Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; It's really tight up there and I've never done any sort of maintenance like this before. Will I have to ...
  1. #1
    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    It's really tight up there and I've never done any sort of maintenance like this before. Will I have to re-route the belt once I take off the idler pulley to replace it?
    Are all idler pulleys created equal or do I have to get a specific kind to fit my engine?

    I am very much a noob, not only in this forum but in the car maintenance field. Feel free to explain it to me like I'm 10 years old.

    Thanks.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville



    Are you replacing the idler or the tensioner pulley? The tensioners seem to fail more often.

    You don't "reroute" the belt. You replace it as it was originally installed.

    You need to get the correct pulley for your engine. Most are created equal (or pretty close) unless you get it from Autozone.
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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    Most are created equal (or pretty close) unless you get it from Autozone.
    ^^^As in, DON'T buy at Auto Zone.

    Somewhere under your hood will be a label with a belt routing diagram. It should be pretty self explanatory, just make sure the ribs on the belt line up properly with the grooves on all of the grooved pulleys.

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    Faded Crest's Avatar
    Faded Crest is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    If it is the tensioner, make sure to install the belt behind it first because there is not enough to room to remove/replace the belt with the tensioner installed... Crazy, but true. If it is the idler, you will have to remove the battery and fight with that low side a/c line right above the idler. DON'T disconnect it!!! (Sorry, but you said explain as to a 10-year-old... ) You can remove the retainer clip down in front of the battery and also remove the retainer clip from the accumulator itself. That should give you a little more wiggle room, just be gentle. Of course if you know for a fact that your a/c is discharged you can take the low side line loose from the accumulator and that would make things a lot easier.

    The diagram should be on the plastic radiator cover unless the cover is missing or the sticker peeled off. If so, draw a diagram of how the belts go. Good luck. By the way, when reinstalling the belt, I have found it easiest to leave the belt off the steering pump pulley until the end, then use a breaker bar to compress the tensioner and slip it on the steering pump pulley.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezman100 View Post
    ...Will I have to re-route the belt once I take off the idler pulley to replace it?
    If you are asking if the belt will lose it's place, yes, it probably will, so make sure you locate the diagram or draw one. When routing the belt, loop it around the lower pulleys first and keep upward tension on it so it doesn't slip off while you are snaking it around the top ones.

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    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post


    Are you replacing the idler or the tensioner pulley? The tensioners seem to fail more often.

    You don't "reroute" the belt. You replace it as it was originally installed.

    You need to get the correct pulley for your engine. Most are created equal (or pretty close) unless you get it from Autozone.
    Well, when I took it in for an oil change a month or so ago, they told me that the clicking going on in there was because the idler pulley was shot. It's been clicking around the belt area for a while now. Also, I dont have an AC compressor, so there's some sort of dummy system in place.

    I mean, it is REALLY tight to get down there. How can I get the belt to go back where it needs to go if I can barely see or get my hands down in that narrow slot?

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    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    If you have no a/c compressor then that will make things a lot easier.... Remove the battery, Disconnect the aluminum low side a/c line that leads to the accumulator... (The accumulator is the aluminum canister that has 2 big aluminum lines leading to it.) The black coolant surge tank is right there molded around it... You will have to loosen the fitting then pull out very hard to get the line to come out of the accumulator.

    After doing that, remove the clip for the line in front of the battery. The clip is a rounded metal piece that goes around the aluminum line and the black insulation. It is held down by either a 9mm or 10mm bolt. After doing this, you can then swing it out of the way. That is as good as it gets. You can use 2 big adjustable crescent wrenches to take the line loose from the accumulator. In fact, even if you only have one you can just twist the fitting off. You have no reason to worry about damaging the accumulator since you have an open system and it is going to have to be replaced anyway if you ever get your a/c fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezman100 View Post
    How can I get the belt to go back where it needs to go if I can barely see or get my hands down in that narrow slot?
    You can't keep it from moving... You will just have to put it back the way it was. If your compressor is gone, then somebody has installed a smaller belt to compensate. VERY VERY important to draw a picture of how the belt is routed. That way you can put it back the way it was.

    ----------

    Video taken on my camera, so not too great of quality, but maybe this will help you... Also, I forgot to mention the battery hold-down block. It has to be removed or your battery will not move.

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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    So did you replace the idler? One thing I neglected to mention earlier is that if it is the idler you are replacing, there is a large spacer that goes behind it. It might fall out when you are removing the idler. Won't work without it.
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    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    Thank you all so much for the tips.
    I am going to be going at it tomorrow.
    I'll let you know.

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    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    I'm working on it right now. I decided to replace the belt as well since it was looking worn. I have the battery disconnected and I'm just waiting for everything to cool down a bit after driving to pick up the pulley and belt. (Pardon the obstructed view)
    tensioner.jpg

    How do I replace the belt when it is blocked by the tensioner? Does that make sense? It's like, how do I remove the belt when it is woven through that pulley that is connected to the tensioner? Do I have to remove the tensioner to change the belt? If so, how do I do that?

    I understand it's early afternoon on a work day, but if anyone could answer at their leisure I'd really appreciate it. You've all been very helpful already.

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    Faded Crest's Avatar
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by Faded Crest View Post
    If it is the tensioner, make sure to install the belt behind it first because there is not enough to room to remove/replace the belt with the tensioner installed... Crazy, but true.
    ^^^ That's what I meant when I wrote this... In other words, you have to remove the tensioner to remove the install the belt.

    Don't forget... You will need to take your old belt in to get it matched up since the current belt will NOT be the original size if your compressor is gone!!!


    Most parts counter guys are morons and they won't be able to understand that your belt system has been customized. In fact, don't even tell them what kind of car, just tell them you need to match that belt for a "custom project." It will be easiest if the parts number is still visible on your old belt.

  12. #11
    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    how do I remove the tensioner??

  13. #12
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by cheezman100 View Post
    how do I remove the tensioner??
    There is a single 13mm bolt that goes through the middle of it. Just remove it and it will drop right off.

  14. #13
    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by Faded Crest View Post
    There is a single 13mm bolt that goes through the middle of it. Just remove it and it will drop right off.
    Awesome.Thank you. Before I get there, though, I'm having trouble with the tensioner. I cant seem to get it to loosen up the slack on the belt. I put a socket wrench into the hole that's on the far right side (correct?) then which way to I force the tensioner?

  15. #14
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    Put the socket drive into the square hole on the right, and "turn" it clockwise.

  16. #15
    cheezman100 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Replace Idler Pulley on 97 Deville

    I don't know if I'm doing it way wrong or if there's something wrong with the tensioner, but I'm putting the socket wrench in this hole
    pulley.jpg
    in the red circle and pushing as hard as I can and it will not budge even slightly. Perhaps I just have to take it in and let a professional do it??

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