Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

Discussion in 'Talkback' started by cougarkid, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Hi all,

    Took a small road trip over the holidays and had an issue with a belt.
    See "Our 1st trouble (Minor) on a trip" in "Class A / Diesel Pushers" section.

    Trip after replaceing the belt went well. Had a great time.
    Still have an issue with the belt squealing at engine start-up.

    The belt in question is a 6-rib "serpentine" belt, 52" long. It goes around the crank, water pump and alternator. All the books say it should be a 6-rib, 56" long belt.

    Should there be an idler/tensioner in there also? We bought this used, so anything could be missing and we wouldn't know it.

    Thanks
     
  2. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Sorry,

    1989, Chevy 454, 4-bbl, auto, A/C, PS, smog pump

    Mike
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    if the belt the belt stayed on then yes u the tensonier is i place ,,but i it suplling the proper tension??? A rule of thumb here ,,, if u replace the belt the tensioner should also be replaced ,, that i what Gates belt say ,, and as ols as u'r uit is i would replace the tensioner and the idler pulley ,, not pickig on u ,, but IMO that should solve u'r prob ;) :) :) :)
     
  4. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    I have come to the conclusion that the idler/tensioner is missing completely.
    I am using a belt that is 4" shorter then the books call for and there is a replacement idler/tensioner available.
    Will have to get the flashlight and mirrors out and get a good look at the front of the engine to verify.

    Thanks to all!
     
  5. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Well,

    As it turns out, there is a smog/air pump situated between the crank and the alternator that is missing it's pully.

    Can't find my Chilton manual to confirm belt routing. Not sure if the belt is supposed to run over the front or the back of the missing pully, but it will definately change the dynamics of the belt routing and length.

    This should solve the sqealing/slipping problem and may even solve some minor performance issues I have been experiencing at higher speeds under load.

    As soon as I can find the correct pully, get it installed and make sure the pump is working correctly I will let you know the outcome.

    P.S. I will try to get some good before and after pictures, too, if I can get the camera in there.
     
  6. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Mike ck to make sure the smog pump is not locked up. Those were pretty bad to go out. It had nothing to do with performance just mixed air back into exhaust under certain conditions. I can't remember which side of the belt it ran on but was thinking the outside or smooth side.
     
  7. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    C Nash, good to know about the pump. Will try to see if it is locked up.

    If it does nothing for performance, would I be better off removing it if it is locked up? Could remove the associated hoses and cap any fittings. That would make for less "stuff" on the engine thus making access to other things easier (tune-up, etc.).

    I think an idler in it's place would help, since I believe the length of the belt between the crank and the alternator is contributing to my squeal/slip problem. Done right, I would be able to go back to the stock belt (56" length).

    BTW, I found my Chilton and the belt runs around the outside of the pulley (pulley is ribbed to match the belt).

    Been too cold here (between 10 and 20 with lots of wind) for the last week or so to do anything to it. This week isn't supposed to be much better. Once it gets a bit warmer, I will get under and see what I can do. (won't quite fit in the garage)

    Thanks and later...
     
  8. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Well, after procrastinating for a loooong time, I dug into the front end. Removed the "hoods", grill, and radiator (what a pain in the butt!).

    Pully on the lower air pump is missing, thus it uses a shorter belt. Pump seems to spin okay. Took the alternator off and had it checked. Pumping out good volts/amps, but the bearings are a bit noisy. Pulled it apart and replaced the bearings - much smoother now.

    Decided to check everything out and when I grabbed the fan it wobbled a LOT. Took fan/clutch and pulley off and found that the bearings in the water pump are shot! Off to the store an bought a new water pump.

    NEW pupmp is back in, all the brackets are in place. AC, alternator, both air pumps and pully/fan/clutch to stilll be installed. HOT and muggy out, lost the sunlight and the skeeters are out in force. Will have to finish up Wednesday night (busy tomorrow night).

    Been taking pictures since I got it all apart and began the "rebuild", will post some when I get finished up.

    Mike
     
  9. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Hey Cougarkid, I have a 454 also that is an 89 in a Winn Chieftain. Been having problems with dash controls for a/c, heat, vent, .....fan works ok, but other buttons don't do nothing. Air always comes out of defroster only right now. Tried to find an vac hoses loose, but not real sure where all to look (Chelse gave me some hints). Have you had this problem? Also, does yours have an air tank that is used for pumping up tires, air horns? My won't fill now for some reason.
    Just thought I'd ask if you might have had some of the same problems and how ya fixed them. Trying ot sell the ole gal right now, but would like to fix those two items. she only has 19,110 miles (original) ;) :) :laugh: :cool:
     
  10. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Archer,

    Only issues I had with dash controls were that the unit was broken from misuse. Had to take it out and repair it because I couldn't find a replacement. Turns out it is a dodge control.

    As far as defrost only, sounds like you are not getting vacuum to the controls. I believe these older units rest on the "defrost" settings if there is no vacuum. That way you can see out the windshield if nothing is working right.

    No air tank on my unit.

    Mike
     
  11. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Tks Mike, appreciate the info.
     
  12. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

    Re: Belt routing / tensioner? on 89 Chevy 454

    Well, it is back together!

    Did some work on it Thursday night and finished it up on Friday night about 10:00 pm. Everything is back in place and better than before.

    The AC evaporator was originally just sitting between the radiator and the electric fans - now it is bolted into place.
    The oil cooler was only half bolted in place - now it is tied down tight.
    The tranny cooler was rip-tied in place - now it has it's own mount (fabricated in the driveway).
    Re-routed some of the wires and tied some loose things down.
    Fierd it up and it runs better than before. No squeals and runnig great.
    Did not replace the missing pully for the air pump - doing fine without it.

    Bought 2 - 50 foot rolls of Eternabond and taped the entire length of both side of the roof. Great stuff and easy to use.
    I you have bad spots on the edges of your roof, this is the answer.

    I am on the road (not in the RV) right now - will post pics soon.

    Mike
     
  13. cougarkid

    cougarkid Senior Member

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