Power steering pump pulley axial play [Archive] - FSB Forums

: Power steering pump pulley axial play

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 04:46 PM
My powersteering pump pulley I believe is causing my new belt to attempt to slip off of the harmonic balancer pulley. I put a new belt on my bronc yesterday and this morning it was acting funny. At start-up it idles fine for a few minutes (high of course till it warms up) then when it seems like its going to idle down to normal of but 600-700rpm it dies. After I start it, runs for a few minutes then dies, if my pulley tension is too tight will it drag down the system? I have an auto-tension pulley and all my other pulleys are fine, no wobble and they all spin great. Its just the pulley on the powersteering pump has in and out play, about 1/4 of an inch (almost). Looks like the shaft itself is moving along with the pulley(the pulley is not sliding back and forth on the shaft)and there might be a split line or crack in it. Aren't them things supposed to be one piece? Thanks for any help.

05-30-2010, 04:49 PM
That in and out play from the power steering pump is normal.

You need to pull codes to find out if something is causing it to die like that.

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 04:51 PM
So what would cause a new belt to try and jump its tracks? It is trying to hop off the harmonic balancer pulley, but keeps popping back on...makin' kind of a flip-flop sound.

05-30-2010, 04:54 PM
Your pulley should not have any cracks.
The in & out movement you describe is quite normal.
Just so you'll know, the face of the pulley should be flush with the face of the shaft when it's installed correctly.
Check the alignment of all of your pulleys. If nothing is out of whack there, check your tensioner. Not just it's spring pressure but insure that the bushing where it swivels aint wore to the point that it allows the tensioner pulley to hang crooked. Don't know how your particular alternator is mounted but I've seen some Fords that were hung in the bracket in such a manner that the long swivel-bolt would eventualy break and cause the alternator to sit cockeyed. That'll throw a belt off too.
There's also the possability that your new belt is too long and/or has the wrong number of groves.

I've never heard of a new belt making an engine die at idle. Me thinks you need to look elsewhere for that particular problem. Perhaps you disturbed a connection or broke a vacume line while putting your new belt on?


05-30-2010, 04:56 PM
So what would cause a new belt to try and jump its tracks? It is trying to hop off the harmonic balancer pulley, but keeps popping back on...makin' kind of a flip-flop sound.

Your tensioner might be weak and needs replacing.

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 05:02 PM
Belt is tight as all get out, I can barely force it to move out or in while installed. Possible maybe the rubber belt has a bow or something? I'll try to turn it around see if it tries to hop off of the inside lip, I know I might be reaching at this point, but my bronc has been running fine till now, I only change the old belt cause it was fraying a little bit on outside edge and I found the culprit for that, think it was maybe a rock hit my steering pump pulley it had a chip on it, I filed that down smooth. So the split I see on the pulley means it probably cracked then.

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 05:24 PM
Compared old belt width with new one...of course i've found the new one is the correct width and the old one is frayed because it got worn. I watched each pulley closely to see if there was any wobble, even goosed the engine a couple of times. I've noticed the harmonic balancer actually looks as tho its moving in and out, even tho the outter pulley edge doesn't seem to be moving,could it be warped? or maybe the front crank bearing worn enough to make it wobble? Guess i'll keep the old belt on hand incase this one snaps before it gets worn in, I know this isn't a fix, but untill I learn what is up with it, i'll keep the old one on hand for emergency use.

05-30-2010, 05:48 PM
While what you say about the bearing is possible, I doubt it. Sounds like your harmonic balancer is messed up. That's pretty common. You'll need to replace it.

I still don't think that would cause your engine to die. try pulling some codes to figure out what is wrong with your engine dying off, it could be as simple as bad gas though. I put premium in mine by accident the other day and it ran like crap doing exactly the same thing as yours until I put some good ol' regular in it. My guess is the premium isn't being bought as often as regular so it may be sitting in the tanks longer.

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the assist...i'll pull codes next chance I get to go by the o'riellys parts store (only one in town with code puller for 89's). I'm really more worried about the belt floppin', its only the front rib of the belt that does it, tells me that one of the pulleys isn't kosher and i'm thinking the power steering since it moves in and out about 3/16 of an inch. Only thing is, the dang thing (steering pump) looks like its part of a monster bracket that actually holds the air cond. pump too. Heh, always seems to happen on a sunday...go figure, got it running smooth, seen a worn belt...replace it for safety sake, and its two steps back again. I'm thinking about trading it in...although I'd really like to get to get it up to full potential. Would it hurt to cut one rib off the belt? the old one had one missing, I know it won't fix the problem but maybe it will last long enough for me to get some trouble shooting done and new parts.

05-30-2010, 07:47 PM
Your tensioner is probably worn. Where the mounting bolt swivels against spring pressure and the arm. They wear and tilt. They look ok but when you rev them up the belt walks.

Buckin' 89Bronco
05-30-2010, 08:09 PM
The belt was walking even (not really walking but kind of flip-flopping on and off of the harmonic balancers front lip) at idle, the tension pulley does need replaced though. With the belt off sounds like it needs new bearings so what yer all saying sounds correct. I went ahead and removed one of the six lips on the new belt, now the belt rides on the rear of the alt. and air sump, middle of the idler and water pump, but to the front of the harmonic balancer, power steering and air compressor pulleys. Tension on the belt seems really tight, so the spring should be ok, the alt is still charging at 14.4v and the water temp doesn't waver after warmup, and the power steering doesn't grind or make any type of noise. No squeeling either, so go figure.....i'll see if any of the parts stores around here carry the idler tensioner and pulley setup, if not i'll look on the web for one. Thanks for all the assistance guys..