Replacing 3.5" Smooth Idler Pulley on L67 3800 Series II - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
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Arrow Replacing 3.5" Smooth Idler Pulley on L67 3800 Series II

Pulley #9 on the pulley change index.

Here is the procedure: 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI - Jeff Hockema

It is quite an involved procedure to replace this pulley. I tried to document the entire process. This documents the procedure on a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI with the 3800 Series II (L67) supercharged engine.

Let me know what you think. This forum has been very helpful over the years, so I thought this would be a helpful contribution.

I will paste the text below for search indexing, but I highly recommend you view the procedure on my site: 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI - Jeff Hockema
I would be happy to put the entire procedure on this forum including pictures, but reworking it for the forum is time consuming.


Total Estimated Time: 2-4 Hours
Tools Required:
Floor Jack
Jack Stands
PB Blaster Penetrating Oil (Recommended)
Needle Nosed Pliers
Screwdriver
Torque Wrench (Recommended)
Socket Extensions (3" and 12")
Sockets (8mm, 13mm, 1/4", T45)
Deep Sockets (15mm, 5/8", 11/16")
Wrenches (15mm, 11/16")


Step 1 - Remove Supercharger Belt
Step 2 - Remove Engine Mount Spacer
Step 3 - Remove Ignition Module
Step 4 - Remove Supercharger Tensioner
Step 5 - Remove Accessory Belt
Step 6 - Remove Power Steering Pump
Step 7 - Remove Engine Mount
Step 8 - Remove Engine Mount Bracket
Step 9 - Remove Smooth Idler Pulley
Step 10 - Put it back together!

Note: The 3.5" smooth idler pulley is difficult to reach. If you invest the time to replace it you may consider replacing your water pump and gasket if they are getting old since they require the same lengthy access procedure.

Download original full resolution images here.



3800 Series II (L67) Supercharged. The engine cover can be removed with 13mm socket.

Step 1 - Remove Supercharger Belt


Locate the supercharger tensioner pulley.


Use 15mm socket to release the tension on the belt. To release tension, turn your wrench counter-clockwise.


Turn the wrench far enough to release tension then use your other hand to move the belt off of the supercharger pulley. You will not be able to remove the belt until the engine mount spacer is removed in the next step.

Step 2 - Remove Engine Mount Spacer


Jack up front passenger side of the car. Lower the car onto a jack stand. Remove the wheel. Locate the front access panel.


Use needle nosed pliers to pull the center of the fastener. You may need to use a thin screwdriver to get it started.


As the center of the fastner is removed the end of the fastner is able to pull from the hole. Repeat the procedure on the other side.


With the panel off we can access the engine mount spacer bolt.


Locate the engine mount spacer bolt.


Use 11/16" deep socket to remove the nut from the spacer bolt.


Use 8mm socket with 3" extension to remove the bolt.


Pull out spacer bolt.


The center of the bolt is not threaded so it does not require too much wrenching.


Locate the engine mount spacer and crankshaft position sensor.


Remove crankshaft position sensor. Use a screwdriver to loosen the clip as you pull. Don't forget to plug back in after you are done with your repairs or your car will not start.


Remove engine mount spacer.


With the crankshaft position sensor removed, the spacer should come right out.


Removing the spacer creates the gap necessary to remove the belts.


Remove the supercharger belt through the gap.

Step 3 - Remove Ignition Module


Locate ignition module.


The iginition module is connected to the tensioner with 3 bolts. Locate the first bolt.


Remove the bolt with a 13mm socket.


The bolt is removed.



Locate the second bolt.


Remove nut with 5/8" deep socket.


The nut is removed.


Locate the third bolt.


Remove the bolt with a 13mm socket.


The bolt is removed.


Remove the ignition module from the supercharger tensioner and carefully set it to the side.

Step 4 - Remove Supercharger Tensioner


Locate supercharger tensioner. 2 bolts must be removed.


Remove nut with 5/8" deep socket.



The nut is removed.


Remove bolt using 1/4" socket.


Remove the next bolt using 1/4" socket. Support the tensioner so it does not drop as the bolt is losened.


Remove supercharger tensioner.



The tensioner is removed.

Step 5 - Remove Accessory Belt


Locate tensioner pulley.


Use 15mm socket to release the tension on the belt. To release tension, turn your wrench counter-clockwise. Turn the wrench far enough to release tension then use your other hand to move the belt off of the tensioner pulley.


