2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
Same problem here too. I used seafoam and poured a cap full into the spring area of the tensioner mechanism and it takes care of the problem. But after flushing my coolant fluid and installing a flush kit onto the heater hose, the coolant fluid spilled into the tensioner spring housing and the squealing sound came back. So I squirted brake cleaner in there first. Let it dry out and used a cap full or 2 of seafoam again and no more squealing sound. I also moved the tensioner back and forth a bunch to lossen up tensioner to spring back easlily. Seafoam has a oily feel to it. But not as much as oil itself. So I figured I use that first. I tried W2-40, but that would wear out after a bit. Not sure if oil itself would be wise. I have no problem with seafoam on the belts. So far so good. But it's only been used for a month so far.
a couple months ago i had a squeak kinda like you are describing. i thought it was the a/c pump. stopped at a/c shop and talked to the owner. he said that it was fine and said " i am going to let you in on a little secret that took me yrs to figure out.(he's about 60yrs old) pull your belt off and take a piece of sand paper and sand in between all the groves on your pulley's,clear down in the cracks". so i was thinking he was crazy and didnt want to work on my truck.cause he is always super packed with vehichles. but i thought what the heck worth a try. it fixed my squeak.couldnt believe it. needless to say, when i need my something on my a/c fixed, i will for sure be giving him my buisness.
something you can try.it will cost you like next to nothing.just a little time.
Vehicle: 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Laramie Sport 4X4
Finally fixed it
Ok, after reading multiple suggestions..this is what I ended up doing.
I took the belt off and went over each metal ribbed pulley (Crank, PS, AC, Alternator) with a 4.5" angle grinder w/a wire wheel attached. My crank pulley was pretty rusty, the power steering pulley was also - others weren't so bad. I spent maybe 10 minutes on each.
To clean up the crank pulley, I ran the truck (w/out the belt), got under it and used the angle grinder, a wire brush, and a screwdriver to clean all the v's in the pulley. This probably wasn't the safest thing to do, but the pulley came out looking like new.
This did not fix the problem with my old belt (from Advance Auto), although it did quiet it down a lot..I still had squeaking off idle. So I picked up the NAPA belt for over twice the price of the Advance belt..but the truck is now silent at all RPM's!
So I guess my suggestion would be - if its squeaking, clean the pulleys as best you can..and buy a GOOD quality serp belt. Thanks everyone for your replies
'94 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Laramie Sport 5.9L 4x4.
Gutted CAT, Flowmaster 40 Series.
220k Miles and counting
I also have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.9 with AC. I've noticed that after installing a new best, It runs quiet for a few months then starts squeaking and/or squealing again. The crazy thing is, I can replace the current belt with an older one I have already used and the noise will stop for a while. Kind of like playing "musical belts. I've tried cheap and moderate priced belts and they all seem to end up making noise after a few months. Does this sound familiar to anyone and what has been tried and worked?
I was just looking at the last belt I removed and it appears to have skip marks on the smooth side. My idler pulley also appears to be very shinny or glazed. I'm starting to think it may be defective. I replaced the idler pulley today so It's too soon to know if it will help the belt squealing, but something I noticed right away was a loud rattling noise from under the hood that I had been dealing with for over a year was gone. Judging from the rattle I had, the idler pulley had to have been bad. I at least got rid of one noise.