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 FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)

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BillBoost37
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:22 am

Keep your chin up..it's just a tire.

My car is eating hard parts like warm butter.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:45 am

I think the thing to be wary of, Zep, is that sometimes there are coincidental failures (unrelated stuff that goes wrong at the same time). The conincidence in your case could be a bad ignition switch or a crapped-out crank sensor.

Don't panic, neither of those is terrible although getting the harmonic balancer off to replace the crank sensor is a bear without the special tool (might just pay the dealer to do it, they hae the tool). Only reason I mention that is that last year my crank sensor and ignition switch failed intermittently at a bout the same time and it took a while (and a few flatbed tows) to figure it all out.

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BillBoost37
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:03 am

If you need a balancer and post it up.. we can tell you exactly how and what tools to have on hand for a successful swap.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:38 am

Awesome, thanks. She got the tire replaced the day of the incident and the car's started up fine for the past several days. So right now we're good (crosses fingers).
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PostSubject: Help w/ Coupler & "Hesitation" Question   Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:32 pm

Seems whenever I post anymore around here I've got a problem or something of the sort. Well, yesterday, I replaced my spark plugs, which I believe were the original ones on my 132k mile car, and changed the oil, and put a new fuel filter in. Then I took it to my mechanic and had him investigate my power steering, which made a rubbing noise whenever I turned. Said I needed a new rack and pinion... $500 out the window there. Then I had him do a carbon flush of the engine just for the peace of mind. Then he found that my oil pan gasket had to be replaced because of leakage.

So I had a nice day of car fixing up yesterday. All of this seems to have fixed my sort of hesitation problem, where, at speeds of like 60-65mph, my car would hesitate a while before shifting. It seems to have helped a bit, but I'm not really sure. Has anyone else ever experienced this? It never seems to hesitate under other circumstances. My ignition wires are original, btw. May they be the culprits?

After driving my wonderful 01 Buick Century around for all of yesterday and today thus far, when I went back to my car, it seemed lest... boosty at the low end, for sort of a lack of a better term. Unless I put more pressure than I remember putting on the pedal before, it doesn't really get moving fast. It seems like after my tune up, it doesn't get going as quickly as before without more gas.

And one final thing... I can hear my coupler rattling in my supercharger (at least I think that's what it is). I definately hear a rattling when going slowly or getting lightly on the gas. But I see all this information about changing it. What, though, is the purpose of changing it, and when it goes bad, what generally happens? Basically, my question is why replace the coupler besides getting rid of the rattling sound it makes? I'm probably reading over something, but anyway... any help on these issues would be great.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:55 pm

What year is your Riv?

The S/C rattle is most likely the coupler and most people have this problem, but I don't see a need to change it unless the sound is absolutley annoying....otherwise its good for awhile...

you definelty need to change the wires, then see what it does....
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:56 pm

oh...just curious if the dealership was full of shit.....did replacing the rack and pinion resolve the steering noise??
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:01 pm

Well, it wasn't a dealership. The guy I have work on my car is a real good friend of mine and he always does a good job at whatever it is to my vehicles, but yeah, the noise is completely gone. And to think... it had been making the noise since I bought the car 3 years ago :S

It's a 98, yeah. So the coupler's not really an issue right now then except for the noise? And I'm assuming wires would be the next cheapest thing to do? Any other things that might have something to do with it just so I know what I could be in for?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:03 pm

The coupler is an easy change, and places like the WBS say once you use their replacement coupler you wont have to change it again. One reason to change it if it sounds like a ball bering orgy under the hood is because once there is around a 1/4 inch of play it has been known to cause engine knock. To check the play just twist the pulley back and forth with the belt off. Plus changing it makes the car sound much more respectable at an idle.

