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2002 Outback LL Bean Ed.
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kmltick said:
Is it possible to press the bearing in yourself (using a variety of sockets and a long bolt?) or do most people bring it to shop to have it done?
this is what I was just about to ask. Our local NAPA store has only one bearing so I thought I'd give it a try yet wondered if this is something requiring a stronger press than my hammer.:D
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,967 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
There have been some reports it is a fairly easy fit, and (mostly) others saying a press was required.

A long bolt/ piece of all-thread, some nuts, a good supply of washers, and some ingenuity can often do the job when it comes to bearings, but I haven't done mine yet, so I don't know what it will take.

Dave
 

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2002 Outback LL Bean Ed.
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CNY_Dave said:
There have been some reports it is a fairly easy fit, and (mostly) others saying a press was required.

A long bolt/ piece of all-thread, some nuts, a good supply of washers, and some ingenuity can often do the job when it comes to bearings, but I haven't done mine yet, so I don't know what it will take.

Dave
I have a small puller that should push the old bearing out and using a long bolt/nut/washers to push the new one in (assuming I can get it started into the hole without damaging it).
 

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I just replaced both my pulleys with new subie bucks...I have 88,190 on mine and the Idler Tension pulley was leaking grease...so it was about up...the other one was fine....FYI....:)
 

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2002 Outback LL Bean Ed.
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replacing the idler bearing in the pulley was not a problem at all. Just tapped out the bearing and used a bolt and washer to press in the new one. now I need to remove the pulley from the tensioner and do the same.
 

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2017 3.6R Limited (Wifes), 2009 3.0R Limited 125k (Mine)
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kmltick said:
Is it possible to press the bearing in yourself (using a variety of sockets and a long bolt?) or do most people bring it to shop to have it done?
I too was able to hear mine start to squeal a little bit and replaced them that day. Yes you can press them in yourself. I picked up two bearings from Carquest and drove out the old ones with a socket. I then put a thin lining of grease in the bearing cavity and then used a socket to drive in the new ones. Make sure the deep well socket only makes contact with the bearing edge and not the protective seal. I was able to drive them in relatively easy with several swift blows. You could also probably put the idler and bearing in a vise and use a socket to press them in.

I went ahead and picked up a new serp belt as well and changed that out. The car has 124k on it and I replaced the belt every 60k. They look ok with 60k but if you flip them over and bend them you will see cracks.
 

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all this is good to know and will save me a few $... I guess I'll pick up the bearings sometime soon and change them out when it gets warm.

The CDN Dealer quoted me $73 / pulley...
 

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2002 Outback LL Bean Ed.
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I would recommend using a socket and hammer to punch out the old bearing (I did mine placing the pulley over an opened, but not clamped into, vise to pop the bearing through).

I wouldn't recommend hammering in the bearing using a socket because there is the potential to harm the rubber/plastic sleave covering the new bearing. I inadvertantly mashed the plastic on the old one. I required a good amount of force to hammer it out. Using a nearly completely threaded bolt and washer the same diameter as the outer race of the bearing works harmlessly and gets it in there tightly too. just a thought.
 

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04 Outback H6
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Alright finally got around to doing this...

I had the bolt & washers (~1.5" wide) from my old bicycle tools (makeshift headset press)

No hammering required to remove the bearings if you use both pulleys (& provided your bolt is long enough). You can use the back of one pulley as part of the press to remove the bearing out of the other.

It'd look like this.

bolt
washers
back of pulley 1
front of pulley 1
front of pulley 2
back of pulley 2
socket (for me it was a 24mm socket)
washers
nut

Thanks again for this thread cause it worked like a charm and you saved me $150 CDN

I'm wondering though, is it advisable to put some threadlock on the pulley bolt for the tensioner? I'm just paranoid that i didn't tighten it enough (cause the tensioner would compress).
 

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2001 LL Bean 3.0 L
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Well, once again, these terrific forums have kept me away from the stealership.

Everything posted here about the bearing replacement for tensioner and idler pulleys was accurate...The pulleys are identical, they take the same bearing (#6203-2rs from Napa from a previous post) I pressed them out and in with a bolt and a pile of washers, you don't have to take the tensioner off, and the job was quite easy. I have 100K miles on my 2001 OBW H6. Having to take off the belt for power steering pump replacement, I decided to check the bearings. The bearings had very little wobble, but when I rotated them I could tell they were completely dry and doomed for failure soon.

