Question about 1997 Jeep Cherokee Country

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Jeep Cherokee Water Pump Pulley/Water Pump/Timing Chain

I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee with a squealing problem around the water pump area. I believe it is the water pump pulley. I had the water pump replaced about 4 years ago and it has squealed off and on ever since. Took it back and mechanic put soap on the belt. I even replaced the belt with a dealer belt and it still squeals. I am certain that when he replaced the water pump that he did not replace the worn-out the pulley. My question is: I am going to replace the water pump pulley. Should I replace the water pump, again? I see no evidence of it leaking at this time as I did the first time and it is not making any noises that I can tell. Also, when do I need to replace the timing chain? Any other suggestions would be helpful when I am replacing things in this area. Thanks much. A Chick in Virginia.

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Hello chick from virginia ive seen this problem many times when you take a serpentine belt off what i do is check all the pulleys for play a little in and out is acceptable but up and down is a different story lets say the altenator moves up and down a 32 of an inch that means its on its way out a water pump really shoudnt have any play up and down or in or out the power steering pump will have some in and out usally none up and down ive seen those vehichles have worn out harmonic balancers what it does is starts to come apart slowly and trys to change the belt alingment you really need to look at belt alingment for the sqealing sometimes mechcanics will take stuff apart and loose the spacers and reinstall pumps or altenator without the proper spacers and thats when the trouble starts i recently worked on a 07 f 150 that a dealer put a new engine in and the power steering pump was the wrong and they pulled the off some and three months later started sqealing like crazy if the water pump is not leaking dont replace it also timing chain usally 150000 miles at least unless has hard starting when cold i wouldnt mess with it or slow to get up speed also then think about replcing the chain and gears sorry so long winded thunderboltz

Posted on Jun 04, 2010

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  • cookiefrazie Jun 04, 2010

    I'll check those things you mentioned out this weekend. How do I know if the harmonic balancer is going? And, where is that located? Would that be causing a significant vibration when I turn on the A/C and sometimes without it? My mechanic says the vibration is from the electric fan motor that sits in front of the radiator and behind the powering steering pump. When my Dad was alive I used to know all that. I am 18 years rusted on the mechanic's helper stuff. Thanks. Chick-in-Virginia.

  • cookiefrazie Jun 04, 2010

    Please reply when you can. Doesn't matter if you are long winded. I appreciate the help. CIV

  • lintner randy Jun 05, 2010

    hello again civ the harmonic balancer is the big pulley on the engine that drives everything its uaslly below the water pump one way to look at it is two metal rings and in between them is rubber when it starts to deterate the balancer can start to seperate another way to find out if its bad is with a timing light mark it with white out and look to see if the line is stable when the engine is runnig also the way to tell wich pulley is the balancer is if you took off the belts and started the engine it would be the only one spinning as far as the ac goes ther suppose to run smoothly if it vibrates alot then it uasllay starting to drag and needs to be replaced you may get a good used one they are kinda spendy hope this helps Thunderboltz ps ill watch for more posts.

  • cookiefrazie Jun 06, 2010

    Thank you. Will look into the stuff you mentioned. CIV

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