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Chicken
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:04 pm

start with the wires....they need to be changed anyway....no need to spend money on stuff you dont need....
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:06 pm

Karma wrote:
The coupler is an easy change, and places like the WBS say once you use their replacement coupler you wont have to change it again. One reason to change it if it sounds like a ball bering orgy under the hood is because once there is around a 1/4 inch of play it has been known to cause engine knock. To check the play just twist the pulley back and forth with the belt off. Plus changing it makes the car sound much more respectable at an idle.


can it cause a knock issue? I didn't know that....
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:33 pm

Chicken wrote:
Karma wrote:
The coupler is an easy change, and places like the WBS say once you use their replacement coupler you wont have to change it again. One reason to change it if it sounds like a ball bering orgy under the hood is because once there is around a 1/4 inch of play it has been known to cause engine knock. To check the play just twist the pulley back and forth with the belt off. Plus changing it makes the car sound much more respectable at an idle.


can it cause a knock issue? I didn't know that....

ya, but were talking 1/4 play... way too much...

+1 on wires... i had hesitation on heavy load with bad wires once

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:52 pm

I also still have stock wires on my riviera with 75k miles guess it's time 2 change mine 2 .
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:59 pm

Alright, I'll go to the dealership tomorrow and get some stock Delco ones and put them on and we'll go from there. Anyone have any input on the low end acceleration problem? (Basically, accelerating from a stop). I did a 20 to 60 accel and it took about as long as usual, so it seems to just be on the low end.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:26 pm

I thought our wires had a near 0% failure rate? Why would you need to change them?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:36 pm

Shintsu wrote:
I thought our wires had a near 0% failure rate? Why would you need to change them?

No they fail , theyre just good wires in general and they perform as well as any aftermarket ones for the most part.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:07 pm

ZEP wrote:
Seems whenever I post anymore around here I've got a problem or something of the sort. Well, yesterday, I replaced my spark plugs, which I believe were the original ones on my 132k mile car, and changed the oil, and put a new fuel filter in. Then I took it to my mechanic and had him investigate my power steering, which made a rubbing noise whenever I turned. Said I needed a new rack and pinion... $500 out the window there. Then I had him do a carbon flush of the engine just for the peace of mind. Then he found that my oil pan gasket had to be replaced because of leakage.

So I had a nice day of car fixing up yesterday. All of this seems to have fixed my sort of hesitation problem, where, at speeds of like 60-65mph, my car would hesitate a while before shifting. It seems to have helped a bit, but I'm not really sure. Has anyone else ever experienced this? It never seems to hesitate under other circumstances. My ignition wires are original, btw. May they be the culprits?

After driving my wonderful 01 Buick Century around for all of yesterday and today thus far, when I went back to my car, it seemed lest... boosty at the low end, for sort of a lack of a better term. Unless I put more pressure than I remember putting on the pedal before, it doesn't really get moving fast. It seems like after my tune up, it doesn't get going as quickly as before without more gas.

And one final thing... I can hear my coupler rattling in my supercharger (at least I think that's what it is). I definately hear a rattling when going slowly or getting lightly on the gas. But I see all this information about changing it. What, though, is the purpose of changing it, and when it goes bad, what generally happens? Basically, my question is why replace the coupler besides getting rid of the rattling sound it makes? I'm probably reading over something, but anyway... any help on these issues would be great.

By hesitating do you mean it bogs down(looses power)?
Or does the transmission hesitate(slip)?

When you take off from a dead start, are you positive the trans. is in low gear?

Pull the shifter all the way into L and see if that changes things.
Change all the gears manually and see if that makes a difference.
Bert
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:59 pm

I don't know why a worn coupler would cause knock.

Start with the wires, for sure.

I'd replace the coupler if the noise is too annoying for you. Otherwise it probably isn't in much danger of actually breaking up. It just wears and becomes loose resuling in rattle and maybe less efficient blower operation. I replaced mine early in the spring, and it's been quiet since then. Was very noisy mostly at idle and shutdown. Use the green ZZP one, about $30.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:36 pm

The knock sensor can pick up on any mechanical knock... coupler, motor/trans mounts, down pipe hitting the front sway bar, and in my case, TB hitting the hood under deceleration (w/IC testing clearance) ...etc...
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:50 pm

ewolfe0050 wrote:
The knock sensor can pick up on any mechanical knock... coupler, motor/trans mounts, down pipe hitting the front sway bar, and in my case, TB hitting the hood under deceleration (w/IC testing clearance) ...etc...

