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Bad bearings help


New Member
March 31, 2016
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 ford explorer
First time posting here, wanted to thank everyone for their awesome input. I have a 2005 4.0l v6 that's just started squealing again. I've replaced idler pulley, tensioner, and the harmonic balancer when it separated about 4 months ago, and it has a new continental elite belt (similar to gatorback). Engine was smooth and quiet until a couple weeks ago.

No indications that alternator, water pump or power steering pump is failing (no leaks, overheating or battery problems) The belt squeals only on cold startup then goes away when the engine is warm. It's not a belt or alignment issue, did the water spray test and squeal remains the same.

I've removed the belt and spun the pulleys and none are loose or spin too freely. They all feel like they have the proper amount of resistance. My thought is that either the water pump or power steering bearings are going bad, but not the pumps themselves. Any help is appreciated

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How long does it squeal? You confirmed it’s not present without the belt?

Can a fan clutch squeak?

Facetious, or serious? I think anything in motion having frictional contact with something else probably can squeak. Clutch has bearings in it, like alternator, tensioner, idler, water pump, and all have been known to be able to squeak.

The gone-when-warm makes me think maybe its the power steering pump. On my '02, the pump is mechanical (always engaged, circulating fluid). The fluid gets warm, and warms up the pump (as does the engine compartment air generally).

I don't imagine the alternator being as affected by heat, and you say there's no sign of current issues, etc.

Water pump of course is bathed in coolant. But that coolant does not circulate until the thermostat opens (195 degrees). And I just expect to see seepage/weeping/dripping from a bad water pump.

Maybe use a stethascope or similar at cold start up and see if you can eliminate various components? Maybe you got a bad replacement harmonic balancer?

Thanks for the replies, turns out it was both power steering pump and water pump bearings. Power steering pump bearings we're beginning to go out, and had that defining wheeze/whine. And the water pump bearings we're shot but the pump seemed fine, no leaks at the weep hole or overheating. Replaced both and quiet as a mouse now.

Cool beans. What mileage?

These are great trucks, and worth even major repairs liked these, at least if you can DIY, imho. The servo bore kit install is not bad with a lift, or if you have a comfy garage. Pulling the engine for passenger side timing kit is a huge job, but doing the front chains on vehicle not so bad.