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Old 02-04-2019, 02:57 PM #1
BagiMT BagiMT is offline
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Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?

After a deep water crossing a about two months ago I had a whistling noise from the engine compartment. After unhooking the belt I narrowed it down to the tensioner pulley. It sounds easy enough to replace the pulley but having done a lot of searching it is unclear if the Gates 36174 (lower idler #1 pulley) will work for the tensioner. Some say yes, others say no.

Toyota 120 Platforms Forum - View Single Post - 4th Gen v6 4Runner Strange Noise
Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum - View Single Post - Idler Pulley Problem Solved...
DIY: Replacing the Bearings in the Idler & Tensioner Pulleys | Tacoma World

I know a lot of people replace the bearing but I don't have access to a press so that is not an option. And I'd rather not spend $80+ on the full tensioner assembly if I can get away with just buying the pulley.

So does anybody know if the Gates 36174 (or any other #1 idler pulley) will work for the tensioner?
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:22 PM #2
andreylights andreylights is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BagiMT View Post
After a deep water crossing a about two months ago I had a whistling noise from the engine compartment. After unhooking the belt I narrowed it down to the tensioner pulley. It sounds easy enough to replace the pulley but having done a lot of searching it is unclear if the Gates 36174 (lower idler #1 pulley) will work for the tensioner. Some say yes, others say no.

Toyota 120 Platforms Forum - View Single Post - 4th Gen v6 4Runner Strange Noise
Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum - View Single Post - Idler Pulley Problem Solved...
DIY: Replacing the Bearings in the Idler & Tensioner Pulleys | Tacoma World

I know a lot of people replace the bearing but I don't have access to a press so that is not an option. And I'd rather not spend $80+ on the full tensioner assembly if I can get away with just buying the pulley.

So does anybody know if the Gates 36174 (or any other #1 idler pulley) will work for the tensioner?
Amazon says it will work. For what it's worth.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:29 PM #3
MikeinNH67 MikeinNH67 is offline
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Here's another thought for you as the aftermarket pulleys don't seem to last long. Remove the pulley and cleanup all the junk accumulated. Remove the dust cover from the bearing then clean, re-lube with grease and put the cover back on. As long as the bearing feels tight and you can get the cover back on properly (may need to straighten it) this should be all you need. I did all 4 on my truck and it is nice and quiet now. All were dry as a bone.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:41 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreylights View Post
Amazon says it will work. For what it's worth.
Here is the most useful comment from Amazon: "The part number 36174 ,idler pulley can be used on the belt tensioner of a 07 FJ Cruiser, with the 4.0 and probably all Yota's with the 4.0 by . Just removed the bolt and
insert . Reuse your bolt and washer and apply some blue loc tight on the threads . The belt dose not ride in the center of the pulley but the back edge of the belt is even with the back edge of the pulley . The bearing id is the same but the pulley /bearing offset is somewhat different . Dayco dose make a tensioner spec pulley , wonder why Gates doesn't list it ? Anyway it worked and use caution it has a left hand threads which means righty loosey lefty tighty ." So might work but slightly wrong offset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
Here's another thought for you as the aftermarket pulleys don't seem to last long. Remove the pulley and cleanup all the junk accumulated. Remove the dust cover from the bearing then clean, re-lube with grease and put the cover back on. As long as the bearing feels tight and you can get the cover back on properly (may need to straighten it) this should be all you need. I did all 4 on my truck and it is nice and quiet now. All were dry as a bone.
Might give that a try since I have no play in the bearing but I thought it would be good to have a replacement in hand in case it can't be cleaned. I am at 185k miles now so sooner or later those bearings will fail and the OEM ones don't seem to be sealed properly, that's why a lot of people have issues after driving through water/mud. What grease would I use for those bearing?
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:43 AM #5
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That bearing is too thick and the OEM bolt will barely engage the tensioner arm. Good luck finding a longer bolt that is reverse threaded. That's why it is not recommended for use.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:18 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BagiMT View Post
Might give that a try since I have no play in the bearing but I thought it would be good to have a replacement in hand in case it can't be cleaned. I am at 185k miles now so sooner or later those bearings will fail and the OEM ones don't seem to be sealed properly, that's why a lot of people have issues after driving through water/mud. What grease would I use for those bearing?
I use wheel bearing grease, I prefer the synthetic type. I'm on my second small bucket in maybe 25 to 30 years. I lubed all 4 of mine in maybe an hour and it only cost me the time.

