Good Day everyone,
I've searched and done a lot of reading about the belt on the ZJ, and its relation to the water pump failure.
I replaced my belt about 8,000 miles ago and I'm not sure if I have it tight enough. However, I fear "cranking down" on it because of damage to the accesories.
So how does one know when the tension of the belt is correct?
I did the old thumb deflection trick and it seems "right" to me. But my frame of reference with this trick is from GM veichles with an auto-tensioner. How far should be belt deflect? I'm not impressed with the reverese threaded bolt type tensioner on the 4.0L. It leaves huge margin for error and doesn't auto correct the tension as the belt ages (however it is a very tried-and true looking design).
If anyone can offer any suggestion to this I'd be appreciative. By the way, when it is VERY cold (~0F to -20F) and I start the Jeep and/or make your first stearing turn a schreeching noise like the belt slipping (or the power stearing pump) happens for about 2 seconds maybe 2 or 3 times. Otherwise everything is silent. This is my only suggestion that the belt's tension may be out of spec. Or perhaps an accessory may be failing...I have 81,000 miles on this 1998 ZJ.
Thanks and have a great day,
1998 ZJ Laredo Selec-Trac 4x4 4.0L