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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this a pulley alignment problem? Its the most annoying and embarrassing noise on an otherwise beautiful sounding engine. I'm ashamed of popping the hood and showing off the engine because of this chirp, chirp, chirp...
The chirp seems to settle down when the belt warms up, but never goes completely
Does silicone spray lubrication help on the back of the belt?
-VARIS
 

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2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
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No, they don't all chirp. Yours is not quite tight enough I suspect. Or, might also be the other acc belt to the alt, but probably not. If everything is stock on your car, the pulleys shouldn't be out of alignment.

Haven't had any problems with this for years with my cars. I tighten the belt just enough so that it doesn't chirp with the a/c on with a cold start. Takes a couple of tries to get it just right, don't want to tighten it too much to avoid undue stress on the idler pulley bearing. I don't spray it with anything, no need.
 

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I think the "Gates" belts grip better than the OEM Dayco belts.
 

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I've always found it a nightmare trying to get the right tension on the V-belts on the AC on my cars so it doesn't chirp, yet isn't overly tight and placing undue stress on the water pump.

Have never seen in on an Aussie 12V (v-belt) model but the US models include a tensioner with idler pulley, don't they?
 

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1991 164L
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Is this a pulley alignment problem? Its the most annoying and embarrassing noise on an otherwise beautiful sounding engine. I'm ashamed of popping the hood and showing off the engine because of this chirp, chirp, chirp...
The chirp seems to settle down when the belt warms up, but never goes completely
Does silicone spray lubrication help on the back of the belt?
-VARIS
So being from Oz does your 164 have V-belts or serpentine ribbed belts for alternator and water pump?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is how the pulley arrangement looks in OZ. It looks the same as in the Cardisk - negative tensioner. Gates Rubber says that chirp comes from alignment and not tensioning. However a loose belt may minimise the chirp as the loose belt will not oscillate in an audible pitch, or not oscillate enough.
See Troubleshooting V-ribbed Belt Noise - Gates Belts ? V-belts, Timing Belts and Serpentine Belts
Could be that the chirp problem is uniquely Australian? The reasoning being that other versions have a longer belt between waterpump and A/C and therefore more forgiving if misaligned.
The last time mine chirped the pulley failed eventually. New pulley---no chirp.
Probably the alignment was corrected when you put the new pulley on, and your old pulley was fine.
 

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You have completely different set up to tension water pump and compressor V-belt by having movable compressor for serpentine belt set up we have on our 164s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
4mm misalignment

I'm going to try this later today.
Don't laugh too much if it makes no difference to the chirping noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Success

Yes it did work.
No more chirping. I moved the shims around and checked the alignment with a straightedge and it was dead straight. Put the old belt back on and started the car. No chirps. So the alternator pulley alignment seems to be OK. Drove around a bit and still good.
One thing I did notice was that the bushings were quite bad that hold the compressor on. This is probably the cause of the misalignment.

Any one ever replaced these?
 

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Glad you've solved it. For the record, I have a lot less trouble with these old-style V-belts than I had with the serpentine belt on later ('91-on) 164s. With the V-belts there is no tensioner to go bad. Prying the compressor to tension the belt is fairly easy, and to tension the alternator belt, there are just the 13mm bolts to loosen, and a crowbar applied to the top bracket to lift the alternator.

Deep V-belts don't seem to require as much tension as flat serpentine belts, and the belts are cheaper to replace/easier to get, too.

The rubber bushings, I've swapped those from spare compressors before and you are right, a problem there leads to the belt being misaligned or the compressor wobbling (I had no chirp but a knocking noise with the a/c on). The reason the rubber bushings fail is a combination of people not bothering to loosen the bolt when prying the compressor, and of course a buildup of engine oil from spillage and leaks.

Note also that serpentine-belt compressors have four of these bushings rather than two.

Bosch is my favourite choice for belts - they seem to stretch less than Gates, so no retensioning necessary. Apologies for not recommending the US-made product - usually they are the safest choice, but for some reason I've had ongoing bad experiences with Gates belts on other cars.

-Alex
 

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Bosch is my favourite choice for belts - they seem to stretch less than Gates, so no retensioning necessary. Apologies for not recommending the US-made product - usually they are the safest choice, but for some reason I've had ongoing bad experiences with Gates belts on other cars.

-Alex
The Continental V-belt I put on the alternator didn't need re-tensioning. I doubt Bosch sells the same belt for the 6€ I paid for the Continental. They're still made in Germany.
 
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