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Old 04-26-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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Serpentine belt chirping - Ford V10

chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp.

Here is the timeline and where I'm at today (hopefully resolved)

This has been a somewhat continuing saga since we bought the New to Us, Coachman Mirada last fall.

Fan Belt Squealing

November 2014 - New to Us - On the way home from picking up the MH, we noticed a mild chirp.

While getting ready for our road trip, I replaced the bearings on the two idlers (2 and 5) and the bearing on the tensioner (1), I cleaned and polished the idler wheels, and replaced the belt with a new Gates belt. Chirp was gone.

December 2014 - We departed on our long road trip - Unfortunately, the chirping started again about 100 miles into trip, within 200 miles, turned to loud constant squeal. (This isn't good)

Troubleshooting, It wasn't a water pump, idler, or alternator bearing, it had to be the belt.

500 miles into trip - CAN'T STAND IT ANY MORE - Removed the new Gates belt and reinstalled the original belt. Squeal stopped, thank God, but the minor, minor chirping returned. (Always save the old parts and bring them with you, just in case)

As I re-installed the original belt, I noticed the tensioner was about 1/2 way into its spring travel. It seemed like the tensioner was very close to the end stop when I removed the Gates belt.

Mid road trip - 2500 miles into trip - Bought a Ford OEM belt from dealer ($80 - cough) quieted down a little more, but still had minor chirping, noticeable at idle, but not obnoxious.

Finished the rest of the trip with the minor chirping.

APRIL 2015- As a last resort, I replaced the entire tensioner assembly ($40 - Rock Auto). A quick run/idle test before replacement, minor chirp. After I replaced the tensioner, no chirp.

I will keep my fingers crossed that this solved the problem..

Conclusions:

Replacing idler bearings was helpful, but didn't solve problem

The surfaces of the idlers must be clean. The chirping is the belt slipping across the idlers.

Gates belt may be to long for the application and does not tension properly. I was able to return it for a refund, and they filled out a report to Gates describing the problem.

Tensioner spring may become less springy over 13 years and may not be able to hold belt tight enough.

I am now very good at replacing the belt and can have the old one off and the new one on in less than 5 minutes.

..
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:47 AM   #2
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Replacing a 14 year old tensioner is a good idea. I plan on replacing my belt and tensioner this summer. Mine is 16 years old. I had planned on replacing it at 15 years, but at 76 years old you tend to procrastanate, procrastenate, PUT IT OFF.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
chirp chirp chirp chirp chirp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
Replacing a 14 year old tensioner is a good idea. I plan on replacing my belt and tensioner this summer. Mine is 16 years old. I had planned on replacing it at 15 years, but at 76 years old you tend to procrastanate, procrastenate, PUT IT OFF.
Waiter21 & ga traveler

"Belt chirping" is often caused by a failing belt tensioner.
I replaced mine at 101 k miles.
Mel
'96 Safari, 3125 Cat, 140 k miles
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:21 PM   #4
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We have also found at my shop that if the power steering pump has been replaced and the pulley not pressed back on to the proper position will also cause the belt to chirp.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:16 PM   #5
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just came back from about a 1 hour drive to slosh the water around to de-winterize and sterilize the water systems.

NO CHIRPING -
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