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Old 08-22-2019, 08:26 PM   #1
TwoFistedJustic
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Default Serpentine Pulley Questions

2002 SC2 Manual

I'm about to get my engine rebuilt. And I might as well have them replace the belt pulleys while they have the engine out.

I'm not sure what parts to get...

RockAuto shows a "tensioner pulley" and an "idler pulley" I'm not sure what is what there.

I believe the tensioner is the little one in the bottom middle where the belt gets pinched inwards. Is the idler pulley one above that?

To add to my confusion, rockauto shows a 76mm and a 90mm pulley.

As far as replacing pulleys while the engine is out, what is the way to go?

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Old 08-22-2019, 08:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

I'm also seeing a Dayco and an AC Delco tensioner which look very similar. I read somewhere that Dayco is an OEM supplier. Can these be the same?

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...=9925&jsn=9925

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...=9927&jsn=9927

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Old 08-22-2019, 09:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

Correct, the Idler is above the serpentine belt tensioner.
90mm diameter pulley.

Last edited by toggenburg; 08-22-2019 at 10:04 PM..

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Old 08-23-2019, 03:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

If you have an OEM tensioner that was in decent shape WRT holding belts in firm tension, you might want to hold on to it and install a new bearing. At least on my old idler and tensioner I replaced the idler and tensioner bearings at the 100K mile mark with some nice smooth/high-quality SKF ones.

Pretty easy job with the right-sized socket.

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Old 08-27-2019, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by hholbein View Post
If you have an OEM tensioner that was in decent shape WRT holding belts in firm tension, you might want to hold on to it and install a new bearing. At least on my old idler and tensioner I replaced the idler and tensioner bearings at the 100K mile mark with some nice smooth/high-quality SKF ones.

Pretty easy job with the right-sized socket.
I don't know the condition of my current pulleys. I ordered new ones from Dayco anyway. The idler pulley came in and it is USA made with NTN bearings made in Canada.

I will instruct the shop doing the rebuild to return all of my old parts so I can salvage the serviceable ones.

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Old 08-27-2019, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

Best quality tensioner is an original at a junk yard.

-Robert

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Old 08-27-2019, 09:16 PM   #7
edlee
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

In July 2019, I pulled an original Gates tensioner from a 1994 Saturn SL1 that was still holding tension, and it looked newer than the tensioner from my 1999 Saturn SL1. There was no corrosion at all on the Gates tensioner, not even on the bolt. The Gates tensioner was the only part on the serpentine belt side of the engine that did not have any rust on it. The Gates tensioner looked newer than the Dayco tensioner that came with my 1999 Saturn SL1, which had corrosion on the tensioner pulley bolt. The top bolt holding the Gates tensioner to the engine block is hard to access with a regular 3/8" or 1/4" ratchet wrench, because the tensioner pulley gets in the way of the wrench head. I used the tiniest ratchet wrench I could find on eBay, a Vim Products HBR5 1/4" Square Drive 5/16" Bit Reversible Ratchet Wrench, along with an adjustable Crescent wrench to use as an extension for extra leverage. After I got the tensioner home, I used an impact wrench to remove the bolt from the metal pulley. The length of the bolt was less than 20mm. The threads felt rough when I put the tensioner pulley bolt back in, so I put some boron lubricant on the threads, and that helped smooth them out. A Gates tensioner from a later year came with a plastic pulley and a longer bolt for the pulley. I bought a bearing press from eBay and pressed a new PGN 6203 ZZ C3 bearing into the metal pulley. The 1999 Field Service Manual specifies 22 ft-lbs of torque to put the pulley bolt back on the tensioner and 22 ft-lbs of torque to bolt the tensioner to the engine block, but I did not use a torque wrench. The 1994 Saturn SL1 was mostly untouched by other car part scavengers, probably because most of the parts were old and rusted and incompatible with later Saturn SL1 models, except for the Gates tensioner.

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Old 08-28-2019, 03:32 PM   #8
Keblar
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

Just to add my recent experience to this thread:

Last moth I installed a full Gates Kit that I sourced from Rock Auto - Tensioner, Pulley and belt for system with AC compressor. The price was competitive, everything fit and seems good quality. It was super easy to get the belt on and tensioned properly, and it's working great so far. BUT...

My one issue is that the tensioner body IS NOT AN EXACT MATCH. It fit perfectly, but the body was smaller than the original and leaves a 1/4 to 1/2 inch open space to the mounting cavity. I don't think it's a significant issue though.

Someone can correct this if this is wrong, but I don't think it's an actual cavity. I think it's just a cast "wall" to accommodate the fitment of the pulley system and is open at the bottom. So, anything that manages makes it's way in will just drain straight down. I meant to shine a light from the bottom to try and check this, but forgot to before I finished reassembling.

If I'm mistaken and this IS a closed cavity that's going to fill up with salty road filth and trash, then this is something I need to address, especially since I don't have a full splash guard. Even if it is only aluminum, it will still pit and corrode eventually if it stays in full contact.

...
2002 SL2 305k + Miles

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Old 08-30-2019, 11:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Serpentine Pulley Questions

I found the pulley bearings, at NAPA. Cheap. Pressed it into the pulley with a big C clamp.

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