2000 Ford Windstar, 3.8l v6 - Odd squeal and hesitation and general "bad" noise detected while driving.
I'm not 100% sure if it was the tensioner or idler pulley, but they were cheap enough parts to get and put in.
If you have the $250-$300 to pay to have it done, go ahead, this was about a two hour job and $75.00 for the two parts.
The idler pulley of course did not have enough clearance between the frame pulley to remove the bolt:, so go:
- loosen the motor mounts
- find a 6 foot breaker bar (i used a chain link fence post)
- Insert breaker bar between fram and engine (solid peice next to water pump)
- Gently move the engine the 1/8 of an inch and remove pulley with bolt
- repeat in reverse for re-installation, don't forget to tightent he motor mounts
The tensioner and pulley is sold as a unit. This is a difficult task, due to the limited space. 3 Bolts. the one on the bottom is easy, the two on top were quite difficult. 10mm Bolts, top 2 require the smallest ratchet you can find; I have a 1/4" set, so it worked nicely. The smaller your hands the easier the job will be, I found it easier to get the top two bolts, from the top of the engine for both removal and installation.
Hopefully this solves the problem...