Remove the belt through the gap created by removing the engine mount spacer in step 2.


The belt is removed.

Step 6 - Remove Power Steering Pump


Locate power steering pump. It is attached to the engine with 2 bolts.


Remove the top bolt by lining up the hole in the pulley using a 13mm socket with 3" extension.


Remove the bottom bolt with same socket and extension. Be careful to support the weight of the power steering pump as you remove the last bolt.


Carefully set the power steering pump out of the way. Be very careful not to place it on the oil pressure sensor.


Here is a better look at the oil pressure sensor behind the power steering pump. Be careful not to set the power steering pump on the sensor.

Step 7 - Remove Engine Mount


Locate the engine mount.


Place floor jack under passenger side of oil pan to support the engine. Use a small board to distribute the weight.


Remove nut from engine mount bolt using 11/16" wrench. Use a 15mm socket to hold the bolt on the other side. You will need to jack up the engine to pull out the bolt. The bolt should come out easily if the engine is the proper height.


The bolt is removed. The passenger side of the engine is only supported by the floor jack. The floor jack will lose height slowly. You may need to maintain the height of the engine by jacking it up occasionally. In the picture below you can see the approximate height of the crank pulley and the frame. Be sure the jack is supporting the weight of the engine while the engine mount is removed.



Locate additional engine mount bolts. Loosen the bolts from the access panel in the front wheel well.


Loosen the first bolt with 15mm wrench. You do not need to remove the bolt.


Loosen the second bolt with the same wrench.


Locate 2 addtional bolts.


Remove the first bolt using a 15mm socket with 12" extension. In my case these bolts were very difficult to remove. Use PB Blaster or other penetrating oil to loosen the bond. I broke a wobble extension in this process. I traded for a traditional extension and was able to remove the bolts, but not without a struggle.


I used the handle from my foor jack to give my wrench additional leverage.


The bolt is removed.


Remove the second bolt using a 15mm socket with 12" extension.


The bolt is removed.


Remove the engine mount by pulling up.


The bottom bolts should be loose enough to release the engine mount.


The engine mount is removed.

Step 8 - Remove Engine Mount Bracket


Locate engine mount bracket. 2 bolts need to be removed.


Remove the first nut using 15mm deep socket.


The nut is removed.


Remove bolt using 1/4" socket.


The bolt is removed.


Remove the second nut using 15mm deep socket.


The nut is removed.


Remove bolt using 1/4" socket. Be careful not to loose the spacer.


The bolt and spacer are removed. The spacer goes between the engine mount bracket and the engine.


Remove the engine mount bracket. It takes a bit of finess to remove.


You may need to tighten the bolts that were loosened to remove the engine mount to give you enough room to remove the engine mount bracket.

Step 9 - Remove Smooth Idler Pulley


Use T45 socket to remove the bolt. Pull off the pulley.

Step 10 - Put it all back together!

Install your new pulley and reverse the entire procedure.

Step 9 - Remove Smooth Idler Pulley
Reverse this procedure to install the smooth idler pulley.

Step 8 - Remove Engine Mount Bracket
Reverse this procedure to install the engine mount bracket. Don't forget the spacer that goes between the engine and bracket on the left side.

Step 7 - Remove Engine Mount
Reverse this procedure to install the engine mount.

Step 6 - Remove Power Steering Pump
Reverse the procedure to install the power steering pump.

Step 5 - Remove Accessory Belt
Reverse the procedure to install the accessory belt. Reference your owners manual for a belt diagram.

Step 4 - Remove Supercharger Tensioner
Reverse the procedure to install the supercharger tensioner. Remember to replace the ground connection on the left side.

Step 3 - Remove Ignition Module
Reverse the procedure to install the ignition module.

Step 2 - Remove Engine Mount Spacer
Reverse the procedure to install the engine mount spacer. Make sure your supercharger belt is through the gap before you replace the spacer! Don't forget to plug the crankshaft position sensor back in or your car will not start!

Step 1 - Remove Supercharger Belt
Reverse the procedure to install the supercharger belt. Reference your owners manual for a belt diagram.

You are done! Start the engine and enjoy the silent pulley!
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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You would need permission from the original author prior to including his images in this writeup.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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Don't worry. I am the original author.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Put some some pictures in your original post and I can have this put in Techinfo for you.
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