I have an '87 E-150, 4.9L, 4 spd. OD with 300,000+ miles on it that I've owned since it was brand new, although I've used it in the past few years primarily as a city beater and have done very little work on it (new tranny & clutch is about the extent of it). It is now our annual 4th of July trip time (to Canada this year) and I'd like to have it ready to go by Thursday, but I have one truly nagging problem.
The serpentine belt has always been noisy on this van, but now I'm getting a very specific and aggrivating squeal off of the power steering pump. For awhile a little grease applied to the pulley was taking care of the problem, but that seems not to work anymore. Even though it's original, the pump itself seems to be functioning just fine and the power steering still works like a charm. So, is it possible that it is just the pulley, or more specifically the pulley bearings, that are malfunctioning? And, if so, can I just replace the pulley without pulling the pump itself? Are the pulley's sold separately as new parts? Or do I need to go negotiate with my friendly local junkyards?
How do I get the danged thing off and on? I'm told by my local non-English-speaking parts store that there's a special tool for each of these operations, but no one seems to have one, and a couple told me to try the Ford dealer, which, for obvious reasons, I'd prefer not to do (plus I want to get this done today, and they're not open on Sunday). Is there some substitute expedient I can use for this tool (the guy at the store suggested a pry bar) or am I just asking for more trouble?
There is a writeup on how to fix serpentine belt noise in the Garage and Workshop forum. It involves cleaning the pulleys and abrading the surfaces with sandpaper or scotchbrite pad. Then cleaning them again with brake cleaner. Then install a NEW belt.
Thanks for your reply. Would you have a link or a title for that discussion? I've done several searches on the Garage and Workshop forum and can't find it. Most of the postings there seem to be about workshop and tool issues rather than repair issues.
Also, just to be clear, the noise that I'm experiencing is not a belt squeal (I certainly know that sound, as I think any old Ford van owner would!). It is a high-pitched squeal coming from the power-steering pump itself, and more specifically from the pulley.
Also, when I remove the belt and spin the pulley by hand there is a spot that I hit about every other rotation where it becomes much more difficult to turn.
So your pump IS either bad or going bad. That hard to turn by spot is either a bad bearing, or the pump going out. That can make the belt go bad, but the above poster was right, your belt is bad, that's the reason you're getting a squeal. The only way to have a squeal is from a bad, or slipping belt. But there are various causes for bad belts, applying grease, a bad accessory that freezes or partially freezes. Any number of things can ruin your belt, and make it squeal. I would replace the power steering pump, or you will be installing another new belt, or worse, soon. At over 300 grand you can afford to spend a few bucks on your van, it's served you well I think, Ken