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Need help: 454 with squealing fan belts

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  • nb
    I ve had this problem since I bought my 1984 Chieftain with 84K mi on the clock. Can anyone spot the problem from this description? The brief history of my
    Message 1 of 5 , May 29, 2003
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      I've had this problem since I bought my 1984 Chieftain with 84K mi on the
      clock. Can anyone spot the problem from this description? The brief
      history of my first 1500 miles:

      Previous owner on test drive said he just lets it squeal during warm up, and
      it goes away. Got it home, and assumed that the air conditioner was
      dragging, so I took that belt off. That didn't fix the squealing.

      The alternator/airpump belt squealed a lot and then broke on the road.
      Replaced that with new belt.

      The remaining power steering belt broke when I made a hard turn into a
      parking lot. Replaced both power steering belts (power steering/aircon and
      steering/crankshaft pulley belts).

      When I got home, I took the original broken belts down to my parts guy and
      got all new Gates belts, installed then and started the engine. It squealed
      briefly, and now has given me several hundred miles of fairly quiet running.
      But, now they're squealing again.

      Yesterday I checked them all before starting out, and re-tensioned the
      steering/aircon belt, which was loose. The aircon compressor has a
      screw-type tensioner on the bracket, so I loosened the mounting bolts,
      adjusted for tight, and tightened mounting/bracket bolts back down. Tested
      it with doghouse opened, it squealed and squealed while warming up (couldn't
      really tell which belt was squealing) but then got quiet when I put it in
      gear and drove.

      It seems like it squeals most when cold/warming up, and also when engine is
      running hottest, like after climbing a hill. They have been squealing every
      time the engine was at operating temperature and I had to start from a
      standing stop. At one point I let off the gas at 50 mph to scratch my foot,
      and when I gassed it again it shrieked and squealed until I put it in
      neutral and coasted for a few seconds.

      I can hear the fan clutch kick in when it gets hot, but I don't know how fan
      clutches fail, do they go all at once? Could that have anything to do with
      squealing belts?

      The belts I buy seem to be wider than the pulleys--if I tighten them to try
      and get squealing to stop, they wear down into the pulley and eventually get
      too loose again.

      A repair shop said that they can make 'em stop by adjusting tension very
      precisely. I'm aware of a tool for testing belt tension, but haven't ever
      used one, and I've never had this problem before, 'tho I've
      replaced/adjusted a lot of fan belts. I trust to getting them tight enough
      so they don't slip, but not tight like a bowstring. I know that belt
      tension is a factor in bearing life for the belt-driven accessories and
      waterpump.

      Though I am not anxious to pull the engine, I'd rather do that and check for
      misaligned or mismatched pulleys than deal with this belt noise and
      breakage. Does this sound like the direction to go in?

      Thanks a bunch for any ideas.

      Ned Bedinger
      Southworth, WA
    • bucky
      I m having a similar problem with my Dodge 440. I believe my problem is the alternator. When I first start up the batteries are drawing 40 or amps from the
      Message 2 of 5 , May 29, 2003
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        I'm having a similar problem with my Dodge 440. I believe my problem is the
        alternator. When I first start up the batteries are drawing 40 or amps from
        the alternator. The single belt on the alternator gets hot and stretches;
        then slips. I've had to replace my belt twice in 3 trips totaling less than
        2,000 miles. I'm going to try to find one of those heavy duty green belts
        before my next trip.

        Bucky
        79 Pace Arrow

        -----Original Message-----
        From: nb [mailto:ned.b@...]
        Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 8:17 PM
        To: classicrv@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [classicrv] Need help: 454 with squealing fan belts


        I've had this problem since I bought my 1984 Chieftain with 84K mi on the
        clock. Can anyone spot the problem from this description? The brief
        history of my first 1500 miles:

        Previous owner on test drive said he just lets it squeal during warm up, and
        it goes away. Got it home, and assumed that the air conditioner was
        dragging, so I took that belt off. That didn't fix the squealing.

        The alternator/airpump belt squealed a lot and then broke on the road.
        Replaced that with new belt.

        The remaining power steering belt broke when I made a hard turn into a
        parking lot. Replaced both power steering belts (power steering/aircon and
        steering/crankshaft pulley belts).

        When I got home, I took the original broken belts down to my parts guy and
        got all new Gates belts, installed then and started the engine. It squealed
        briefly, and now has given me several hundred miles of fairly quiet running.
        But, now they're squealing again.

        Yesterday I checked them all before starting out, and re-tensioned the
        steering/aircon belt, which was loose. The aircon compressor has a
        screw-type tensioner on the bracket, so I loosened the mounting bolts,
        adjusted for tight, and tightened mounting/bracket bolts back down. Tested
        it with doghouse opened, it squealed and squealed while warming up (couldn't
        really tell which belt was squealing) but then got quiet when I put it in
        gear and drove.

