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Old 06-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Iwishthiswasamanual - '98 Ford Escort ZX2
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Serpentine Belt Noise

So in order to delete the AC in my car, I had to move pulleys and get a new belt.

Took me 5 belt to find one that would fit, and it's snug. 61.5 inches. We had to pull it up over top of power steering pump and crank the car a little to be able to even get it on.

However, right as the car starts and when turning while accelerating, it squeals. Bad.

Tried belt conditioner. Maybe a little better? It doesn't squeal when I punch the gas now.

Then I thought the one pulley was rubbing, so we took it off and grinded the back down more (part of mod to rearrange pulleys according to teamzx2). But it still squeals really bad.

Any ideas?

Thanks, zach.

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Old 06-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you set belt tension? or does it have an automatic tensioner?

I've put my belt on my Jeep, and getting it over the pully is hard by hand, but once it's over, you've got to remember that the lip is not what the belt is tensioned on now. You will loose tension, and the belt will be loose. You have to tighten the belt tension down to specs in order to get it to not squeal.

Also remember that a new belt will "break-in" and become looser after about 400-500 miles of driving, and will have to be re tightened back to specs.

My brother has a 98' escort. It's not a DOHC like yours is, but the engine is basically the same. I got the car for free because it was dead and brought the engine back to life, with a new timing belt, resetting timing, serpentine belt, unsticking lifters, and many other things. It has an automatic belt tensioner. The problem is even automatic tensioners can get out of adjustment. I'd check and see if it's your tensioner first. Its tensioned by a spring, and springs wear out, so you might want to check that out. Also, when I replaced the serp belt, rust was on the parts of the pully's that were exposed when the car sat for a year and a half, and the belt squeeled first couple times until rust was gone.

Also, you could have a bearing going out in a pully.

I've taken the belt off of his escort many times (you have to take off the main crank pully to get the timing belt off). You shouldn't have had to crank the engine to get the belt on, you just take a 3/8ths socket or breaker bar and put it in the tensioner socket hole, and pull towards the front of the car, and it loosens tension. Then you put the belt on the tesioner and let off of the belt tensioner. I've got a whole repair manual with pictures for your engine, so if you need any help, Feel free to ask
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure its an automatic tensioner. Once you tighten the pulley on the entire pulley moves over so that you put a belt on. So if thats the case, I can't get it any tighter?

I realize I should be able to put a pulley on without cranking the engine, but the belt was tight. It fits very snug. Could it possibly be too tight? Although, I can't imagine that if 61.5 fits snug and that a 62 can be taken on and off without using a tensioner so then at 61.75 it would probably be too loose still.

I'm going to drive it for another week and see if it gets any better, and then if not I'll have a ford mechanic look at it.

Thanks for the lengthy reply!
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It could be actually just slightly loose. If you push on it, I don't think you should be able to push it down over 1 inch, 1.5 inches max. Otherwise, it's probably snug, but not snug enough, and the crank pully on start up is spinning faster than there is tension, so it's like doing a burnout on your belt.

Look at your belt when you start it up. If it vibrates all over when you start it and when it is running, then it's too loose. That would mean a shorter belt. even if it's too short, the auto tensioner will compensate. It will go on easy if you just put it on by loosening the tensioner.

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