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Old 12-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Somethings not right

I happened to walk past the front of my van while it was idling yesterday and there is a bearing or something about to give up. Putting my ear to the grill area and hear what sounds like nuts and bolts in a blender. Van is running well, but there has to be a time bomb in one of the many rotating accessory items. Guess it's into the shop with it.

Anyone else experience anything like this? 6.0PSD by the way. If the noise was coming from a quieter gas engine I may be able to isolate it better.

Phil
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Somethings not right

Do you have access to a stethoscope? I always chuckled at people using these on engines until a few years ago when my sister, a nurse, gave me an old stethoscope. It's brilliant for isolating stuff like this. You don't even have to touch anything with it, just hold it near. I had an idler pulley going out on my BMW just this past week but couldn't narrow down which of the 3 it was, and it's not easy to touch a rotating pulley with a stethoscope. I simply held it very carefully about an inch in front of my 3 idler pulleys and quickly narrowed down the bad one. Give it a try.

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Old 12-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: Somethings not right

Great idea, but have you tried getting even remotely close to any of the rotating items in these vans especially when it is running? everything is sure tucked in there a long way. I hope it is just an idler pulley.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: Somethings not right

For more accessible engines even putting a long screwdriver against a component and your ear against the handle end works quite well. Obviously take your necktie off first.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Re: Somethings not right

I saw a guy use a wooden stick instead of a screwdriver. It worked for him.
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Old 12-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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Re: Somethings not right

short length of garden hose works remarkably well
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: Somethings not right

For long or awkward reaches, take a length of copper pipe, wrap it in tape a few times and after removing the head of the stethoscope put the copper tube into the plastic stethoscope tube. You can use it like the screwdriver, touching it against the suspect surface or as a regular stethoscope. It allows you to get into difficult areas.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Somethings not right

I have had the same noise for weeks and still have no idea where it is coming from. I just had the vacuum pump replaced which the dealer had to remove the whole front end to fix. I would think if something was going bad they would have fixed it or found it. If you find out let's us know.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Re: Somethings not right

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi
Great idea, but have you tried getting even remotely close to any of the rotating items in these vans especially when it is running? everything is sure tucked in there a long way. I hope it is just an idler pulley.

Thanks,
Phil
Well, yes and no. I have worked on these vans but not a diesel. I know stuff is stuffed in there quite tight, and you don't want to risk hurting yourself getting tangled up in a working belt drive system. I was able to remove the electric fan on my car and create some space to work in there with the car still running. I guess that probably won't work on a diesel van. Can you remove the belts and spin your pulleys, alternator and compressor? I would warm the van up first then do this. The seizing part, if that's what it is, may present itself easier that way. Keep us posted!
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Somethings not right

Thanks for all the great input. A lot of good ideas.

With work, relatives coming into town for the holidays and an upcoming Death Valley trip, think I'm taking the easy / expensive route and just let a shop figure it out. Just don't have the time to dedicate to finding it myself right now. Wish I did though. I prefer to do as much of my own work as possible.

I'll be sure to let you know what it turns out to be.

Phil
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