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Old 05-09-2014
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squealing belt/pulley?

My 99 ranger develops a nasty squeal, seemingly always after it rains...why !? It lasts awhile but goes away, except this last time, which was a few days ago, but it's still chirping & squealing ! HELP...it's border-line embarrassing now !
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Old 05-09-2014
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Do any of the pulleys seem to wobble when you look at them as the truck is running?

I just had to replace my belt tensioner on my '05 ranger because it was squeaking. The belt tensioner would rattle and squeak as the truck was running. My idler pulley has a slight wobble to it as well, but not bad enough yet to have to fit it.
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Old 05-09-2014
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Welp, I gotta admit I know almost nothing about vehicles, with the exception of the basic stuff...so, I haven't look @ any of the pulley's lately but I have replaced the belt probably twice in the last 3 or 4 years ! I'm just baked because it usually goes away, like I said, but this time, it seems to b sticking around & always after a rain fall !
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Old 05-09-2014
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Since you are having to replace your belt so often, I would definitely look at the pulleys. What engine do you have in your ranger? Usually the idler pulley is top and in the center. It looks like a black disc. The Belt tensioner is usually in the bottom left of the belt system. It a black disc as well, but it attached to an arm. You might try googling those terms for your ranger, and hopefully a picture will show you where they are.

At best, start your truck and look at any pulley that the belt runs on. If you see any wobble, that may be part of your problem.
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Old 05-13-2014
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I had this same problem after putting my 3.0 back together when I replaced in the intake manifold gasket. My pulleys were so noisy and nothing I did worked, except one thing. I took a torch and heated up all the pulleys that were metal. In doing so, this burned off all your residue. I then replaced the power steering pulley because its made of a hard plastic. Now, its super duper quiet. The local mechanic was impressed because I even asked them for advice on how to shut the noise up. They tried cleaning all the pulleys with some cleaner. (didnt work)
So, go get a mini torch and burn all the oily residue off your pulleys, then replace the power steering pulley, then put a new belt on that hasn't been contaminated.
Best of luck!

Last edited by jdbeck38201; 05-13-2014 at 02:13 AM. Reason: forgot some info
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Old 05-13-2014
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also torch those 2 tension pulleys!
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Old 05-13-2014
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Hmmm...thanx
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Old 05-13-2014
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Russty71
if you do decide to use a mini-torch on your metal pulleys to burn off the residue, make sure you have a water hose and direct the water to the closets part your working on. when i did the pulley on the alternator, I put the water hose on top of the alternator and kept it wet and at the same time cool. and just heat that pulley up but dont heat it up so much where things start to melt.
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Old 09-03-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russty71 View Post
My 99 ranger develops a nasty squeal, seemingly always after it rains...why !? It lasts awhile but goes away, except this last time, which was a few days ago, but it's still chirping & squealing ! HELP...it's border-line embarrassing now !
Mine bugged the crap outa me for 3 years. I changed the belt, the tensioner pulley and the idler pulley. Still squealing like a pig. So I bit the bullet, bought a tensioner with pulley attached and replaced the tensioner. First, to make this job easier it is best to remove the air filter to intake hose and rotate it outa the way on that other pesky little hose that is attached. Then take the tension off the belt with a 17 mm open or box end wrench, remove the belt from the pulleys and spread it outa the way. then remove the idler pulley to give yourself a little more room in there, you'll need it. Then prepare to skuff some knuckle getting a little socket on the tensioner bolt, remove it and remove the tensioner. It is one bolt. You will probably find the alignment pin on the back broken off, mine was and it had allowed the belt to be loose, thus the squeak. Not to mention the pulley I had changed on the tensioner was a little different than the one that came with the new tensioner. I used a dental pick to remove the broken alignment pin from the hole in the block. If you buy the tensioner first, it will all become obvious. Plus the tensioner I bought had a steel pin instead of aluminum, maybe you want to check before you leave the parts store. Good luck, it's tight in there!
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Old 09-03-2014
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Do you happen to know what brand of belt is on it? Also, as stated above start vehicle and watch the pulleys for movement.
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Old 09-04-2014
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It was "valucraft", the cheapest belt I could find. I had also had the squealing in damp weather, all that, I live right on the coast. It was obvious when I removed the tensioner that it had been broken for some time, years maybe. When I put the new tensioner on it was in a different position than the original. I cant believe i didn't use some sort of tool to check the tension on the belt. When I worked in a gas station many years ago we had a tool that would measure the tension of the belt. Since the tensioner can pivot on the one and only bolt that holds it to the block I can see that it is better to have a steel pin there than the aluminum one. Who knows how long it was like that. Since the tensioner I replaced was the original I would think this is a very common complaint. Just buy the tensioner first and it becomes obvious, you'll want a dental pick or something like it to get the aluminum chunks out of the aligning hole, and your tensioner will probably move the 20 to 30 degrees different from the one you replace. It kinda made me feel a little stupid to not have changed that first but more than a few working mechanics were stumped. I was even told I had to change the crank pulley. But its not an easy or quick change the first time. Dont forget to grab a six-pack to celebrate the completion, and maybe have a couple band aids around
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Old 09-04-2014
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One thing to know about belts and pulleys, once you start to get squealing you also start to get Glazing, on the pulleys.
The squealing in most cases is the belt slipping on a pulley, this glazes that pulley, when you install a new belt that glazing is still there so new belt may squeal as well.
Water allows more slipping on a glazed pulley, like water on the road can cause less traction(slipping) with tires.

