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· Registered
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys...well, of course, 2 weeks after I buy this truck, I am beginning to hear lots of noises that weren't there when I bought it (I love dealer tricks). Being as I have no warantee (other than the one they gave me when they sold me the car, which...isn't covering anything but hey 7 bucks a month who cares)

Anyway, my old p.o.s. 98 frontier with 209k (2.4l), had these same problems. I just cut the BELT off the a/c pulley and the truck was quiet again....however no a/c when you work out in your truck= not doing it again (did it for 2 years) I remember the guy said it was the upper pulley that was broken, so we cut the belt and drove it for 2 years like that.

Let me ask you guys this.

Upon startup, I get a 1-3 second squeel. It goes away after that. My boss's 04 2.4l manual does the same exact thing.

When I turn my A/C on, I am getting a lot of noise in my engine bay. The a/c is ICE cold, but sometimes when driving, it seems like it "sputters" and sounds like a belt is slipping....or the A/C itself is quitting for a second or two. A/C is always ice cold....but does make a noise which SOUNDS like a belt slipping when I am going about 40mph and about 2,300rpm....

The truck has 72k on it. I see Nissan belts, and they look a little dry and faded.

My plan is, regardless of WHAT IS WRONG:
-All belts replaced with Nissan belts
-New PULLEYS (upper, lower)
-New tensioners (whichever ones I need?)
-Harmonic balancer (a common result of the squealing I mentioned)
-Flush radiator out
-Synthetic motor oil in engine....probably going into the tranny and rear end.

Anything else you guys think? As PREVENTIVE MAINTAINANCE, of course. The truck runs fine, but she is very noisy and I am beginning to think the belts/pulleys are causing this.....and hopefully nothing in the valvetrain.

2004 nissan frontier xe 2.4 5-speed.


P.S.- I have absolutely no mechanical mind. I had a 96 5.7l caprice with 320hp that I drove like I stole, and NEVER made these noises I am hearing now...

· Premium Member
1,379 Posts
all i can say is i have the same freakin issue now which has just started around 90k.... ive replaced all the tensioners...... im getting ready to cut the dam a/c belt.....

· Registered
63 Posts
I think my crankshaft pulley is going in my 2k 2.4l. I have the 3rd A/C ring wobble, other two are normal. Straightens up above idle. Got the chirp sometimes too when the A/C compressor kicks on.

The problem is also exhibited by new vibration in cab at idle.

Pulley is between 170 & 230 OEM depending on dealer.

I guess the rubber just wears out after 10 years and 150k miles. Idler pulleys seem fine.

· Registered
260 Posts
I think there was a defect with the bearing or pulley on the '04 model year. It seems to be a very common issue. When I first test drove my truck last summer I could hear a quick chirp as the compressor cycled on. Then on hot days I would get belt squeal as I would pull away from an intersection. The belt was properly tightened and this was all at about 54,000 miles.

After I replaced them, I noticed that the A/C bearing is slightly cocked in the pulley - Maybe a few degrees off of center. I don't know if the old one was sitting that way, or if the pulley itself was defective. In any case, everything is very quiet for now. If I have another early bearing failure I will probably buy the whole assembly.

Good luck!



For some reason I can't get a link to my writeup to work so I'm just pasting it here

I purchased my '04 Frontier in July with about 54K on the odometer. On my first test drive I noticed a slight belt chirp when the A/C compressor would cycle on and off. Driving it through the rest of the summer the belt would sometimes squeal loudly, especially pulling away from an intersection. I have also noticed some idler bearing chirp during humid or rainy weather.

So I ordered some new belts from Nissan Parts - and set out to replace them a few weeks ago. I was a little alarmed to find that the idler on the A/C belt had a good bit of play in it, even with everything torqued down properly. So I ordered a couple of new bearings from eBay seller "mrososcomllc" - the bearings are size 6203, but you have to find the correct seal. Wayne (the eBay seller) is very knowledgable about bearings and was even kind enough to discuss them with me by phone. These bearings were only $4.90 each shipped. According to Wayne, RBtech Bearings are made in China, but are built to very high standards... we'll see how they do.

So anyhow, I pressed in the new bearings and everything is much quieter. I soaked them down in liquid wrench for about 45 minutes before I started, and greased the idler pulley with a little grease before pressing the new ones in. I don't know for sure if this will fix my belt squeal, since it's cold now - and it disappered even with the old bearings as soon as the weather cooled off.

One thing I noticed is that the A/C bearing that I pressed in is off of it's axis in the pulley. Instead of sitting 90 degrees to the bolt that holds the pulley to the truck, it's probably at about 88 degrees. I suspect that's what caused the original one to fail so early. I'm going to email Wayne and get his thoughts on that.

In any case here are some pics of the process.

A/C Bearing Pulley Assembly order:

P/S Bearing Assembly order:

Pressing the old bearing out - large socket is the receiver, smaller one is about the same outside diamater as the bearing and makes a nice press to push the bearing out and in:

Pressing the new bearing in. The bearings fit in just far enough that the tapered edge protrudes out of the back of the idler:

Idler with no bearing:

New Bearings all installed:

And some videos:
Chirpy bearings in truck at idle.

Poorly lit video with sloppy old A/C idler bearing

P/S idler with no play

· Registered
678 Posts
Well, my 04' is starting to suffer as well with the same problem. Both pulley's are just ever so slightly wobbly and the A/C belt will squeal loudly at certain times above 2K. I've found the power steering pulley at the local parts house, but it seems the one for the A/C is a dealer only part. Lord only knows how much they're going to charge me for it. It isn't bad yet, and I very rarely use the A/C, so I'm hoping it can hold out for a couple months...

· Registered
678 Posts
Well, I be darned. I couldn't seem to find it on that site. Thanks!

I would just change the bearings, but There's no way I have the patience to do something like that :lol:

· Registered
194 Posts
I know this is an old thread, but applicable in my situation (the same)

so you got away with just replacing the AC pulley and not the whole unit? My 2000 does the same thing, and I cut the belt.

I got a new Pulley (w/ bearing installed) off RockAuto for 25+ bucks, but not sure if this going to be what I need.....

also how easy did your pulleys come off? I got the crankshaft bolt off, but they didn't want to budge... (I couldnt fit a puller in w/ the radiator, but tried to pry off from underneath) Did you get each one from the front back off one at a time?

thanks in advance :)
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