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Old 12-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Engine squeal

I have a Holiday rambler 2003 with a workhorse engine. 8.1 V8 497. I have a squeal in the engine most of the time. When I bought it two years ago they replaced the serpitine belt and I still had squeal. They then replaced generator, compressor, and finally decided it was the after market belt. They replaced the belt with a workhorse belt and it went away for a while. Now it is back and it drives my wife crazy. A mechanic told me it could have something to do with the way the power stearing is aligned. Has anyone had this problem. Can anyone help me.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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Wonder if it could be the belt tensioner pully(s) causing the squesl??
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Ya. The pulleys can sneak up on you
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:41 AM   #4
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Does belt lube help?
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:11 AM   #5
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My bet would be the Belt tensioner.. had one on our Avalanche that cause the belt to squeal after about a month. Replaced it and never squeaked again.

Then again Alternator bearings/bushings can be quiet when no belt is on but once under load start to squeal.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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Probably a belt tensioner or idler. The bearing may be bad or the wheel might just be out of alignment. A belt usually only squeals when it slips and that is usually only when engine speed changes. IF the noise is constant, even at constant engine speed, you almost certainly have a belt pulley wheel problem.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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Go to an auto parts store and get a spray can of belt lube. Then spray some on the belt. If the squeal goes away it is to do directly with the belt. If the squeal stays there then it could be the bearings on the belt idler puller or the tensioner pulley. The only catch here is that if the squeal goes away when sprayed on the belt it could be caused by the tensioner being weak so the belt is slipping.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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What about a vacuum leak? Those can be pretty noisy on occasion.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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caldwell.....It wasn't unusual for the belt tensioners on those to go bad. I had an 04 engine in a Fleetwood that needed one. Squealed like yours. From the right front wheel well, you can see the tensioner down low on the right front portion of the engine.

With the engine off, get a can of lube, like WD40, and try to spray the front and back of the tensioner bearing....just spray a bunch on it, even from a distance and then see if you still have the squeal. It should go away for a short period of time before the WD40 wears off. If the squeal disappears, it's time for a new tensioner. It should have been the first thing anyone replaced or checked with a belt squeal issue.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
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So how do you spray WD-40 into a sealed bearing??????
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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A lot of good suggestions here, especially re idler pulleys/belt tensioners. They can become problematic, sometimes even from lack of use. One other thought on a pulley/belt squeal I once fought....pulley alignment. Now that may seem obvious, but it is not always apparent since we assume that these things should be properly aligned. Sometimes they're not, even from the factory.

Wonder if your service records indicate any repairs where any of the accessories (ac, alternator, psteering pump, etc.) have evern been removed/replaced. Sometimes these items are mounted with shims, spacers, etc. to mate them with other rotating pulleys to ensure that the belt(s) and pulleys are in proper alignment. When they are not aligned, the edges of the belt(s) can easily get too close to the pulley edges...and dry out and squeal loudly over time.

In my situation, I discoverd a significant misalignment at the alternator which was causing my problem....it had been replaced previously. Belt lube and fresh belts proved short term fixes in my case, although they can be helpful in other situations. Allowing for any significant engine "tilt", I used a combination of a straight edge, a plumb bob and some primitive carboard strips to get a better feel of where the alternator mounting "depth" should be set. Man, it was way off. I shimmed the alternator at the mount points and correctly aligned the pulleys. My squeal problem was gone. Was not especially difficult to do, but just took a little bit of time. It also tested my rather average grasp of basic geometry....

Maybe this might help you. Please let us know if and how you resolve this if possible....thanks!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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Because when they get old and worn out, they're NO longer sealed and will start to kick dust/rust out and ACCEPT some penetrating oil.

I'm sorry Mike, I don't have your engineering degree......I guess after spraying WD40 on the squealing bearing in my 04 8.1 Chevrolet, I was just imagining that the sound went away. After I replaced the tensioner I must have continued to imagine the sound being gone!
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Mike Canter;1390561]Go to an auto parts store and get a spray can of belt lube. Then spray some on the belt. If the squeal goes away it is to do directly with the belt. If the squeal stays there then it could be the bearings on the belt idler puller or the tensioner pulley. The only catch here is that if the squeal goes away when sprayed on the belt it could be caused by the tensioner being weak so the belt is slipping.
This is what I did and for the last several months there hasn't been any squeal at all. This isn't to say all squeals can be cured with belt lube but it sure worked for me.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:22 PM   #14
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While not the same engine the DW's Durango had a squeal when the engien was cold. I changed the belt and looked at the tensioner but found that the bearing in the water pump was going out. Replaced the water pump and it is quite again.
There is so mant things going on ion todays engine that it can be hard to find each issue
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