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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5 DOHC

Hope this has not been asked before. Looked around and did searches with no help.

I am 90% sure that the A/C idler tension pulley has a bad bearing. During cold weather i get a loud screeching noise that goes away after a minute or two when the bearing gets warmer. The A/C has a leak and is not worth fixing in my opinion at least. I notice that there are 2 separate belts on the car. One belt does the power steering and alternator which i definitely need.
The other belt just runs the A/C which i do not need.

My question is, can i safely remove the A/C belt there by eliminating the need to replace the idler tension pulley? That would leave just the 5 rib belt that runs the Power steering and Alternator from the crank.

Thanks for your help.

BTW......just went to my service center and had plugs and wires replaced................ $117.00 labor and $113.96 in parts.............all i can say is WOW...............$230.96 for just those 2 items! Guess i best start doing things myself!
 

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Not sure about your 99 (1st gen), but the manual for my 2000 (2nd gen) says that both belts are needed and should be the same length. Perhaps the A/C belt is needed to even out the lateral torque (sideways pull) on the main idler bearing.

The plugs are a pain to get to, but not 231 bucks worth of pain.
 

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4 NGK Laser Platinum plugs and NGK/Subaru wires are about $90 at discount retail ... $114 is high but not outrageous. Where I live, dealer labor is $100/hour so $117 doesn't seem that high either given that it's not a particularly speedy or easy job to do on our cars. But I DIYed mine and I'll do it again if my car lasts long enough. Well, the plugs anyway. My factory OEM wires weren't replaced until 195k, so I'm hoping the NGK replacements last at least 100k.
 
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