stop the squeal my money is on the belt tensioner itself. When worn enough the tensioner lean over just a tad bit allowing the belt to run closer to the edge of the tensioner pully making it squeal. Gates belts are hard to beat too.
Boog
69 Chevy step
06 GMC ccsb Z71
00 GMC excab Z71
All GM...'nuff said!
JR Nation


 
heygibb 
Member
Posts: 126

Loc: New Bern, NC
Reg: 02-11-03
05-08-09 11:04 PM - Post#1694101    
    In response to Boog

Thanks for all the input. I picked it up at Advance Auto. I didn't have time to check the manufacturer today yet.
I have used Gates in the past but didn't give it a second thought when I bought these belts. It just seemed illogical that I had no squeal prior to the new belts, and now I can't get rid of it.
I'll get a Gates if cleaning the grooves doesn't help.
re the WD40, you are right. I sprayed the metal parts of the pulleys and wheels, not the belt itself. I thought it was my last resort!
Tim
1989 GMC Sierra K1500 w/91 Chevy 5.7L, AT


 
chevrolet_kelowna 
Contributor
Posts: 228
chevrolet_kelowna
Loc: Kelowna BC
Reg: 11-23-07
05-09-09 02:22 AM - Post#1694119    
    In response to heygibb

I recently bought a belt for a 1998 Yukon. I went into GM to buy one. He told me that everytime they put on a new serpentine belt they strongly suggest putting on a new tensioner pulley. Any belt that is on your vehicle that doesn't have just the 5 or 6 straight lines is aftermarket. The aftermarket ones with all those little spaces cut out of them are harder and are a multifit cut. The stock ones from GM fit on your pully's perfect right into the grooves and they are softer.

 
heygibb 
Member
Posts: 126

Loc: New Bern, NC
Reg: 02-11-03
05-10-09 07:38 PM - Post#1695226    
    In response to chevrolet_kelowna

Well, the belt I bought from Advance is a Dayco and has solid lines for each groove.
I took it off to clean the pulley grooves w/ a wire brush and 409 cleaner. At first, the squeals disappeared. However, they returned after driving the truck awhile.
I have to drive 12 miles to get a Gates belt, so I was wondering if anyone had tried a Napa micro v belt with any luck?
I do have one last trick up my sleeve and that is to soak the belt in silicone to soften it up a little. Maybe that will put a stop to the chirpin'. I'll let you know what happens.
Thanks
Tim
1989 GMC Sierra K1500 w/91 Chevy 5.7L, AT


 
stano 
Senior Member
Posts: 482
stano
Loc: Iowa ..... Silver Member
Reg: 12-30-00
05-10-09 08:00 PM - Post#1695249    
    In response to heygibb

I take the grease gun and put two pumps of grease on the grove side of the belt. Then start truck and sqeak is gone. It seems to last a month or more in do not drive in rain alot.

Three pumps seems to make the belt slip so don't put to much grease on.
thank you
stano


 
heygibb 
Member
Posts: 126

Loc: New Bern, NC
Reg: 02-11-03
05-12-09 07:07 AM - Post#1696210    
    In response to stano

To answer a few comments...
I would have never thought of using the grease gun technique. I tried it yesterday morning and it worked initially. Later in the day, a minimal chirp started again. I ended up removing the belt and saturating it w/ liquid silicone. So far, so good. The belt is much more pliable so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
re the tensioner itself...the pulley on it is an edgeless wheel, so it can pull the belt off center. The belt is riding on one edge of the wheel, barely. Since the wheel appears to have a crown to it, I could see how the belt is not being worn evenly...there would be more pressure on one edge. Not only could that produce a squeal, but it may have contributed to my original belt splitting down the middle...so it could lay flat all the way across the wheel of the tensioner pulley...just a guess.
I'll remember to get a Gates next time, but for right now, the current one is working as it should.
Thanks for the great tips.
Tim
1989 GMC Sierra K1500 w/91 Chevy 5.7L, AT


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25142
someotherguy
Age: 43
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-12-09 08:30 AM - Post#1696255    
    In response to heygibb

Just my opinion, but I would have never put grease or lubricant of any kind into the mix. All that stuff serves to shorten the life of the belt and cause problems. When you get the new belt you're going to need to clean all that junk out. Brake parts cleaner should make short work of it, just wear eye protection because it will shoot back in your face off the pulleys and you do NOT want it in your eyes!

