Updated Idler Pulley and FEAD Belt Installation

The 4.3L V8 Vantage can often develop a "chirp" that is present when the engine is cold. The problem was fixed on the 4.7L V8 Vantage by changing the idler assembly pulley and FEAD belt. The parts for the 4.7L V8 are a retrofit for the 4.3L V8 and eliminate the chirping sound from that engine.

To fix the chirping problem you must install both the updated idler assembly (the pulley) and the updated FEAD belt. If you swap out the pulley but continue to use the old belt, you will still get the chirping noise!

DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.

Updated idler assembly
Updated FEAD belt
15mm socket
8mm socket
Ratchet for the above sockets
3/8"-drive pry bar
About an hour

Make sure the engine bay is completely cool before starting this job - you don't want to burn yourself!

Step 1
Get the car up on jackstands, or use a lift.

Step 2
Get under the car and use the 8mm socket and ratchet to remove the metal bracket holding the return line for the air-oil separator.

Step 3
Remove the original FEAD belt. I typically cut it and then pull it out. But make sure you have another one ready to install!! Double check the new FEAD belt! I thought I had an extra but didn’t, and it resulted in a car that wasn’t mine sitting on jack stands in my garage while I waited for the new FEAD belt to arrive.

Step 4
Use the 15mm socket and ratchet to remove the idler assembly (pulley), then install the new one in its place. The will look very different, so don’t be surprised. Here’s a picture of the old one (left) next to the new one (right).

Idler Assemblies, old vs new.jpg

Step 5
Route the new FEAD belt around the maze of pulleys, ensuring that it's properly seated on each pulley (especially those that make contact with the ribs on the inside of the belt!). You won't be able to fully seat the belt in place just yet, it'll be too short. The best way I've found to do this is to get the belt seated on every pulley except the idler pulley on the left side of the crank pulley. The idler pulley isn’t ribbed so you’ll be able to get the FEAD belt onto it much more easily than any of the others.

Step 6
Use the 3/8"-drive pry bar to pull the tension arm. This will give you more slack in the FEAD belt and allow you to work the belt onto the last pulley. Once the belt is seated, you can carefully release the tension arm.

Step 7
Check the routing of the entire FEAD belt and ensure it isn't twisted, misaligned, or otherwise not routed correctly. DO NOT skip this! Check it again. If there’s any issue at all, it can lead to serious issues.

If it's good, reinstall the air-oil separator drain hose bracket with the 8mm bolts.

Step 8
Bring the car back down off the jackstands or lift, make sure everything is reconnected, the belt is oriented as it should be, and then start up the car. The 'chirp' should be gone.

All done!