Burning belt kind of stench and whine.

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Jul 12, 2007
Norcal, not on fire but it was darn close.
1. Air conditioning has always been a little rattly. But always works!
2. Some clicking and grunting from the compressor the bearing or alternator or some belt, even the idle tension arm perhaps.

Now the drive home the air conditioner was sounding like a little diesel motor but works.

THEN~ the dash fuse went out, taking the controls out for the fan. Air kept coming out.

I can only put a stethoscope down there and see what is actually making the clattering sound.

Let me know if the 80 has some issue that i should look into first.
Belts are ok looking and have been adjusted a few times and replaced over the last 10 years.
Tensioner can start to seize as can the compressor, loads the belt up and makes the smell/whine. If the compressor is loaded up enough it can take a fuse out. I would slip off the AC belt and see if the whine/smell stops and fuse holds, just for starters at least.


I noticed a burning rubber smell from the passenger side of the truck. After some looking online, some folks said it was normal while others said it could be the AC belt. After arriving at work and noticing a stronger than normal burning smell, I grabbed my tools, jumped underneath the truck, and tighten the AC belt (I did not loosen the idle tensioner and only barely snugged it up). Once I got home, no more burning smell.
After seeing a thread on the Gates belt tension measuring tool, I purchased one and checked the tension of the drive belts and AC belts. Both were well BELOW spec. It was hard to get an accurate measurement on the AC belt due it being below the minimum value on the Gates tool.

AC belt 60 - 100lb for a used belt and drive belt 45 - 88lb for a used belt per the FSM. I loosened the idle pulley on the AC and lock nut on the drive belt. I tightened the AC belt to 75 - 80lb and the drive belt to 65lb. The Gates tool is awesome and only $11.

BTW when I first bought the truck, the compressor bearings were shot. When the AC was turned on, the compressor would spin for a few seconds and lock up solid. The belt would keep spinning and make this gawd awful howling noise with lots of smoke.

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