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Old 09-19-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
1998 Boxster Silver/Red
 
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Next project - Pulleys

I had a noise emerging from the engine. Turns out I need to replace the pulleys. 2 idler. 1 tensioner. All spin freely. All have a gritty feel. All have just a slightly measureable give. Belt on: whirring. Belt off: engine purrs.

That said...

Pelican Mubea Brand pulleys. With a new belt... ~$260

Is Mubea the brand with which to go? The Sebro Brand is less expensive, but I read that the pulley itself is plastic. The Mubea, I don't know.

What about the Duralast from Autozone for the idlers?

What are you guys buying?

Thank you.

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Last edited by Starter986; 09-19-2019 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:59 PM   #2
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I wouldn't trust anything from Autozone. I've had too many bad parts from them. I don't know anything about the other brands, though.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:49 PM   #3
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I usually buy a mid-priced OEM supplier part. I don't really pay attention to the brand. I avoid the cheapest parts for obvious reasons and refuse to pay full freight for the Porsche label.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:21 PM   #4
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I did Sebros. Perfectly fine, and no, they are not plastic... come complete with bushings etc.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:56 AM   #5
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Thank you, guys. I believe I'll go the Sebro route.

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Old 09-20-2019, 09:46 AM   #6
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Got bored. Figured what could be the worst outcome. A couple of hours... maybe 1 hour without screwing around. I was in no hurry.

Removed the pulleys. Didn't have a 15mm (!!!!!) for the nut behind the tensioner pulley. 5/8 sufficed.

Completely dismantled (ha-ha) the three pulleys, keeping each one separate to not mix anything up.

Used brake cleaner and went to town. Completely clean. After removing the bearing seal-ring... zero lube. However, my examination revealed no play... nice smooth operation and rolling. I regreased all the bearings... and the contact parts. Blue loctite. Torqued.

Cleaned off the pulleys roller surface. Washed the belt in the sink. Installed belt. Buttoned back up everything.

Fired her up. Whirring gone 80%. Maybe 100%. I'm thinking the whirring got louder over time... maybe the whirring slightly was there when I bought the car, thinking it was an ordinary sound (nothing extraordinary), and progressively it got worse until it just overwhelmed all the other engine sounds.

I consider it a success... unless and until it resurfaces. Then I'll just get a new set of Mubea pulleys... for that is what is on it now.

For now the effort saved me, temporarily, ~$275 pulleys and belt.

Again, thank you for the recommendations.
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:24 AM   #7
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I thought that the tensioner and pully's were sealed bearings and not serviceable?
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:13 AM   #8
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They have rubber grease seals. I packed new grease into the idler pulley bearing on my car, and it has so far been fine for the two years since.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #9
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They have rubber grease seals. I packed new grease into the idler pulley bearing on my car, and it has so far been fine for the two years since.
Two years? That's a good run.

I drove 160 miles yesterday and the car hasn't been quieter since I've owned it.

Maybe this should be a regular maintenance routine... annual.



Ok... where now to spend that $275?
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:19 PM   #10
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Two years? That's a good run.

I drove 160 miles yesterday and the car hasn't been quieter since I've owned it.

Maybe this should be a regular maintenance routine... annual.



Ok... where now to spend that $275?
No, I wouldn’t do it annually. Think about it, how many years/miles have yours been installed? Mine were 60k and 17. So, I’m thinking belt, check pulleys, maybe annually. Pulley refresh? MAYBE 10-15k unless obviously bad...
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Geof3 View Post
No, I wouldn’t do it annually. Think about it, how many years/miles have yours been installed? Mine were 60k and 17. So, I’m thinking belt, check pulleys, maybe annually. Pulley refresh? MAYBE 10-15k unless obviously bad...
True. Annual would be overkill.

Do you know if the originals were packed with grease? My three were absent evidence of any lubrication. Just bearings, and no grease.

Cheers!
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:55 AM   #12
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I had one pulley start to go and just went with replacing all with Sebro brand. I figure they lasted about 15 years, 90k+ miles. I do remember that the tension-er pulley with the nut on the back, you have to be careful how tight you go as I found that if to tight, the pulley would not spin as free as I felt it should.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kk2002s View Post
I had one pulley start to go and just went with replacing all with Sebro brand. I figure they lasted about 15 years, 90k+ miles. I do remember that the tension-er pulley with the nut on the back, you have to be careful how tight you go as I found that if to tight, the pulley would not spin as free as I felt it should.
I saw the Sebro pulleys. They get good reviews. I chose to service the bearings because as easy as it is to part with $275 for pulleys/belt I just couldn't get past how incredibly inexpensive are the bearings. The pulley part itself... near indestructable. I figured if it doesn't work I'll just buy the new pulleys. That said...

I further was inspired to service those bearings to mitigate the vehicle operating expenses. Again, it's easy to throw money at the cars... but the challenge is in keeping those operating expenses low. More bragging rights.

I'll know when those pulleys need to be replaced. lol.

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Old 09-24-2019, 08:56 AM   #14
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Thanks for adding another project to my list!

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