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My serpentine belt broke down. It just came off the car like a pair of torn panties falling down . It looked like it was torn out on the edge. The edge had a raw cut and hairs from it were shooting out. On a "do it now & leave " basis - I hunted around for replacements for the pulley . The pulley # 1 ( see pic) appeared culprit since the rubber at the edge kind of appeared torn. I could NOT find that pulley anyplace. Ordered - it would come in 2 days time. I had to get the job done and leave. So I just had the serpentine changed.
So here's my ask. As a strict rule do you always change pulleys w/ the belt?
Did that belt breakdown from normal wear and tear or # 1 pulley messed it up.
Now that the new belt is on with the same # 1 pulley - is there every chance that it could tear this off OR Since the old pulley moved freely - it will last out and I could take the risk vs ordering a new one cos the effort required to open it up again with the mechanic isn't worth the skepticism on that # 1 pulley.
Someone's personal exp. will help make this thread helpful to everyone.
 

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My serpentine belt broke down. It just came off the car like a pair of torn panties falling down . It looked like it was torn out on the edge. The edge had a raw cut and hairs from it were shooting out. On a "do it now & leave " basis - I hunted around for replacements for the pulley . The pulley # 1 ( see pic) appeared culprit since the rubber at the edge kind of appeared torn. I could NOT find that pulley anyplace. Ordered - it would come in 2 days time. I had to get the job done and leave. So I just had the serpentine changed.
So here's my ask. As a strict rule do you always change pulleys w/ the belt?
Did that belt breakdown from normal wear and tear or # 1 pulley messed it up.
Now that the new belt is on with the same # 1 pulley - is there every chance that it could tear this off OR Since the old pulley moved freely - it will last out and I could take the risk vs ordering a new one cos the effort required to open it up again with the mechanic isn't worth the skepticism on that # 1 pulley.
Someone's personal exp. will help make this thread helpful to everyone.
for starters you can almost always find the part you need from Here.
its always best practice to check every pulley by spinning them and seeing if there is any resistance, wobble or play in them and replace as needed. Depending how many miles your car has and if they have never been replaced it would be a good idea to have them replaced. Also, much cheaper if you replace them yourself instead of having a garage do it. There are many guides to fixing almost everything on your car within this site
 

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you may want to consider doing the short belt conversion by omitting pulley #6 in your picture. Saab later made this conversion to all cars due to the fact that the pulley is not replaceable with the engine in the car. If you check eeurpoarts.com they list the belt and short belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
you may want to consider doing the short belt conversion by omitting pulley #6 in your picture. Saab later made this conversion to all cars due to the fact that the pulley is not replaceable with the engine in the car. If you check eeurpoarts.com they list the belt and short belt.
I already had the short belt on and it got replaced by another one of the same sort
 

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Discussion Starter #5
for starters you can almost always find the part you need from Here.
Right abs. But I wanted one off the shelf - AZone, NAPA nobody had one.

its always best practice to check every pulley by spinning them and seeing if there is any resistance, wobble or play in them and replace as needed.
The # 1 looked a bit worn out on the side ( think the plastic or rubber on the side chipped off ) but the threads look fine and it moved freely

Depending how many miles your car has and if they have never been replaced it would be a good idea to have them replaced. Also, much cheaper if you replace them yourself instead of having a garage do it. There are many guides to fixing almost everything on your car within this site
Quite frankly replacing that is not my cup of tea or should I say I have delved into tasting that cup myself , given my free time. Its got some 170K and I am not sure when these were replaced earlier because i am the # 2 owner.
Based on all this the obvious recommendation is yes - change em . Problem is when we were putting all the belt - that was not an option. Now that the belt is in there ( 1st 100 miles ran fine ) , is it worth re-opening them ( after they are ordered ) since there is every chance they will give up
OR let sleeping dogs lie ..... and we will cross the bridge when it comes.....
 

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I got mine from amazon.com for pretty cheap. I replaced the belt only about 5k miles ago and its going strong with no issues. I also used this guys step by step instructions on how to replace it, I recommend having a friend to help you it'll make it much easier. http://www.fixmysaab.com/9-5_repair/belt/intro.asp?nsteps=3
That link isn't bad except for 2 things. My tensioner uses a 3mm pin to hold it and the hex bolts are 8mm not 6mm....

Is this different on different years?
 

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you may want to consider doing the short belt conversion by omitting pulley #6 in your picture. Saab later made this conversion to all cars due to the fact that the pulley is not replaceable with the engine in the car. If you check eeurpoarts.com they list the belt and short belt.
That's not the reason why the long belt was initially eliminated. It can be done.

And several months later there was a bulletin requesting all pulleys removed needed to be re-installed. Any vehicle that was in for service that required a belt taken off- if it didn't have that pulley before, it did after at the cost of SAAB.
 

