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I just changed the belts on my Cougar after getting the AC working again because I was getting belt squeal when the ac was on. It was mostly during start up and acceleration. The old belts were cracked so I put all new Gates belts on. Now the power steering belt squeals more than ever when you turn the wheel all the way and during acceleration. Cats are supposed to growl, not squeal like pigs.
What should I do? The belt seems pretty tight, But it is not as easy as the other two to tighten up.
Thanks,
Joe:1zhelp:
 

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Did you clean the pulley surface where the belt rides and is the tension set correctly? Is the PS pump turning freely? Also did you compare the width of the new belt compared to the old belt?
 

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+1 I battle mine now and then - use some emery cloth to de-glaze the pulleys where it rides as well - then tighten up good. One of those strap wrenches make it much easier to get a grip on it....just don't overdo it or you will ruin the bearings in short order.
 

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Push down in the middle (between two pulleys) of the power steering belt to check belt tension. If the belt moves more than a half an inch, it is too loose, adjust the alternator belt to proper tension, should move about 3/8 of an inch.
 

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All good info given here. If everything checks out OK and you still get squeal on start up and or acceleration it may be the belts themselves. I have been living this problem for years as it seems belt quality has gone to hell. Most belt manufactures forgot how to make belts that do not temporarily stretch when loaded. Temporary stretching under heavy load does not seem to cause problems in most cases on belts that have auto tensioners like most newer cars. Gates and Goodyear were the first to go to hell. Same for any belts made by them for others like NAPA etc. I have been using OEM belts for years to get around this problem though lately I'm finding some brands of OEM belts have gone to hell also. The last few Motorcraft belts I installed were stretchy crap. These were serpentine belts with auto tensioners and they seemed to deal with temporary stretch without problems. Fingers crossed! Lately the only belt manufactures I have found that make quality belts are Bando and Mitsuboshi and I have no idea if they make belts for our old cats as the application catalogs don't go back far enough. You would need to use a cross reference of some kind.

Bill
 
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