4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999) Visit the 4th Generation forum to ask specific questions or find out more about the 4th Generation Maxima.

Help me ID this Rotational Noise - PS? Harmonic Bal?

Old 01-20-2019, 10:48 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
Help me ID this Rotational Noise - PS? Harmonic Bal?

'98 Maxima, 125K miles

Anyone recognize this rotational noise? YouTube Audio - Noise - 15 seconds

I listened with the stethoscope but I couldn't pin it down to an area. Is this a common noise for something I (you) can ID? I have limited time and location access to this car, so if I can pin it down and bring what I need with me, that would be a feature.
BobMax is offline  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:02 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 2,937
ITEM to CHECK
The tell-tale sign of a crankshaft pulley dampener separation is the power steering belt (the side the faces the engine) showing it fraying because has been rubbing against the engine. When the dampener fails, the crank pulley outer area slides back toward the engine and the belts start to rub. If you rev the engine, and you hear a squealing noise, and see the crankshaft spinning faster than the pulley, then you can be sure the dampener has failed.


The noise could also be from the serpentine belt tensioner. I can't tell from the video if the noise is from a bearing or a belt rubbing


Here's a picture of a new crankshaft pulley compared to one where the dampener separated.




Last edited by CS_AR; 01-20-2019 at 11:04 AM.
CS_AR is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 06:22 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
Thanks. I didn't see any fraying, but I didn't look extra close for that. I also have to do the rev test. I didn't notice any squealing with rev change, but I didn't test that specifically.

I will have to modify my stethoscope and try to make it more selective. The noise seemed to be coming from everywhere in the area although it wasn't coming from multiple components like a bad belt making noise... it was too consistent for that.

On the idler: Do they go quickly if they are at this point i.e. is this a rush change? Can it be done from above? It's snowy here now and work from underneath has become less than attractive.
BobMax is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 07:14 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 2,937
I can relate to not wanting to get under the car to change a belt pulley or crankshaft pulley in bad weather. IIRC, and this has been many years ago on my first 4th gen, the idler pulley started making noise. So I replaced it right away..

From them on, when I buy a used 4th gen, one of the 1st things that I do is to replace the belts and idler pulley. So I haven't had any more problems. I've been using Dayco belts and pulleys -- not for any specific product love -- but because they are easily available at Advance Auto. That could change tomorrow though.

Replacing the crankshaft pulley is not a bad job. You just need get ready to deal with the power steering belt and how to loosen its tensioner -- which can be a pain. I've posted some articles about removing the crank pulley along the way.

I would use a mechanics stethoscope to identify the noise. Possible other culprits could be the A/C compressor clutch bearing or alternator bearing.

I can't hear from the video well enough to make anything other than a guess.

WAIT A MINUTE! Do I see the serpentine belt idler pulley wobbling in the video? It looks like some wobble movement in that area or just below it.

When I start my 99 model in the mornings when the temp is below freezing, and I make a quick turn on the steering wheel, once in a while, I get a screeching squeal. It could be from a loose belt. Note that I'm dreading the thought of changing the crank pulley until the weather warms up. I think the 99 model is still running an original crankshaft pulley. So at 220,000 miles or that age, it would be time for the dampener to go. I can't believe I didn't change the crank pulley when I had the timing cover off a couple of years ago. Oh well.

Last edited by CS_AR; 01-21-2019 at 07:19 AM.
CS_AR is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 08:25 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
If I watch the original high quality video on my phone, it doesn't look like it's moving... and I did look for obvious movement in the upper idler. But, I will have to go back and check. Unfortunately the car is over an hour from me, so checking is a half day project. I will also get my stethescope upgraded for more pointed work and see if that helps.

Ugh, yeah, I forgot about the PS belt. That's strictly from below with your hand up around the corner, right? A real PITA to reach? Would it be possible to replace the upper idler (maybe even from the top) and leave the PS belt in place? That wouldn't be my long term choice, but if it would carry me to spring and eliminate the failure point, that would help. Or do I really need to bite-the-bullet and replace both idlers and belts?
BobMax is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 08:37 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 2,937
Originally Posted by BobMax View Post
Would it be possible to replace the upper idler (maybe even from the top) and leave the PS belt in place? That wouldn't be my long term choice, but if it would carry me to spring and eliminate the failure point, that would help. Or do I really need to bite-the-bullet and replace both idlers and belts?
Yes. You just need a 14mm with a socket extension for the tensioner adjustment. IIRC, then a 14mm box end for the tensioner nut. Be sure to loosen the nut first so you can loosten the tensioner. On this follow standard "left is to loosen" for the tensoner. Only the PS tensioner is backward threaded.