I have a suggestion for those who choose to replace the tensioner pulley bearing without removing the tensioner. The bolt holding the pulley on the tensioner bracket does not thread into the bracket like I assumed it did, it has a nut on the back of the bracket. When you feel behind the bracket, the nut is easy to overlook because it is recessed into a hexaginal depression in the back of the bracket which keeps it from turning when you re-install the pulley bolt. When you prepare to take out the pulley bolt, stuff a rag behind the bracket or put your hand back there to catch the nut if it falls out. If it does fall out (I now speak from experience) you will probably not hear it hit the ground. There is a small gap between the front of the engine block and some other bracketry just below and behind the tensioner pulley location....yep, that's where that bugger is goin' to go. I managed to fish it out with a wire and magnet, soooo.....word to the wise..

Thanks to the previous posters who documented and described this repair.
 

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2008 Outback H6 LL Bean , 94 Ford Aerostar
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Pressing in the new bearing is easy if you put the housing in an oven set @ 200 / 250 F for a short time, easier if you put bearing in fridge for a while. Remember removing the old bearing doesn't matter if you mess it up, it's already gone, but you want the new bearing pressed fully in without damaging it so press it in by putting the pressure only on the race that's holding it :eek: , usually the outer race, unless you'r doing a 2 stroke crank :D Iv'e seen some mechanics beating in a new bearing with a hammer on the inner race, didn't last long :25: A long screwdriver can be used for listening to bearings, place the plastic end against your earhole flap, push tip against bearing housing. You might be suprised how much noise a roller element bearing makes even when new. Try a before / after noise test....
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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I was asked to pass this on by a member having issues posting here:

I have an ’02 VDC sedan with 138k miles and as part of a continuing maintenance program just changed the accessory belt and idler bearings. No cracking on the belt ribs and the bearings felt like they had another 20k in them (compared to the new bearings). Tip – freeze the new bearings and heat the pullys to 200* F and everything falls together (tap the bearings to seat them). BTW, my only worry about the six cylinder engine is the water pump seals leaking into the chain case.

nipper
 

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2003 h6 outback wagaon bought usde in feb 2009 115,000miles on it when i bought it
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i replaced both of mine last month i didnt have to remove anyting except the top engine cover
there not that hard to get to at all
i bought new bearings from napa pressed the old ones out and pressed in the new ones
but be sure to used a lock tight compound to make sure the bearing dosent slip inside the pully itself.
the metal is very thin and all of those kinds of pulleys are prone to bearing slipage when you replace only the bearing
if you pull the pulleys off them self and take it in to have them done they will not warrenty them because of the problem with them sliping when just replaceing the bearing,
i used a locktight brand bearing installer compound on mine
tony
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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i just pulled both of these looking to replace them as preventative maintenance since i've seen they often fail.

it was very easy. on a scale of 1 to 10 i give this a 1. if you can change your oil you can do this.

i removed both pulleys, knocked out the bearings very easily, and tapped in the new ones. done.

one was quite bad, though it wasn't making any noise yet.
 

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This past winter (in -22F temps no less) moms car killed the idler pulley, but the local Subaru dealer didn't have them in stock, and I didn't want to mess with having a shop press in new bearings.

I went to NAPA and the counter guy and I looked through the book to find the nearest match, which was the part number 38005 pulley, which is 82mm diameter. The pulley also sits back further, which I thought would make up for the fact that it does not have the "ridge" on the rear. I took the pulley home and put it on, which worked fine, but, the extra tension from the larger diameter made the tensioner pulley start to squeal.

I had noticed that the pulleys the Subaru uses are similar in size to the pulley I had recently replaced on my 96 Ford Crown Victoria. The pulley from the CV was smaller in diameter (76mm, and has the same offset as the NAPA one I had already put on) which I figured would counteract the larger diameter pulley that I put on the idler. So my solution was to buy another pulley for my Crown Vic from O'Reilly (Gates part number 38006). That did the trick, and the combined cost of both pulleys was less than the price of a single factory Subaru part.

Those two pulleys and a Goodyear Gatorback belt have been on the car for over 7,500 miles with NO issues.

The NAPA part is also a Gates pulley, so you could probably just get a Gates 38006 ($19.99) and a 38005 ($23.99) from O'Reilly and be done with it.
 

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Standing on the driver side with a long board, I put it on the head of the bolt and pushed toward the passenger side. Hard. Very hard. Don't slip.

Just be sure you know exactly how it goes back on. I spent literally 3 hours trying to figure the belt routing out.
 
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