Idler Pulley/Bearing Failure, what to do: - Page 21 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Maintenance Tech This forum is for discussion of all aspects of maintenance that should be performed on the FJ Cruiser to keep it operating at maximum efficiency.

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post #201 of 204 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 03:56 PM
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Re: Idler Pulley/Bearing Failure, what to do:

Great thread. Pretty much gospel when it comes to addressing one or all 4 pulleys or bearings.
Regarding an '07 FJ:
As the OP says in his very informative post, the two top pulleys and bearings are the same. By my measurements, the ID of the pulleys are shy of 42mm and that explains why pressing the bearings out and new ones in takes a good bit of force (1st pic). Replacing the bearing and retaining the original pulley for the uppers is doable for 1/3 of the cost of a new pulley/bearing assembly, but requires either the oem KOYO bearing with the 10mm ID (not readily available over the counter at parts houses or Grainger), or a 6302 bearing with the bushing/insert (NAPA NBH 910515) that comes with the aftermarket pulley kits.

When it comes to the tensioner pulley, like DEWFPO says, the pulley can easily be removed with the tensioner assembly in place...just need to remember - reverse threads on this one.
drcoffee, I'm not sure that I understand your post where you say that the tensioner pulley for the '14 takes two 6203 bearings or one 5203. The reference that I see shows the 6203 as being 12mm wide (24mm for two) and the 5203 as 17.5mm wide. For my '07, the factory tensioner bearing was 17.5mm wide. At 40mm (pic 2) the pulley ID is 2mm less than the upper two for whatever reason. This bearing presses in and and out much easier than the two tops. Also, since the tensioner has a fixed shoulder/bushing that the bearing fits over, the bearing is much more readily available, and is a direct replacement to the oem bearing (Grainger 5203) as it doesn't need a bushing. This is the easiest pulley to replace the bearing and retain the pulley and save a little $.

When it comes to the bottom idler pulley, it's an entirely different beast - at least for the '07. I suppose that it was anticipated that this pulley would endure the most load, since the bearing is much more substantial than the other 3. The shielded 42mm DIA bearing is 26mm wide (essentially the size of two 6302 bearings stacked) with a 10mm bore. Not a common bearing. I couldn't find one anywhere, so I resorted to buying the aftermarket pulley assembly. Just as well, because the bearing has a special stainless shield on both faces, probably for a good reason, and you need a press to get this beast out of the pulley and a new one (if you can find it) back in.

As a final note, if your FJ becomes submerged in muddy water for more than 10 minutes, expect to replace ALL idler pulleys and the tensioner pulley within short order. Of course this would be before or after you replace your starter, etc.... You might as well do all 4 pulleys at once to save yourself some aggravation (ask me how I know)
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post #202 of 204 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 11:38 AM
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Re: Idler Pulley/Bearing Failure, what to do:

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jptl previously said: View Post
Great thread. Pretty much gospel when it comes to addressing one or all 4 pulleys or bearings.
Regarding an '07 FJ:
As the OP says in his very informative post, the two top pulleys and bearings are the same. By my measurements, the ID of the pulleys are shy of 42mm and that explains why pressing the bearings out and new ones in takes a good bit of force (1st pic). Replacing the bearing and retaining the original pulley for the uppers is doable for 1/3 of the cost of a new pulley/bearing assembly, but requires either the oem KOYO bearing with the 10mm ID (not readily available over the counter at parts houses or Grainger), or a 6302 bearing with the bushing/insert (NAPA NBH 910515) that comes with the aftermarket pulley kits.

When it comes to the tensioner pulley, like DEWFPO says, the pulley can easily be removed with the tensioner assembly in place...just need to remember - reverse threads on this one.
drcoffee, I'm not sure that I understand your post where you say that the tensioner pulley for the '14 takes two 6203 bearings or one 5203. The reference that I see shows the 6203 as being 12mm wide (24mm for two) and the 5203 as 17.5mm wide. For my '07, the factory tensioner bearing was 17.5mm wide. At 40mm (pic 2) the pulley ID is 2mm less than the upper two for whatever reason. This bearing presses in and and out much easier than the two tops. Also, since the tensioner has a fixed shoulder/bushing that the bearing fits over, the bearing is much more readily available, and is a direct replacement to the oem bearing (Grainger 5203) as it doesn't need a bushing. This is the easiest pulley to replace the bearing and retain the pulley and save a little $.

When it comes to the bottom idler pulley, it's an entirely different beast - at least for the '07. I suppose that it was anticipated that this pulley would endure the most load, since the bearing is much more substantial than the other 3. The shielded 42mm DIA bearing is 26mm wide (essentially the size of two 6302 bearings stacked) with a 10mm bore. Not a common bearing. I couldn't find one anywhere, so I resorted to buying the aftermarket pulley assembly. Just as well, because the bearing has a special stainless shield on both faces, probably for a good reason, and you need a press to get this beast out of the pulley and a new one (if you can find it) back in.

As a final note, if your FJ becomes submerged in muddy water for more than 10 minutes, expect to replace ALL idler pulleys and the tensioner pulley within short order. Of course this would be before or after you replace your starter, etc.... You might as well do all 4 pulleys at once to save yourself some aggravation (ask me how I know)
Hey jptl, did you happen to get an OEM part number off the tensioner pulley? I can find the assembly easy enough, but can't find just the pulley. Why spend $150 for the whole assy. when I can spend more like $50 to just replace the pulley?

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post #203 of 204 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 12:14 AM
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Re: Idler Pulley/Bearing Failure, what to do:

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5Greens previously said: View Post
Thanks for assembling the parts list for a complete Belt system overhaul. Reading this post made me replace all the pulleys along with a long overdue belt replacement. I used your parts list and shopping advise for a total cost just under $200. My upper idlers were bear metal instead of black. The tensioner assembly is the bracket for the alternator and A/C compressor. Replacing the tensioner assembly requires the removal or relocation of the alternator and A/C compressor. I found it easier to remove the fan and shroud along with the battery to gain access. 6 hours after starting the job I drove away. I had not noticed the noise from the belt system before, but after the lack of noise was noticeable. I should have done in sooner with 166K miles it needed to done.


Gates #36173


Gates #38411


Remove Alternator wire cap clips on sides


Remove Alternator wires and wire bracket


Remove Alternator mount bolts and remove Alternator.


Remove bolt on bracket for A/C line to allow compressor to be moved.


Remove bolts ((4) one not shown) allowing compressor to be moved.


Remove tensioner 5 bolts.

Reverse steps to reinstall.
Necro post, I know, but any chance you still have the pics?
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post #204 of 204 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 11:11 AM
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Well in case anyone was wondering i used the gates 36173x2 and a 36174 for the lower right out of the box no dust covers and replaced the bolts w new they are m10x1.25 35mm. I pulled the tensioner pulley and the bearings were already brand new sealed bearings. Weird but thanks previous owner. My pulley noises went away 👌

Last edited by philFJ; 08-27-2019 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Update
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