C5 Belt Squeak

I have a 2000 C5 w/ about 50k. I read some posts here and elsewhere about a persistent "squeak, squeak squeak" under the hood. One fellow, Steve, said
it was the crank pulley/harmonic balancer being wobbley. I checked it out, stopped by the dealer, and wanted to share what I found.
All C5 harmonic balancers are wobbley. It probably isn't that -- which is a good thing because out of warranty repair is $650.
Check the AC belt -- that's what it was in my case. I'm in the process of getting a new "gatorback" belt (cross groved). It could also be the main serpentine belt or even the tensioner. To find the difference, put a socket on the tensioner belt when the engine is running (tighten) -- be careful -- and see if the extra tension causes the noise to go away. If not, remove the AC belt (cut it) and start the engine. If the sound is gone, you know that was the cause. (It is time to replace the belt anyway - my opinion).
Hope that helps the next guy.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm not sure about that socket thing on a running pulley thing.. besides the belt is usualy not the culprit, but rather a wobbley pulley. Look for fine black dust and follow it to where you think it originated.
Wouldn't it be nice if they did away with the whole belt driven accessories thing? Seems like somebody could have come up with a better solution to this old technology.. I know about electric water pumps.. but I always wonder if they could develop a mechanical way (gear driven) to power the alternator, power steering, etc.
-Stan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

with there hydraulic cooling fan, most aircraft engines have a gear drive for the vacum pump and other things. as long as the belts are cheap we are going to have them for a long time.
But as you know Stan, the real problem is not the belt, but rather a misalignment and not a wide enough belt.
Ps did you have any belt sllipage problems with your procharger? and which model are you running?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I did.. I had all kinds of belt problems. First it would slip. So the car got a manual tensioner. Then the pulleys weren't exactly alligned.. it would eat the belt.. started replacing the pulleys.. basically one at a time because the tensioner was right next to one of the Procharger idlers.. ordered one, and it was a different size.. ran without that for a while then ordered the other idler for the other side of the Procharger. Just felt like they should match in size. The new pulley was wider than the plate on the Procharger where the one attaches.. putting the bolts which hold it to the blower under neath the pulley. (So how do you tighten that???) Scratched my head.. scratched my ass.. finally put a socket in my Dewalt screw gun and just zipped it on at high speed. Brilliant engineering. Still had shredding.. found some rust on the water pump (sorry excuse for a) pulley. Replaced that. Then realized that I had the wrong size belt which was also routed wrong. I did that when the new wider dia idler came in and I ran with only one idler on the blower. Procharger could have been more forthcoming with information...maybe even a web page for all of us that had the older smaller idlers. Anyway..blah blah blah.. the belt is fine now.. but because of the Kaytech manual tensioner and the 30 degree weather around here.. I think I fried the bearings in the blower so that is going in to Procharger for a rebuild. When I had it off one of the times I felt oil in the air intake side.. thought I was nuts.. but apparently not. Oil level is critical to maintain in these things. I would be nice if it was tied into the car oil but I can see a whole lot more trouble that way with connections/contamination/etc. The procharger oil isn't just regular 10-30w. Having said all of this, I would still definately do it all over again. The car is fast and I've learned a lot.
-Stan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
P1SC1. The belt slipped untill the Katech tensioner went in. I'm getting ready to pull it though and put the stock one in. Tired of tightening it when the belt stretches.
-Stan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
i am running the D1, and i am lucky that i have not had any belt problems, it will, as it sets now hit 10-10.5 psi on a auto upshift. and it sure turns them into a differnet car.
i have plans and some of the parts for a 383, with better heads and more cubes i am looking for 500 rwhp, i think it can be done with out to much problems. one thing i did do before i put the blower in was to instal a data logger which i think is almost mandatory on a supercharged setup, things just happen to quick to be looking at air fuel ratios, boost and fuel pressures.
do you ever have people look or ask you what the hell is making that noise?
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah.. had a Mustang guy pull up next to me and heard the "BUCKET OF BOLTS" sound... I think he was still sneering at me when I saw him in my rear view..
-Stan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sbright wrote:

