Idler pulley replacement - 4.0 SOHC | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Idler pulley replacement - 4.0 SOHC


Go big or go home
Elite Explorer
July 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Willow Grove, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
So today I changed out my idler pulley. Figured I might as well throw up a quick how-to, even though this task is so alarmingly simple it really doesn't require a how-to thread. I figure it can't hurt.

First, buy a replacement pulley from Rock Auto.


Next, locate your tensioner pulley, which is most easily accessed on the left side of the vehicle, from underneath. You will need to loosen the slack on the belt using this.


In the square hole on the pulley, insert a 3/8'' drive ratchet, and push the pulley counter-clockwise. This will compress a spring, and relieve all tension on the serpentine belt. You can then slip off the belt.


Remove your plastic engine cover/shroud. This will give you more room to work.


Locate your idler pulley. It's indicated on the diagram under the hood. It'll be the top pulley in the center, to the left of the power steering pulley.


With the belt off, finagle a ratchet in there and loosen the single bolt holding the pulley on. You'll need a 15mm socket. I'd recommend gloves too, as this cost me a few bloody knuckles - there isn't much room to work if you choose to leave the intake and fan alone.

Remove the single bolt, pull the old pulley out, and punch out the bolt in the center of the bearing:


Put the bolt into the new pulley, and then bolt this back on.



Once the pulley is installed, re-install the belt using the tensioner and the 3/8'' drive again. I had a friend push the tensioner while I slipped the belt back into place to make it easier.

Re-secure your engine cover, and you're all done. It's a ridiculously easy task.


Hope this helps give a few people the inspiration to do this job themselves. A local mechanic will likely charge you $120+ for this when you can do it yourself, for free, in likely under an hour, with a $14 part.

Cheers! :chug:

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The blood all over the fan blades has me afraid, Oh the humanity. Run for your lives. jk

NICE WRITE-UP:thumbsup:

Hahaha...that was likely from my knuckle! ;) It's damn tight in there.

I'll be doing this today, thanks for the write up.