Thread: Still squealing

  1. #1

    Question Still squealing

    I changed the belts on my 79 cj7 and it is still squealing. The alternator pulley can be turned inside the belt, which I assume can't be good. This jeep has been sitting up in a barn for a while so I was thinking that the pulleys all need to be cleaned well. Am I on the right track or is there something else I need to check out? Any help would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Nags Head, NC
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    3,909

    Re: Still squealing

    If you can turn a pulley inside the belt, I'm guess there's a tensioner somewhere that needs looked at/replaced. Not real familiar with old CJ's, but I am old and best I remember that's how those belts worked. Or.....Is your alternator mounted on a slotted bracket?? Perhaps it need to be adjusted to snug-up the belt. Just some thoughts from an old geezer. Best of luck! That belt shouldn't be squealing and you shouldn't be able to turn any pulleys if the belt is still.

    Old-school mud with a "new-school" TJ
    Just Enjoy Every Possibility!

  3. #3

    Re: Still squealing

    On a 304 V8, the tension on the belt should be acomplished by the power steering pump.
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

  4. #4

    Re: Still squealing

    Actually on the AMC 304 used in CJs the power steering is one belt, the alternator is another belt, and the smog pump is a third. Tension is set for each belt by the adjusting the componet.

  5. #5

    Re: Still squealing

    I've been pulling on the alternator for a couple of days now. I took the belts off today and cleaned them with soapy water. I dried them before I put them back on. I also used some steel wool in soapy water on each pulley that accepts a belt. I had sprayed some lubricant yesterday trying to make sure the components weren't rusty and of course I missed and hit the belts. I dried everything good with a clean soft cloth and put it all back together. Now it just squeals when it first starts up. I pulled on the alternator again but it is still barking just a bit. Any suggestions on how to pull on the alternator and tighten it up would be greatly appreciated. I have tried using a small crowbar wedged between the alternator and the engine and it got better.

  6. #6

    Re: Still squealing

    You have to be carful not to get the belts too tight or you will start having bearing problems in particular with the water pump. There should be a little deflection in the belt when you push down on it. I'm no sure what the book says but 3/8" or so is usually more than tight.

    Option left in my mind are: The belt(s) need to be replaced because they have worn down from slipping on the pulleys and now don't ft in the channel of the pulling properly, and/or the bearing on the alternator shaft is going out causing there to be additional drag at start up resulting in the squeal.

    Turn the alternator by hand, and the water pump & power steering for that matter, to see if you feel any grittiness or resistance when you rotate them; it should be smooth with no resistance. Also, make sure the shafts don't wiggle from side to side, if so the bearing may be shot.

  7. Re: Still squealing

    My 1984 Jeep CJ7 did the same thing and would not stop squealing until the alternator reached 14 volts. After changing every belt and cleaning each pulley, I accidently discovered that if you loosen the bracket bolt closest to the engine and use a crow bar to lift the alternator while tightening the bolt, the squeal will stop. I had been to two different jeep shops with no help so I figured it out myself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Re: Still squealing

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter300winmag View Post
    My 1984 Jeep CJ7 did the same thing and would not stop squealing until the alternator reached 14 volts. After changing every belt and cleaning each pulley, I accidently discovered that if you loosen the bracket bolt closest to the engine and use a crow bar to lift the alternator while tightening the bolt, the squeal will stop. I had been to two different jeep shops with no help so I figured it out myself.
    So it was belt tightening or alignment?


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Albany~town, Oregon
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    1,348

    Re: Still squealing

    There are some clods out there that let their belts squeal for weeks/months. If one takes too long to address this issue with V belts the pulleys get polished and there's nothing left to do but press on new pulleys to the shafts. I hope this isn't the case with yours.
    Quick fixes are so named for how long they stay fixed.
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    The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep.
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