CX AC belt squeal fixed
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Thread: CX AC belt squeal fixed

  1. #1
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Default CX AC belt squeal fixed

    Hi All,

    I sought help in the Citroen area, but now it is fixed I thought I'd put a description here where others might see it.

    I just couldn't stop belt squeal on the CX AC compressor without tightening (to me) a ridiculous amount. It's not simple, as the jockey wheel is on a short arm and there isn't much spare room, not to mention an upper radiator hose just above it.

    After a bit of pondering, I decided the easiest Plan A was to get a double belt pulley system there, as the Sanden compressor has a double belt drive. Some suggested, wisely I thought, that this was an opportunity to fit a multiple vee standard, modern serpentine belt, but I'd just (not so wisely) invested in a new compressor before having that suggestion made. So Plan A was the simplest.

    I found a pulley supplier (see https://www.chainanddrives.com.au/products/pulleys ) - great staff and support - and bought a twin vee pulley for the water pump and two small ones to investigate jockey wheel options. Off to the machine shop (Ardello Engineering, Briggs St, Welshpool) for an excellent job (a) machining the 140 mm (5.5") drive pulley to fit the water pump and (b) sorting out the jockey wheel, with its bearing exactly in the middle of the two belt, 2 1/2" pulley. Why inches you may ask? Here we are in 2018 and I find pulleys for sale in inch sizes!! In my game, geology, we went metric in about 1971 if I recall.....

    Moving on, the new jockey pulley was smaller (the original being 3"/75mm) as I wanted more clearance from the top radiator hose. This of course threw out all the old belt size sensibility. To cut a long story short, it runs perfectly with two 11 mm x 760 mm belts, sitting a bit deep in the grooves, which are designed for 13 mm belts. The grooves are deep enough for this and none of the standard 13 mm belt lengths worked unless I rebuilt the mounting for the jockey wheel - shifting it 10-15 mm would have worked with the old belt size (13 mm x 800 mm length.

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    That's it really. It seems fine, the belts don't squeal and none of the FIVE of them are particularly tight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CX AC belt squeal fixed-double-belt-pulley.jpg   CX AC belt squeal fixed-double-belt-ac-finished-jan-2018.jpg   CX AC belt squeal fixed-oblique-view-drive-belts-jan-2018.jpg  
    Last edited by JohnW; 12th January 2018 at 07:48 AM.
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    JohnW

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Well done John A most professional solution. Does your jockey wheel support mount on the front casting off the new compressor?
    I too purchased a new compressor from a guy that supplies parts for the 'rev 'em up and go hard brigade' It is a Sanden 'knock off' but works really well on 'Hychill' 30.
    I too have a belt squeal problem but it comes from the single alternator belt system. It is very difficult to achieve good tension and to keep it that way.
    Cheers Gerry

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Ensure your Vee-belts are not touching the bottom of the pulley.
    The Vee-belt is not designed to run on the flat part.
    They must run in a vee pulley with clearance at the bottom. Otherwise failure will be quick
    The sides of the Vee are used for heat transfer

    Belt squeal normally associated with misaligned pulleys
    Green pulley has a low riding belt and is probably worn out as well

    As good as any on Vee belt principles, alignment, low riding, worn pulleys
    https://www.bandousa.com/html/pdfs/vbelt_timingbelt.pdf

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    Ensure your Vee-belts are not touching the bottom of the pulley.
    The Vee-belt is not designed to run on the flat part.
    They must run in a vee pulley with clearance at the bottom. Otherwise failure will be quick
    The sides of the Vee are used for heat transfer

    Belt squeal normally associated with misaligned pulleys
    Green pulley has a low riding belt and is probably worn out as well

    As good as any on Vee belt principles, alignment, low riding, worn pulleys
    https://www.bandousa.com/html/pdfs/vbelt_timingbelt.pdf
    Perhaps we need to accede to JohnW's technical expertise and trust the advice his engineering consultant has given him.

    I would never suggest you "teach grandmother to suck eggs".

