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Can a bad power steering pump make a belt hop??


NAXJA Forum User
Up-State NY
2001 All stock, 4.0, Auto trans, 130k miles.

After replacing the power steering pump for leaking fluid around the pulley shaft, serpentine belt issues have been popping up.
The belt has been replaced twice because of intermittent chirp/squeal.

The Squeal is now gone however the latest 2 symptoms are frustratingly intermittent,
1) The serpentine belt hopping at cold start until the engine warms.
2) The steering wheel having a slight sawing motion when coming out of a tight turn.

Bad PS pump or was something else stirred up during the original repair?

Link to a youtube short of the belt's shenanigans' ->
Man, that's weird!

I have no idea, but maybe check the tensioner and make sure the pulley is in good shape and fully installed. I'm sure you have done this though.
I would wonder if the pulley is not pressed on to the correct depth (It has been a while since I played with one--not sure what it would take to make that mistake) or if there is some problem with the pulley or shaft (not seeing any runout on the video, but perhaps looking at things in real life would be different).
I'd check the harmonic balancer. Place a white paint strip through the inner and outer ring. Another would be the AC compressor clutch.
Thank you for the ideas, will report back what comes of them.
It is pretty intermittent so it may be a little bit.
(And I really appreciate the "that's weird!" confirmation!!)
I replace the Harmonic balancer on the XJ's I acquire. They are like $50-60. I did have one go bad. It cost me a crankshaft. Fortunately for me, a neighbor had a spare. Even used the main bearings. Sort of traded 4.0L engines over the years.
One other thing to check, might be the distributor. I've had the bearing in two of them get worn bad. Not sure if this would result in the belt slipping, though.
Because of the frequency vs rpm I'm thinking a bad roller bearing. I would remove the belt and feel the rotation (several turns) of the ac comp, the fan, the water pump, the idler, and the power steering!
You should also be able to hear it with a mechanics stethoscope (pipe, hose, etc).