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tensioner pulley...how do you know if it has really gone bad?

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by nkrax, September 8, 2003.

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    1. nkrax

      nkrax New Member

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      Greetings,

      I have just replaced my serp belt because of a squeeling issue. The problem was imediately corrected and all was fine...until a month later when a chirp...chirp...chirp sound crept under my hood. Unlike the squeeling noise, the chirping does not go away after 5 to 10 seconds. It is there all the time (i guess i should say most of the time). I took a look under the hood and noticed that my tensioner pulley was moving in a side to side motion (the natural path the pulley moves as if you were releasing the tension to take the belt off). The pully was probably moving back and forth about 1/8th to 1/4 of an inch (the movement was easily visible). Do you all think it is the tensioner that has gone bad, or is that kind of movement normal? How do you really know if your tensioner pulley has gone bad?

      thanks for any and all help!

      Nate
       
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    3. Byrd91

      Byrd91 Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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      I'd say yes. They're around $20 bucks and an easy fix. It could be the other one also. I think they're both the same. Mine started sqwealing for the first 5 seconds of the engine running and it was seezed by the end of the day.
       
    4. Brett

      Brett Moderator Emeritus

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      Yes, Replace the bad bearing(s) I let mine go too long and it seized up on the highway one day. Spun the pulley right off the bracket and I lost my belt.
       
    5. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Moderator Emeritus

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      Autozone has the complete bearing and pulley usually on the shelft for $18
       
    6. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      When the tensioner falls off when you change the belt

      That's when it is bad! I just had to FIX mine on my 97 OHV. I could see the white plastic seperator between the arm and the spring assembly. One side showed more white plastic than the other. When I released tension on the arm to replace the belt, the tensioner flew apart. Replacement part is closer to $50 and being cheap, I reworked the arm assembly with a new bushing. The two idler pulleys were also dry of grease and noisy. Popped the dust caps and re greased the bearings. 4K later everything is still fine on this no cost repair.
       
    7. nkrax

      nkrax New Member

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      Do you think it is normal for the pulley arm to move (actually, it almost looks like it is bouncing from side to side)?
       
    8. GaSouthern1

      GaSouthern1 Elite LS2 - Elite Explorer

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      Mine flew off goin down the road and the belt went with it..needless to say I had no power, oil press, etc. I had to go to the dealership and get a new one and I was able to get my belt back and I did a roadside repair, all was fine when I sold it.
       
    9. fordkrazy

      fordkrazy Active Member

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      well they always bounce....the question is how much...if you notice more than about 1/4" in either direction you should probably replace it....the reason they go out is cause they bounce naturally....they are kind of a shock absorber for the belt as well as a tensioner...but they dont put too much tension on the belt and yes they are about 50-60 for the 95+ cause they are more cheaply constructed than the 91-94's...they are a low grade stamped aluminum with plastic spring retainers...the earlier ones were a more traditional construction with a solid cast aluminum arm with the spring pushing on the inside of the mounting point against metal...go figure:rolleyes:
       
    10. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      My 92 doesn't show a bit of wear at over 200K

      My 97 has a very weak design for the idler assembly. The 97 has a center post in the spring assembly. There is a white plastic bushing betwen the spring assembly and the arm basicly to center te assembly. The arm is held on by an aluminum center bushing, much like a large washer. Between the arm and the bushing is a very thin plasic washer that is the rub surface.

      This is where the problem is. The arm is in continuous rotational movement. This wears the plastic washer and then weas the hold in piece. At some point of wear, the spring will push the arm out. If my experience is typical, that is around 5 years and/or 120K. I ground down the post a little and used a couple of large copper washers lubed with Never-sieze. The assembly gets an inspection every two weks.
       
    11. bikerboy4lif

      bikerboy4lif Active Member

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      i had my tensioner fall apart, cost me 120 bucks from ford for a new one.
       
    12. fordkrazy

      fordkrazy Active Member

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      was that canadian or u.s.? if u.s. then that seems really high...sorry to hear that
       

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