2000 4.0 v6 belt chirp, could it be harmonic balancer?
I just bough a 2000 Ranger yesterday with 92,000 miles on it. At the time I didn't notice any squeal/chirping coming from the engine.
After I drove it about 20 miles I can start to hear it. And it gets louder/more frequent with higher RPMs. From what the Ranger/Explorer forums say, thats a tell tale sign of a bad harmonic balancer.
With the engine at idle, looking at the harmonic balancer with just my naked eye, there appears to be no wobble or movement in or out towards the engine. The belt tensioner does oscillate about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
The noise is also much louder on the A-C pump and P-S pump side of the engine. So off comes the serpentine belt. A-C pump pulley feels nice and solid. P-S pulley has a lot of play in it. But when I spin it, it sure feels normal to me. It also doesn't seem to wobble at idle. Granted I don't have a ton of experience with this stuff.
Long story short, I'm going to replace the idler pulley right now. If that doesn't work then I'll go for the Dayco belt. Then the P-S pulley since its a pretty cheap part.
Now the important question. This is the confusing part for me. Are the harmonic balancers as much of a problem on the 4.0 Rangers as they are on the 4.0 Explorer? Most of the info on it seems to be on Explorer forums. And it appears that the part numbers are different between the two models.
Also, I read one forum post about a guy who got a Dorman brand one and his truck wouldnt start after he installed it. So he got a ford brand one and it started right up. Doesn't make sense to me, but can I just go the aftermarket route here? Or do I have to spend $200 on a genuine part?