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Idler Pulley Replacement

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My '01 S w/ 47k makes a loud squeal right when the engine fires. It sounds a lot like bearing noise from an idler pulley. It goes away completely when the car is warm. Is there a way to examine the pulleys? I can't see anything from above and, while I have yet to get the car in the air, I don't think that looking from below is going to help much either. Any ideas? Are pulleys a known "issue" on these cars? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance


'01 986 S

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Remove the service cover from behind the seats and you can see everything. Don't know about your noise but the pulley bearings are known to go bad, also the water pump bearings, on 986/996. No clue as to why it would go away when the car is warm. Could be something else.


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I have a 99 Boxster. My Idler Pulley snapped, yes snapped. The inner cylinder came right apart from the wider outer cylinder. Pretty impressive since it is a single cast peice. The dealer said that they had not seen that before. I'm like: "Awesome, I have some rare wart on my body that all the doctors are intrigued by, but it costs me an arm and a leg to get rid of the dang thing."

Anyway, when the pulley broke, the v-belt snapped. I heard it go, but the car was still running so decided to head to the mechanic since he was close. The belt controls the fan and thus started overheating the car so never made it to the shop. But in doing so, the belt melted onto the rest of the engine and took 3 hours of labor to clean. Total cost to me was 486.10. New pulley was 63.28 and belt 34.94.

Lesson to learn: If you hear it snap, hope your engine is cool and turn off car immediately. Or for 100 bucks plus some labor, you can get it replaced if you are worried about it. I don't know how many others need this part replaced, but here is my story.

Good luck. And if you know anything about Alarm Control Units, search those words and help me out with my current problem. Ahhh, the joys....

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Anyone know the torque spec for the idler?
From AllData and the Bentley manual:

Hexagon nut a/f 24 M16x1.5 65 ±5Nm (48 ±3.5 ft lb)

Hexagon-head bolts M10 45 Nm (33 ft lb)

Hexagon nut a/f 13 M8 15 Nm (11 ft lb)

Look on the bolt head for the size or measure it. I can't remember which bolts are what size.

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