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Serpentine Belt pulleys


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10 replies to this topic

#1 netman

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:28 AM

I've got an '01 H6 Outback, and I need to replace the Idler pulley. I noticed that the Tensioner pullery looks the same as the Idler pulley. I wanted to replace them both, but the Tensioner pulley can only be purchased with the Tensioner assembly, even though the pulley is easily removed and appears to be the same as the Idler pulley. When I talked to a dealer about just replacing the pulley on the tensioner and not the complete assembly, he said Subaru does not recommend replacing just the pulley on the tensioner. If so, he said, Subaru would have a separate part number for it, which they don't. Are the Idler pulley and the Tensioner pulley interchangeable? Does anyone have any experience replacing the Idler pulley and/or Tensioner pulley on the H6 Outback? Any information would be appreciated.

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 11:41 AM

Bump.

Anyone able to help netman out?

#3 aircraft engineer

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 05:01 PM

I don't think the setbacks (depth "in" to the bottom of the mounting hole in the bearing or the depth the mounting sticks "out" from the tensioner arm - the inner race "thickness" for want of a better term) are the same (either that or the attachment bolt is a different dia) I was talking to Importexperts when I did the sister's 2.2 and they said that there wasn't availability of separate tensioner pulleys - not yet, anyway because PCI hasn't found a source and that was for 2.2 / 2.5 phase 2's. Might be different for 3.3. I guess it made too much SENSE to just use a common pulley for ALL 3 of them (and the same pulley for all 3 engines as well)

I suppose that if you had it off and could take the measurements, you could find out. Also - those bearings (the whole thing is a single bearing) have a part number on them. IF you could find it somewhere by number...let me know :grin:

#4 netman

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 02:20 PM

I don't think the setbacks (depth "in" to the bottom of the mounting hole in the bearing or the depth the mounting sticks "out" from the tensioner arm - the inner race "thickness" for want of a better term) are the same (either that or the attachment bolt is a different dia) I was talking to Importexperts when I did the sister's 2.2 and they said that there wasn't availability of separate tensioner pulleys - not yet, anyway because PCI hasn't found a source and that was for 2.2 / 2.5 phase 2's. Might be different for 3.3. I guess it made too much SENSE to just use a common pulley for ALL 3 of them (and the same pulley for all 3 engines as well)

I suppose that if you had it off and could take the measurements, you could find out. Also - those bearings (the whole thing is a single bearing) have a part number on them. IF you could find it somewhere by number...let me know :grin:


I had both pulleys off and they are identical. This is on an H6 3.0 Outback. The pulleys are the same size - both depth and width (diameter). Also, the attachment bolt is identical on both pulleys. The only difference I can see is the Idler pulley screws into a threaded housing, and the bolt on the Tensioner pulley goes into a smooth hole in the tensioner bracket and is secured by a nut on the other side. The bolts are interchangeable. The Idler pulley costs about $42 and the Tensioner assembly (the tensioner and pulley) is about $97. I needed to replace the Idler pulley because it failed. While the pulley on the Tensioner appears to be in good condition, it does make a strange sound when you spin it, which indicates to me that its life is probably short. For this reason, I wanted to change both pulleys, but I did not want to change the Tensioner assembly just to change the pulley. The reason is not just the cost. The Tensioner assembly is harder to get to, and I did not want to change it if I did not have to. The pulley on the tensioner is very easy to remove and replace. I still don't understand why it does not have a separate part number.

#5 hohieu

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 02:31 PM

It's possible to regrease the pulleys. You need to carefully remove one of the seals by prying up along the outer circumference of it. Clean the old grease out with non-chlorinated brake cleaner and blow dry with compressed air. Then fill up about 1/3 of the bearing space with a decent grease and press the seal back in.

I've done this with the accessory belt tensioner pulley as well as the T-belt idler pullies. This on a EJ25 SOHC engine, but all these pullies are similarly constructed.

