Noise from water pump. Belt or pulley? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Noise from water pump. Belt or pulley?

AP9

Well-Known Member
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Chicago SW suburbs
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4WD, 4.0L OHV V6
Ever since I changed my belt, tensioner, and idler pulley a couple months ago, the belt has been quite noisy, noticeably more so than my old one. Today, after inspecting everything and greasing up the idler pulley bearing, I traced the source of the noise to the water pump. As I sprayed brake cleaner on the belt just before the water pump, it silenced the noise, but it came back within a second or two as soon as I stopped spraying it.

Does this sound like a bad belt, a bad pulley or bearing at the water pump, or a water pump about to fail?
 



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What kind of noise from the belt? Slipping/squeal? Bearing kind of noise? It may just be the belt slipping on the smooth pulley. It might just be the type of belt you put on.

The easiest thing to do would be to remove the belt and spin the water pump by hand. How does the bearing sound/feel? Is there any play/looseness in the pulley?
 






if you spray the belt and the noise goes away. then it is the belt making the noise if there is a bad bearing in the pump or tensioner the noise wont go away. clean the belt (spray while running) with soapy water then spray with belt dressing. should solve your noise.
 












Ever since I changed my belt, tensioner, and idler pulley a couple months ago, the belt has been quite noisy, noticeably more so than my old one. Today, after inspecting everything and greasing up the idler pulley bearing, I traced the source of the noise to the water pump. As I sprayed brake cleaner on the belt just before the water pump, it silenced the noise, but it came back within a second or two as soon as I stopped spraying it.

Does this sound like a bad belt, a bad pulley or bearing at the water pump, or a water pump about to fail?

You shouldn't be spraying *anything* on the belt, period. If you spill oil it you might try plain soapy water, and if it's glazed then just sand it a little. If your belt is older, just replace it. Sounds like you had an issue anyway since you replaced the tensioner, and they're cheap enough (much cheaper than a headache anyway!).

If that doesn't fix it, then follow rb142's advice w/ the water pump. Also, go down to Harbor Freight and get yourself a $3 mechanic's stethoscope. Helps a lot in tracking down all kinds of noises.
 






With belt disconnected, the water pump has some resistance when turning by hand (more so than alternator and A/C compressor disengaged, but less so than power steering pump). Didn't notice whether there was any play in the bearing though.

Lightly sanding the belt didn't seem to make a difference either.

I've already accepted the fact that this belt is going to be replaced, but I don't want to get a new belt just to have that one get glazed right away too because the problem was caused by something else.
 












The harmonic balancer isn't separated or "exploded" . . .
I'd say there's about 1/2" or so of back-and-forth displacement at the end of the tensioner. Is that excessive?
 






if you spray the belt and the noise goes away. then it is the belt making the noise
And being you used BRAKE CLEANER I'd say that belt to now toast. The brake clean will easily have dried it out even further or even accelerated it's deterioration.

The end is coming...
 






And being you used BRAKE CLEANER I'd say that belt to now toast. The brake clean will easily have dried it out even further or even accelerated it's deterioration.

The end is coming...
Ditto. Amazing how overused brake cleaner is. Destroys ANYTHING made of rubber in no time. Worst case are caliper slide pin sleeves and boot seals when people clean the bores than finish it off with regular anti seize instead of silicone brake caliper lube made specifically for the job. Geez, why are my caliper slides binding or seized up?
 






Yeah, I know the belt is probably trashed, I just don't want to get another just to have the same thing happen. There's lots of contradictory information out on the Internet as to whether brake cleaner helps or harms. Would it (if only temporarily) INCREASE or DECREASE friction on the belt surface? An increase in friction would suggest the belt is slipping normally, whereas a decrease would put blame on the bearing, right?
 






is it the ribbed side, or the smooth back side thats noisy?
my 2000 Ranger has a rythemic chirp on the back side that changes with temperature. usuallt the colder it is, the more it chirps.
the chirp occurs when the printed/labeled section goes over the tensioner. that part has a different surface texture than the rest of the belt.

read the label on the brake cleaner, some are safe for rubber and plastics.


Perry
 






Yes, it does look like the chirp is occurring at about the same frequency as the belt rotation. It's a Dayco belt with the embossed label on the smooth side, the side causing the issue. The water pump pulley and harmonic balancer do both look to be wobbling slightly with the belt's point of contact moving back and forth (though consistently) along the axis of rotation by a couple millimeters on the water pump pulley.
 






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