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Thread: Belt alignment

  1. #1

    Default Belt alignment

    So I noticed when I installed the new belt on the ac compressor that the belt looked like it was a little off like the ac compressor pulley was too far forward. It was fine until tonight when the belt got thrown off as I was driving from work. I reseated the belt and turned it on but it jumped again. What caused this? Can the pulley be shimmed in or out?


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  2. #2
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly you have a two serpentine belt system ( one just for the A/C and smog pump ) am I correct ?

    Do you still have the Smog pump installed ? have you checked to make sure all the bolts are in place and tight on each part of the compressor, brackets tensioner, etc?

    The only part that can be shimmed is the clutch plate but it would not effect the belt alignment.

    The bearing on the clutch could be going bad on the clutch or a snap ring could have broken or ( not installed correctly allowing the entire clutch assembly to move on the compressor. But one would think this would make a lot of noise and be obvious.

    I would double check each and every bolt and get back to us. Take some pictures while your under the hood maybe we can spot something wrong.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  3. #3
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Typically the tensioner pulley is to blame when things start flying on the AC side. The AC pulley is pretty well caged and even when the bearing goes bad, you'll know way before it will throw the belt. The smog pump can do it as well if the pulley bolts get loose or the shaft on the pump gets bent.

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  4. #4

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    Its definitely the ac compressor. When looking down the belt from the compressor to the crank pulley its subtle but theres a bend right before the compressor on the top side of the pulley. For the past week or so theres been some belt squeal but it sounded more like it was coming from the alternator belt, but it wasnt. The belt is still in tact but the side closest to the block is frayed a little. Otherwise it doesnt look to be bad.

    Now the compressor bracket is original to the car so I dont think its that, thats why Im thinking the compressor or pulley is to blame. I bought a new belt and will install it later when it cools down and take pictures but I have a feeling itll be thrown like the old belt.

    Also just out of curiousity, does anyone else have to loosen the water pump pulley bolts to get the ac belt on? Theres not enough room between the crank and water pump pullies to slide the belt in there. My 85 wasnt like that so I know its not normal but maybe a few others have seen it happen too.


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  5. #5
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Do you have the original engine, brackets, pulleys etc for this car? or could there have been some sort of engine replacement done in the past that left you with close but not correct parts on your car?
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  6. #6
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Yes on loosening the water pump pulley to sneak the belt on. Seen several cars with this issue. Not sure if it's due to changing of parts or original build though. If the pulley doesn't wobble on the AC compressor when idle or engaged, the compressor may be leaning forward a little and need a bracket tweaked a bit. Might also need to make sure the pulley is fully seated and the retention nut in the center shaft didn't take off... depending on which compressor you have.

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  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Not much to the AC compressor pulley. It doesn't shim, it just goes on in one position. The nut that is visible from the end is what holds the clutch to the input shaft of the compressor. When that is removed and the clutch pulled off, the rest of the pulley is visible. There is a snap ring that holds it in position on the front, and it bottoms out against a shoulder on the back. Unless the snap ring is missing or the groove has been ground off for some reason (seen it), its either on or its not. If the ring wasn't on, the clutch would drag since the pulley would slide out towards the face of the clutch. It can't move enough to really cause alignment problems though. At most there is 1/4" of possible movement there.

    If the smog pump is gone, the lower part of the tensioner bracket can be out of position. In stock form it used a really long bolt, a spacer, and the body of the pump itself to pull the lower corner of that bracket back towards the motor. Most people don't make up spacers to replace the missing pump or it's bolt but maybe if yours got bent somehow it could throw things off. Mine has been running without that lower bolt for more than 10 years and has never thrown a belt.

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  8. #8

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    My smog pump is long gone and I have the older style compressor that has the clutch covering the bolt. The pulley might have a slight amount of wobble but its subtle. Now that I think of it I remember the belt used to bulge a tiny bit on the side that faces the block Im assuming because the pulley was pulling the belt slightly forward. Here is a video showing what the belt looks like and how it rides on the pulley. I dont know if you guys can see it in the video but the belt is slightly curved. Also I noticed that the belt rides pretty close to the side of the tensioner. I dont remember seeing that before. Maybe a tensioner with the pulley closer to the bracket would work.


    https://youtu.be/zTRAqMbPQQ0


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  9. #9
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    It looks like part of the belt is jammed up between the compressor and clutch ( may have forced the c clip off of broke the ridge the clip rides in ). but it was dark and hard to see. you can see where it is riding on the tensioner off to one side.

    Shouldn't be too hard to figure out what is going on with some better lighting.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  10. #10

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    Ill take more pics tomorrow. And for what its worth the car didnt have a compressor when I bought it so I got a supposedly nos part off ebay. I know its old based on the instructions I got with it but I dont think its really nos. Maybe an old rebuilt unit.


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  11. #11
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    I'm glad my car isn't the only one with a noisy A/C compressor like that.

    Anywho, regarding the belt, EaOutlaw is right that belt is riding up all over that compressor. If anything it looks like it stepped back a groove on the pulley.

    BTW, no idea if it would have any affect, but have you tried routing the belt around the tensioner the opposite way?

    Something like this?


