Wazee pulleys... [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Wazee pulleys...


Old Goat
21-03-07, 01:08 PM
Just to let you know I heard back from Wazee, they got the bar stock in and expect the pulleys to be back in stock in 1 to 2 weeks.

These are the pulleys made from Aluminum that replace the plastic idler pulleys that go bad unexpectedly. (For those of you who had no idea what these were.)

borysiu
21-03-07, 01:37 PM
Hi All,

I just heard my pulley today ;oops:. I know it will give up soon... I want to replace it with Wazee- found on e8ay in US- nothing in UK. I want to replace the belt and do the short mod as well. The only problem is I cannot find the part in UK and don`t want to pay for shipping from US site for only one thing.
Does anyone of you UK guys have any idea how to source it in UK?
I would really appreciate some help with this one.

onewhippedpuppy
21-03-07, 04:50 PM
I've never heard a good description of the noise, anyone want to give it a shot? I need to do the short belt mod before mine goes south.

hkayssi
21-03-07, 04:54 PM
Thanks Old Goat, I'll be ordering one once they get in stock :cheesy:

Troll_speed
21-03-07, 04:56 PM
I've never heard a good description of the noise, anyone want to give it a shot? I need to do the short belt mod before mine goes south.

You'll know

Old Goat
21-03-07, 05:42 PM
These pulleys seem to go quite fast when they decide to give up the ghost. I have been lucky so far, I check the sucker every week. Nah, not too paranoid.

They are supposed to give off a high squeel prior to going, but some have said that they just heard thumping. Do yourself a favor and check the pulley on a regular basis. Loosen the belt, try spinning the pulley and see if it wiggles a bit side to side. That will be your warning.

I am going to order one of these as soon as they come in. Short belt mod, wazee pulley means I won't have THAT to worry about. (I'm also going to do the tensioner pulley at the same time, that way I know how old they are.)

hkayssi
21-03-07, 05:46 PM
I agree, that would be one less thing to worry about. It's a weak point.

onewhippedpuppy
21-03-07, 08:53 PM
It's something I plan on doing, but it's a few items down the list. I have to have round 2 with that ****** of a selector shaft seal first.

earthworm
21-03-07, 09:17 PM
The pulleys should be tested hot, several times over a 50K miles duration...Its the heat that melts the bearing grease; too much running with minimal lubrication will cause metal fatigue and quick bearing breakdown.

If the pulley feels either warm or cool, it should be good.
If hot, I think I would replace it.

The trouble with all this is ACCESS !.;oops:
Maybe a IR heat gun, used in HVAC work , could measure the pulley heat....
The Wazee aluminum will dissipate the heat much better than plastic - possibly the bearings are the same..

Old Goat
21-03-07, 09:28 PM
I wonder also about the integrity of the plastic as well. It seems these look as though they exploded. Granted, if the bearing seized all together then the belt trying to run over a plastic guide (which is all the pulley would be then) it may cause this.

So temperature of the bearing after running is a factor. When bearing are starting to wear they first get loose, that is another means of checking. They usually have friction in turning as well. Loose bearings build heat quickly too. From what I can tell, these are sealed bearings. You can relube sealed bearings, but for this application it really isn't worth it.

hkayssi
21-03-07, 09:29 PM
And the bearing inside it is replaceable and very common and costs next to nothing. Not to mention it won't disintegrate and ruin the belt

hkayssi
21-03-07, 09:32 PM
I wonder also about the integrity of the plastic as well. It seems these look as though they exploded. Granted, if the bearing seized all together then the belt trying to run over a plastic guide (which is all the pulley would be then) it may cause this.

So temperature of the bearing after running is a factor. When bearing are starting to wear they first get loose, that is another means of checking. They usually have friction in turning as well. Loose bearings build heat quickly too. From what I can tell, these are sealed bearings. You can relube sealed bearings, but for this application it really isn't worth it.

I think the bearing jams while the pulley conitnues to turn from friction by the belt on the pulley. The torque disintegrates the plastic pulley.

Old Goat
21-03-07, 09:36 PM
Absolutely the bearing stops turning, but I have had other cars that happened to, the pulley didn't explode like these do, the belt did. It seems these go quickly once they reach that magic point also. Seems the plastic isn't as tough a material as it should be. Thats all I am saying.

