Just a little side note be sure that the pulleys are in alignment. If any of the engine accessories have been changed it might be the cause of the noise. Look for any hardware that may have loosened as well as the bolt that holds the tensioner on or plausibly a weak tensioner. As for the belt that is 3/8 shorter you should be safe unless you have to fight to get the belt on. Ive done the same on a 4.3 S-10 because it was the only belt I had and it caused no noticeable shortening of parts life. Good luck .