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ls1 belt squeal

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Hello all, new Malibu owner and first time poster. I was lucky enough to find a sweet deal on an 01 sunsetter vlx with the corvette engine. This is my first Malibu and am loving it. I have done quite a few minor repairs and little maintenance things on this boat but I am stumped. I started getting some belt squeal after running this boat for a few hours. I went the easiest route first and replaced the belt. This stopped the problem, but only for a few more times out. I then changed the belt tensioner and it is still squealing. I know it is the belt because if I spray it with belt dressing it stops for a while. I am wondering if this is common or just a random problem. I will probably but a new belt on again and hopefully the combination of a new belt and the new tensioner will fix it. I am open to any suggestions, I have worked on alot of vehicles and have never had serpentine belts with spring tensioners do this. Thanks, Mike

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A friend of mine had a problem like this on his motor home. He changed belt, tensioner, etc...

Turned out to be the alternator bearing was going out putting extra load on the belt unevenly. (If I remember correctly...)

Good luck!

Edited by Faceplant409
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Give the idler/tensioner pullies a good look as well. My buddy and I chased a belt squeal for a while on his Ranger and it ended up being a idler pulley.

Oh yeah.....belt dressing = bad news for belts. As soon as you spray it on it's time for a new belt. Belt dressing softens rubber and causes it to grip the pulleys better which is why it stops squeaking. It doesn't necessarily mean it isn't a pulley or bearing that is difficult to turn. Once the dressing is applied, the belt can grip better and force a hard to turn pulley to turn without the belt slipping.

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I would take the belt off and check to make sure everything is spinning freely and has no play as everyone suggested. What type of belt are you using?

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  • 2 weeks later...

How is your water temp? May be a long shot but could the squealing be your impeller not getting enough water?

I replaced the impeller (with much help from The Crew) after my temp alarm went off the day before. Hit 207 degrees and immediately turned it off to inspect/let it cool. Had to putter back to the dock - we weren't 400 yards away which was real shame bc the lake was perfect glass and our friends had just shown up.

Checked the hoses(all clear) and narrowed it down to the impeller. Waited until Sunday to pull the old one (looked great but was 2 seasons old) and dropped in a new impeller and the temperature is again running at a perfect 160 degrees again.

Only problem is now I'm getting a squeal. We cruised around for an hour or so and the squeal would come and go but more often than not you could hear it, especially at idle.

you mention the impeller not getting enough water - do you think that could be causing my squeal? It was difficult to get the new one in due to the angle of attack on the v-drive (used lots of lube and pushed as hard as possible). I would think its all the way in tho becuase I got the gasket and plate back on with no problem.

just looking for more color on your source - what can i look for to identify that problem?


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