#6 aircraft engineer

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 02:59 PM

Like I said - I don't know about 3.3s but IF the inside hole dia is the same and the setbacks are the same and the outside dia is the same, then swap them out.

A bearing is a bearing if the diameters, setbacks and face widths are identical. Of course, I forgot that the 3.3 is a chain engine

Lubing a sealed bearing isn't such a good idea (but in the industry I'M in, we just "swap and toss". And YOU guys think parts are expensive. HAH!!)

This isn't a timing belt i guess. (I saw timing was a chain - what is it? Accessory drives?)

#7 hohieu

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 06:57 PM

Lubing a sealed bearing isn't such a good idea (but in the industry I'M in, we just "swap and toss". And YOU guys think parts are expensive. HAH!!)


I wouldn't do it on a flying machine either, but a low load bearing should theoretically last forever if properly greased. As long as there's no play in the bearing, I just regrease them -- now if only I could find a place that sold those silly grease seals.

#8 netman

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:07 AM

Like I said - I don't know about 3.3s but IF the inside hole dia is the same and the setbacks are the same and the outside dia is the same, then swap them out.

A bearing is a bearing if the diameters, setbacks and face widths are identical. Of course, I forgot that the 3.3 is a chain engine

Lubing a sealed bearing isn't such a good idea (but in the industry I'M in, we just "swap and toss". And YOU guys think parts are expensive. HAH!!)

This isn't a timing belt i guess. (I saw timing was a chain - what is it? Accessory drives?)


No this is not the timing belt. You are correct, timing on the H6 3.0 is a chain. There is one serpentine belt that drives everything - alternator, A/C, water pump, and power steering. There is an Idler pulley and a Tensioner pulley. I feel pretty confident that the Idler pulley and Tensioner pulley are interchangeable, especially after reading some of the posts here. As I said before, the Tensioner pulley is OK for now, but it sounds like it could go bad before long. It's very easy to replace. However the Tensioner assembly is not quite as accessible, which why I just want to replace the pulley only. The Idler pulley failed catastrophically - grinding metal and ball bearings falling out.

#9 srs_49

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:26 PM

I replaced both of mine on an '02 H6 back in the fall. Bought two identical pulleys from the dealer, and put one on the tensioner and one on the front of the engine itself. Only one of the pulleys was bad, but I replaced them both. This was at 104K miles or therebouts.

#10 dakotaguy

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:27 PM

I've got an '01 H6 Outback, and I need to replace the Idler pulley. I noticed that the Tensioner pullery looks the same as the Idler pulley. I wanted to replace them both, but the Tensioner pulley can only be purchased with the Tensioner assembly, even though the pulley is easily removed and appears to be the same as the Idler pulley. When I talked to a dealer about just replacing the pulley on the tensioner and not the complete assembly, he said Subaru does not recommend replacing just the pulley on the tensioner. If so, he said, Subaru would have a separate part number for it, which they don't. Are the Idler pulley and the Tensioner pulley interchangeable? Does anyone have any experience replacing the Idler pulley and/or Tensioner pulley on the H6 Outback? Any information would be appreciated.


I may be spouting off about something I really don't know about---but; if the sheave itself is not damaged, just pop the bearing out and get a new one. I just today replaced the bearing in an idler pulley on my Nissan P/U. Bought a high end Timken bearing for 10.00 and pressed it back in to the sheave with a bench vise. Runs smooth as silk now!. I haven't looked at the idler pulleys on either of my Subys but have replaced idler bearings on Nissans, Toyotas and Hondas in this way

#11 netman

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 12:56 PM

I replaced both of mine on an '02 H6 back in the fall. Bought two identical pulleys from the dealer, and put one on the tensioner and one on the front of the engine itself. Only one of the pulleys was bad, but I replaced them both. This was at 104K miles or therebouts.


Beautiful. This is the answer I was looking for. I thought I could do this, but I was not sure. Now that somewhat else has done it, I will replace my Tensioner pulley with the same pulley I used to replace my Idler pulley. Thanks for your reply.




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