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dexters

1955 Oldsmobile super 88 fixing a belt sqeek

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Our olds, has a sqeeky belt. It only squeels when driving slowly. Does anyone know a simple solution, of what to do for this problem? Thank You, for any suggestions, greatly appreciated. Joanne

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You can buy "belt dressing" in a small spray can,try it first. It is likely that the belt has aged and dried out and will need to replace the offending belt. Alignment may be an issue but is doubtful. Old belts? Replace them.

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Which item is making the belt noisey? Just curious.

One issue might be the age of the belt has made the rubber a little harder on the surface, therefore it's grip (even at approved tightness levels) would make it more prone to slippage in the pulley groove. Perhaps a little "sandpaper action" on the belt's contact surface might help (to "rough-up the contact surface and possibly break any accumulated "glazed" sections")? Then be sure go get ALL of the grit off of the belt before putting it back to work!

I also concur that the belt tension might need to be checked. As mentioned. NOT too tight as that can affect the bearing life of the component AND also the front crank bearing in the motor. Once, a machined shop friend got a Chevy small block in for a rebuild. The lower half of the front main bearing was "new", yet the upper half was worn. He showed it to me and I asked what caused that? His reply was that the owner obviously kept the engine's drive belts "too tight", which would pull the nose of the crank upward enough to cause the unusual wear pattern on the front main bearing.

In this case, if the recommended tension will not keep the belt from sqwauking, then a new HIGH QUALITY belt would be needed. Just don't get the least expensive belt, unless you're going to plan on changing it in a year or so. The Gates "Green Stripe", or possibly a "repro" belt with the factory ink markings on it (if that's important), could be good long-term options.

One thing NOT to do is to use some of the "Anti-Belt Squeek" compounds on the belt! I and others tried that stuff years ago and it only lasted until the surface coating it put on the belt (and pulley) wore off. Spraying WD-40 on the belt is a better alternative, but still not a really long-term fix in all situations (it softens the rubber a bit so it has better traction in the pulley groove).

From about 30K miles onward, the belts on my '77 Camaro 305 had a slight squeak to them at idle. I tried many fixes, even new belts, but the noise would eventually return. I took it to be a trait of that motor . . . as other smilar Camaro and Firebirds had the same noise. SAME pulleys as the 350s used, but the 350's belts were always quiet. Never did figure that one out!

In the end, I'd check the tension and adjust "to spec" first. Plus also seeing which pulley the noise is coming from. If that particular component is having more resistance to turning, the squeaky belt might be a first warning sign of something else getting ready to happen.

Please let us know what you found!

Take care,

NTX5467

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In the old days when engines were a lot more exposed and had less equipment on them it was a fairly common practice to hold a cake of soap on the inside of the belt while the engine was running and coat the inside of the belt.

It stopped the squeeling and usually lasted a long time but you had to be carefull not to get your hand caught. Maybe rubbing some liquid soap on the belt and pulleys will achieve the same thing.

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Thank You, everyone for your replies, greatly appreciated. This is our first classic car, we know nothing about mechanical problems. Will try above, if all else fails, we need a new belt. :-)

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I had a similar problem with my 49 Buick Sedanette. The pulley attched to the harmonic balancer was slightly bent. Replacing the balancer/pulley fixed the problem. Look at the belt pulley on the crankshaft while the engine is running - if it wobbles even slightly, that is very likely the problem.

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