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Just replaced belt tensioner and belt due to squeal. Now I can hear more noises. Help diagnose what else needs fixing?


New Member
Jan 5, 2018
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Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Engine Size
3.0 V6
1999 Ranger XLT, no A/C pump. ~241K miles.

I just finished replacing my belt tensioner and serpentine belt due to squeal. The squeal is eliminated, but now that it's gone I'm hearing other noises. Not sure if they were there before, and I just hadn't noticed them or if they're new. The squeal used to be heard after sitting in wet weather, but then go away after running for a minute. Recently it started squealing constantly, so that got my attention. I replaced the idler pulley in 2018, so after reading that belt, tensioner and idler are recommended to be replaced at the same time, I replaced the tensioner and belt this time. Of course I was listening to see if the squeal was fixed, so now my ears are perked up to these other noises that may or may not be new.

It's an old truck, and has had the lifter tick for years, but I'm hearing a new clicking noise now. It sounds at regular intervals in a similar pattern. Here's a video where you can hear the rhythmic clicking: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kbbN5VXVRmSisRNnA3xP2fv4tRcNfnZc/view?usp=sharing

With the belt off, the clicking isn't present, so it must have something to do with the pulleys/belt. But instead I can hear a high pitched squeak. I didn't hear it when the belt was on with all the other noises, but now if I listen closely, I think I can pick it out underneath the other noises. Video without the belt: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kcZ0g3D0AJ8EXvWl-s9Jm2q9r5jZiwP0/view?usp=sharing

Is this squeak coming from the harmonic balancer? It kind of looks like it's wobbling. A friend helped me replace the harmonic balancer about 3 years ago. We were going in and replacing all the engine gaskets because they were all deteriorated, and if I recall correctly, he broke a cog/tooth on the old harmonic balancer. I don't remember how exactly... (Edit: in reading more about harmonic balancer/crankshaft I'm remembering he was using a DIY method of using turning over the engine to loosen the crankshaft bolt because we didn't have an impact. It seemed sketchy. Probably was sketchy, since it ended up breaking the harmonic balancer. Not something I want to try again...)

After running for about a minute (with belt), I start to hear a whirring/whining/whistling type of noise. I think it might be coming from the alternator? Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kZYqbAwyGYOMm0fazpObRBpsx9H2JJUY/view?usp=sharing

When I spin the alternator pulley by hand it makes a bit of a whir which is why I think that noise might be from the alternator. Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kZx1J7MszOwlUVQY-cSQzfRuK_AUve0W/view?usp=sharing

The date on the sticker on the alternator is 2009 - before I owned the truck. Which might mean it was replaced about 10 years into the truck's life and is now over 10 years old. Do alternators have a life span?

I cleaned up all the pulleys with a wire brush. Without the belt, all the pulleys spin freely except the power steering pulley which gives me a little resistance, but that's normal right, since it's moving the pump?

Much appreciated if anyone has any insight.
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