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Old 11-19-2004, 19:58   #1 (permalink)
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Question How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

My 2001 Sable makes biger and biger belt squeaking/chirping noise during the first 30 min when I drive it every time. Dealer said it was because the idler pulley is loose one month ago.
I am trying to DIY. Does anyone know how to change the idler pulley? How to tell it is the problem of idler pulley, not from the other pulleys, such as tensioner, A/C, crank-shaft, ect.? Thank you so much!

Please help :)
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:07   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by environment
My 2001 Sable makes biger and biger belt squeaking/chirping noise during the first 30 min when I drive it every time. Dealer said it was because the idler pulley is loose one month ago.
I am trying to DIY. Does anyone know how to change the idler pulley? How to tell it is the problem of idler pulley, not from the other pulleys, such as tensioner, A/C, crank-shaft, ect.? Thank you so much!

Please help :)
I replaced the idler pulley and belt tensioner on my 1997 Taurus, which was not too difficult. I suspect that it would be a similar job on your 2001.

I started by removing the serpentine belt per the repair manual. (If you don't have a repair manual, I suggest picking one up at any auto parts store). Then by spinning each pulley several times, I could easily hear by the noise which ones were in need of replacement. It was obvious that the belt tensioner and idler pulley were bad. I also replaced the serpentine belt because it was stretched to the limit according to the indicator on the tensioner. Total cost for parts was about $110.

-LW
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:40   #3 (permalink)
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Smile Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lylewood
I replaced the idler pulley and belt tensioner on my 1997 Taurus, which was not too difficult. I suspect that it would be a similar job on your 2001.

I started by removing the serpentine belt per the repair manual. (If you don't have a repair manual, I suggest picking one up at any auto parts store). Then by spinning each pulley several times, I could easily hear by the noise which ones were in need of replacement. It was obvious that the belt tensioner and idler pulley were bad. I also replaced the serpentine belt because it was stretched to the limit according to the indicator on the tensioner. Total cost for parts was about $110.

-LW

Hi lylewood,

Thank you so much! I have the Haynes repair manual, and it taught me how to remove the drivebelt. After I determine which pulley need to be changed according to your method, how could I remove it and instore the new one (because Heynes doesn't point out how to change the bad pulley)? (97 Taurus should be similar to my Sable :) )

By the way, which parts did you buy? I checked the autozone, they have following parts:

FACTORY_AIR
IDLER PULLEY $17.99

FACTORY_AIR
TENSIONER PULLEY $14.99

DAYCO
BELT TENSIONER $58.99

what's the difference between TENSIONER PULLEY and BELT TENSIONER?
Thank you again!

Have a nice weekend :-)
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Old 11-20-2004, 16:47   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Hi lylewood,

Also, what kinds of tools did you used to change your pulleys? Thank you :)
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Old 11-21-2004, 07:28   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

The belt tensioner is the complete tensioner assembly. The tensioner pulley is just the pulley wheel on the tensioner. I had to replace the whole tensioner assembly on mine, because it was locked up so it wouldn't move with the spring.

I used a regular socket wrench (I think it was a metric size) to remove the idler pulley, and a Torx (star-head) size T-50 to remove the tensioner assembly. It required a lot of force to remove the bolts, so much so that I was worried about breaking off the Torx head bolt. But it finally came loose with a pop and came out ok.

If your tensioner assembly still rotates freely with the spring, then you can probably just replace the tensioner pulley wheel if it's bad.

While you're at it, also check your water pump for bearing tightness and noise. It should rotate freely and not have any wobble when you try to wiggle the pulley. Likewise check the alternator and airconditioner for noise when you spin their pulleys.

Hope this helps.

- LW
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Old 11-21-2004, 12:30   #6 (permalink)
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Smile Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lylewood
The belt tensioner is the complete tensioner assembly. The tensioner pulley is just the pulley wheel on the tensioner. I had to replace the whole tensioner assembly on mine, because it was locked up so it wouldn't move with the spring.

I used a regular socket wrench (I think it was a metric size) to remove the idler pulley, and a Torx (star-head) size T-50 to remove the tensioner assembly. It required a lot of force to remove the bolts, so much so that I was worried about breaking off the Torx head bolt. But it finally came loose with a pop and came out ok.

If your tensioner assembly still rotates freely with the spring, then you can probably just replace the tensioner pulley wheel if it's bad.

While you're at it, also check your water pump for bearing tightness and noise. It should rotate freely and not have any wobble when you try to wiggle the pulley. Likewise check the alternator and airconditioner for noise when you spin their pulleys.

Hope this helps.

- LW

Thank you so much!! You described everything so clearly, and you are very helpful :)

Have a nice Thanksgiving :-)
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Old 11-21-2004, 14:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

By the way, did you rotate clockwise, or counterclockwise when you removed the idler pulley and tensioner assembly?
In my Haynes menual, it points out for OHV engines, to relieve belt tension, rotate the tensioner clockwise. But they don't say how to remove idler pulley (clockwish or counterclockwise). Sorry for asking so many questions.

Thank you very much!
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:29   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Counter-clockwise to remove both the tensioner and the idler pulley.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

- LW
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Old 11-22-2004, 19:00   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How to change idler pulley of 2001 sable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lylewood
Counter-clockwise to remove both the tensioner and the idler pulley.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

- LW

Thank you so much, lylewood. I'll try it soon.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)
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