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-   -   Squeal After Installing New Pulleys, Tensioner, Belts (Rogue Engineering pulleys) (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=856110)

7001Q 07-09-2011 11:37 AM

Squeal After Installing New Pulleys, Tensioner, Belts (Rogue Engineering pulleys)

A couple days ago I replaced my pulleys:
  • Water Pump pulley = replaced
  • Idler pulley = replaced
  • Power Steering pulley = replaced
  • Alternator pulley = not replaced (I have a new one but I don't know how to replace it.)

I also replaced the idler tensioner with a new hydraulic one (the one there was also hydraulic). Figured I'd replace it all while in there.

I replaced both belts with brand new Continentals.

The car has 168,000 miles (2001 330i, manual). Produced 06/2000.

The water pump pulley and power steering pulley are both from Rogue Engineering-I bought their underdrive pulley set. The main belt was included in the proper size.

In this video you can see that the belt routing appears to be correct. In the video I show the routing and then start the car so you can hear the squealing.

The first day I installed, the squeal was very minimal and lasted about 40 seconds. Now it's loud and lasts forever but gets a bit quieter after driving a while.

Note: I don't have a small torque wrench so I tightened to what felt right. If this is a problem, let me know.

Your help in figuring this out is greatly appreciated.



dmax 07-09-2011 12:45 PM

Check their alignment side to side...as in, stand on the side of the car and make sure they're all parallel.

I haven't done alt pulley, so just imagine it's four bolts or whatever to some decent torque!

The idler pulley is also straightforward...counterclockwise gets it off. note the alignment notch and make sure it goes in flat.

If alt is out of alignment, there's a pesky brass threaded bushing holding it in place that seems to get pulled out from either overtightening pulley, or aligning it improperly...as I'd done and missed for about 4 months...I got that long bolt into front of alt, but not in the tab for it in back.

Make sure your belts are the right length, of course, and if you got any fluid on them, clean them with water.

Say an appropriate prayer facing Munich, and good luck!

LivesNearCostco 07-09-2011 01:00 PM

That's quite a squeal! Are you sure the tensioner pulley isn't on backwards? The torx-head bolt doesn't stick out as much on mine.

Squealing could be coming from AC tensioner or A/C compressor pulley/clutch, alternator pulley, water pump bearing (not pulley), or P/S pump bearing. Or one of the new pulleys (tensioner or idler) has a bad bearing. I suggest remove A/C belt and see if it still squeals. If yes, turn off motor, remove main belt, then run it for <20 seconds to see if it still squeals. (You might get a CEL since the alternator won't be running.)

Most likely it will still squeal with just main belt on. Turn off motor and spin each pulley (except crankshaft) by hand to see if has loose play in bearing or squeaks when turned with belt off. Pay special attention to new tensioner and idler pulleys. Could the pulley be on backwards, have a dust shield on the wrong side of the pulley, or be missing a washer? Could the idler pulley be in the wrong position? It has a bump that fits into a notch and needs to be lined up before you torque the idler pulley bolt.

Your tensioner pulley doesn't look right to me.

7001Q 07-09-2011 02:33 PM

I agree with both of you on the tensioner pulley--it doesn't look right. I'll remove it and see (tried removing it earlier--it's quite hard). I'll follow the advice posted here and report back.

LivesNearCostco 07-09-2011 02:53 PM

Once you fix the squeal, if you want to get your alternator pulley off, I can offer some suggestions for removing the standard (non-clutch) alternator pulley. But they require using either an impact wrench or some jury-rigged way to prevent alternator armature/spindle from rotating while you remove/install nut. And if you have the clutch-type alternator pulley, I do not have any ideas except to recommend these alternator pulley-removal kits from ECS Tuning.

7001Q 07-09-2011 02:54 PM

After doing everything suggested, the water pump pulley has play. Not the pulley, but the entire thing. When I spin it, it's noisy but doesn't squeal. It probably causes the squeal though. The A/C tensioner bearing is a little noisy but not bad. I'll replace it anyway. Everything else is smooth.

Looks like the fix might be a water pump...

EDIT: Ah ha! Check this: http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...=634490&page=2. It is the water pump.

EDIT: The idler tensioner pulley was on backwards. Fixed it; see my next post below.

7001Q 07-09-2011 03:28 PM

One other thing. I have to mention how much I enjoy the Rogue Engineering Power Pulleys. I didn't expect to feel a difference, but I actually feel more pull especially in mid and high range RPMs. It's a real nice little mod that adds a boost of fun (and it's smooth).


Alan330xi 07-09-2011 03:44 PM

It may in fact be your water pump but the belt does not appear to be flush with the tensioner pulley. Let us know what happens.

7001Q 07-15-2011 07:44 PM

The idler tensioner pulley was indeed on backwards. I fixed it and now there's no squeal. Thank you all for your help.

kid bimma 07-16-2011 09:48 AM

^ yup, i made the same mistake, installed the pulley backwards :loco:

LivesNearCostco 07-16-2011 03:58 PM

Awesome, congrats on your new underdrive pulleys!

BQuicksilver 07-30-2011 12:07 AM

How can you tell if the tensioner pulley is on backwards? I just installed a new mech tensioner and still have a squeal on starup if the car has been sitting. I believe the pulley was attached to the unit before I received it.

7001Q 07-30-2011 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by BQuicksilver (Post 13428117)
How can you tell if the tensioner pulley is on backwards? I just installed a new mech tensioner and still have a squeal on starup if the car has been sitting. I believe the pulley was attached to the unit before I received it.

There should be a dust cap covering the T40 Torx screw. If that screw is exposed and the dust cap won't snap on, it's backwards. Watch my video also, because you will notice the belt isn't resting evenly on that pulley.

kid bimma 08-01-2011 09:50 PM

i dont think you can install it backwards on the mechanical tensioner since both sides of the pulley are the same for mech. however the sides of the pulley for the hydraulic tensioner are different.

iansanderson 08-01-2011 11:12 PM

it looks like the belt is not on the AC tensioner completely. Have you narrowed it down to which belt drive is causing the noise? main or AC?

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