Old Goat
21-03-07, 09:38 PM
Another point... if the plastic doesn't hold up to the heat generated as well as it should it could be throwing off the way it turns, bearing gets looser in the pulley creating more heat till it fails.

onewhippedpuppy
21-03-07, 09:53 PM
Heat + plastic (cheap plastic) is rarely a good combination. Coming from the BMW world, we had the joy of plastic radiator elbows that would crack or plastic engine cooling fans that would grenade. The latter was especially nice, often times it took out the radiator, hoses, water pump, and put dents in the hood from the underside. The failure of the radiator elbow, along with a notoriously inaccurate temp gauge in the E36, led to ruined headgaskets, cracked heads, and the occasional seized block.

Put in perspective, the pulley isn't all that bad.:cheesy:

hkayssi
21-03-07, 09:57 PM
Heat + plastic (cheap plastic) is rarely a good combination. Coming from the BMW world, we had the joy of plastic radiator elbows that would crack or plastic engine cooling fans that would grenade. The latter was especially nice, often times it took out the radiator, hoses, water pump, and put dents in the hood from the underside. The failure of the radiator elbow, along with a notoriously inaccurate temp gauge in the E36, led to ruined headgaskets, cracked heads, and the occasional seized block.

Put in perspective, the pulley isn't all that bad.:cheesy:

I agree every make and model has a few weak points. This one isn't that bad

Old Goat
21-03-07, 10:17 PM
Especially since we have the wazee to replace it with. :cheesy:

hkayssi
21-03-07, 10:23 PM
Yea... Once a problem is identified, it can be adressed and corrected. Look at the sludge accumulator oil pan for example. That adresses the problem of inspecting the oil pan for sludge without having to drop the pan. Not a bad idea :cheesy:

The sway bars and rack brace and frame braces are all fine examples of correcting bad design on the part of the car makers :roll:

Old Goat
21-03-07, 11:17 PM
While I agree that the other items were flaws, I think the sway bars and brace are more enhancements. Well, the steering brace maybe a little more than an enhancement, but the car handles OK with out doing those things. Not that there is anything wrong with them... I want, I want.:cheesy:

hkayssi
21-03-07, 11:34 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Yea I know what you mean.

GaryG
22-03-07, 01:59 PM
I've had my Wayzee pulley on for half a year now and really like it. I'm staying with the plastic version on my other NG900 as an experiment to see how long it will last. I opened the seal and re-greased it about 20k miles ago. So far so good.

Old Goat
22-03-07, 02:06 PM
Not a bad idea if you can do it.

I wonder if the main problem is that the grease breaks down and you loose all lubrication protection. With sealed bearings people tend to think they last forever, but the grease won't, even with more limited air getting to it, heat, constant movement will break it down over time.

I think the big thing is that these pulleys don't stand up well once something internal happens to them and they rip themselves apart.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 02:09 PM
I've had my Wayzee pulley on for half a year now and really like it. I'm staying with the plastic version on my other NG900 as an experiment to see how long it will last. I opened the seal and re-greased it about 20k miles ago. So far so good.

Which one did you regrease? The original pulley? Can it be regreased? I didn't know it could be done :confused:

Old Goat
22-03-07, 02:18 PM
You can renew the grease on a sealed bearing, any sealed bearing. I used to do it all the time.

A lot depends on what they use to seal it. If it is plastic, or some such material that is pliant like that, you can either pry up an edge and stuff new grease, or you can use a needle, kind of like a hypodermic needle and puncture a hole through the plastic. That second method is the one I use. You can get a decent amount of new grease in. One thing though is it doesn't get the old stuff out sufficently.

For metal seals you can drill a small hole through the cover, use a needle fitting on a small grease gun and squeeze in new grease that way. The metal ones tend to allow the old grease to squeeze out along the rim. The older stuff is usually breaking down so it is not as thick and viscous. This is kind of like doing the re-greasing on car fittings, where the old stuff comes out around the rubber seals.