How can mounts make a knocking?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:52 pm

But I've never heard of a worn coupler making noise while under load. Mine never did, and it was pretty darn sloppy turning the pulley by hand. Under load it should be quiet.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:46 am

1998 Riv wrote:
It just wears and becomes loose resuling in rattle and maybe less efficient blower operation.

So if it could mean that the blower isn't putting out as much power as it could (which is what I'm gathering from what you said), then that's reason enough to replace it. If I were to buy a new one, I should go with the green ZZP one and that's it, or should I get the GM gasket maker from INTENSE too?

Quote :
By hesitating do you mean it bogs down(looses power)?
Or does the transmission hesitate(slip)?

After driving the thing today (it isn't really reproducable, it just happens occasionally), and giving about 50% throttle, which is the pressure it usually happens at, I'm pretty sure the trans is slipping. I was watching the RPM rate while it happened, it went down a bit, then hopped back up about a second later. I can't recall the exact rpm # but I'll try to reproduce it again if numbers are necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:38 am

Perhaps the catalytic converter is almost clogged up?
The carbon flush could have helped cause the problem...

No idea here, just guessing.

Good Luck

Bert tavis
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:39 pm

I agree with Bert on the cat. I was thinking the same thing reading this thread. Mine went out before 100k miles.

Fixing the SC coupler is all about the noise, imo. I did mine at about 120k miles, and the stock one was in really good shape. I don't feel it was hindering performance or causing knock. In fact, if i could have lived with the noise, I believe it would have lasted at least another 100k. I noticed no power increase after replacing.

The coupler is basically a plastic cushion, working as a flexible medium between the blower's drive shaft and the gears that drive the rotors. When the SC pulley tells the rotors to turn, the coupler makes this happen with less of a jolt, as the plastic absorbs the shock. Also, if the rotors or gears should become jammed, the coupler will probably break, sparing your SC belt drive, and possible underhood damage.

A coupler has 6 holes. The blower shaft has three prongs or fingers coming in from one side, while the gear drive has 3 prongs coming from the other. These prongs fit into the holes, in effect "coupling" the two together. A coupler is said to be worn out when the holes in the coupler become stretched and enlarged, allowing the prongs to have slop. The blower still turns the same speed. The power output is the same, but it makes a noise at idle because the RPM is low enough that the prongs can dance around inside the holes. In theory, a worn coupler can more easily become a broken coupler, but I've never heard of one failing. I do agree with Dave that the ZZP is a good choice. I use one, and checking it after 30k miles or so, it's still tight.

I also agree new ignition wires are in order. The fact that yours lasted for 130k miles is evidence of the great durability our OEM wires have. This would be considered amazing performance for wires on a normal engine. Factor in that we are supercharged (using MUCH higher spark voltage) and it's almost unbelievable that you got this far. It's also more reason to go with stockers again. AC/Delphi really beefed these wires up to support our engine's needs. You probably won't see this longevity with even the best aftermarkets. Unless you are increasing the coil voltage, why pay more?

FYI, plug wires are a maintenance item, like brake pads or spark plugs. They aren't intended to last forever. This is why a tune up always consists of fresh wires. A great set of wires is only expected to last 50k miles. To last 100k like ours often do is quite remarkable.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Supercharger Noise (Bad Coupler)   Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:48 pm

I agree, the coupler change is more about noise elimination than anything else. MIne was especially noisy when I shut off the engine, it would really rattle to a stop. Well worth the $30 and time to swap it, if you are up to a bit of a project. Not difficult, but of course that depends on how comfortable you are with taking off the SC snout. Read thru the writeup on this to help you decide. No need to order any special gasket maker, just pick up some RTV sealant at your local parts store.
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