Would appear I am getting close to having to replace the lower idler pulley on my 92 Wrangler, 4.0-6cyl, w/AC. I have heard some sqealing on infrequent and intermittent occasions when I first start my jeep up. I have replaced the upper idler pulley before and that was pretty simple. This morning I loosened the serpentine belt and spun both pulleys. Upper pulley felt and sounded smooth. When I spun the lower pulley it did not feel smooth like there was much lube, if any, in the bearing, and I could hear the balls in the bearing clicking. I did not though, feel any roughness or grinding when turning the pulley so it would appear that there are no serious or extreme flat spots on the balls themselves. So, I am 99 percent sure that I need to replace the lower bearing in the not too distant future.
Here is my question???
It looks like there is a long mounting bolt for the lower pulley also goes through the pulley bearing, thru the flange of the timing cover, through the lower arm of the AC mounting bracket and is then nutted at the end of that bolt. In other works the bolt is not bottom threaded into a flange or bracket like the upper pulley. Am I correct in my assumption? If so, what is the easiest way to remove that bolt as my Chilton doesn't address this task. If the bolt and nut combo is the fastening device, once I get the nut off (easier said than done), will the bolt slide out easily (along with pulley) or can I count on the bolt being bound up by offset alignment pressure from the AC bracket and the timing cover flange holes? Not much room to work from the back or underside of the alternator to push the bolt forward and I am dreading the though of having to remove alternator and AC (not disconnecting hoses)
Can any of you experts that have tackled this job give me helpful responses as to whether, First - Am I correct about how the idler pulley is mounted and Secondly - What steps would make replacing the pulley easiest??? Thanks for any experienced help you can offer!!!