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Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:07 am
by Irving Zisman
I found the bearing for the tensioner pulley. They are a little more expensive (3 for $20), but still way cheaper than buying the entire pulley.
https://www.amazon.com/Double-Sealed-An ... pons&psc=1

When I decide to press out the bearing on Idler No. 1, I will post up the information on that as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that Idler No. 1 uses 2 of the bearings that Idler No. 2 uses.

Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 10:39 am
by Irving Zisman
Well I have figured out the best solution for a faulty idler pulley. I had my old pulleys laying around so I figured I would give this a try, and Ill be damned, it works!
Saw this canuck on youtube clean and repack sealed bearings.



The plastic seal pops right out with a razor blade and pops right back in with your thumbs. I used WD40 to clean out the bearing. There was a significant amount of dirt and rust inside, but a good WD40 bath cleaned it right out. I then packed the bearing with new Mobil 1 grease, popped the plastic seals back on, and I now have brand new bearings. There is another video I watched where a guy opened a brand new sealed bearing and found that they use white lithium grease from the factory so replacing that grease with Mobil 1 wheel bearing grease will make a huge improvement.

This is the only way I am going to handle idler pulley issues going forward in the future.

Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 9:54 am
by Irving Zisman
So I decided to open one of the brand new bearings that I bought on Amazon just to see what kind of grease the come with. To my surprise, I found that they dont come with grease, but rather a clear gel type material (could be a type of grease for all I know). There was very little of this "gel" in the bearing. It appeared that someone had taken a syringe and injected a small glob of this crap between the ball bearings. I was disgusted to say the least about the poor quality that goes into these bearings.

This makes me understand now why the idler pulleys dont last for shit anymore. Needless to say, I removed that gel crap and packed the bearing with Mobil 1 bearing grease and reassembled it. After this discovery, I think I will be taking all my new idler pulleys back off the vehicle, repacking them with real grease, and putting them back on the vehicle.

I would have gotten pics of this gel that was in the bearing, but my hands were covered in grease and I didnt feel like touching my phone.

In light of all this research I have done on these bearings, I now have a complete spare set of idler pulleys, all repacked with Mobil 1, as spares in the garage. I also have two brand new bearings as well so I will not be buying any idler pulleys for quite some time :thumbup:

Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:50 pm
by bovine
So for those who are wondering how well the Re-Greasing has been working on the idler pulleys my brother visited recently and while heavily intoxicated he pulled the idler pulleys which were making a clicking noise and repacked the bearings. So far its been over a month and everything is still working nice a quiet. The temperature is dropping very rapidly up here so I will keep everyone informed how things go as the Temps drop below -20.
DSCF0719.jpg
My FJ December 29th 2018 Beat that California!

Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:30 am
by Irving Zisman
Just re-packed the bearings on 2 of my idler pulleys yesterday. Splashing around in the Mojave river on that last trip caused a little squeak. A few weekends ago, I went and played in the mud and snow up in Big Bear and the squeaking got worse. Decided to pull 2 of the idlers off and inspect.
Found that the bearings had got muddy water in them as the grease had become a nasty brown color. I cleaned the bearings out with some carb spray, repacked with Mobil 1 grease, and re-installed. Just like new. Best part is it only cost me about 30 minutes of time and $0.

Re: Idler Pulley Replacement

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:04 pm
by Wheelinyotas
Thanks for the update!
I’ve had zero issues with my bearings since the clean & mobile 1 repack done in early June 2019. Not even a small squeak exist after almost a full year of abuse through water, mud, dust, and repeat! Now that the repack has stood the test of time with my driving “style”, I doubt that I will ever waste money to buy new replacement bearings again!