    I know with certain belt sizes that gets fairly difficult to do, but I've been running mine like that since the smog pump went away. I know it's a lot of belt running through free space, but with proper tension it doesn't chatter or bounce with the compressor engaged. I've noticed even on my car, the belt runs really close to the "back" of the tensioner pulley, and it certainly seems so in your case. I'm wondering if since your belt is tensioned on the feed side versus the return side if the tensioner might be allowing the belt to walk back a bit so it forces it out of alignment with the compressor.

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  12. #12

    Default

    Lol yeah its a little noisy. My 85 was like that too. And I see you also have an msd coil, I have a stocker in the trunk just in case...

    You know I havent thought about switching what side the tensioner is on but thats a good idea to try anyway. Ill swap it when I get the chance. And as far as the belt itself, thats the way it always is. Thats why I think the compressor pulley isnt right.

    Also what holds the tensioner in place? The car didnt have the tensioner bracket or pulley when I got it. The tensioner now is being held by the belt on one side and is held by the lip of the bracket on the other side so I dont need the bolt as is.


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  13. #13
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    I may have been seeing things in that video ( eye sight sucks LOL) but I was trying to say I thought I saw part of a old shredded belt jammed in the back of the compressor clutch where the wires would come out. It may have been the wiring but for me it was hard to tell.

    And yes the belt did look like it walked back on the pulley toward the engine.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  14. #14
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    The tensioner is held in place at two locations. The lower right side of the compressor mount shares space with one corner of the tensioner. The other is a bolt through the backside of the flat plate. You will see a groove (smilies face shaped) and the bolt goes through there and into the tensioner. The tensioner has a 1/2” or 3/8” ratchet indentation on its front side you use to set tension then You tighten via the backside and the lower front corner to hold the tension.

    Quote Originally Posted by 87GrandMarq View Post
    Lol yeah its a little noisy. My 85 was like that too. And I see you also have an msd coil, I have a stocker in the trunk just in case...

    You know I havent thought about switching what side the tensioner is on but thats a good idea to try anyway. Ill swap it when I get the chance. And as far as the belt itself, thats the way it always is. Thats why I think the compressor pulley isnt right.

    Also what holds the tensioner in place? The car didnt have the tensioner bracket or pulley when I got it. The tensioner now is being held by the belt on one side and is held by the lip of the bracket on the other side so I dont need the bolt as is.


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  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The belt is not in the compressor pulley correctly. Looks back one groove.

    As for compressor noise, I think mine wins. Its a Motorshaft reman compressor but it sounds like a dying air raid siren. Horrible noise. The old-ass genuine Ford compressor with unknown miles from John's 86 Vic that now lives on my Continental is almost completely silent.

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  16. #16

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    I think its missing a groove after it jumped. Here I have more pics. Its fine until I turn the ac on then it jumps off. You can see where the compressor pulley sticks out further than the crank pulley.




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  17. #17
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    It honestly think the compressor clutch hub assembly has been forced forward when a piece of shredded belt got wedged between the compressor housing and clutch assembly. in the last pictures you can see the sliver of belt caught in the area I am talking about.

    I would remove the belt remove the clutch plate to reveal the snap ring to see if the ring is still in place or if the grove it sits in has snapped off or the snap ring broke.

    You may also have other alignment - compatibility issues with this setup since you are dealing with modified setup.

    I think you will need a new compressor and clutch, plus fix whatever alignment issues you have and a new belt.
    If you cannot afford to fix it just remove the belt before the clutch snaps off and causes more problems.
    Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 10-29-2019 at 04:58 PM.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

  18. #18
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Outlaw has a point if damage occurred to that clutch hub.

    As a last ditch effort before you yank more stuff apart, take the belt off and run the ragged edge towards the front of the car. Try routing the belt where the tensioner is on the returning side of the belt as it goes to the crank and see if that either keeps it aligned or if it walks back again.

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  19. #19
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    also, make sure all of the bolts that hold that AC compressor bracket are in place and tight. There should be a tie bar from the top corner of the bracket above the compressor to a bolt on the lower intake manifold which appears to be missing. There are a couple nuts at the water pump, and at least one bolt into the cylinder head. If that isn't all right the compressor may just not be in the correct position to line up correctly. Might be an optical delusion but it looks like the compressor is too far forward relative to the crank pulley.

    for what its worth, I run the AC belt under the tension pulley with no smog pump.

    personally I highly doubt the clutch pulley itself is not in the proper position. If the snap ring were off the clutch would be dragging constantly. The original on my Continantal failed that way. The rubber hub on the clutch plate came apart, caught the snap ring, and drug it around until it ground the front of the compressor snout off. At that point the pulley just floated around between the clutch plate and the shoulder. It drug constantly because the gap wasn't maintained, but it also just can't move all that far. The air gap is something like .030, half what the spark plugs gap at. I ran the Conti like that for a couple of months until replacing the compressor, it never threw a belt or caused any trouble other than an annoying rubbing noise.

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  20. #20
    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Well something is not right look at the spacing between the compressor and the clutch, every single compressor I remember seeing does not have such a large spacing like that. You can even see part of the shredded belt sticking out from behind the clutch.
    If that clutch is not in the process of coming off it is just plain wrong for the compressor.

    87grandmarq evem said he has a different compressor than the original ( I am thinking he has wrong parts mounted to that engine ) the belt got the first part of the belt shredded and wrapped around the compressor that much is obvious. to me the clutch is too far away from the compressor compare these pictures to Kodachromes pictures the difference is obvious who knows what else has been changed out and modified.
    Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 10-29-2019 at 07:47 PM.
    2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport

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