These are just normal roller bearings with dust shields. Once the grease dries up there's nothing to keep them from making noise.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:42 AM #7
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Update

Before posting my question I had already ordered the Gates 36174 pulley. I figured if it does not fit I could keep it to replace the #1 idler pulley down the road. Got the pulley in today and took of the tensioner pulley. Turns out everybody was right in some way. The outer diameter of both pulleys is exactly the same and so is the inner diameter of the bearing. The bearing of the 36174 pulley is a bit wider and the offset is different.

Seeing that I decided to try to clean and grease the old pulley. While I got the front dust cover off, the rear dust cover is inaccessible so there was not much I was able to clean. I pumped new grease in using a grease gun and a needle tip but the bearing was till noisy (I figured if there was even a little noise when I turn it by hand it will for sure be really loude when it spins at several 1000 RPM). So I only had two options, put the noisy pulley back on or try to see if the 36174 fits.

Turns out the review on Amazon was correct, the pulley fits but the belt will ride at the back edge instead of more to the center. (however, it can't really go anywhere as it is guided by the crankshaft and the water pump) The pulley sits on an arm that goes almost all the way through the bearing so the bolt goes in over 1", maybe 1.5". The difference in offset is only about 1/5" so there is plenty of thread. This might have been a change in the tensioner design from earlier V6 models. I might still try to get a bearing to replace the one in my old pulley and I will keep an eye on the belt to make sure there is no wobbling or rubbing but so far it looks good. The hardest part was tightening the bolt as there is no way to get a torque wrench in from the top and I was not going to drop my skids.
Attached Images
Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?-photo_20190206_171348-jpg  Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?-photo_20190206_171447-jpg  Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?-photo_20190206_171502-jpg  Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?-photo_20190206_212555-jpg  Tensioner pulley on V6, does 36174 work?-photo_20190206_212705-jpg 
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:50 PM #8
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BagiMT View Post
Before posting my question I had already ordered the Gates 36174 pulley. I figured if it does not fit I could keep it to replace the #1 idler pulley down the road. Got the pulley in today and took of the tensioner pulley. Turns out everybody was right in some way. The outer diameter of both pulleys is exactly the same and so is the inner diameter of the bearing. The bearing of the 36174 pulley is a bit wider and the offset is different.

Seeing that I decided to try to clean and grease the old pulley. While I got the front dust cover off, the rear dust cover is inaccessible so there was not much I was able to clean. I pumped new grease in using a grease gun and a needle tip but the bearing was till noisy (I figured if there was even a little noise when I turn it by hand it will for sure be really loude when it spins at several 1000 RPM). So I only had two options, put the noisy pulley back on or try to see if the 36174 fits.

Turns out the review on Amazon was correct, the pulley fits but the belt will ride at the back edge instead of more to the center. (however, it can't really go anywhere as it is guided by the crankshaft and the water pump) The pulley sits on an arm that goes almost all the way through the bearing so the bolt goes in over 1", maybe 1.5". The difference in offset is only about 1/5" so there is plenty of thread. This might have been a change in the tensioner design from earlier V6 models. I might still try to get a bearing to replace the one in my old pulley and I will keep an eye on the belt to make sure there is no wobbling or rubbing but so far it looks good. The hardest part was tightening the bolt as there is no way to get a torque wrench in from the top and I was not going to drop my skids.
How's this been working out for you so far? No issues?
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:38 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BagiMT View Post
After a deep water crossing a about two months ago I had a whistling noise from the engine compartment. After unhooking the belt I narrowed it down to the tensioner pulley. It sounds easy enough to replace the pulley but having done a lot of searching it is unclear if the Gates 36174 (lower idler #1 pulley) will work for the tensioner. Some say yes, others say no.

Toyota 120 Platforms Forum - View Single Post - 4th Gen v6 4Runner Strange Noise
Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum - View Single Post - Idler Pulley Problem Solved...
DIY: Replacing the Bearings in the Idler & Tensioner Pulleys | Tacoma World

I know a lot of people replace the bearing but I don't have access to a press so that is not an option. And I'd rather not spend $80+ on the full tensioner assembly if I can get away with just buying the pulley.

So does anybody know if the Gates 36174 (or any other #1 idler pulley) will work for the tensioner?
...way late.
the tensioner bearing is different from the iddler pulleys.
my exp...Not a bad alternator? - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:44 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogrun View Post
How's this been working out for you so far? No issues?
About 10k miles on it without any issues. No sign of improper wear on the belt. All good.

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