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Pulley interference

326 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  B3NN3TT
Anybody ever experience this?

Idler pulley is making very slight contact with the tensioner pulley arm. It’s making a very slight squeaking sound as it rubs. I just installed this tensioner; original Motorcraft unit. The idler pulley was transferred over from my 2.5 along with the rest of the timing cover.

I mean I guess it will clearance itself eventually, but that seems wrong.

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That's the plan.

Yeah, I THINK the 01-02 tensioners are totally different, but who knows. But this is the second one I've bought for this car, one Motorcraft and one aftermarket, and both fit the same. Weird.

It's just SUCH A PAIN to get that thing in and out of there with no clearance to get a wrench in there.
Use a ratcheting combination wrench on the torx bit
I'll have to see if I have a ratcheting wrench that small, but yeah - that would work.

i forget, is that at the start or the end of the travel.

I always use the longer swivel ratchet to get in there to start, and then i put the ratchet wrench on the torx bit itself for the rest
There's so little travel, it doesn't really matter. That photo was taken with the engine running, though, so that's where it rests normally.

I have had this happen before with the larger idler pulley, but I can’t remember what I did. Is it a difference between the 99/00 and 01/02?
Was not aware there were 2 different sizes of idler pulley. This whole timing cover and idler pulley was just swapped over from my 2000 2.5; the tensioner assembly is all new. Twice.

They sell a serpentine pully tool that's basically a long, flat wrench that'll get in there. I have one that works, but you gotta loosen the power steering line to get some movement. Or get one that's offset.
I was able to get a regular ratchet on the tensioner here - I never could do that on my 2000. Some cars have enough clearance and others don't; classic Ford quality, lol.
Well, I took it back off tonight and did a fair amount of clearancing on it with a Dremel, but the squeak remains. So either A: I didn't clearance it enough, or B: the squeak is coming from the idler pulley itself.

Idlers are cheap so I'll probably go that route. Rock Auto shows some brands with a 70mm pulley and others with a 73, so I'll be sure to order the smaller one. Just sucks having to deal with that belt again...
Updated in another thread but I'll cross-post here in the interest of closure -

Ordered the 70mm pulley from Rock Auto, and it was the identical same size as the old one. So somebody's math is hinky.

Long story short, I took it over to the bench grinder and took a mm or two off the lip around the edge of the new pulley before installing to be sure there would be no interference again. The end.
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