Old Goat
22-03-07, 02:20 PM
http://www.usahardware.com/products/manufacturers/images/j0414029.gif
The tips look like the lower one.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 02:28 PM
You can renew the grease on a sealed bearing, any sealed bearing. I used to do it all the time.

A lot depends on what they use to seal it. If it is plastic, or some such material that is pliant like that, you can either pry up an edge and stuff new grease, or you can use a needle, kind of like a hypodermic needle and puncture a hole through the plastic. That second method is the one I use. You can get a decent amount of new grease in. One thing though is it doesn't get the old stuff out sufficently.

For metal seals you can drill a small hole through the cover, use a needle fitting on a small grease gun and squeeze in new grease that way. The metal ones tend to allow the old grease to squeeze out along the rim. The older stuff is usually breaking down so it is not as thick and viscous. This is kind of like doing the re-greasing on car fittings, where the old stuff comes out around the rubber seals.

Thanks Old Goat :cheesy:
I never even thought about doing that. That's good to know. You learn a new thing everyday on SAAB Central :cheesy:

Old Goat
22-03-07, 03:29 PM
My pleasure. Sealed bearing are fine in some applications, but they tend to be forgotten.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 03:36 PM
My pleasure. Sealed bearing are fine in some applications, but they tend to be forgotten.

And that's the best part about sealed bearings. That is untill they break :nono;

I'm definetly going to test this method.

Does opening 2 holes help better in that case? You can have the grease seep out of both holes. That way more old dried up grease gets out and gets replaced with fresh one. What do you think?

Old Goat
22-03-07, 03:46 PM
We only put one hole in there, the thinking on this is every hole is an additional point of contamination for the grease. Most times the grease put into a sealed bearing is just to buy it some more time. Now, in the case of these pulleys, that can mean going from 40K miles to 80K miles on them. Maybe more. You do have to put it on your watch list though. Look for thin oily stuff coming out of the hole and you know that the grease is breaking down.

The hole should be in the middle of the seal by the way. That will help keep the grease in the areas it needs to stay.

132417SAAB
22-03-07, 03:47 PM
so for our exact pulleys are we dealing with plastic or metal? What would be the procedure of regreasing the pulley?

Old Goat
22-03-07, 03:52 PM
If I am remembering right, ours are a plastic cover over the bearing. If you use the needle injector (these are pretty cheap - $4-5 from a hardware store) just stick it through the plastic and pump in a shot or two of grease (depending on the grease gun you have) I have a little hand trigger number. Spin the pulley between shots of grease to get better coverage inside. Don't try to over fill them as that can pop the seal right off.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 03:52 PM
We only put one hole in there, the thinking on this is every hole is an additional point of contamination for the grease. Most times the grease put into a sealed bearing is just to buy it some more time. Now, in the case of these pulleys, that can mean going from 40K miles to 80K miles on them. Maybe more. You do have to put it on your watch list though. Look for thin oily stuff coming out of the hole and you know that the grease is breaking down.

The hole should be in the middle of the seal by the way. That will help keep the grease in the areas it needs to stay.

Good point about avoiding the contaminants :cheesy:
It all makes sense Old Goat. Thanks my friend; I'll try that one but will get the Wazee pulley and a short belt to keep as a spare just in case I do it wrong

Old Goat
22-03-07, 03:54 PM
No problem. I am planning on the wazee pulley replacement, but till I get it and install it, I am greasing the pulley. Probably get it done this weekend.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 03:58 PM
Can you take pics of the process? That would help so many people too :cheesy:. And not just for the idler pulley it applies to all bearings.

PMI
22-03-07, 07:39 PM
The Saab stock pulley is good for anywhere from 30-60k miles. It tends to fail with little or no warning. Adding grease will not do any harm, but it will not extend the life of the pulley significantly. The reason for this is as follows:

The bearing in an idler pulley is under a different kind of stress than other bearings. On a typical shaft mounted bearing, the inner race spins along with the shaft, and the grease stays pretty much in place. On a pulley bearing, the outer race spins, and the grease is forced outward, while the ball bearings are forced against the inner race by the belt tension. Centrifugal force pushes the grease away from the highest wear area, the bearing heats up, the grease gets more liquid, and escapes past the seals. As the bearing wears, it gets hot, the seals overheat and leak even more, eventually the pulley starts to wobble and seize. Adding grease is like adding oil to an engine with a serious oil leak, it is a temporary fix. By the time the bearing needs more grease, the seals are usually shot, and the new grease will escape much faster than new.

