The Squeak

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting & Diagnosis' started by KMcHale, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. KMcHale

    KMcHale Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Have an 81Z with A/C. When I get the RPM's over 2K I get a squeak like a loose belt. So I pull the alternator belt and start the car. Get the squeak. Pull the Power Steering belt and start the car. No squeak. Get new belt put in on nice and tight start the car and squeak. Sounds exactly the same. I have replaced the power steering unit about three years ago, yes the squeak was there then, so I am thinking the only thing left that could make the squeak is the water pump. Has anyone heard of a water pump making the exact same sound as a loose belt? And why only at higher RPM's? If the bearings in the water pump were bad wouldn't I get some kind of indication at idle? Anyway can anyone give me advice on how best to determine where the squeak is coming from and could it possibly be the water pump? Thanks in advance for any info and advice.
  2. SRGN

    SRGN Veteran Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Central NJ
    Check the fan clutch. If the fan clutch is not allowing any slip at higher rpms, you're asking a lot from that belt.
    budro6968 likes this.
  3. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    I had a fan clutch seize on my 78 Z at highway speed. It sounded like a jet engine under the hood. There was no squeak to warn me prior. I pulled over to see what was going on. I did not see a thing, so I continued at a slower speed. The noise was very loud. It was like mass air flow. I got about a mile down the road and bang! Hugh vibration, something came apart and it kicked out the back, I saw something flip in the air in my rear view. I had less than a mile to get home so I kept going. When I got home, popped the hood there was a hole in the top of my fan shroud and a piece of a fan blade laying next to the hole. Two blades came loose. No damage to rad. It was a thermostatic type clutch. I was bummed B/C they are expensive compared to a flex fan. I went with a J/Y clutch. I would pull the fan assembly off and spin the water pump to check the bearing. If it spins fast or wobbles you know it's done. They don't always leak when bad. I still have a piece of one of the blades. Pack rat!
  4. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Ringgold, GA
    Generally.... If a bearing is bad in the water pump, you can take the belt loose and detect some wobble or play by moving the fan around, or spin it by hand and listen for a growling or grinding sound. You might also notice a water drip from the weep hole. And a bad bearing can cause a high pitch screech, kind of like a belt slip. Also check the condition of you pulleys. If they're not aligned correctly or if the "v" grooves have dents or dings, this can cause problems.

    Good luck in chasing this down.
  5. cadillac_al

    cadillac_al Veteran Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    All my old cars have belt squeal. It's the worn out pullys. I just put new belts and alternator on my Caddy and it still squeals the same. I knew it was the pullys in the first place. I always say I am going to treat them with chinese sweet and sour sauce but I never do.

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