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Several people have said that removing the center idler pulley increases vibrations. Why that seems to be an issue on the 9-5 and not the NG900 and 9-3, I don't know. It's not the easiest thing in the world to replace that pulley, but it's certainly not impossible with the engine in the car. I used a sawed-off T40 bit on a 1/4" wrench the last time I had to do it.
 

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I have removed/refitted the centre pulley on 9-5's with the engine in the car lots of times. Space is very tight, but certainly not impossible. Helps to lift the nose of the engine with a jack on the oilpan (making sure you use a block of timber in between). This gives you a bit more valuable clearance between the timing cover and frame rail.

The electrical tape trick (taping the centre bolt to the pulley) works very well and makes this job much easier. Once you get the hang of it it is quite a simple task.

Incidentally, and thankfully, I have only ever experienced these pulleys with a 14mm hex head bolt, not torx head. Dunno if these were factory or dealer retrofit, but I imagine doing up the bolt with a open/ring end spanner is much easier than trying to get a torx bit to fit in the very limited space between the timing cover and frame rail.

Axeman74
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is this heading in the direction that the eliminated pulley was brought in by SAAB ( that included 9-5 ) ...and what contributed to the serpentine's breaking down was this elimination too ..? and that if I were to get that eliminated pulley back on again - it needs some dexterity to put that on. ( in other words ...Unless I am a mechanic with all the time in the world...putting that extra bit on ain't worth it . And I am neither )

Also .....What I wanted to understand was based on these
Now that the belt is in there ( 1st 100 miles ran fine ) , is it worth re-opening them ( after they are ordered ) since there is every chance they will give up
OR let sleeping dogs lie ..... and we will cross the bridge when it comes.....
The # 1 looked a bit worn out on the side ( think the plastic or rubber on the side chipped off ) but the threads look fine and it moved freely
I am getting some sort of notion ...that it could be left alone ..not worth re-opening and lets see what happens ( if / when ) ?
 

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If it's not making noise, and if the pulley is intact, and if it spins freely for a second or two after a good spin, I wouldn't concern myself.

Some choose to change the tensioner along with the pulleys as a preventative maintenance measure. If your worried about it, by all means put a new pulley in. They are relatively inexpensive, except that middle one, those are 40-50$ which for a smooth pulley imo is a little overpriced.
 

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How can I tell if the idler pulley and tensioner are going bad?
The pulley and tensioner have 80K miles. They look fine and minimal movement.
I took a MOV video but can not upload. I did have a brand new belt shred to pieces last weekend and looking for a cause.
 

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The "professional way" requires the use of a tool that can read tension in lb. ft. I haven't seen one of those in quite a few years.

Grab the belt by hand (engine off of course) and give the belt a good tug. Your basically checking how strong the tension is by hand. But without past experience or knowledge of what a good tensioner feels like it's not going to help.
There should be no slack, and the tensioner should require a decent amount of force to move. Run the car with a belt on and check the belt isn't wobbling.
 

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The belt feels tight.
When engine is running, there is a little movement associated with the tensioner. Its hard to measure but it cant be more than 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch vibration. I dont think that the idler pulley is wobbley but it seems that the belt coming from the alrernator pulley is rather wiggley.
For peace of mind, I am suspecting the best approach is to replace them with OEM parts.
Thanks.
 

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Dayco was the OE supplier/ manufacturer of the tensioner, I'm not certain whom the pulleys came from. Stay away from anything Febi. NTK makes fantastic bearings in their pulleys, they last forever.
It does sound as if you have a pulley that's out of alignment. The tensioner should move some when operating.
 

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With the belt off, spin the pulleys. They should have a slightly viscous resistance. If they spin freely (and usually noisily) the seals and grease are gone.

I would also replace any wobbling or off-track pulley.
 

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When tbe belt was off, i checked all pulleys and appeared normal. I have noticed that all pulleys were silent other than the idle pulley, but i thought it is a different type of pulley. Is it supposed to be silent as the other ones? I paid premium and ordered SAAB OEM parts.

Thanks guys for your input. After getting stranded last Friday with a shredded belt, wife is asking me to sell and replace it with a late model lexus. I am seriously considering.
It is a 5 speed in an excelkent condition, no rust, accident free with all maintenance records and many extras. I own it since 2008.
 

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A pulley is a pulley. They should all sound about the same when spun, which is to say silent, and they shouldn't really spin freely at all when they're in good shape. The two idler pulleys on these cars generally don't last more than 50,000 miles, but the tensioner pulley tends to last considerably longer. They must have used a better bearing on those. My 2000 9-5 had a factory Dayco tensioner go bad. It made a jackhammering noise when the steering wheel was turned while the car was stationary. It must be been putting too much force on it, and caused it to vibrate way too much. I know you already bought the original part, but you can also get the original Saab tensioner, just with the Saab name and part number ground off, from Febi and INA.
 
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