To make a bad situation worse, the upper idler pulley is undersized for the application, both in diameter and bearing size. It spins much faster than either the lower idler or the NG900 tensioner pulley (the 9-3 tensioner pulley is plastic, and has the same problems as the NG900 upper idler). Bearing wear in this application is roughly proportional to the rotational speed raised to the 3rd power (!)

I had two pulley failures, one at 56k miles, and one about 10k miles later. The second failure was because once the upper idler pulley fails, it is very important to replace both idler pulleys (or bypass the lower one with the short belt). Reason why is because when the upper pulley starts to seize and wobble, it will damage the lower pulley bearing.

I came up with the Wazee pulley as a replacement, originally based on a discussion on Saabnet, and observations of failed pulleys by other people. Another person on Saabnet figured out the adapter and mounting kit using a shoulder bolt. The original pulley I used to test was a Wazee pulley for a Mustang. Based on another Mustang pulley, it should have fit, but was a little oversized, and rubbed on the mounting bracket. I had to have it machined to fit.

After that Wazee started to make kits specifically for Saabs. The machined Wazee pulley has been on my car for two years and about 30k miles, and shows no sign of a dry bearing, or wobble in the axis.

http://www.geocities.com/ng900set/Serp_Belt/idler_01.jpg
A Wazee pulley and Saab oem upper idler pulley side by side.

For other into and pics of the Wazee pulley installed, see link:

Idler Pulleys (http://www.geocities.com/ng900set/Serp_Belt/idler_pulleys.html)

hkayssi
22-03-07, 07:51 PM
Thanks PMI for the valuable info. It's very well explained. I use your tutorials a lot by the way. I have the Haynes manual but don't use it.

PMI
22-03-07, 08:17 PM
Thanks PMI for the valuable info. It's very well explained. I use your tutorials a lot by the way. I have the Haynes manual but don't use it.You are welcome.

Btw, I would encourage anyone who wants an aftermarket pulley to order from Wazee. It is pretty much a 1-2 man operation, and selling to the Saab community is a bit of a leap of faith for them.

They spent a lot of time with me, and other people from saabnet including on the phone, to make this a real product. Even so, the kits are made in fairly small lots (~20-40 I believe), and the price of the part is only a couple dollars more than the Saab stock part which is made in 1000's.

jonnyfgroove
22-03-07, 08:23 PM
Wow, great post PMI! I noticed when I installed my new upper idler pulley that the grease seemed to ooze out right away. I guess this explains how my alternator made it 165k, including 6 months of loud bearing noise.;oops: :cheesy:

EDIT: Ugh, I should have gotten the Wazee, sounds like a cool company. That comparison pic says it all. It reminds me of those Hefty garbage bag commercials from the 80's "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy, HEFTY, HEFTY, HEFTY," :lol:

hkayssi
22-03-07, 08:24 PM
Both Old Goat and I were waiting for Wazee to restock the pullies, they've bee out of stock for almost 3 weeks :cheesy:

Old Goat
22-03-07, 08:44 PM
I figured that the wazee company was a small operation, probably a second business. I doubt they have a tremendous demand for the SAAB pulley mainly because too many people don't know of them.

Regarding the regreasing of the bearings. What you said regarding the smaller diameter is true to certain extent. However, I have been working with bearings for over 35 years, ones of similar size under quite a bit more load. They can last given more maintenance. Some of the equipment I worked with were unsealed bearings, requiring monthly lubrication. They were replaced with sealed bearings. The sealed bearings didn't last even 1/4 as long. Less maintenance, but shorter life. The sealed bearing were internally the same type and size, they had the same loads and same amount of use. They were of the same specifications for load bearing and rotation. Older bearings that were not maintained at the proper frequencies saw shortened life. That leads me to believe that it is the grease that breaks down, as PMI stated. With the grease liquifying it builds heat and starts wearing on the internal parts. That in its turn shortens the life.

