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97 1.5 Whistling noise - ben
Just bought a 1.5D XN, 78,000 miles. Seems in good order, but it does make a strange whistling noise as you rise through the revs. Took it to a garage on the test drive who reckoned it was just the induction. Not sure about that.
Weirdly it sounds like an out-of-sorts turbo, which it can't be because there isn't one. Standing over the engine and revving it, the sound seems to be coming from the left side, so maybe it's belt connected. Perhaps something to do with the alternator belt.
Anyway, any thoughts gratefully appreciated!
97 1.5 Whistling noise - madf
Could be an air leak: inlet manifold? Vacuum pipe to master cylinder?

97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE
It's almost certainly a dry bearing in the alternator belt tensioner wheel which runs on the back of the belt. You could run briefly without the belt as a trial - but keep the revs down.

New ones are not cheap, but if it hasn't been noisy for too long you can remove the idler and bracket, very carefully lever out the bearing seal with a jeweller's screwdriver, grease it and put it all back.

I did this about 5 years ago on my partners 106D and it has been quiet ever since. I wonder if INA forgot to put grease in a batch of these.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - ben
Many thanks for those replies. I did check the inlet manifold and associated bits - the airbox cover wasn't tightened properly but that didn't cure it.

I like the dry bearing theory. I'm new to ownership so can't tell how long it's been that way, however I'm keen to give your fix a shot, 659. You must've done some serious sleuthing to trace that back - was probably very satisfying too!
97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE
I used to work for a UK manufacturer (those were the days) of heavy duty alternators, starters and diesel fuel systems. "Sleuthing" noisy drives and machines was not an unknown pursuit...

Let us know how you get on.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - ben
659 - whipped out the tensioner and prized open the first bearing seal/cap, but couldn't for the life of me get out the second. Wasn't tight but couldn't be persuaded out, even with a couple of jewellers' screwdrivers. I did slip some grease in the gaps, but it still whistles.
Did change the alternator belt though and that definitely needed doing.
Any thoughts - maybe I was looking at the wrong cap?
97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE
If you look at the free end of the idler wheel axle (away from the bracket) you can see the shaft end. There is a seal which is press fitted into the idler wheel bearing's bearing outer race. The lip of the seal runs on the inner race. The whole seal assembly is quite small and delicate but levers out without too much trouble or significant damage.

I don't recall there being a "cap" of any description. Did you try running the engine (carefully) without the belt? The belt/pulley assembly forms part of the engine's torsional vibration damper so go carefully. If I remember correctly, there's a warning on the crank pulley to the effect that the engine should not be run without the belt.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - ben
I didn't run the engine without the belt - I've seen someone's (yours?) advice on this forum before about the vibration damper and the engine needs to be revved to hear the whistle.

Maybe the outer seal assembly has come adrift of the inner bit to explain the two elements? Either way, I couldn't get the inner cap out. It was the free end of the wheel (away from the bracket) that I was tackling.
97 1.5 Whistling noise - Jetjockey

Hi all.

Just a bit of feedback. Had this same problem with a recently bought 1998 106 Diesel.

It made a chaffing / squeaking noise on startup, but would disappear after a few minutes of running. Removing the Alternator tensioner pulley and spinning it by hand showed that there was no grease in the bearing, as it continued to spin with no resistance for maybe 15 seconds. I prized out the seal as mentioned here and packed the bearing with grease. I then refitted the seal. It worked a treat!!

So much for Peugeot wanting £91 for one of these, and the factors wanting £71. The bearing should be available seperately from Peugeot! The inner seal cap mentioned in the earlier post is actually part of the bearing cage. The grease can be packed in around it. Thanks.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE

Thanks for the feedback - glad you caught it before bearing damage resulted from a lack of lubrication.

INA are a bit naughty in my experience in sometimes supplying belt rollers with insufficient or no grease - which is no fun when it's a (Volvo) timing belt roller.

Weighing their products accurately before dispatch could avoid this - a procedure which I instigated to overcome a similar problem on a different type of component made by a previous employer. The food industry have high speed weighing down to a very fine art...


97 1.5 Whistling noise - Jetjockey


Yes, timing belt tensioners can be expensive when they let go. The 106 I referred to above was such an example. Previous owner had not changed the belt or pulleys and.................. Ouch!! Snapped Cambelt. I gave him £100 scrap value for it. Bits of bearing shrapnel everywhere and a camshaft in 2 parts.

BTW. Would you know the bearing number used on the 106 Alternator tensioner pulley? It would be a piece of cake to change using a press. I could only see INA 4 on the bearing face and apparently thats the rubber seal number.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE

It's not that simple - tensioner rollers and other specialised components with rolling bearings don't use standard race bearings.

