Well, my 1993 taurus 3.0 vulcan was making a constant whining sound from
the serp belt area. It was a smooth noise as the RPM went up
and down. I thought sure it was the water pump impeller was rubbing
the case as it had happen before. I had the new pump, but had not got
to it yet. (too many other projects). Well, the wife called me and said
she got off the interstate and the car made some noises and it got hard
to steer and the check engine light came on. Shit! well, i went down to
the spot and looked things over. She handed me what looked like the
tensioner with its ball bearing guts disemboweled. I looked down and saw
the tensioner was still on the car.
At that point, i headed home to get the shop manual and tools.
I looked and discovered this car has a FIXED idler as well as a
tensioner. I had a spare tensioner, so i grabbed it along with tools and
headed down to the car. It seemed the tensioner wheel was the same as
the idler wheel, so i hoped i could do the swap to at least get the car
home. Went to try to put it on and took off the washer tank. It leaked
all over and i was kind of puzzled until i saw the hole in the side of
the plastic tank. The fixed idler bolt backed out and drilled into the
side of the washer tank.!
Well using the hardware from the back of the old tensioner, i managed to
make my spare tensioner idler work as the fixed idler. My theory was the
bearing went bad in the fixed idler. Then the mount bolt backed out and
drilled into the washer tank. I was just surprised of the noise it had
made. With the smoother whine, i thought sure it was the water pump.
I put my head close to the PS pump and it did not seem to be the source
of the noise. Live and learn. And have a good supply of spare taurus
parts in the garage ;)