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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question

GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Auto Service Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 27664
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
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97 pontiac bonneville has a noise coming from the main pulley.

Customer Question

97 pontiac bonneville has a noise coming from the main pulley. Originally thought to be coming from the tensioner. bought new tensioner, and the noise was still there. with the belt off the noise now sounds as if its coming from the main pulley. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
WelcomeCustomer Which main pulley are you talking about and what sort of noise? Thanks.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, I assumed it to be the main pulley. I guess it would be the crank pulley its the only pulley that turns when the engine is running. the noise itself sounds like a belt squealing, its comes and goes. the noise doesnt sound as bad while driving, but at idle its sound like a belt squealing
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
No, that is the main pulley. If it is making a squealing noise,and you have replaced the tensioner, the belt is probably the issue. When you replace it, check all the other pulleys for smooth operation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
can't be the belt as it still makes the noise when the belt is off i know this because when i replaced the tensioner and strted the car the belt jumped off and the noise was still there, it was then that I noticed that noise seemed to b coming from the main pulley.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
Ok, I see where you indicated that. If the noise is very light squeak and almost a light chirp, I would replace the crankshaft main seal under that pulley. It is possible there is some dust or the seal is dry. When the pulley is off, check to make sure there is nothing that is contacting the back of the pulley.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the noise is not light at all, it really sounds lke a belt squealing. its not constant meaning i can drive for 10-15 mins no squealing.. and out of no where it starts and may last 15 mins or longer.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
I would look at the seal and the back of the harmonic balancer. If it is not back there, I fear it may be some issue with the crankshaft bearings. Lets hope it is not.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Im sorry don't mean to sound like an idiot, but where and what is the harmonic balancer, last was if its a light noise check seal at back of pulley, im no mechanic so if you can just bear with me i promise im mechanical. How do I remove the pulley and or harmonic balancer
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
Those are all valid questions. What size engine do you have do I can properly answer your last inquiry?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
3.8l
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.

Ok. The harmonic balancer is the main engine pulley. You will need to remove the belt, remove the large bolt and use a harmonic balancer puller to remove the pulley.

Here are the GM instructions.

Crankshaft Balancer Replacement

Removal Procedure

Tools Required

Flywheel Holding Tool
Crankshaft Balancer Puller
Torque Angle Meter


    Object Number: 41361  Size: SH

  1. Hold the flywheel..
  2. Remove the balancer bolt.

    Important: Do not attempt to separate the pulley from the balancer hub. The balancer is serviced as an assembly.

  3. Use the harmonic balancer puller order to remove the crankshaft balancer. Use 1/4 in bolts to attach to the pulley. Screw them in 1/4 in.

Installation Procedure


    Object Number: 41361  Size: SH

  1. Lubricate the seal surface with engine oil.
  2. Install the crankshaft balancer.

    Notice: This bolt is designed to permanently stretch when tightened, and therefore MUST be replaced anytime it is removed. The correct part number fastener must be used to replace this type of fastener. Do not use a bolt that is stronger in this application. If the correct bolt is not used, the parts will not be tightened correctly. The system or the components may be damaged.

  3. Install the balancer bolt. Hold the flywheel .

    Tighten
    Tighten the bolt to 150 N·m (111 lb ft). Use a torque angle meter in order to rotate the bolt an additional 76 degrees.

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok, great. Is there an easy way to remove the belt. As I stated previously the belt jumped off, but to completely remove the belt it looks as if the brace( assume is for the strut) has to be romove. If there is an easier way please let me know. Thanks again for your help!
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
The brace hold the front of the engine as you have found. If you can unhook the belt and hold it out of the way, you won't need to completely remove it. This repair is usually easiest if you go from the wheel well.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
makes sense. now before i go through this is there anything else that i should check. I read in a forum that it could be pcv if that makes any sense...it could be clogged causing back pressure?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
To check the PVC valve, you have your engine running, remove the oil fill cap and hold a rag, single layer over the top. The rag should be gently and slightly pulled into the filler neck. There should be no pressure escaping the neck.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
-checked the PVC valave per your instuctions...passed. Now I know you said to remove the belt I shouldnt have to remove the engine brace completely, I have removed the bottom nut(near the ac comp. and the top bolt I have my jack holding the engine still no way to remove the belt...help please! Thanks
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to

    Caution: Unless directed otherwise, the ignition and start switch must be in the OFF or LOCK position, and all electrical loads must be OFF before servicing any electrical component. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent an electrical spark should a tool or equipment come in contact with an exposed electrical terminal. Failure to follow these precautions may result in personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

    in General Information.
  2. Install the J 28467-360 .
  3. For Engine Code 1, remove the ignition module. Set the module aside.
  4. Remove the accessory drive belt. Refer to Accessory Drive Belts Replacement .
  5. For Engine Code 1, remove the supercharger drive belt tensioner.
  6. Remove the power steering pump. Set the power steering pump aside. Refer to SECTION 3B.
    Object Number: 48535  Size: SH

  7. Remove the torque axis engine mount.
  8. Remove the nuts from the engine mount bracket.
  9. Remove the studs from the engine mount bracket.
  10. Remove the torque axis engine mount bracket.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
is this how I remove the belt on 97 bonneville. it just seem like the answer to my question as how to get the belt off w/out removing the engine the brace, forgive me if I seem a bit slow to pick up on some of this stuff. sorry!
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
Forgive me, I misread your last question. There is not way to remove the belt without removing the brace. You are not slow at all. To think otherwise is foolish.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok,I was trying to save myslf the embarassment, but I stripped the bolt to tensiner pulley, i thought replaceing the entire tensioner assembley would be fairly simple, but once again I was wrong what do I need to remove in order to replace this assembly. before I move on let me recap what going on.1 the oringinal noise which is believe to becoming fron the main pulley(haronmic balancer)should I repalce the harominc balancer or replace the seal. 2 now that i have stripped the bolt for the tensioner I assume the only thisg to do is replace the tensioner assembly, if so how do I do that(what bolts need to be removed. I will accept your answer and start my process and if I should need more help I will contact you guys again.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.

Ok. First, *it happens. You should not have to replace the balancer unless you see damage. Here are the instructions for removing the tensioner.


    Object Number: 36693  Size: SH

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to

    Caution: Unless directed otherwise, the ignition and start switch must be in the OFF or LOCK position, and all electrical loads must be OFF before servicing any electrical component. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent an electrical spark should a tool or equipment come in contact with an exposed electrical terminal. Failure to follow these precautions may result in personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

    in General Information.
  2. Raise the vehicle.
  3. Remove the front lower splash shield.
  4. Drain the coolant.
  5. Close the radiator drain cock.
  6. Install the front splash shield.
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8. Remove the accessory drive belt.
  9. Remove the generator.
  10. Remove the heater hoses.
  11. Remove the drive belt tensioner bolts.
  12. Remove the drive belt tensioner.

GM Tech (Cam), Auto Service Tech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 27664
Experience: GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
GM Tech (Cam) and 15 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok i have the tensioner off but cant get the belt off i guess i have to remove the pulley in front of the last bolt for the engine brace unless you know of another way
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the accept and the bonus. I appreciate it. I know of no other way with removing the lower nut stud and spacer as well as the mount that goes to the body.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
how do i remove the lower stud is there a specical tool to remove the stud
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
As far as I know, it has a hex head on it and you use a socket or wrench to remove it.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks, XXXXX XXXXX noticed that it has a torx head. Does the bolt on the harmonic balancer turn to left or right to loosen
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 6 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. The Harmonic balancer has right hand threads.

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