    And fact that the drive system is working as intended, suggests, overwhelmingly it has been correctly implemented.
    Last edited by robmac; 12th January 2018 at 12:17 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post

    ...

    Belt squeal normally associated with misaligned pulleys
    Green pulley has a low riding belt and is probably worn out as well

    ...
    If you are referring to the third photo, isn't this the "before" picture?

  6. #6
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Thanks - all thoughts always welcome.

    Yes, one of many concerns I had was ensuring that the 11 mm belts didn't bottom out in the 13 mm grooves. There's a good 3-4 mm clearance underneath the belt. It would have helped if I'd put the 'before' photo first perhaps. The old belt is sitting down a bit in the groove, but it was well clear of the bottom of the groove. Clever things, vee belts!

    Yes, the jockey wheel mount comes off a lug on the compressor housing. It is 6 mm steel plate and could do with a wee bit of refinement to its shape at the bottom - the yellow piece of steel is a wedge to stop it moving slightly when I tighten the 19 mm bolt. This mount came with the car, which had a Sanden compressor when I bought it. There's a long section of threaded hexagonal steel rod running the length of the compressor - the bolt holding the mounting plate screws into it. I think this rod is important, so that the twisting force of the cantilevered jockey wheel mount isn't taken, after belts are tight, by the alloy lug but rather by the hexagonal steel rod. It isn't my idea - comes from either the excellent previous owner or Citroen - and it took me a wee while to decide why it was there and not to take it out!

    The spare hole on that plate marks where the jockey wheel mount would go, with the plate rotated 180 degrees, for it to be further out from the driving pulley to accommodate the 13A0800 belts. The large diameter of the jockey wheel mount can be seen as a mark on the plate, and shows why I'd need to make a big, new plate if I were to shift the mounting point and use the previous belt size. The road from here to Coventrys parts shop was well-travelled for a couple of days. They don't stock every belt size and I preferred to work on the belting system with the car stone cold!

    Regarding squeal, I have one belt to the alternator, but never hear anything. It could easily be a bit tighter.

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CX AC belt squeal fixed-jockey-wheel-mounting-plate.jpg  
    JohnW

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  7. #7
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    Default CX AC belt squeal fixed

    Bear in mind some v belts are quite thin - 3/8 inch, so donít touch the bottom anyway... Looks good John!


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  8. #8
    1000+ Posts N5GTi6's Avatar
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    Nice job.

    Cheers

    Justin
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  9. #9
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Never modify a car....

    It has developed a slight, light squeal, not surprising as belts needed retightening after initial use. However, It was SO light a noise that I decided to start with the alternator belt. Ah. Good I looked. The higher efficiency condenser is slightly thicker and the radiator is maybe 5-10 mm closer to the engine. You'd not notice without a close look. In turn, this means that the top hose from the large water pump spigot diagonally down to the C-matic heat exchanger presses against the alternator adjusting bracket. The car has a non standard Bosch 120 amp unit, which is a wee bit bigger than the original. Bugger. Not much room in there for hands or fingers!

    The hose also presses against the radiator core, not ideal.

    So, pull off alternator bracket (ex Mitsubishi Magna) and grind all superfluous metal off it. Reverse the bolt, with a much thinned head, so that the tightening nut, washer and spare bolt thread are on the opposite side to where it has been rubbing. The alternator adjustment now just clears the hose, which is only slightly damaged! I'm going to make up a composite item to re-route it slightly, then I can nip up the alternator belt a bit. It is not particularly tight.

    Photos will follow in due course.

    Probably the very light squeal is actually the main drive from the shaft to the high pressure pump, Shane has commented. I agree and that is the next tightening project!

    Lucky I looked.....
    JohnW

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  10. #10
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    And another...

    I've just found this shaft, with a wide bearing, brand new, in a bag with a brass impeller and a seal that I know from the part number is for a CX water pump.

    Does anyone know whether it is CX or DS (or both???) please?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CX AC belt squeal fixed-water-pump-shaft.jpg  
    JohnW

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  11. #11
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Further to 'never modify anything'!

    I've made up and fitted a composite hose that has completely solved clearance problems between the radiator and the alternator bracket.

