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Sorry to say about the only way to skip the compressor is when that model came without air cond and I think they all did. Sometimes you can buy a special pulley with bracket to bypass the compressor after you take it off. Most of the time if you try to use a shorter belt something will be in the way of the routing, or the belt will drive a pulley the wrong direction.
2. Try a smaller serpentine belt. If this model came also w/o a/c, that serpentine belt should work fine. If all Santa Fes came with a/c then like you were saying try a smaller belt. You might have to try different smaller belt sizes(as far as I know) until you really get it right, which is not easy.
3. See if they make an a/c compressor delete pully for your particular model. This is basically just a single standalone pully (dummy pully). Aftermarket companies do not make them for all models, but if they make it for yours, you can use the same serpentine belt w/o a compressor. The internet is the best place to check.
I think this is the AC compressor knocking. I don't think it is your engine. They will knock when they go bad.
Now you can remove the serpentine belt and inspect the compressor and make sure the bolts are not loose a bit. This too can cause this knocking. Make sure the pulley on the compressor spins freely and without hangups as well.
Check the tension pulley and make sure it is giving proper tension to the belt as well. A loose belt will skip and grab jerking the drive train a bit.
Hello: Yes you can do that but you will have to use 1/2 inch rope and go around the pulleys in the same manner the original belt went but skip the a/c pulley/ pull the rope tight mark it, the take it to a aftermarket parts store an measure it, subtract one inch and see if they have a belt that length, it may require more than one trip to get one that will work. There is not a listing for a belt to by pass the a/c compressor.
I have never heard of a spare pulley on an engine. If everything is working, (alternator, water pump, power steering, AC compressor ) then I guess I would not worry about it. The only other thing could be that some one placed a belt on the truck just to get it by until they could get a correct belt to fit. They are routed on top and below pulleys and it is possible to skip a pulley temporarily if you get a smaller one to get you by until the correct one can be located. Good luck
The best way to do this is first ask the parts house to see if this car came with out air and get a belt that way. I dont think that year had the option of not havnig A/C. The other way is take a piece of rope and put it around the pullys just like you are puttin on the belt but by pass the A/C you might have to make a few trips or get a few different size belts but its the only way