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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What the title says. The serpentine belt has about 5k on it and it's a little squeaky when the engine is cold. After a little bit it goes away. The tensioner is also new.
 

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It might be one of the other pulleys needs replaced.
 

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That would be my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What does the alignment mark on the tensioner look like?
Haven't looked at that. My instructor at school thinks it may be the timing belt is a little tight. He said it may just need to wear in a little bit longer and told me not to worry too much about it.
 

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Haven't looked at that. My instructor at school thinks it may be the timing belt is a little tight. He said it may just need to wear in a little bit longer and told me not to worry too much about it.
Mine was dead silent at all times so I'm not so sure about your instructor's advice.
 

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If this noise is consistent and repeatable when it's cold, try removing the serpentine belt and see if the noise goes away. If it remains, then it's a problem with the timing belt, most likely a tensioner pulley with failing ball bearings. If it's approaching 100K (or 8-10 years) since you've last changed the timing belt, now would be a good time.

On Escorts, a properly working tensioner pulley provides just the right amount of tension to the belt when it's released and locked down. It can't become "too tight." But when the ball bearings start to disintegrate, it can allow the belt to become too loose and the teeth will eventually strip at the crankshaft pulley, usually on a cold morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mine was dead silent at all times so I'm not so sure about your instructor's advice.
He was a Ford dealership tech for 32 years, so I figure his advice is probably worth taking.

If this noise is consistent and repeatable when it's cold, try removing the serpentine belt and see if the noise goes away. If it remains, then it's a problem with the timing belt, most likely a tensioner pulley with failing ball bearings. If it's approaching 100K (or 8-10 years) since you've last changed the timing belt, now would be a good time.

On Escorts, a properly working tensioner pulley provides just the right amount of tension to the belt when it's released and locked down. It can't become "too tight." But when the ball bearings start to disintegrate, it can allow the belt to become too loose and the teeth will eventually strip at the crankshaft pulley, usually on a cold morning.
I replaced the timing belt and tensioner nearly 6K ago. But I suppose it's entirely possible that either the timing tensioner or the serpentine tensioner could have been bad out of the box. I'll try removing the drive belt and see if it makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've run into techs who know less about my car than I do.

It's impossible to know everything.
This is true.

I caught it making the noise again so I removed the drive belt and tensioner and the noise went away. I then put them back on with the intent of running the spray test, but the noise didn't come back. I am so confused! I swear there are gremlins in my shop. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got It to make the noise again. I sprayed some water on the ribbed side of the belt where it enters the P/S pulley from the alternator and the noise stopped. I tried to stick a straightedge down there to check for pulley misalignment, but there isn't enough room to turn it down there. Just eyeballing the pulley faces they don't look really out of whack. Any thoughts?
 

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With the belt off, turn each of the pulleys by hand (except the crank pulley, obviously) and make sure they spin smoothly and have no lateral play in them from worn bearings. This is especially true for the A/C pulley, which can get very hot if the A/C clutch plate starts to slip from age. The idler pulley should be just as smooth and tight as your new tensioner pulley.

Spray down each of the pulley surfaces with brake cleaner on the off chance that you got some oil or grease on them recently. As a last resort you can try a different brand of belt if you're not using Motorcraft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With the belt off, turn each of the pulleys by hand (except the crank pulley, obviously) and make sure they spin smoothly and have no lateral play in them from worn bearings. This is especially true for the A/C pulley, which can get very hot if the A/C clutch plate starts to slip from age. The idler pulley should be just as smooth and tight as your new tensioner pulley.

Spray down each of the pulley surfaces with brake cleaner on the off chance that you got some oil or grease on them recently. As a last resort you can try a different brand of belt if you're not using Motorcraft.
The pulleys are all tight and only the power steering pulley has some in and out movement due to the shaft. The idler is tight and smooth like new. I took some brake cleaner and a wire brush to the grooved pulleys and cleaned them out good, so we'll see what happens.
 
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