I tend to agree with Stan though. Sticking a wrench or breaker bar down there scares me too. I'm not as steady handed as I once was. Stan, you sound like you've been influenced by either the Swiss or the Krauts, with a need for very precise gears.
Back in the '70s I was one of the technical monitors on a NavAir project (your tax dollars at work) that compared speed reduction and drive devices using belts, gears, worms, harmonic drives and a couple of electric schemes. I was the guy with clean hands who peeked in on the project for 2 years, then wrote the one-page exec summary and walked out the door. When all (dollars, weight, reliability, bulk, power losses, support, restoration/repair and some other trivia) was considered, belts came off very well. Belt losses are more than the typical 1% per-gear-in-mesh at most practical ratios but when total support (weight, lube overhead, shielding from dirt, ease of inspection, prediction of failure, etc.) comes into play, the belt usually wins. Major exception was at very high belt velocities where belts lift from the pulleys and/or get overheated. I think we're going to be stuck with belts for a lot of years to come. That said, in the last 30 years there have been some great advances in molded plastic gears so the landscape might change.
I'm wondering what the belt velocities in the C5 are in comparison to other serpentine installations. Someday, I'll stick a ruler down there and compare it to the C4 and Mama's land barge--neither of those seem to have serpentine problems.
First owner replaced the belt in my C5 about 8 months ago--don't know why. Looks as though it lasted about 36 months and 20K miles.) That's about 1/2 what I got out of the first belt in my C4 (didn't fail or squeak but looked awful -- old age with lots of small chunks missing). No squeaks in the C5 yet; but, when I hear a squeak, my first ploy will be a gentle rub with a chunk of paraffin --that used to work well with vee belts lots of years ago. (Then when the slippage occurs, I can get out the solvent and start cleaning pulleys <{:-0 ). One more opportunity for a self-inflicted wound!
Oh yeah, and it would be well to use Dad's "sonic agulominator" (golf club shaft).
Outta here -- gotta go make a buck.
--
PJ
89 HookerCar, 02 E-blu 6-spd Coupe
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

statement that "All C5 harmonic balancers are wobbly." and wonder how I got two that were not. I agree that there is some runout on the outside portion of some of the harmonic balancers but it don't "wobble" unless it is loose. If it is loose you retighten or replace the bolt as per the service bulletin. My present C6 has less than .01 runout checked by a dial indicator normally used to check tire runout. Belt wear is another item I can't understand as I've lost or replaced maybe 3 in well over 55 years of driving. My driving involved 70/100 mile daily commutes for years without the kind of problems I see people telling about in this group. My main replacement part was exhaust pipes that would burn/rust out about every 2 years.
I also wonder about early brake pad replacement. Seldom if ever have the disc pads been replaced before 50,000 miles were long gone. I can see how driving habits can effect this but not the belt problems. After driving and automatic for 60,000 miles I did have to watch not pushing the clutch in before the engine drag had time to slow me to a proper braking speed. The '98 I had was raced more than any car I owned and the present owner is still on the first set of pads with 46,000 miles. Doesn't anyone break in brakes anymore?
We all like to think we are the best drivers in the world but my belief is that I've only been good enough, (with luck), to stay alive. So where is the difference in the cars, the weather, I live in the salt belt, the bad roads, ever drive I94 or I75 around Detroit? My guess is that there is also a big difference in the way people maintain, or lack there of, their vehicles.
Dad Pot hole dodger from way back in the gravel road days.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't answer why some belts last and some don't. I'm not a car mechanic so I don't know all of the various ways to measure run out on pulleys or even really know how to adjust them if they weren't lined up (other than flipping them over). In supercharger applications, the belt does run faster than it would regularly. I would imagine that makes a perfect fit of the serp. belt pretty critical. I can say though, that the stock waterpump pulley does not have edges to it to line the belt up, it just sits wherever it wants to. Like I said in an earlier post, I've learned a lot -- that's what makes it fun for me. Being able to blow away EVERY Mustang and ricer that's ever tried is kinda nice too. I'd love to come up a gainst one of those new Ford Gt's..
-Stan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How was the wear and alignment before you started changing the original setup? I've never seen a C4,5, or 6 throw a belt at the autocross but then I don't attend them all so it could be happening without anything being said. When the '92 got 80,000 on it I bought a belt to replace the original but never got around to it since I knew I had a spare in the back. The car was traded at 92,000 with its first belt on it, although the "Vs" were checked it looked pretty good.