You are absolutely correct in what happens in a bearing. Renewing the grease would have to be an on going regular maintenance to make it worth the while. On older bearings the damage is most likely already done and it isn't worth doing as a long time fix. The Wazee pulley makes so much more sense, but if you can't get them now, the renewal of the grease may help prolong the life of the current pulley somewhat. I look at adding the grease as a band-aid, not a cure. Even the Wazee pulley will need to have the bearing renewed from time to time, or have its grease renewed. In maintenance that I oversee renewal of the grease in sealed bearing occurs on a regular basis, and that has helped with longevity of the parts. With that maintenance I have seen the life expectancy of sealed bearing go up by 50%. It has to be started early enough to make a difference though.

Cudoes to you, PMI, for the pulley replacement design. It is an improvement on a piece that was engineered too tightly. The cost of the Wazee makes it the better choice for replacement, a few dollars difference for a MUCH better part give more bang for the buck. Hopefully they will keep making them till our cars fall apart.

Old Goat
22-03-07, 08:45 PM
Wow, great post PMI! I noticed when I installed my new upper idler pulley that the grease seemed to ooze out right away. I guess this explains how my alternator made it 165k, including 6 months of loud bearing noise.;oops: :cheesy:

EDIT: Ugh, I should have gotten the Wazee, sounds like a cool company. That comparison pic says it all. It reminds me of those Hefty garbage bag commercials from the 80's "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy, HEFTY, HEFTY, HEFTY," :lol:AGREED! :lol: Perfect analogy.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 09:08 PM
And the wazee pulley has a replaceable bearing that is readily available, common and cheap to buy :cheesy: Or so I heard.

Old Goat
22-03-07, 09:23 PM
It makes perfect sense to get the Wazee pulley. To bad they weren't the original equipment.

PMI
22-03-07, 09:23 PM
And the wazee pulley has a replaceable bearing that is readily available, common and cheap to buy :cheesy: Or so I heard.That is correct. The bearing is held in by a snap ring. The size code is 2603. It is also available in hi-temp versions. From any bearing shop in your area or online for $3-$7.

Pulley bearings go out on industrial machinery all the time. You remove it after so many hours of operation, pop in a new one. Done. No need to throw an idler pulley out. Wazee will even sell you a spare for $5.

Old Goat
22-03-07, 09:26 PM
That is correct. The bearing is held in by a snap ring. The size code is 2603. It is also available in hi-temp versions. From any bearing shop in your area or online for $3-$7.

Pulley bearings go out on industrial machinery all the time. You remove it after so many hours of operation, pop in a new one. Done. No need to throw an idler pulley out. Wazee will even sell you a spare for $5.That's sweet. Nice job! I wonder what the life expectancy is of those bearings, do you know or is it still in the "testing" stage.

hkayssi
22-03-07, 09:28 PM
That's sweet. Nice job! I wonder what the life expectancy is of those bearings, do you know or is it still in the "testing" stage.

Yea it would be nice to replace it ahead of time instead of waiting until it fails

Old Goat
22-03-07, 09:33 PM
At least the Wazee model won't do like a mission impossible tape... self destruct.

PMI
23-03-07, 12:39 AM
I wonder what the life expectancy is of those bearings, do you know or is it still in the "testing" stage.No, unfortunately I don't. Every bearing acts differently in a different application. There is a formula for estimating the change in bearing life when you change one of the external factors, like rpm, while leaving everything else the same. I know of no way of actually calculating bearing life in our pulleys.

I was told that the oem pulley bearing for the upper idler pulley is good for 30-60k miles, and my own experience bears that out. I was told the lower idler is good for at least 100k miles. For $5, I think I will just replace the bearing later this spring.

Old Goat
23-03-07, 12:47 AM
No, unfortunately I don't. Every bearing acts differently in a different application. There is a formula for estimating the change in bearing life when you change one of the external factors, like rpm, while leaving everything else the same. I know of no way of actually calculating bearing life in our pulleys.

I was told that the oem pulley bearing for the upper idler pulley is good for 30-60k miles, and my own experience bears that out. I was told the lower idler is good for at least 100k miles. For $5, I think I will just replace the bearing later this spring.That seems like a solid idea. You could probably change it every two years and be more than safe from having a failure.