    The new hose consists of a silicone 1 3/4" to 1 1/4" inch reducer that fits the water pump spigot perfectly and an aluminium tube 90-degree bend at 1 1/4" (29 mm ID by 32 mm OD) from "Go Gear" in Perth (track racing suppliers), and it fitted the lower 1/3 of the original hose. The bend/reducer assembly clears the radiator by at least 10 mm and the alternator bracket by at least 20 mm, and misses the hot air switch for the fans too! Then the bottom part of the standard hose fills the gap. It fits almost perfectly, with only a wee bit of stress on the hose.

    I think that problem is solved. Yesterday was a drive shaft boot change with the previous mechanic having grossly overtightened the front hub nut. Fixed in the end but not a joyful task......

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CX AC belt squeal fixed-rubbing-alternator-bracket.jpg   CX AC belt squeal fixed-new-hose-set-up-installation.jpg   CX AC belt squeal fixed-bracket-rubbing-hose.jpg   CX AC belt squeal fixed-new-hose-installed-jan-2018.jpg  
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    JohnW

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  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Excellent ... It's always fun going around in circles endlessly isn't it (imagine being a mechanic and having to charge someone for all fo the time you waste chasing your tail ).

    The front driveshaft nuts should be TIGHT. Your wheel bearings will not have enough pre-load otherwise.

    seeya,
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    Excellent ... It's always fun going around in circles endlessly isn't it (imagine being a mechanic and having to charge someone for all fo the time you waste chasing your tail ).

    The front driveshaft nuts should be TIGHT. Your wheel bearings will not have enough pre-load otherwise.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Thanks Shane - all advice welcome, that is for sure. The nut was tightened after my first attempt, by my friend Stuart with a 4-foot bar. He knows how tight is needed - much CX work under his belt. It was at least 1/8 of a turn more than I thought was bloody tight! He reckoned he'd never come across one as tight as mine before though, when we were undoing them.

    I had a good educational experience yesterday with a drive shaft boot, the first for many years!

    The hose modification has worked like a dream - Citroen's original is simply the wrong shape, but I guess it predates AC (radiator shifted towards engine) and inevitable alternator changes - but they weren't designing the CX in the early 1970s for folk to run them in 2018 I suppose! The C-matic is a joy to waft in. I should have two, one with a 5-speed and a turbo, I know, but the high price of divorce......

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CX AC belt squeal fixed-rebooted-driveshaft-jan-2018.jpg  
    JohnW

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  14. #14
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Two weeks of driving in variably hot weather and not a squeak. Very satisfying!!
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    JohnW

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  15. #15
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Never be too smug!! The belts are just fine but yesterday or the day before the AC stopped cooling!! Seems the new parallel flow condenser has failed mechanically and will be replaced next Wednesday.

    But the belts still look great!

    I'd be interested (and grateful) to hear how much refrigerant folk have used in these double evaporator CX systems, please.

    Cheers

    Cheers
    JohnW

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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Never be too smug!! The belts are just fine but yesterday or the day before the AC stopped cooling!! Seems the new parallel flow condenser has failed mechanically and will be replaced next Wednesday.

    But the belts still look great!

    I'd be interested (and grateful) to hear how much refrigerant folk have used in these double evaporator CX systems, please.

    Cheers

    Cheers
    As an indication, Toyota Tarago twin systems used around 800 gm of R12. If you are using Hychill minus 30 , I'd start with 350 gm
    and trim the charge based on system temperatures and pressures.
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  17. #17
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    As an indication, Toyota Tarago twin systems used around 800 gm of R12. If you are using Hychill minus 30 , I'd start with 350 gm and trim the charge based on system temperatures and pressures.
    Thanks for that.

    The AC folk are using 134a I think.

    Cheers
    JohnW

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  18. #18
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    AC working again with second new condenser, courtesy the Auto Cool folk in East Perth. Excellent guys. The 'first' new one failed on a weld apparently.

    Mass of 134a refrigerant still to be established... I'm hoping they remember after our long weekend in WA.
    JohnW

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