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Discussion Starter #1
I am talking out loud here if this thread seems to sound a bit odd. If you have been following one of my recent threads about replacing the two idler bearings on the power belt, you know that I was hearing a bearing noise. Now that I have eliminated the obvious, now I am down to hearing a bearing sound that seems to be becoming more prevalent (wish I could post the sound byte of what I am hearing).

What are the chances that one of the idler bearings behind the plastic covers is about to go out? The car had a major belt service 22,000 miles ago in 2004. It seems to me that a bearing failing this soon isn't something that is normal. The invoice for the work shows all the bearings being replaced . What I don't see is a water pump listed, unless it shows as a "bearing" that costs $110. The water pump looks new.

As the resident mechanic, I am suggesting to myself, is to remove the covers and see what is going on inside. I don't want to have a bearing blow out on me while driving as we know this can have dire consequences. Even if I have to remove the timing belt to get to a bearing, looks to me like I am going to have to wade in and learn how to do this timing belt job, that I have been putting off learning.

Can I get my bearings through the local bearing house or are they Alfa special?
 

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Please use the Alfa OEM parts for this job. Looks like that I may be coming up to help. I would put a long screw driver or something like that on the water pump t/stat housing put my ear to it and listen to see if thats the source of the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was going to use the screwdriver stethescope but it got dark on me. I will try that tomorrow. It is in the upper part of the motor and not down near the crank as best I can tell. That could be the upper belt tension bearing or the water pump that is going out. I will know more when I take off the front half of the cover.
 

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I would run engine long enough without serpentine belt installed to see if noise gone or in timing belt system but not long enough to overheat engine.
 

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Is the noise a rattle?
 

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The noise is not a rattle. The noise started out small and after driving the car to town yesterday to a couple body shops to see what it would take to fix the hood, when I got home the noise was more prevalent. The noise does come and go. As I was trying to figure out where the noise was, it went away...hence my belief it is a bearing. Bearings will run noisey and silent depending on how they are running in or out of the groove so to speak. I am thinking that I have a bearing that is wobbly. In any case, it is on its way out. I will remove the power belt and see what comes of that. A few seconds with the belt off isn't going to hurt anything since the car will be on jackstands.
 

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In my case, I had a rattle that mysteriously went away, which turned out to be a bad thing.
The bearings in one of the timing belt idler began to wobble until it finally failed. The noise stopped only when the bearing siezed.
 

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Now this is interesting what you just posted John. I just went out and started the car, only to find that the noise is not there! It went silent on me. Until the noise resurfaces, I can't trace it down. I will keep trying to get the noise to show up by driving it close to home, then I will see what I can do to find it. I do not want to go through what you are dealing with now. Btw...how are you doing?

As a side note, I will be posting a picture here shortly to show you one of the idler bearings I just replaced for the serpentine belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bad idler belt bearing

Here is a picture of one of the serpentine idler bearings. On one side all looks normal, but on the other side...disaster waiting to happen. :eek:



Notice that the seal is completely gone and so is almost all of the grease. It wouldn't have lasted much longer!

Now to find that other bad bearing that is hiding from me! :mad:
 

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Please use the Alfa OEM parts for this job. Looks like that I may be coming up to help. I would put a long screw driver or something like that on the water pump t/stat housing put my ear to it and listen to see if thats the source of the noise.
Yup, I agree 100%.

You need to replace all the bearings with OEM and not repress bearings back in.
They never last! They either fall out or die out early!

Bite the bullet and buy new always!

We tried this for years with the 12V serp bearing, bad news all the time. Short lived and or fell out! Giovanni Difatta and I where chatting about this awhile back and he said the same thing, never good luck with re-pressing them in.

I think they slip to much and cause even more heat, don't aligen well so bearings get worn quicker, Inner pulley tends to be not the fit the bearing as snug as from the factory.

Jason

Jason
Jason
 

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Listen to Steve's advice and pull the serpentine belt to check if that eliminates the noise.

I had this issue on my Q. Taking the serpentine belt off takes the alternator, AC compressor (which has a bearing that goes bad too!), water pump, PS pump AND the 2 accessory idler bearing out of the equation.

My problem was the accessory belt idler bearings. I could easily feel and hear the noise by spinning them by hand. That was an easy and relatively inexpensive fix.

If noise persists after pulling serpentine belt (which you can't do for more than a 30 second interval as your engine will be running with no coolant flow), then you can confidently move in deeper to inspect the valve timing bearings, etc.

Keep us posted, but this should abosolutely be your next step. It doesn't take much time to do either...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
:) I have a car that has a mind of its own right now. Yesterday, I had a very pronounced bearing noise...water pump or whatever it was. Now, the noise isn't there. I put 20 miles on the car just a few minutes ago and it is so quiet you wouldn't know there was anything wrong. Until I get it to repeat, there isn't anything I can do further. I will just error on the side of caution and be aware. Thank you for the sage advice. ;)
 

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Now this is interesting what you just posted John. I just went out and started the car, only to find that the noise is not there! It went silent on me. Until the noise resurfaces, I can't trace it down. I will keep trying to get the noise to show up by driving it close to home, then I will see what I can do to find it. I do not want to go through what you are dealing with now. Btw...how are you doing?

As a side note, I will be posting a picture here shortly to show you one of the idler bearings I just replaced for the serpentine belt.
Still waiting to get my heads back from the machinist. Meanwhile, I drive the Passat the missus drives the '88 and the teenager drives the '78.
Here's a photo of my failed timing belt idler:
 

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