To calculate the bearing life would be a fairly complex formula. There are a number of different forces on it, the belt, rotation, adding in RPM and heat factors would really get wild.

When you think of it, 30 to 60 K miles is quite a large margin. Of course life expectancy doesn't always reflect what you will get. Its a guess usually from past histories of that part in application as well as calculating it.

Thanks!

GaryG
23-03-07, 02:58 PM
Here are a couple things I forgot to say about the re-greasing process.

I used a good quality heavy weight synthetic grease.
The seals are plastic coated copper. If you bend one a little on removal it is easily straightened.
I put epoxy around the outer edge of the seal where it meets the outer part of the pully. This keeps the grease from escaping, but then it is difficult to re-grease if it does escape.
I don't like the needle and hole method because it opens things up for contamination an also makes it easier to escape.

Old Goat
23-03-07, 05:03 PM
Here are a couple things I forgot to say about the re-greasing process.

I used a good quality heavy weight synthetic grease.
The seals are plastic coated copper. If you bend one a little on removal it is easily straightened.
I put epoxy around the outer edge of the seal where it meets the outer part of the pully. This keeps the grease from escaping, but then it is difficult to re-grease if it does escape.
I don't like the needle and hole method because it opens things up for contamination an also makes it easier to escape.The hole you make with that method is small, the grease doesn't escape too easily, and you can plug the hole with your favorite epoxy if you are concerned for any contaminates getting in.

I have been doing that to bearing for decades, I have taken them out and inspected them, taken apart a number of bearing and the grease looked fine, smooth, no dirt or other gritty substance in them.

It all comes down to what your preference is. Either way will work fine.

NVSBANDIT
23-03-07, 06:11 PM
::UNRELATED TO A POINT::
how much does the short belt (in terms of horsepower) if at all does the short belt mod add?
is there any increased responsiveness?

Jeremy R.
23-03-07, 06:15 PM
::UNRELATED TO A POINT::
how much does the short belt (in terms of horsepower) if at all does the short belt mod add?
is there any increased responsiveness?



The short belt mod doesn't add any power. All it does it get rid of a pulley that's bound to go out and cause problems.

Old Goat
23-03-07, 07:45 PM
I don't think the short belt changes anything in regard to responsiveness either. As Jeremy R. said, its to reduce the chances for a pulley failure by eliminating one of the idler pulleys. These pulleys can go quickly without warning.

NVSBANDIT
24-03-07, 01:34 AM
so basically the pulley does nothing but spin?

dumb lol that mod will come SOON enough tomorrow is turbo silencer removal day...which i have to find the write-up again.

Old Goat
24-03-07, 02:12 AM
so basically the pulley does nothing but spin?

dumb lol that mod will come SOON enough tomorrow is turbo silencer removal day...which i have to find the write-up again.Well... yeah, and keeps your belt spinning, which powers your power steering, water pump, alternator and A/C. :o

The silencer is a very easy mod. Shouldn't take but 1/2 hour, with a coffee break.:lol:

earthworm
24-03-07, 02:39 AM
I note that the Wazee pulley is a bit larger than the original plastic pulley.Is it that much larger that a man should use a slightly longer belt when modifing to the short belt ??

2465 regular lenght for the short belt
2470 one size longer for the short belt and the Wazee upper idler pulley.
http://wazeepulleys.com/saab/pulleys.htm

Does Wazee have a pulley for the tensioner ?

Old Goat
24-03-07, 02:47 AM
It seems there is some discrepency with the size of the belt to be used. I think it is going to make a little difference.

PMI
24-03-07, 09:25 AM
The belt size normally recommended is actually a bit on the slack side.

I used the length normally recommended for the short belt (97 inches owhich is roughly 2465 mm), and the tensioner is just on the outside limit of the adjustment range. Next time I intend to get a shorter one to bring the tensioner in a little. A smaller size readily available is 96.75 inches.

Typical part numbers:

Goodyear/Gatorback 4060970, 97 inches
Goodyear/Gatorback 4060967, 96.75 inches

or,

Dayco 5060970, 97 inches
Dayco 5060968, 96.75 inches