belt/tensioner question - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-11-2006, 05:47 AM   #1
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hi everyone, i have been having trouble with tensioner pulleys and belts latley, problems started when i changed the pulley and tensioner assymbley, all of the sudden the belts would wear out in about a week, and seperate on the inside (closest to the engine itself) then resulting in that part of the belt slapping whatever as it goes around and around.. the first time it happend i replaced the belt, put on another pulley and that was that.. that was untill today, I stopped at a stop sign and went to take off, right before the trans went from 1st to 2nd, there was the "slapping" noise, about 10 sec. after the noise began, i pulled over, didnt have to worry about turning off the car, the car was already off, now, looking under the hood, it was plain to see that the inside of the belt had been seperated just like the one before.. now this time i had enough, went home, got the orig, pulley and a new belt and went back to put it on.. when all was done, i started the car.. there is a horrible clacking noise coming from the harmonic bal. this part was replaced about two months ago.. also the car is now backfiring. and will not incerase idle when i give it gas.. i have looked at everything, thinking that the belt have broken something when it snapped and went around, but can not find anything,, any suggestions?
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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If you can't see anything obvious, lets start on the belt.

The belt path is apparently not straight. Meaning all the pullies are not aligned. That needs to be looked into and fixed.

As to the starting issue, I hope the car has thrown a code?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:23 AM   #3
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yes.since the belt has broken and the car is running the way that it is. it has thrown a code, but the car is not mobile, so i cant take it anywhere to have it run, i agree with the belt path issue, the problem i was trying to resolve when this all begun was that the tensioner was jumping back and forth, and it was making a rattling noise, i since then have replaced the assym, and the pulley three times, all of them have done the same thing (jumping back and forth) it appears that it has been a ongoing problem because there seems to be some type of makeshift bracket the owners before me have riged up to keep the tensioner from moving foward.SO after thinking logically about this all night, i have come to this conclusion. the reason for the tensioner jumping around and not staying in one place it more then likely due to one of the other pullies (ie. pwr steering pump/ or a/c) is going bad and it is causing the belt to "skip" if you will, or snag. so i have removed the belt, manually turned all the pullies, all seem smooth and quiet, this leaves the Harmonic bal. With the belt removed, i started the car, the harm. bal. is making a loud "clicking" noise. Now as i understand from having to replace this three months ago, it acts along with the crank sensor as a "distributor" and times the sparks, so on and so forth, and if that was out again, it would explain the car backfiring. and no increase in RPM'* when i give it gas. it only had started running like this after the belt broke.. i dont think its the whole bal. i think it may be the sensor, when the belt shredded, and went around all the pullies i think it hit the sensor, mabie making it go bad, or knocking out of allignment.. so.. with all that said, would my assumption be a good one to make? or is there something else i need to look at first? thanks by the way for the reply, you guys have helped me so much just from the other posts in here.. this site rocks
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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It may be possible that if the belt broke, it could have damaged the crank sensor behind the harmonic balancer, and that would account for the noise you hear when running the engine while the belts are removed. The interruptor rings on the back of the balancer could also have been damaged, but they're made of steel. It sounds like maybe the balancer needs to come off again so you can check the crank sensor and also the interruptor rings on the back of the balancer.

In regards to the pulley alignment, if all of the installed pulleys are the correct type (6-ribbed or smooth) and size and are installed correctly, move freely by hand, don't wobble, and look to be aligned ok, it sounds like the cause of the belt destruction would best be diagnosed after the engine is running again, so you can watch the belts travel along the pulleys. The modification that was done to prevent the tensioner from moving forward should be removed, and the cause of the problem should be identified and corrected.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:02 PM   #5
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Interesting thing here..

Get the GM part number and cross reference it to the new part number on the internet. Advance Auto is known to have a bad part number listed in their systems for the 94 L67 or SC'd engine.

The balance is different as are a couple other small things. This might have to do with your belt issue, but doubtful.

I agree on pulling it and checking the rings and sensor. Also look over the wiring leading down to it. May have gotten damaged when the belt broke.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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okay, ill do that today, you mention the smooth pulley, the one that was org, on the car that i took off was smooth,, all of the new ones i have put on have all had raised edges on bothsides of the pulley, funny you mention that, because i have not had a belt issue untill i replaced the pulley on the tensioner, mabie those grooves are wearing out the belt, because the whole belt does not snap, its just the inside part becomes seperated from the rest of the belt,, hmm ill ponder on that while im at wk,, ill check this post later this afternoon when i get off.. thanks again for your help guys
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:39 PM   #7
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With just the inside of the belt seperating, I would look to see where it is running hard on the inside of some pulley, causing that seperation.

After you do the work with the HB, that is...
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:08 PM   #8
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heheheh sure thaaang
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