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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so after putting in my timing belt and stuff I noticed I had a noise in the front of the engine around 3800+ and when I was listening to the stuff w/ a screwdriver against my ear the waterpump housing was emitting quite a racket, where-as the other components had a typical bearing whirr.
Though I thought that it was the idle pulley at fault, I didn't have one on hand and I went ahead and installed a new water-pump and also threw some new bearings in the alternator since it was a little rough. I already had a water pump and I got the bearings from an alternator shop a couple miles away from work so it was no big deal.
Anyway, the pulley is still what is at faut... it's still noisy. I had attempted to order one through work and looked up the part on my own and wound up with a pulley that is the same size, and same offset but no bearing. It was listed for PL engines w/ A/C.. so I'm not sure what the problem was.... anyway, it was like $38 cost, which I thought was great for one with a bearing in it.. (but not for a plain pulley, ack. they must be proud of it)
Sooo... I lubed the snot out of the one I had and it didn't get any better. I priced out the one that's on the car (part number is right on it, duh) and cost on it is like $77 which puts it in my hands for about $85 or so.. more than I have to spend on the car atm. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
The question is... what is the idler pulley for? I haven't measured the pulleys to compare the ratios but I (as well as the guy I work with) are pretty sure the ratio is very very very close, if not the same... and I have this solid pulley sitting on my tool box which won't make any noise at all. ...
I have a spare set of pulleys (spare as in junk I have around, not spare as in good... the idler's locked up from rust.) that I am going to bring into work tomorrow to measure them and check the ratio. If the rato really is the same, the only reason (I can think of) to have the idler on there is to allow for momentary belt lag as the a/c compressor engauges and the idler prevents the shock from being transmitted into the water pump belt. I don't plan to recharge the refridgerant until next spring/summer.
Has anyone ever used a non-bearing pulley?
Am I the only person having issues with the blasted thing?
anyone have any insight on this?
 

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Re: A/C Belt idler pulley on water pump issues. (vw_nick)

I am not sure why on the 16v VW uses the water pump pulley with the bearing????? VW doesn't use that set up on the 8v cars with A/C and powersteering. I am not running P/S on my 16v so I got rid of the waterpump pulley with the bearing and am using a pulley from a 8v car. The offset was a little different (offset to the inside) so I put the old P/S pulley on the lathe and cut out the center and I am using it as my spacer between the waterpump and the waterpump pulley to line up the pulleys. Looks factory stock and works like a charm. This set up probably won't work if you are still running the P/S but then again I never tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: A/C Belt idler pulley on water pump issues. (vw_nick)

I measured the pulleys at work today, and going by the OD the ratio is within .01:1 of each-other. The variance may just be due to some rust or not quite having 100% dead center while measuring the diameter.
I installed the solid pulley this evening and drove the car about 20 miles throughout various rpm ranges, and naturally the noise is gone.. (yay)
the pulley's offset is off towards the inside by maybe the thickness of the very edge of the pulley, like .6mm, not enough to make me worry about it other than to keep an eye on the belt.
I can't get my timing belt set where I'm happy with it though. I noticed a slight whirr when I got home so I removed the cover and found that it was running a very slight ammount off the outter end of the cam gear so I decreased the tension by just a hair.. and now at like 2500-3000rpms it seems like it flaps around excessively on the long side... plus it's still running on the outside of the cam gear... ugh. Maybe I'm just crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: A/C Belt idler pulley on water pump issues. (sixteenvalve)

I think it was $77 cost.
I tried Worldpac, and they didn't have it. I also checked O'riley who is a Gates distributor (which includes idlers and related parts, not just belts) and they didn't have it either.
I've put about 300 miles on the car with the rigid pulley, no problems yet. I think for a daily driver I would get the real deal though.
 
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