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Squealing belt, pumps, alternator?

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  • Squealing belt, pumps, alternator?

    My belt is making a lot of noise and I can't seem to tighten it enough? How do I tell where the noise is coming from? I think I'm getting undue resistance from my powersteering pump. What should it feel like when I spin it by hand without the belt on? And the alternator? And the water pump with a clutch fan? Should all spin freely when not under a load?

  • #2
    yes all should spin relatively freely with a bare hand. The only one that should require any noticable effort would be the supercharger, if you have one. If you have a lot of resistance on the P/S pump try just removing that belt and see if the noise goes away.


    55 Commander Starlight
    55 Commander Starlight


    • #3
      It's not uncommon for the pulleys themselves to get a glaze on them after many years. This can cause a surface that is too slick for the belts to get traction. A good wire brushing can take it off with some care. Of course an older belt can develop a glaze itself, causing the same problem, or even a combination of the two.



      • #4
        Are the belts correct(make and/or factory size) for the vehicle? If they're a little large and a little loose they'll squeal pretty good.
        Are the belts tensioned correctly? I've found this diddy to occur on acceleration from a stop.
        Are the belts new or a getting to where they need to be replaced? I've had this and it's no fun having to do this in the dark because a belt snapped. This, the alt-water pump- crankshaft belt is also the most important belt to keep an eye for there's only one and it drives the important accessories.
        The water pump and alt, and ps pump should be able to be spun by hand. Yeah, the supercharger is another story though as it runs on a whole other system. If the ps pump shows some signs of resistance it may be getting time for a rebuild. This is another I've had to do work alongside the road. The pump immediately stopped, the belt of course snapped, and I had to clean the belt shrapnel from under the car. A bearing inside the pump behind the pulley had come loose and lodged itself, immediately stopping the pump.
        The clutch should have some resistance when its spun. It should be able to be spun but immediately slow to a stop. This is an oil filled apparatus, that really comes into its own in the higher RPM's. If it can be taken and fully spun like the alt pulley it's probably gone bad, and may not be able to cool as effectively at higher speeds.

        1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
        1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
        1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
        1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)