Squealing Belt Repair / Upgrade for V6 Fieros



 If you own a V6 Fiero, chances are you've struggled with a squealing belt at one time or another. As you would probably guess, Fieros didn't come with squealing belts from the factory. A lot of things can contribute to a squealing belt, not all of which is due to the belt not being tight enough. When properly installed, the serpentine belt (not really much of a serpentine setup, honestly) on the V6 Fiero should have no more than 1/2" of deflection when pressure is applied with your thumb. This is more than adequate assuming the rest of the system is properly maintained.

There are several things that can cause a belt to slip:
  - - Improperly tensioned belt.
  - - Misaligned or damaged pulleys.
  - - Dirty or rusted pulleys.
  - - Worn or "glazed" belt.
  - - Cracked alternator support bracket (would result in #1 and misalign the belt)
  - - NOTE: For 1984 Fieros, a failing harmonic balancer.

The FIRST step to resolving the squealing belt syndrome, is to identify which problem(s) you're having. Inspect the accessory belt and make sure that it is not glazed and in good repair. The belt should have a flat-black / matte finish on the underside and be completely free from cracks. If the underside (ribbed) is glossy, then the belt is glazed and must be replaced.

NEXT, Inspect the pulleys for dirt, rust, or debris that may cause the belt to slip. If you see any surface rust in the grooves of the pulleys, you'll want to eliminate it. This can be accomplished by removing the belt and cleaning the pulley groves with degreaser and a wire-brush. Be sure to clean all three pulleys; alternator, crank, and water pump. You'll want to replace the belt too otherwise you'll be right back where you started.

If the problem persists after proper tensioning, visually inspect the alignment of the pulleys while the motor is running (excersize caution, and wear safety goggles). For obvious reasons, don't attempt to touch the belts or pulleys. If you see any of the pulleys wobbling or moving in anything other than a perfectly straight pattern then they are bent or misaligned. You'll want to replace that affected pulley immediately. It might be worth mentioning that if you are in a position to replace your pulleys, you can benefit by replacing them with performance "underdrive" pulleys. These will be new and probably cost the same amount as brand new OEM replacements anyway. You should pick up a bit more power off the line and improve "around-town" fuel economy.

If absolutely NONE of this resolves your problem with squealing belts, you can purchase an aftermarket "tensioner / idler pulley" from Rodney Dickman. These pulley kits are SUPERIOR in quality and install in such a way that only a Fiero expert would know whether or not it was factory. It resolves belt slippage by significantly increasing the belt to pulley surface area contact (see below). You can contact Rodney Dickman at rodney1@rodneydickman.com, or visit his website at http://www.RodneyDickman.com

 

What comes with the kit:



Kit installed:



SIDE NOTE: A splash shield was offered on several Fieros that protected the A/C compressor belt from the road (rain, debris, etc). You can pick one of these up from Ed Parks at the Fiero Factory http://www.TheFieroFactory.com




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