TRICK: I always slide a slim long 10" screwdriver up behind the tensoner slider from the bottom to press outward on the idler shaft so you can reinstall the idler and nut without issue. You'll see what I'm talking about when you remove the idler pulley.
CS_AR is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 09:17 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
Thanks... I will do one more check... then follow up with the idlers and belts if that seems like it. Do these tend to wear out fast and spontaneously destruct after they get noisy? I'm wondering what my timeline is.

EDIT: I found a Dayco kit with both belts and "the" idler at Rockauto. Do I need the PS tensioner pulley too? I don't see a Dayco version of that available. They do have an SKP version which is priced more like a Dayco would be vs the bargain brand option: https://www.rockauto.com/info/983/SK89134(1)__ra_p.jpg

Last edited by BobMax; 01-21-2019 at 09:29 AM.
BobMax is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 11:25 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 2,937
Originally Posted by BobMax View Post
Thanks... I will do one more check... then follow up with the idlers and belts if that seems like it. Do these tend to wear out fast and spontaneously destruct after they get noisy? I'm wondering what my timeline is.

EDIT: I found a Dayco kit with both belts and "the" idler at Rockauto. Do I need the PS tensioner pulley too? I don't see a Dayco version of that available. They do have an SKP version which is priced more like a Dayco would be vs the bargain brand option: https://www.rockauto.com/info/983/SK89134(1)__ra_p.jpg
It doesn't hurt to get the tensioner assembly like the SKP in the pciture. It depends on the condition of the old tensioner threads. If you suspect the threads are rusty, you might want to just replace the assembly.
CS_AR is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 12:13 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
I don't think rust is an issue... the rear VC gasket was leaking for a long time and kept it protected :-)

Does the bearing wear in that one?
BobMax is offline  
Old 01-21-2019, 03:35 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central AR
Posts: 2,937
Originally Posted by BobMax View Post
I don't think rust is an issue... the rear VC gasket was leaking for a long time and kept it protected :-)

Does the bearing wear in that one?

The idler pulley bearing is the part that goes out.
CS_AR is offline  
Old 01-22-2019, 12:17 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
My main crank pulley (harmonic balancer) made a noise very similar to that when it went out.

The rubber inside the balancer decays and the outer ring starts to wobble. When the belt rubs against the rim of the outer ring you get a chirping / squeaking noise. Check the outside of the belt for wear / fraying.

Here is my failed balancer:



And I replaced it with a
Dorman balancer I got from amazon Dorman balancer I got from amazon
.
The Amazon one doubled in price but Rock Auto has a bunch.


That was March of 2015 and the Dorman balancer has been working great since.

Also a trick I used to get the main crankshaft pulley bolt out (after pulling off all the belts) was to get a long breaker bar and socket, a section of 2x4 on the floor and then brace the breaker against the 2x4 while it rested on the bolt. I had to lower the car close to the ground on the hydraulic jack to get this to work. I unplugged the ignition coils and turned the starter over *briefly* (like 1/4 second, barely any time at all). Worked like a champ. That was after like 4 hours of trying other things...


Last edited by Shrout1; 01-22-2019 at 01:31 PM.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:11 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: eastern, MA
Posts: 509
Thanks all. Turned out to be the Harmonic Balancer. I pulled the serp belt off and found that the HB was very loose. I was able to separate the two halves using just my hands. Unfortunately I didn't order one ahead of time from Rock Auto ahead of time (Doh!) but I needed to finish this car yesterday while it was in my driveway for a day. So, I bit the bullet and bought a Dorman from Advance Auto for way too much money and installed it. I replaced the idler pulley since I had already ordered it I figured I might as well while was in there. All is good now.
BobMax is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cardana24
5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)
3
08-07-2014 10:27 AM
Stelianos
7th Generation Maxima (2009-2015)
9
10-17-2012 06:10 PM
BobMax
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
3
05-02-2010 10:01 PM
rawbutt
7th Generation Maxima (2009-2015)
40
10-10-2009 08:11 PM
Max Noob
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
0
07-12-2003 02:33 AM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Help me ID this Rotational Noise - PS? Harmonic Bal?


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.