The only way they can run faster is to install a larger harmonic balancer/dampener. Since I've never installed a ProCharger I wonder why you would do that?

There is no need to guide the belt on all of the pulleys and if you're running that far out of alignment your setup is installed wrong. If on the other hand it is needed for that modification the ProCharger should come with one.

--
Dad
05 C6 Silver/Red 6spd Z51
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Prior to the Procharger install the belts were fine. I know that some C5's have belt issues.. this one didn't. My coupe on the other hand did. Replaced the harmonic balance and the problem went away.

I should correct myself here so you don't misunderstand what I'm saying. The belt itself doesn't start turning faster (don't know the rpm's of the belt) Rather, it accelerates a whole lot faster. I know all of this is measure in miliseconds probably but trust me on this one.. the rpm's of the motor (and therefore the belt) increase much more rapidly during a hard acceleration with a blower. All sorts of things come in to play at that moment-- fluter of the belt during large runs, tightness of the belt against the guiding pulleys, allignment of the pulleys, and that little bit of rust that developed on the water pump pulley. The flutter is the reasoning for the Katech manual tensioner. The Katech tensioner tightens the belt much tighter than the factory spring tensioner.. here comes that nasty little bit of rust chewing up the belt. I've managed to work all of these problems out but I know that I wasn't the only one having them. The new Procharger setup uses a different bracket and more efficient air intake setup. I'd love to upgrade but in light off the belt problems I think I'll just let it go. (Not to mention it would probably cost $500 for the bracket and then I'd have to find a C5 stock radiator fan setup.

however the belt wears an impression into the pulley and then you have sharp edges. Change the alignment of the belt just a little bit and you have shred..I actually replaced it one time on the side of the road.. (Couldn't tell you how.. used a coat hanger)
-Stan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No misunderstanding on my part, just said incorrectly. There seems to be the problem when you add a requirement to a design that it wasn't designed to handle. It's hard to believe that a company would sell a product as cobbled up as the one you're talking about. The serpentine belts were designed for a tension belt tensioned not a fixed pressure idler wheel. Another benefit to the fixed tensioner is the ability to overstress the fabric of the belt setting it up for early failure. Of course you use a tension gage to set it properly so that won't/don't happen, right? Back in the mid sixties when I run in the D gas class the big guns were slapping on the puffers and they were throwing and tearing up belts on a regular basis. Those belts for a much different forced induction system were build much bigger, heavier, and were contained on all three of their pulleys with no switchback stress and still went to pieces. Most were not involved with a package size constraint so they were built robust. Now 40 years later they, the after market people, still can't put out a kit that works any better than that?
You've answered my questions, if there is a belt problem it could be corrected by replacing, or maybe tighten the harmonic balancer as has been stated on the TSB by GM. If there isn't a belt problem you can buy a kit to get it as a secondary benefit.

of belt system on the 505 HP Z06. Is that going to be akin to the HP and the quickness of belt travel you get by adding the Procharger to a C5? Does Lingerfelter's conversions have the same problems? If so I've never heard of them maybe someone out there can fill us in on the unseen problems of some of the other aftermarket superchargers. Maybe some of the guys that have pumped up the C5 or C6 to the supercharger HP level without one can also enlighten us about the belt death rate.
--
Dad
05 C6 Silver/Red 6spd Z51
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Electric powersteering, electric powerbrakes and "flywheel alternators" will be found on "hybrids".
sbright wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Same her. hitting 90k on my 00 c-5. Replaced the AC belt around 50K, it is starting to squeal again. And I have replaced pads, I break them in, but use the cars braking abilities frequently. They are awesome brakes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.