When you get new tensioner and idler pulleys, be sure to get good quality ones. There's some real garbage out there.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 94 C1500 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
BBC-454 
Senior Member
Posts: 1400
BBC-454
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Reg: 05-11-03
05-12-09 07:16 PM - Post#1696587    
    In response to someotherguy

Make sure you get the tensioner assembly, not just the pulley.
Josh R.L.
Licensed Automotive Mechanic
1966 Buick Special 2 door
1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 panel van
1995 GMC K2500
2011 VW Jetta TDI


 
heygibb 
Member
Posts: 126

Loc: New Bern, NC
Reg: 02-11-03
05-12-09 07:39 PM - Post#1696606    
    In response to someotherguy

I would have to agree re the lubrication. it shouldn't be needed or used. when one feels desperate though, sometimes we reach for a bad, short term solution. I don't think you are referring to the silicone treatment, as I don't see it as a foreign substance to add to the mix, per se, (although I don't think it should be required to get a belt to quit squealing).
re the tensioners, do you only recommmend OEM parts?

I've noticed the pulley on my silverado has raised edges to center the belt, whereas the one on my sierra is plastic w/ no raised edge...definitely a cheapo. In the picture, you can see the belt riding toward the right edge.

If these links work, you'll see the difference.
http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a64/heygibb/li nke...
http://s9.photobucket.com/albums/a64/heygibb/li nke...
1989 GMC Sierra K1500 w/91 Chevy 5.7L, AT


 
BBC-454 
Senior Member
Posts: 1400
BBC-454
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Reg: 05-11-03
05-12-09 07:49 PM - Post#1696610    
    In response to heygibb

No, napa or aftermarket is fine.
Josh R.L.
Licensed Automotive Mechanic
1966 Buick Special 2 door
1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 panel van
1995 GMC K2500
2011 VW Jetta TDI


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25142
someotherguy
Age: 43
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
05-12-09 08:10 PM - Post#1696630    
    In response to BBC-454

Ehhh, I would say if the OEM tensioner is operating properly, don't replace it. Some of the aftermarket ones I've seen for these engines are awful. My buddy picked one up from Autozone and it vibrated back and forth like crazy and was noisy as hell when the A/C was on. Made in china, as you would expect.

I would hope NAPA offers a better one but quite a bit of their stuff is subpar these days, too.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 94 C1500 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
BBC-454 
Senior Member
Posts: 1400
BBC-454
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Reg: 05-11-03
05-12-09 08:33 PM - Post#1696647    
    In response to someotherguy

Yes I agree if its fine don't replace it, but the spring can relax and not have as much tension as required, though everything seems normal. If there is no other obvious causes of belt squeal this is what I would replace.
Josh R.L.
Licensed Automotive Mechanic
1966 Buick Special 2 door
1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 panel van
1995 GMC K2500
2011 VW Jetta TDI


 
allsportsmx 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 3

Reg: 02-04-14
02-04-14 12:04 PM - Post#2423549    
    In response to heygibb

Hi there. I have a 2004 express 1500 4.3l same problem.
when I bought it she squealed a little when it first started. but after driving it went away for a few weeks then the fan clutch went out so I put a new one on about 2 weeks later it started squealing again so I put a new belt and a new tensioner on. that again stopped it for a week or two.
then it starts to squeal again ...... at this point im super mad uuuuhh so I put a new idler pulley and water pump in it .... crossed my fingers and started her up it ran smooth for about 5 minutes then started to squeak again im lost you guys idk anymore but as I read your post on this belt issue ... should I try a new belt once again to see if it works ? before I take it to the shop to get looked at? its way to much $$$ for them to look at it and i always work on my own stuff but this is driving me CRAZY any ideas ??
Thanks Patrick

 
bowtie44s 
Contributor
Posts: 835
bowtie44s
Age: 31
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
02-04-14 01:45 PM - Post#2423572    
    In response to allsportsmx

So you still have the power steering pump, ac compressor, and alternator. Take the belt off and see if any of them spin hard. If not replace the belt and it will probably go away. Mine made an awful chirping, I changed the belt and it went away.
Jeff

'88 chevy k3500 aluminum head 454
NV 4500

'84 chevy short bed dana 60 14bolt ff 383 stroker
44" boggers (rear) 44" tsl (front) hydraulic assist
welded front and rear 5.13 gears
th400 np205 twin stick -SOLD-


Edited by bowtie44s on 02-04-14 01:46 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
305c1500ext 
Member
Posts: 145

Loc: Auckland,NEW ZEALAND
Reg: 10-23-06
02-04-14 06:59 PM - Post#2423701    
    In response to bowtie44s

