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'03 3.8 belt tensioner

 
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mtl
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2003 Chevrolet Impala


PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject:  '03 3.8 belt tensioner Reply with quote

I think the bearing in the tensioner pulley of my Impala is bad and making noise. As you might know, the tensioner comes in a complete assembly with a bracket costing over $100 for an OE part. And neither the tensioner or the tensioner pulley is really listed as available separately. Here is a picture of an ACDelco aftermarket version
http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-.....B000IYXUB4


However, Rock Auto does list in their catalogue for the Impala a "Drive belt tensioner pulley" ACDelco part # 38006 for $15.74 .The pulley looks identical to the one in the complete assembly [url] http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-.....ef=lh_ni_t [/url] . Not only would this be much cheaper but also a lot easier to just unbolt the pully from the tensioner and replace it. I looked at the pulley on my Impala and the the bolt is facing outward and it appears that if the coolant overflow bottle was removed there'd be cleance to change out the pulley.

Has anyone ever fixed their tensioner pulley noise by just replacing the tensioner pulley with the ACDelco 38006 pulley or equivalent without replacing the entire tensioner assembly?


Last edited by mtl on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
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VictoryRed09
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Been there done that.
or
I have replaced just the pulley and bearing assembly on several GM models, not just Impala. I can not remember if the bolt is left hand threat on the Impala.

Be aware. the spring on the tensioner does fatigue with age and might break some where down the line.
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mtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks. I do realize that most GM tensioner pulleys have a bolt and could be removed. I know on the 3.1/3.4 N-car Grand Am, Malibu etc the tensioner pulley bolt was on the backside so the tensioner would have to removed anyway. But they all have a separately replaceable tensioner assembly that isn't as expensive and is easy to remove.

The Impala 3.8 is a special case with the tensioner being an entire tensioner bracket assembly with coolant pipes running through it. It is much more expensive an involved to replace than most other tensioners. That's why I'm considering just replacing the pulley on this application. The pulley bearing seems to be the first thing to go out on GM's tensioners.

It seems all these GM idlers and tensioner pulleys are the same dimensions even though they have various part numbers. If I do get the pulley I'm going to get the OE pulley that is listed as an idler for the 3.1/3.4 instead of the ACDelco 38006 china sourced one.

This tensioner pulley noise is very common on these cars. Has anyone else just replaced the pulley?
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nightryder
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

http://shop.zzperformance.com/.....ioner.aspx

The pulley bolt is the only left handed bolt on the entire car. If you want to just replace the pulley I believe it's a 3" diameter pulley.

EDIT: derp

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Last edited by nightryder on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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billy101
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I got my pulley from Advance auto parts. it was something like $20, was just the bearing and the pulley itself. no need to pull off the belt tensioner and change the whole thing. that's just silly.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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mtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Wow $24.99 for the whole tensioner and bracket? That's not much more than the pulley costs. Even the cheapest Dayco assemblies are like $65. What brand is that and how could it be that cheap?

I will keep the left-hand thread in mind.

I think the pulley is 71mm. Rockauto and ACDelco list two part numbers 38006 and 15-20679. I don't know why there are two since they are both made in china and not the OES. What's even more confusing is those two parts are also supposed to fit other applications (3.1 malibu idler pulley) but when I use the other application's OES part no., the 03 Impala doesn't list as a fit. I want the OES pulley since it about the same price and made in Canada, but no OES pulley is listed specifically for the 00-04Impala.


Can anyone make sense of ACDelco's part numbers? There seems to be several and the parts look to be the same dimension. I understand there being two, aftermarket and OES line.

Specifically ACDelco lists 15-20679 (made in China) for the '03 Impala
and also fits 97-00 Malibu
But
ACDelco 15-4683 is the OES listing for the Malibu idler pulley

I want to use the 15-4683 pulley on the Impala. Does anyone know of any reason it wouldn't fit? I think ACdelco's catalogue is baloney.

billy101 wrote:
I got my pulley from Advance auto parts. it was something like $20, was just the bearing and the pulley itself. no need to pull off the belt tensioner and change the whole thing. that's just silly.


Thanks. So was it the Dayco? by the time you figure shipping $20 is about as good a deal as online. I'm just leery of using a pulley bearing made in china and try to avoid anything made there as much as possible. I don't mean to question the other posters but do you remember if the bolt was left-hand threads? Also did you reinstall the washer/dust deflector under the bolt? I know it's mentioned that there's a warning about a possible clearance issue with replacement pulleys.


Last edited by mtl on Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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nightryder
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I'm running that tensioner with no problems, it's very hard to screw up that tensioner design. You'll want new o-rings for the steel heater hose adapters if you replace the tensioner.



You want a 3" smooth pulley.

http://shop.zzperformance.com/.....6rib-.aspx

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mtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. It seems like most any pulley for GM models might fit. I'm just a stickler and wanted a north american produced pulley. I've actually dealt with new out of the box Gates, Dayco etc china tensioners that were bad or even worse fail soon after installation.

What's that about metal coolant elbo lines? Mine are the OE plastic. I'm not a fan of plastic coolant parts and I have a slight coolant leak somewhere that I can't pinpoint but can smeel the coolant. I haven't replaced the intake manifold gaskets yet so who knows where it's leaking from.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

There are 2 plastic elbows and 2 metal adapters for the lines that go to the heater core. They slide into the top of the tensioner, take a peek back there and you'll see them.

I've never had a problem with any dayco or gates product, not tightening the pulleys down properly is more likely to make them to fail prematurely.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Yes, I used the Dayco replacement pulley and bearing from Advance Auto. I believe it is a left handed thread.

This is the exact part I purchased.
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....LTAMS_____

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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mtl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

nightryder wrote:
There are 2 plastic elbows and 2 metal adapters for the lines that go to the heater core. They slide into the top of the tensioner, take a peek back there and you'll see them.

I've never had a problem with any dayco or gates product, not tightening the pulleys down properly is more likely to make them to fail prematurely.


I see now you were talking about the heater hose adapters. At first I thought you were saying there were metal elbows available.

Some people have had problems with the quality of china sourced bearings. I just don't want to buy anything sourced from there when I can help it.

billy101 wrote:
Yes, I used the Dayco replacement pulley and bearing from Advance Auto. I believe it is a left handed thread.

This is the exact part I purchased.
http://shop.advanceautoparts.c.....LTAMS_____


Yeah I looked at that. the nice thing about buying it locally is if there is a problem later it's easy to excercise the warranty.

I was wanting to use this pulley http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuin.....vi-content. It is an OES part made in Canada but it is not listed to fit '00-05 Impala. I'm not sure why it wouldn't work and was wondering if anyone knows.
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bigdog60
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Little bit of a jack...But can't you replace the bearing in them? I've been wrong before but I think it pops out.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

bigdog60 wrote:
Little bit of a jack...But can't you replace the bearing in them? I've been wrong before but I think it pops out.


I don't think it's possible. Once the old bearing is pressed out the race won't have the correct diameter to make a press fit on the new bearing. If it was possible you will come out ahead by spending the extra money on a whole assembly.

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mtl
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

bigdog60 wrote:
Little bit of a jack...But can't you replace the bearing in them? I've been wrong before but I think it pops out.


I've heard of people claiming they have regreased the bearing and that quieted the pulley. I don't really se how that's possible since the seal is probably not reusable. The pulley with the sealed bearing is only $10-20 and they don't sell the bearing separately so it wouldn't be worth the trouble even if it's possible.
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