        It seems like it squeals most when cold/warming up, and also when engine is
        running hottest, like after climbing a hill. They have been squealing every
        time the engine was at operating temperature and I had to start from a
        standing stop. At one point I let off the gas at 50 mph to scratch my foot,
        and when I gassed it again it shrieked and squealed until I put it in
        neutral and coasted for a few seconds.

        I can hear the fan clutch kick in when it gets hot, but I don't know how fan
        clutches fail, do they go all at once? Could that have anything to do with
        squealing belts?

        The belts I buy seem to be wider than the pulleys--if I tighten them to try
        and get squealing to stop, they wear down into the pulley and eventually get
        too loose again.

        A repair shop said that they can make 'em stop by adjusting tension very
        precisely. I'm aware of a tool for testing belt tension, but haven't ever
        used one, and I've never had this problem before, 'tho I've
        replaced/adjusted a lot of fan belts. I trust to getting them tight enough
        so they don't slip, but not tight like a bowstring. I know that belt
        tension is a factor in bearing life for the belt-driven accessories and
        waterpump.

        Though I am not anxious to pull the engine, I'd rather do that and check for
        misaligned or mismatched pulleys than deal with this belt noise and
        breakage. Does this sound like the direction to go in?

        Thanks a bunch for any ideas.

        Ned Bedinger
        Southworth, WA




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      • johnwellus
        I too have a 454 on an 84 RV. I had the belt for the alternator break. I replaced it and soon after it quit charging. I took it to a mechanic and luckily he
        Message 3 of 5 , May 30, 2003
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          I too have a 454 on an 84 RV. I had the belt for the alternator
          break. I replaced it and soon after it quit charging. I took it to a
          mechanic and luckily he was honest. He tightened the belt again and
          told me the new belts will stretch. He also told me to really tighten
          it up that the bearings in the old alternators will stand the
          pressure OK. Mine was squeeking on initial startup and then would go
          away. When I tried to start the generator it caused the squeak again
          as the alternator had to help with the increased load. As soon as
          the gen started the squeak went away. Real tight and no squeaks now
          and if it starts again I'll tighten it up some more.
        • Rich Poelstra
          First,if the belts are wider than the pulleys, their not the right belts, and will be short lived. I still have a belt that was a mil or two wider than the
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 1, 2003
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            First,if the belts are wider than the pulleys, their not the right
            belts, and will be short lived. I still have a belt that was a mil or
            two wider than the right one and it mutilated itself quickly.
            Second, it is very poor engineering to run all that stuff on single
            belts, so unless it can be converted to dual belts, or a serpentine
            belt, we have to live w/ the problem. They must be kept very tight,
            and we must carry spare belts, especially the alternator, as it puts
            out 70 to 80 amps when batteries are low. And when the voltage gets
            low while driving at nite, tighten the belt first. Sometimes they
            don't squeal, they will just slip for hours. And apparently the air
            cools the belts enough that they don't burn up. A new alternator belt
            is only good for about 1000 miles before it need tightening. I've
            been thru it all.

            Rich



            --- In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "nb" <ned.b@c...> wrote:
            > I've had this problem since I bought my 1984 Chieftain with 84K mi
            on the
            > clock. Can anyone spot the problem from this description? The
            brief
            > history of my first 1500 miles:
            >
            > Previous owner on test drive said he just lets it squeal during
            warm up, and
            > it goes away. Got it home, and assumed that the air conditioner was
            > dragging, so I took that belt off. That didn't fix the squealing.
            >
            > The alternator/airpump belt squealed a lot and then broke on the
            road.
            > Replaced that with new belt.
            >
            > The remaining power steering belt broke when I made a hard turn
            into a
            > parking lot. Replaced both power steering belts (power
            steering/aircon and
            > steering/crankshaft pulley belts).
            >
            > When I got home, I took the original broken belts down to my parts
            guy and
            > got all new Gates belts, installed then and started the engine. It
            squealed
            > briefly, and now has given me several hundred miles of fairly quiet
            running.
            > But, now they're squealing again.
            >
            > Yesterday I checked them all before starting out, and re-tensioned
            the
            > steering/aircon belt, which was loose. The aircon compressor has a
            > screw-type tensioner on the bracket, so I loosened the mounting
            bolts,
            > adjusted for tight, and tightened mounting/bracket bolts back
            down. Tested
            > it with doghouse opened, it squealed and squealed while warming up
            (couldn't
            > really tell which belt was squealing) but then got quiet when I put
            it in
            > gear and drove.
            >
            > It seems like it squeals most when cold/warming up, and also when
            engine is
            > running hottest, like after climbing a hill. They have been
            squealing every
            > time the engine was at operating temperature and I had to start
            from a
            > standing stop. At one point I let off the gas at 50 mph to scratch
            my foot,
            > and when I gassed it again it shrieked and squealed until I put it
            in
            > neutral and coasted for a few seconds.
            >
            > I can hear the fan clutch kick in when it gets hot, but I don't
            know how fan
            > clutches fail, do they go all at once? Could that have anything to
            do with
            > squealing belts?
            >
            > The belts I buy seem to be wider than the pulleys--if I tighten
            them to try
            > and get squealing to stop, they wear down into the pulley and
            eventually get
            > too loose again.
            >
            > A repair shop said that they can make 'em stop by adjusting tension
            very
            > precisely. I'm aware of a tool for testing belt tension, but
            haven't ever
            > used one, and I've never had this problem before, 'tho I've
            > replaced/adjusted a lot of fan belts. I trust to getting them
            tight enough
            > so they don't slip, but not tight like a bowstring. I know that
            belt
            > tension is a factor in bearing life for the belt-driven accessories
            and
            > waterpump.
            >
            > Though I am not anxious to pull the engine, I'd rather do that and
            check for
            > misaligned or mismatched pulleys than deal with this belt noise and
            > breakage. Does this sound like the direction to go in?
            >
            > Thanks a bunch for any ideas.
            >
            > Ned Bedinger
            > Southworth, WA
          • faubloose2
            ... Hello have looked a pulley grove V slot? pulley sides should be flat / any little cupping in v reduce surface area the belt contacts and sqeal.my exper
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 1, 2003
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              ---
              Hello
              have looked a pulley grove\V slot?
              pulley sides should be flat \/ any little cupping in v reduce
              surface area the belt contacts and sqeal.my exper with v belts is
              good pulley,right tension,will not sqeal with failing equipment will
              smoke stink and break. The cupping fools many people,by making v
              wider this lets belt touch bottom of pulley allowing slip without
              sqeal. get a mirror put a close eye on stopped pulley to belt
              meeting. if done all of above sorry for the rambling.
              Dan




