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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I would first like to apologize for the excessive problem threads but I can't seem to catch a break from my car for more than a few weeks... I recently have been hearing a noise which sounds like it varies with rpms. It almost sounds like a turbo spooling noise except it is a metal on metal high pitched sound. It only happens for 15-30 seconds on each drive and has only just started up a few weeks ago.

I was thinking that it could be the AC compressor as I had a Goldwing unit installed 3-4 years back when the original one packed up. Since it sounded like a metal on metal turbo spoolup, I took the inlet pipe off the turbo and checked for any abnormalities to which there were none (no fluid or play).

I am honestly getting so fed up with this car that I don't really want to fix it but I know I will anyway so does anyone have an idea as to what this might be?

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is definately not from the transmission, that I know for sure. I have been using my AC a fair amount but I know that it is not the only accessory that could cause a noise that varies with rpm. It almost sounds like a turbo running without oil, a metal on metal sound. I wish I could pinpoint it more accurately but it really doesn't come from any distinct area. It also comes on at random so it is not as if it comes at at a certain point for instance right after startup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I backed the DP off and there wasn't anything liquid in the exhaust, no smoke either out the exhaust. I pulled the turbo inlet pipe off and the compressor wheel was fine with no play in and out or vertically. I wish I knew enough to do some real diagnostic work. I checked out all the pulleys and visually, they all look fine. I guess I have to drive it more to pinpoint the location of the noise huh.
 

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I'd bet its one of the accessories. Alternator, wp, ps pump. The alternator on my car made a sound similar to what you're describing and the bearings in it were smoked...
 

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Get a 1/2 Breaker bar and release the tension on the serp belt. Insert a small allen wrench tool into the tensioner lock - spin your pulley's and accessories - feel for play/movement. Almost sounds like a bad idler or an accessory pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd bet its one of the accessories. Alternator, wp, ps pump. The alternator on my car made a sound similar to what you're describing and the bearings in it were smoked...
I knew that when I eliminated the turbo, it might be one of those. Did your alternator have any adverse symptoms besides the noise that could indicate it was having issues?

Tak belt off and see if noise goes away.
That's the problem, it only does it once a drive for about 10 seconds and then it goes away, generally within a couple minutes of initial startup. If it gets worse, I will definately do that and start it up to see if that eliminates the noise.

Get a 1/2 Breaker bar and release the tension on the serp belt. Insert a small allen wrench tool into the tensioner lock - spin your pulley's and accessories - feel for play/movement. Almost sounds like a bad idler or an accessory pulley.
I think I might do that, how would I re-tension the belt after it has been released?
 

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I knew that when I eliminated the turbo, it might be one of those. Did your alternator have any adverse symptoms besides the noise that could indicate it was having issues?

I think I might do that, how would I re-tension the belt after it has been released?
Bring it forward with 1/2 breaker bar. Remove the Allen key. and slowly release the breaker bar back. (Don't just let go or you'll smack your bar against the strut brace.)

Have a battery shop or Autozone put a load test on your alternator. It wouldn't charge your battery as well.

Since you have the 90 amp 900 one you could upgrade to the 130 amp from the 99 9-3 or the 150 amp from the 03 9-5. Or have your professionally rebuilt and upgrade by a reputable rebuild place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bring it forward with 1/2 breaker bar. Remove the Allen key. and slowly release the breaker bar back. (Don't just let go or you'll smack your bar against the strut brace.)

Have a battery shop or Autozone put a load test on your alternator. It wouldn't charge your battery as well.

Since you have the 90 amp 900 one you could upgrade to the 130 amp from the 99 9-3 or the 150 amp from the 03 9-5. Or have your professionally rebuilt and upgrade by a reputable rebuild place.
Thanks Sleepy, I don't have a breaker bar but I am making a trip to Harbor Freight today or tomorrow so I will pick one up there. I haven't had any issues that would indicate an alternator problem but what do I know, this is really frustrating. :(

There were no other signs of failure from the alternator. Still charged fine, but the bearings were very noisy.
Cheers Mike, I appreciate it. Did you replace the alternator yourself?
 

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Thanks Sleepy, I don't have a breaker bar but I am making a trip to Harbor Freight today or tomorrow so I will pick one up there. I haven't had any issues that would indicate an alternator problem but what do I know, this is really frustrating. :(

Cheers Mike, I appreciate it. Did you replace the alternator yourself?
Had a buddy with a lift in his garage do it. Cut off passenger side exhaust hanger, dropped down exhaust, r&r alternator, weld hanger back on...done.

I used the 130amp 9-3 version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I didn't read the thread but how about belt tensioners?
I am looking at all the pulleys for any with play or obvious signs of something that is not right, I am definately checking the belt tensioner though. Hopefully I can narrow it down so I can have some kind of direction but I am not sure if I am good enough to do anything in terms of fixing it myself. I just hope it doesn't get worse before I have the chance to figure it out.

Had a buddy with a lift in his garage do it. Cut off passenger side exhaust hanger, dropped down exhaust, r&r alternator, weld hanger back on...done.

I used the 130amp 9-3 version.
Cool, it is great to know that if the alternator is the culprit. Damn this car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A little update to help you guys out a bit: I released the tension of the belt tensioner and checked for any play in the pulleys as well as anything visually wrong and there was nothing amiss. I also believe that the sound is loudest on the driver's side of the car, and have more of an accurate description for you guys.

It is a low pitched, metallic "shhhhh" sound. It only happens for 5-10 seconds at a time and generally, only once per drive but maybe two times at most. There is not a single issue with driveability and nothing has changed in the performance of the car but the problem is that I will be moving on to something else this summer and need to figure this out before I either sell it or pass it down to my younger brother.

Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I checked the brake shield and pushed it back slightly and voila, no more noise! I have driven it about 50 miles today with multiple startups so I think that it is gone (for now, just so I don't jinx myself).

As always, thanks guys!
 
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