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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, first I'd like to thank everybody for all the information on this extremely useful site. A few months ago I bought a 94 escort wagon 1.9L with about 110,000 miles, I paid $1450 and it was running... OK. Despite almost zero mechanical experience or know-how, with the help of a haynes manual and this site (mostly this site) I changed the:

oil and filter (OK, I already knew how to do that!)
spark plugs and wires
air/breather filters
PCV valve
fuel filter
transmission filter/fluid
flushed and changed coolant
Seafoamed the fuel system/crankcase/engine
and it seems like a few other things that I can't recall.

After the tuneup, the car ran great, and I proceeded to drive it cross country from Oregon to New York where I'm working this summer. It performed flawlessly and we averaged 38mpg overall for the 4000 mile trip.

Now though it's making a few sounds that are bugging me. First, a short squeal when I accelerate from a stop, which I'm pretty certain is the drive belt. So I bought a belt from NAPA and tried to install it, but for the life of me I couldn't get the thing in! When I took the old one out to compare them they appeared to be the same size, but the tensioner simply wouldn't move enough to give me quite enough slack to get the new belt on. In fact, the old belt was a little difficult to get off, and then back on when the new install failed. I've changed belts on cars with tensioners before and it was a piece of cake, and I'm fairly sure I bottomed out the tensioner's movement, so I'm kind of at a loss. Any ideas? I know wrong size belt seems like the easy answer, but like I said it looked like right when I compared them.

The other noise is a randomly occurring squeak/squeal that seems to be coming out of the center/left of the dash. It's pretty loud and only happens sometimes, and only above 20mph or so, and increases at higher speeds. From what I've seen in the archives here, it sounds like it could be the speedometer cable, but there hasn't any jumping or problems in the speedo itself. Does that rule out the cable?

Thanks for any help you can give me,
Andy
 

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Welcome! :D The belt issue...are you sure that you have it routed correctly? Are you sure? If routing is not the problem, you need to get a little more leverage on the tensioner with a 1/2 or 3/8 (can't remember) breaker bar. I've had the tensioner feel like it was fully compressed with a screw driver, only to grab the breaker bar and do it correctly and what do you know...it fits.

As for the squeel that you mention, my guess is the speedo cable. Pull the cluster (a minor pain) and use some silicone spray with the little red tube aimed at the cable. Flood the little beech and reinstall. Just a hint, it is easier to lower the steering column than to fight it and break things... :mad: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I'm sure the belt was routed correctly, and I was using a 3/8 rachet to rotate the tensioner. To put it mildly I was- frustrated- that I couldn't get the damn belt on, so I found myself pulling on that wrench until I thought something was going to break, and it definitely wouldn't go any further. Maybe I can borrow a longer breaker bar to get some more leverage on it, but seriously I think something would bust if I yanked any harder. All I needed was another 1/4 inch or so and the belt would be on. Maybe I'll give it another try tomorrow, sigh...

And I'll see if the cable lube works too. Thanks
 

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These belts do tend to fit a bit on the tight side... the general rule is to install it over the LARGEST flat pulley last.. unfortunately the only flat pulleys on this vehicle are the tensioner itself, and the idler pulley between the power steering and the A/C Compressor.

You might have some luck having an assistant hold the tensioner in the loose position while you get under the vehicle and try guiding the belt over the idler pulley.

I just did mine a few months ago ('95 1.9L) and it was a pain.. very very tight fit... i ended up forcing the belt over the alternator pulley last and was only able to get two grooves over the pulley, but I bumped the engine over a couple of times and was able to eventually 'walk' it fully into position.
 
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