Instead, each raceway is ground directly on the shaft and on the inside of the rotating part prior to the fitting of the balls and cage. Water pumps are made the same way.

As PSA very wisely put the alternator tensioner on the slack side of the belt, this bearing is not heavily loaded (VAG please note with their cambelt driven water pumps on the tight side of the belt - grrr.) so if you've greased it, it will be OK if it runs quietly.

My partner's 106D now has in excess of 162k miles - with no unscheduled attention whatever to the engine which starts and runs perfectly. It's on its 3rd cambelt and has had the rollers and water pump changed at 100k.

If you ever experience starting problems which are not due to the glowplugs or the heavy connections at the glowplug timer relay, change the "S" shaped fuel hose connecting the primer bulb to the filter head. A microscopic air leak here plays havoc with the transfer pump priming.


Out of curiosity, at what mileage did the belt break?

Edited by 659FBE on 27/12/2010 at 15:59

97 1.5 Whistling noise - Jetjockey

Hi 659.

Interesting stuff re the bearing. So far it has been OK. Think I will take a trip to my local scrappy where they have a 1.4D engine. If pulley is the same and is priced right I will grab it as a spare. Mine has electrohydraulic power steering so we shall see............. BTW, Wyko reckon they can get any bearing if I can get the dimensions. As the outer pulley is just thin sheet metal pressed onto the outer face of the bearing I assumed it would then just be a case to measure up the bearing width and inner and outer diameters and away to go. From what you say though, the bearing is of specialised construction? Would you have a link to an article on these specialised bearings as I would be very interested to read up on that.

The 106D that had the snapped Cambelt was showing 140K miles. The previous owner (young lad) claimed no knowledge of such matters and there was no service history with the car. Don't know therefore when the belt was last changed. I also changed the pulleys and water pump. The water pump did not want to come out and I had to resort to a cold chisel. This is quite common apparently. Used an aftermarket head gasket instead of the genuine steel OEM gasket. Am now paying the price with a small oil weep from one of the galleries (front offside corner) despite cleaning head and block spotlessly and checking for warp. Maybe in the summer I'll sort it.

Re starting problems. Another one that causes mayhem is the inlet valve clearance gap. Over time the valve seats recess in the head and the inlet valve gap closes. Instead of the correct 6 thou (.15mm (+ or - 2 thou)), you can end up with 1 thou or even no gap at all. This only shows it'self when winter comes and the engine is cold. I have seen people changing glow plugs, relays, batteries, fuel lines, etc. Eventually they find a mechanic who knows about the problem (rare) and they get new shims fitted to reset the gap. Bingo, Car starts first time every time after that but this applies only to the Diesels are far as I am aware. It is a common problem.

Best regards, Jetjockey

97 1.5 Whistling noise - 659FBE
Thanks for the info. If the original cambelt failed at 140k miles, it lasted for nearly twice the 72k change period. It's a well engineered drive with good components.

I had fun getting the water pump out of the block until I found the method. Hit the pump downwards until a minute gap appears in the joint. Hammer a knife blade into the gap. Now hit again from underneath and progressively use thicker blades - works a treat. The "O" ring sealing surface is in the bore, so there's no danger of causing a leak.

I knew about the inlet valve clearances closing up, although I've not experienced it.

The TUD5 is a really good engine (when fitted with Bosch fuel injection equipment). Pity I can't buy another small diesel with as good long term prospects as this one. One of my contacts says these engines will easily run to over 200k miles if looked after - and with Bosch FIE.

97 1.5 Whistling noise - Jetjockey

Hi again.

Re the water pump removal, we tried everything and could not get it to move even a thou. It had obviously been in from new and was welded in. it came out in bits.

I am sure I will get good life out of the 106 with regular oil changes etc, that is the key. Mine is fitted with the Bosch FIE. I am going to research running on veggy oil due the current fuel price escalation. Apparently the Bosch FIE is very tolerant of this. A friend of mine is running on Eco Diesel (remanufactured from used cooking oil), and using a purpose made machine. His car runs like a dream. He just had it MOT'd and the emissions check came up at near Zero!! Loads of taxi drivers down my way are running on it with no issues and have clocked up tens of thousands of miles.

I normally run a Merc E320 diesel estate and this is a beautifull machine. However, it is spending more and more time on the drive as it cannot compete with the 106 TUD5 for fuel economy. I bought the 106 particularly for this reason as I will be commuting between South Wales and Manchester regularly. It's extremely cheap motoring!! I have been running two cars like this for about 5 years now and it pays dividends. My last cheapie (a Renault 5) was incredible. £6 per brake disc, £8 for pads, £8 for a front strut spring, £5 for a wheel cylinder. In stark contrast, the Merc front pads are about £40. I use the cheapie day to day, and the Merc for special occasions.



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