Originally Posted by superdutydixie
I have a loud screeching noise that sounds like a worn belt or something at idle....could this be the tensioners or a belt? Also how hard is it to fix yourself, I don't want to put the factory crap back on if I can help it. Thanks!!
If you plan to do the work yourself: 1)park your truck where you plan to work on it the night before. This way radiator, motor etc. will be cold by morning. One does not have much room to work in that area.
Several Ford dealerships told me this is a common problem. The tensioner to really watch out for is the one closest to the radiator. If this goes you are in for a tow job as you have nothing to drive your water pump, fan assembly. The back tensioner is for your air conditioner. On mine the bearing went and the balls of the bearing fell out. The pulley just hung there and can not fall off as it comes in from the motor side.
The pulley, bearing and tensioner come as a unit. Here in Canada, through the dealer, they they cost approximately $145.00 each before taxes. The dealer said they come as a unit, that way every part is aligned.
If you plan to do it yourself, the black strip across the top of the radiator has to be remove, possibly disconnect your batterys incase you have to move or disconnect any wiring. Remove the top half of the fan shroud. The fan does not have to be removed. Just rotate it to get down past it. A ratchet drive fits into the square hole on the tensioner. If the belt runs on top of the tensioner pulley, the tensioner has to be pushed downward to relieve pressure to remove the belt. There should be a diagram near the radiator to show how each belt goes on when replacing them. If the tensioner pulley fews loose, wobbly or dry sound when rotating, it needs replacing. Check the belts for cracks which usually appear across the grooves. If you find this, shredded edges etc. they have to be replaced. Do not mix the belts up as they could be different lengths depending on the accessories that they drive.
When replacing the belts, make sure they track properly in the grooves, not out of line or your belt will be severly damaged.
Doing the work yourself will save the cost of labor. The dealer will charge book value regardless if it takes longer or done in less time. In my case 2.6 hours by the book and done in 1.5 hours (both tensioners). The belts were okay. Rate $105.00 at one dealer and $109.00 at another per hour.
At the time of replacement my odometer showed 158,000 kilometer or 98,750 miles. The truck was bought second hand and the previous owner already had a tensioner changed under warranty.
If you step hard on the foot feed, a worn or slipping belt will squeal. Best of luck in whatever you decide.