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Idler pulley & belt train questions


generic

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new to the forums but have been reading posts for a little while. great resource!

I threw the idler pulley a couple weeks ago (well, actually my step-mom was driving it when it happened), so I'm picking up a new one plus a belt and new tensioner assembly. don't know if the pulley bolt broke, unspun, or a combo of the two. wasn't able to locate it (though I did find the pulley and bearing outer ring neatly tucked away by the passenger-side headlight, LOL).

will likely order thru autozone but can anyone tell me if the pulley comes with the bolt or is that a separate item? obviously none of the parts places I've looked at (online) mention the bolt or list it separately. if it is separate, will I need a pulley tool (and how much do those run)?

second, I inspected the threads on the bracket as best I could with a flashlight and small mirror and I can still see them but they appear slightly or mildly stripped. would it be safe to rethread them with the new bolt or am I looking at a new bracket or machining? obviously nobody sells the bracket (besides scrap yards) and I haven't yet looked into any local machine shops for a rethread.

third, I inspected all accessory pulleys (alternator, A/C, power sterring, and water pump). except for power steering, all seem fine as far as noise, play, and wobble go. I measured approx 1/4" of rotational play in the PS pulley (seems like very little given the size of the pulley but...) and also a small amount of give (~1/8") if I push/pull on it (front-to-back). I don't know if these are acceptable for a PS pump, hoping I won't have to replace that as well.

lastly, I'm slightly concerned about the replacement idler pulley. the original has flange on both sides but none of the aftermarkets do that I've found. any issues there?

FWIW, the trashed pulley makes for a cool little ashtray if you press a flattened bottle cap into the bearing housing:D

thx for any help/advice!
 


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generic

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shadetree

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Are you replacing the pulley, or the entire bracket? Which bolt is stripped, the one that holds the pulley to the bracket, or the bracket to the engine?

If the threads are not completely stripped, you can clean them up with a tap. You can get a thread repair kit called a heli-coil kit. You need to know the size.

No special tools needed, standard tools will work fine. Most idlers are smooth, not a problem.:)shady
 

AllanD

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The pulley IS supposed to have a flange on the '94-up setup.

Those flanges are WHY I put later pullies on my '93 engine when
swapping it into my 1987 truck.

AD
 

Hazmat Ranger

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The pulley IS supposed to have a flange on the '94-up setup.

Those flanges are WHY I put later pullies on my '93 engine when
swapping it into my 1987 truck.

AD
Allan

Why can't I find one with flanges, everyone has the pulley that is smooth. AZ O'Reillys, on-line. Where in the world can I find one with the flanges?

Thanks
 

AllanD

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where to get new ones?

I have no idea, I got mine from junkyard vehicles.

AD
 

Hazmat Ranger

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Went by Pep Boys yesterday - had no choice my alternator decided to divorce my truck and they weren't amicable . . . anyway I checked with them about the pulley - same one - no flanges. However the guy I spoke with says all of the local NAPA and Pep Boys trucks are Rangers from 94 to 2004 and they use this new one on all of them without any problems - so I will try it out . . .
 

generic

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thanks for your replies guys (and sorry if I sounded snappy).

@Shady: it is the bolt that holds the pulley to the bracket. I had to order a new one through the dealership ($4.80 + tax), just got it today and was able to tell that the threads on the bracket are not stripped (whew). But now I'm not certain they got me the right bolt, and I think I may also be missing a bushing or spacer or something. The bolt swims inside the bearing and it seems way too long (3-1/8" minus the head). attaching pics for reference.

any input is greatly appreciated, I really need to get this thing on the road as the lease on the house is up this summer and we have to move!


 


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