Best practice is to scuff up, wire brush or Emory cloth, each pulley, before installing a new belt.

Belts work by friction, you want a smooth pulley so belt doesn't wear out too fast but not a slick pulley which will cause slipping/squealing.
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Old 09-04-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
One thing to know about belts and pulleys, once you start to get squealing you also start to get Glazing, on the pulleys.
The squealing in most cases is the belt slipping on a pulley, this glazes that pulley, when you install a new belt that glazing is still there so new belt may squeal as well.
Water allows more slipping on a glazed pulley, like water on the road can cause less traction(slipping) with tires.

Best practice is to scuff up, wire brush or Emory cloth, each pulley, before installing a new belt.

Belts work by friction, you want a smooth pulley so belt doesn't wear out too fast but not a slick pulley which will cause slipping/squealing.
Ahhhhh...I bet GLAZING is the issue as I've put a new belt in in the last year ! Also, just had the alternator replaced & now it spueals CONSTANTLY !
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Old 09-08-2014
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Old 09-09-2014
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I didn't brush the pulleys and I was soooo happy that i didn't have the squeal anyway, until yesterday morning. Now when I start the truck there is an immediate chirp but no squeal. And it's chirped every start time since. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 09-09-2014
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Just to confirm the order of things, squealing comes first, from a loose or worn out belt, OR from a bearing going out on an accessory or tensioner/idler pulley.
It isn't a chicken and egg thing, squealing is always first.

Once squealing starts you get glazing on the pulley(s), so if you just put on a new belt and still get squealing it could be from the glazing caused by original squealing issue.
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  #17  
Old 09-12-2014
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Originally Posted by lowdough View Post
Mine bugged the crap outa me for 3 years. I changed the belt, the tensioner pulley and the idler pulley. Still squealing like a pig. So I bit the bullet, bought a tensioner with pulley attached and replaced the tensioner. First, to make this job easier it is best to remove the air filter to intake hose and rotate it outa the way on that other pesky little hose that is attached. Then take the tension off the belt with a 17 mm open or box end wrench, remove the belt from the pulleys and spread it outa the way. then remove the idler pulley to give yourself a little more room in there, you'll need it. Then prepare to skuff some knuckle getting a little socket on the tensioner bolt, remove it and remove the tensioner. It is one bolt. You will probably find the alignment pin on the back broken off, mine was and it had allowed the belt to be loose, thus the squeak. Not to mention the pulley I had changed on the tensioner was a little different than the one that came with the new tensioner. I used a dental pick to remove the broken alignment pin from the hole in the block. If you buy the tensioner first, it will all become obvious. Plus the tensioner I bought had a steel pin instead of aluminum, maybe you want to check before you leave the parts store. Good luck, it's tight in there!
Urgent repost! I replaced the tensioner with a Gates tensioner, all was good for two weeks, then it broke! Turns out the alignment pin is too big to fit all the way in the alignment hole. Impossible to see in that cramped hole. Bolt broke off in the block/mount, whatever.. So the SECOND time around I removed the fan and radiator to see in there real good. I used a speedout to remove the broken piece and widened the alignment hole to accept the Gates tensioner. Watch out for this! Two tensioners gets expensive!
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