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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of noises I'd like to find and I suspect pulleys and belts. I stink at figuring out where noises are coming from so I thought I'd try process of elimination.

This is an '03 with the 3.3 V6 so I have 3 separate belts for power steering, compressor and water pump/generator.

I was thinking about removing the belts one at a time to see if that would narrow things down. I think I can reproduce all of the noises with the truck sitting still.

Question #1 - Is there any reason NOT to run without the compressor belt installed? I'm not sure I even suspect it but it looks like it's got to come off first.

Question #2 - Is it safe to run briefly without the water pump / generator belt? I'm thinking it's probably OK for a short period of time because I had a couple of them strip off my F150 in the past and was able to drive long enough to pull over safely.

If I can isolate the noises to a subsystem, I was thinking I might find one of those adjustable "add-a-link" belts and adjust it to the various sizes needed to run, say, from crank to the power steering pulley without the idler, from crank to the power steering idler, etc.

Other than being time-consuming, does this seem like a reasonable plan?


Super Moderator
12,209 Posts
It may be a bad idler pulley, it could be a bad belt. Running without the compressor only gives you no A/C or no dehumidified defrost.
Depending how good your battery is determines how long you can run without the alternator. Power steering wil be manual steering.
My 2002 needed an idler pully at approx. 50,000 miles.

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