Belt Squealing

Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
  • FORD F-150
I have a F-150, 1995, with 130,000 miles and has a 4.9L engine. I have a belt the is squealing only when the engine is cold. After about 10 minutes of driving it goes away.

This engine was bought used and was working fine for about 7 or 8 months. Then it broke a belt on the way to work. I replaced it with another one and the next day I broke another one.

So I took it to a shop. He suggested replacing the belt tensioner. In which I did and bought another belt. This is when the squealing started. But no more belt breakage or slipping. It has been doing this for about 3 months now.

So I have tried cleaning the belt with a wire brush. Cleaned all the pulleys with a wire brush. Help a little, but the noise continue and just as loud with a cold engine and I have even bought another belt. A better one, if there is such a thing, more pricey anyways.

So took it to another mechanic, he told me the alternator pulley was bad, so I replaced it. It worked fine as soon as I started the engine after repair. The next morning it was back, the squealing. But the noise does goes away a little sooner.

The alignment on the AC compressor seems to be a little off as I have shown several mechanics. But all the shops I have taken the truck to didn't seem to think that was a problem, but nothing seems loose.

All the other pulleys seem to be ok, as they are free spinning and not rough or have any movement.

The automatic tensioner seems plenty tight. But sitting here thinking, didn't have a problem before the new tensioner, then again, not sure why the truck started throwing belts in the first place.

I really don't want to try the hit or miss method, trying to fix this thing. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jearl
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 2:21 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
BRONCO II MAN
  • MEMBER
If your belts squeal, it sounds like they need some belt grease you can buy this at an auto part store for like $5 and spray it all over the belts to increase traction and reduce slippage which is probably causing the squealing. The only bad thing is this sprays the grease on the engine when its running.
(may cause problems)

hope it helps, this is just a small problem.
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 5:51 PM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
Is this belt grease the same a belt dressing? I will pretty much try anything at this point. The noise will slowly drive a person insane.
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 8:03 PM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
I have been told by several mechanic not to use anything on the belt. Such as belt dressings. It only temporary fixes the problem and it makes the belts wear out faster.
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 AT 5:46 AM
Tiny
STEELWEELS
  • MEMBER
An old trick we use to do was to take a bar of "lava" soap and dress the belt slightly while running (on the pully contact side), not too much tho, this would tell us if it was the belt or a pulley that is squealing, if this works on the belt and no more noise, I would try another belt from a different shop, the belt may be too tight, just make sure you have all the right info on truck and engine size and year.
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 AT 7:56 AM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
I have tried the soap trick. It would work temporary. Speaking of different year engines, the guy that replaced my truck engine said the the replacement came from a 1992 car. Wondering if there is a different belt size from a 1992 / 4.9L and from a 1995 / 4.9L engine?

My truck is a 1995 model, but the engine is a 1992. So when I order parts, I always tell them it is a 1995. Would that make a difference?
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 AT 12:56 PM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
Today, I used a wire brush to clean the belt. It seems to have stopped the squealing. I will find out in a day or two if the noise is gone for good.
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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 3:48 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Have you looked at the serpentine belt tensioner. Somtimes you can see it starting to getting lazy and tilting in. A weak tensioner will add to to chance of the squeal.
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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 3:52 AM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
I did replace the tensioner and have wondered if it was faulty. It doesn't seem to be loose or make any noise when spinning without the belt on.
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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 12:08 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Well you really don't know the mileage on this motor. Would'nt hurt to change the tensioner and the idler
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Thursday, April 12th, 2007 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
QUIET_GUY_1999
  • MEMBER
I did notice that the belt is not centered on the tensioner. The tensioner was replaced about a month ago.
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 4:17 AM
Tiny
STEELWEELS
  • MEMBER
Ok, now, if the soap and wire brush stopped the squel, then it should either be the belt ot the tensioner, and since you told them a '95 instead of '92, you may have the wrong tensioner and belt, call on part numbers for both years and see what the difference is, I am almost certain this is your problem, sure you have a '95 truck, BUT, you put in a '92 engine, from now on parts for engine are for '92 and also what car it came out of.
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 8:26 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
I'm not say I know it all, but I'll tell you what I believe with all due respect.

The 4.9 motor is exclusive to the ford trucks-Pick-up van & Bronco. I know of no ford car that has this motor. HAving said that, the tensioner # for the 92 and 95 f-150 is F4TX-6B209AA. The 92 bronco and e150 4.9 motors also have this one. I'm not saying that there is a chance that the wrong one may have been installed, but I doubt it.

If the Belt is squealing, and you spray a little water on the belt and it stops, it is probably an alignment problem is my guess. I know Fords are as whiney as little girls with the belts. I wouldn't worry about it, if it were my truck. Which I happen to have one of those whiney fords.

Merlin is an OLD ford tech. Notice the empahasis on old :mrgreen:, He may have better insight than I on the subject.
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 5:21 PM

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