I had the same problem.Cured mine by using `belt dressing` on the belt.Had to give it a few sprays but has worked for about 3 months now...No noise!
Motorsport is GOOD!
1996 c1500 305 vortec.1st truck so far!350 crate motor is in....had to rebuild it first!!
1986 mazda 323 turbo road race car 400hp.
598 bbc in 56 chev drag car 8.62 second 1/4 mile
1965 chev impala sedan, 283 + 350 trans


 
FD611V 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 46

Reg: 10-19-12
02-05-14 07:44 AM - Post#2423810    
    In response to heygibb

I've lost count on how many belts you have bought and returned. And, I would say the auto store was very nice to take them back after you applied some lubricants/oil/grease to them.

Here's my suggestions. Go in bathroom and get your bar of soap...prefer one that is half used up. Start the vehicle and find a area where the belt has some space between the idler pulley and regular driven pulley. First we are going to check to see if the idler pulley is bad. Take the bar of soap and apply it to the "back side" of the belt".. not the "grove" side. If the chirp/noise" stops... You have a bad idler pulley. If you still have the noise, apply the soap bar to the grove side...If the noise stops. You need a new belt. And from there you have something else to worry about, as you have said...you have tried several belts and the noise till shows up. Report back after you have done the bar of soap bit.

 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 25142
someotherguy
Age: 43
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
02-05-14 07:56 AM - Post#2423817    
    In response to FD611V

I'd recommend strongly against belt dressing, grease, etc. as I already have mentioned earlier. The soap trick is useful for troubleshooting as FD611V says. It also will temporarily shut the belt up.

Using a quality belt and being sure all your pulleys are free of contamination is the best starting point.

I had one a little while back that was making me absolutely nuts. Replaced water pump on the gold '93 C1500 and it started squealing like crazy. Bearing in the pump was no good. You could remove the belt and spin the fan and hear it; sounded like a sick cat moaning. So I replaced the pump again and the belt would start squealing a few moments into the engine running - an ear-piercing squeal like none other. I cleaned the crap out of the pulleys, belt, nothing would shut it up.

After some careful examination, one of the new pumps had put the belt just slightly out of alignment, and the paint on the pulley had been softened by brake parts cleaner - so the decision was made, paint contaminated the belt and wouldn't come out. Sanded the feathered edge of the paint off, replaced the belt, quiet ever since.

Richard
94 C2500LD / 94 C1500 / 06 300C SRT8
Check out my truck shop projects


 
FD611V 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 46

Reg: 10-19-12
02-05-14 10:28 AM - Post#2423879    
    In response to heygibb

  • heygibb Said:
I recently had to replace the serpentine belt on my truck. The old one was splitting into pieces. I had no squeal with any pulleys or wheels. I put an exact fit belt on and I got a little chirping from one of the pulleys. I'm pretty sure it's the AC compressor. After a day of use (thinking it would stretch a bit),I returned it and got a belt one inch longer....same chirp. I used it a day or so before returning it for a longer belt (by one inch). I now have a full squeal going on and it's driving me nuts. I tried WD 40 around all the pulleys and wheels at the shaft/bearing area with no luck.
What is the best way to handle this?
Is the belt tensioner adjustable?
It's driving me nuts.
Thanks
Tim



Tim, First of all there is no adjustment(s) to be made as the belt tensioner is self controlled with a spring. When it goes bad, the whole assembly will make a "hoping"..bounce up/down as the belt travels the rpms. It will do this more at idle than higher rpms. From my experience with a 1994 Chevy Truck with 350 V8 and AC, found the belt was old and slick with some cracks in the belt groves causing the belt to slip on the AC Compressor...meaning the AC Compressor wasn't turning the same rpms as the others...alternator, crankshaft, etc. When I installed a new serpentine belt I got a squeal/chirping noise. Now, why would that happen? Well, the new belt wasn't worn or had any cracks in the groves, therefore it made the AC Compressor grab/not slip on the belt....squealing results...the AC Compressor had a bad front bearing and there was the cause for the noise you claim to have. I would say you need a new AC Compressor...more so a new front bearing in the belt pulley area.


 
454cid 
Contributor
Posts: 929
454cid
Age: 41
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
02-05-14 04:27 PM - Post#2423981    
    In response to FD611V

  • FD611V Said:

Tim, First of all there is no adjustment(s) to be made as the belt tensioner......




The original post in this thread that you responded to is from 09
99 K3500 RCLB


 
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