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Old 12-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Loud Scream...HELP!

Just recently my 91 YJ 2.5 with 177K has started to make a horrible noise when started cold. The noise sounds like a loud scream...almost like a really loud belt squeal but louder. I removed the belt and the noise is still there. It is worst when cold and lasts about 2 seconds and then stops. As the engine gets warmer the less the squeal occurs on start up. It appears to me like it is coming from the top of the engine and definetly not the fan or any of the pulleys. Any suggestions?

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Old 12-02-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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hm, would have said belt.. but you ruled that out... air intake... vacum line....

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Old 12-02-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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Same problem. It gradually gets worse. Either Idler (cheap) or alternator. The bearings in them get worn, and when the heat up they expand and stop squeeking. My alternator is to the point where the bearing is too worn, never expands enough, and so the alternator is constantly struggling to keep up with the power demand, and never manages because of the slipping caused by a worn bearing. It keeps it around 10.5 volts with lights and heat on, but never reaches 14.5, which is where it stops squeeking at I've noticed. About 2 and a half months ago I was at the point where you are. Cross your fingers and pray it's the idler or that I'm completely wrong. haha. Probably getting a new alternator within a day or two here.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #4
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I thought the same thing about the alternator. It has had a bad bearing in the rear of it for some time. I am getting it rebuilt tomorrow and that is why I removed the belt, but I was just hoping that caused the squeal too. I will check the vacuum and intake, but it sounds like metal.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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Ditto, alternator bearing. Try spinning it with your hand since you have the belt off and get your ear down there, you may just be able to hear it, or even feel it
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Mine siezed. Rebuilt one is about $100. less core deposit.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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Did you also take off your power steering belt, (if it has PS).
Mine squeals on occasion.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:03 PM   #8
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I got the alt rebuilt today for $45. I will put it on tonight and see, but correct me if I'm wrong...the alt doesn't spin without the belt on so I think the squeal has to be coming from somewhere else.

Mine also only has 1 serp belt which contains the PS.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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Hmm. I'd say the other option I mentioned, the Idler, but I don't think that spins without the belt either. Bearing in the fan?
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #10
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How's your oil pressure? Is it possible that a cam bearing is going? The more obvious thing is the water pump. Have any leaks?
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:58 PM   #11
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heh-heh, I was just going to say, check your water pump, but somebody beat me to it..
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #12
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Put the rebuilt alt on and replaced the belt. Scream is still there. It only lasts for about a second so it has me puzzled. Doesn't sound like it is coming from the fan area...more like the top of the engine. Oil pressure has been normal lately. The scream started after a mudding trip.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #13
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Is there a possibility that some gritty mud weasled it's way into a small space, and is causing whatever that small space is to squeel when turning?
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #14
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The top end location keeps making me think cam bearing. If it's going, and it only happens for a short while at start, it might be screaming until the oil gets there. But, I'd follow pounder's advice first and look for crud. Much cheaper and easier.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:07 PM   #15
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Noise travels on solid surfaces like a block. If the belt was off and the scream continued it can't be the water pump, alt, power steering or tensioner. It could be the timing chain or tensioner, crank or cam bearings, tranmssion, or transfer. All have bearings. Take a piece of broomstick or 1 x 1 and put agaisnt your ear. Touch different areas on the engine head and block. You will be able to zero in on the location if it is coming from the engine. Is it auto or manual.. Could be throwout bearing....
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #16
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I found the problem to be the starter. The noise slowly faded but still had me curious so I put a scope to the starter. I think that it got water in it (from the mudding) and has just slowly dissolved or evaporated. No problems starting though.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:24 PM   #17
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That is the best kind of problem to have ... a self healing one.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #18
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amen

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