              In classicrv@yahoogroups.com, "nb" <ned.b@c...> wrote:
              > I've had this problem since I bought my 1984 Chieftain with 84K mi
              on the
              > clock. Can anyone spot the problem from this description? The
              brief
              > history of my first 1500 miles:
              >
              > Previous owner on test drive said he just lets it squeal during
              warm up, and
              > it goes away. Got it home, and assumed that the air conditioner
              was
              > dragging, so I took that belt off. That didn't fix the squealing.
              >
              > The alternator/airpump belt squealed a lot and then broke on the
              road.
              > Replaced that with new belt.
              >
              > The remaining power steering belt broke when I made a hard turn
              into a
              > parking lot. Replaced both power steering belts (power
              steering/aircon and
              > steering/crankshaft pulley belts).
              >
              > When I got home, I took the original broken belts down to my parts
              guy and
              > got all new Gates belts, installed then and started the engine.
              It squealed
              > briefly, and now has given me several hundred miles of fairly
              quiet running.
              > But, now they're squealing again.
              >
              > Yesterday I checked them all before starting out, and re-tensioned
              the
              > steering/aircon belt, which was loose. The aircon compressor has a
              > screw-type tensioner on the bracket, so I loosened the mounting
              bolts,
              > adjusted for tight, and tightened mounting/bracket bolts back
              down. Tested
              > it with doghouse opened, it squealed and squealed while warming up
              (couldn't
              > really tell which belt was squealing) but then got quiet when I
              put it in
              > gear and drove.
              >
              > It seems like it squeals most when cold/warming up, and also when
              engine is
              > running hottest, like after climbing a hill. They have been
              squealing every
              > time the engine was at operating temperature and I had to start
              from a
              > standing stop. At one point I let off the gas at 50 mph to
              scratch my foot,
              > and when I gassed it again it shrieked and squealed until I put it
              in
              > neutral and coasted for a few seconds.
              >
              > I can hear the fan clutch kick in when it gets hot, but I don't
              know how fan
              > clutches fail, do they go all at once? Could that have anything to
              do with
              > squealing belts?
              >
              > The belts I buy seem to be wider than the pulleys--if I tighten
              them to try
              > and get squealing to stop, they wear down into the pulley and
              eventually get
              > too loose again.
              >
              > A repair shop said that they can make 'em stop by adjusting
              tension very
              > precisely. I'm aware of a tool for testing belt tension, but
              haven't ever
              > used one, and I've never had this problem before, 'tho I've
              > replaced/adjusted a lot of fan belts. I trust to getting them
              tight enough
              > so they don't slip, but not tight like a bowstring. I know that
              belt
              > tension is a factor in bearing life for the belt-driven
              accessories and
              > waterpump.
              >
              > Though I am not anxious to pull the engine, I'd rather do that and
              check for
              > misaligned or mismatched pulleys than deal with this belt noise and
              > breakage. Does this sound like the direction to go in?
              >
              > Thanks a bunch for any ideas.
              >
              > Ned Bedinger
              > Southworth, WA
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