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Discussion Starter #1
Good Morning Gents,

Just acquired a 2007 Astra H with a 1.8 Z18XER and a AF17 Automatic Box

It has a belt rattle and squeal when starting from cold, seems to go after the first minute or so of driving for the rest of the day until it is left for awhile.

Seems worse when PAS Lock is applied or the A/C is on.

I found this Field Remedy from Vauxhall with a potential solution.

Field Remedy: 2474

Subject: Engine Z18XER - Rattling noise from poly-v-belt

Models:Astra-H 2005...,Vectra-C 2005...2008,Zafira-B 2005...,Signum 2005...2008

Engines:Z18XER,Z18XER,Z18XER,Z18XER

Option: Mainly vehicles with automatic transmission affected

Complaint: Customer complain about vibration and rattling noise from poly-v-belt drive, mainly with cold engine and lower engine speed ( < 1500 rpm). Often retailer/drivers assume that the noise is emanating from exhaust manifold/assembly or ECG.

Remedy:

In case of customer complaint
replace existing generator pulley by an

overrun pulley (part number: 55560294 / catalogue number: 12 04 484)

I've purchased this pulley and the Splined Tool and Long T55/M10 Bits needed.

My question is as standard is this engine fitted with a Solid Pulley on the Alternator, as it looks completely different to the new pulley and also is the holding tool needed to remove the solid pulley too?

Has anyone done this retrofit and does it solve the problem?
 

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I did the retrofit on a z18xer auto transmission 2008 Astra in the US. It was a pain in the ***. Should take 30 minutes but you should budget a long evening. I think you need to remove the alternator from the car to do this job although it might be possible in-car if you have a proper lift.

These threads will help you a lot. Especially alternator removal technique. Study them carefully.


*** Disconnecting the wire harness and removing the alternator are "not easy". The connector is impossible to see and it has a difficult clip. Once you unbolt the alternator, good luck finding a "hole" big enough to extract the alternator from the engine bay. These are the only challenging parts of the job.

*** On the first page of the first link above, you see the original pulley requires a simple large socket to remove (roughly 23 or 24mm). I think I just clamped the steel pulley in a vice or used some vise-grips (which trashed the old pulley).

*** You need the tool for the new pulley but maybe you could bring the alternator to a local shop and ask them to use their tool. Or maybe your parts store has a loaner/rental program. After doing the job I thought I could DIY a makeshift tool but was glad to have the right one to get torque sorted correctly.

*** Make sure to clean dirt and oxidation @ the metal areas around the alternator bolts so everything slides into position easily at reassembly.

*** For the squealing, some people have luck just changing the accessory belt and tensioner, which are cheap and easy. That worked for me for some time (did it twice in 4 years). You can watch the tensioner to see if it is moving around or making noise; just don't get your fingers or a tie caught in the moving bits! If you are replacing the alternator pulley, you might replace these parts also.
 

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BTW, the replacement pulley has worked fine for several years.

Given the pain of the job, I would consider just replacing the alternator; newer auto alternators come with the new fancy pulley installed in the US. Not sure about Euro markets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply Dripping.

I've already got the Alternator out. Just wanted clarity that the solid pulley didn't need a special tool and could be undone with a standard impact/breaker bar and a vice. I have the multi spline tool etc for the newer lock up pulley.

Glad to see this actually cures the problem as I cannot see the belt bouncing on the tensioner, all looks smooth except when in drive or reverse with the A/C on.

Looking forward to getting rid of the annoying squeal!

Many Thanks
 

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I wouldn't use a impact wrench on the alternator as the bits inside are delicate. A breaker worked for me.
 
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