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Discussion Starter #1
Inquiring Minds Want To Know:

My 2001 Chrysler Town & Country 3.8L belt tensioner appears to be failing, so I have started shopping for a new one. My problem is that almost all of the tensioner assemblies I can buy locally have plastic idler pulleys.

Can anyone tell me, based upon factual experience, which idler pulley is superior? Is a plastic idler pulley better or is steel the better/best choice?
 

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Super Moderator
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The plastic is less susceptable to belt 'ringing' type noises. I have seen no durability issues with plastic pulleys or their bearings compared to steel pulleys.
 

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I put a setup with plastic pulleys on my 1999 Town & Country years ago. It was the Goodyear kit with the belt that was ribbed on both sides. This kit eliminated the ringing noise from the metal idler pulley at idle and the double ribbing was designed to reduce the chance of the belt coming off (I never had that problem). 80k later the plastic pulleys are fine though the tensioner and belt were replaced finally.
 

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KOG
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I've used both and had no problem with the pulleys. Tensioners themselves, OTOH, don't ever seem to last more than 100K.
 
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