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2005 Forester XT
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone

I've got a little issue going on. Three days ago I started my '05 XT and turned on the A/C. When I turned on the A/C I noticed a squealing noise so I shut the car off and popped the hood. The belt had fallen off the air compressor pulley and was lodged between it and the air compressor. The belt was still on the tensioner pulley and crank pulley.

I figured it was just the belt got old, maybe stretched or something. So I bought a new one, put it on, and started the car and the AC. Everything worked good. I turned the AC on and off several times and the compressor turned on the off and the belt never came off. (I was worried the compressor had seized up but apparently not). I turned the car itself on and off several time and it never came off. I let it run for 10 or 15 minutes without any problems. The next morning I come out to the car, I start it up, turn the AC on, belt comes off again. This time it lodged behind the crank pulley and the air compressor pulley but stayed on the tensioner pulley.

So I tried it one more time after eye balling the pulley's for a good 30 minutes to make sure something wasn't broken/bent/misaligned. Everything looked good. Put the belt back on, started car, everything worked fine. But I did notice that the crank pulley is vibrating at idle ever so slightly. It goes away as you increase the rpm's, but at idle it wobbles. Maybe 1/16 of an inch if I had to guess.

So 1, any ideas why my belt keep slipping off? Is it possible the compressor is seizing up intermittently?
And 2, is it normal for the crank pulley to vibrate slightly?

Thanks!
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
If it were me, I would make sure your crank pulley is OK as that seems to be a known issue, either loose or coming apart and if you do a search for "broken crank pulley" or "loose crank pulley," you may come up with the right threads but I would not ignore that crank pulley vibration unless you can confirm that the Pulley is in fact tight and damage free.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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4,784 Posts
The pulley on my Scion xB, and probably most cars, has the same rubber between two metal masses. The Scion part is 13407-21020, Damper Assembly, $217. It was very popular to replace it with a lighter pulley to reduce rotational inertia and improve acceleration, but the aftermarket pulleys are solid metal, without the rubber that makes the pulley a damper:

From: Scion <[email protected]>
Reply-To: Scion <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 17:53:00 -0700 (PDT)
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Crankshaft pulley [Incident: 060809-000319]
Response (Joey L)08/11/2006 05:52 PM
Thank you for contacting Scion. For the xA/xB, the crankshaft pulley is the harmonic balancer and it does dampen the vibrations.
Scion Customer Experience

Never remove the factory crank pulley on any engine to replace it with a performance pulley or light weight performance pulley. Toyota and many other manufactures such as BMW, Porsche, Mercedes all use dual mode damper pulley designs in all their engines. The factory stock pulley is designed to absorb both torsion and bending lateral vibration from the crankshaft. This helps the crankshaft deal with high vibration in the 400 Hz range after the #1 piston fires. Overall this has many benefits on the bottom end. It helps the crank deal with high continuous loads as well as overall bearing life, not to mention overall engine life. Also the drive-line will have a more pleasing sound with very little 400Hz vibe's setting up.
Sonic Tech Light Weight Crank Pully's and why not to use them!
 

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2005 Forester XT
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Alright, so no one has mentioned the A/C intermittantly locked up and I saw in one of those threads you linked to (thanks by the way) that if the crank pulley is going bad, one of the first signs is the belts might fall off. So seems like it could easily just be the crank pulley and not the AC compressor at all.

But jeesh...$160 for the crank pulley from CarQuest? That's aweful! Someone mentioned Autozone could get them for $80 in one of those threads so I tried there and they couldn't get anything for me. Any other ideas on how to get one of these a little cheaper?

And is this pulley pressed on? I've read a couple threads saying it is not, but the guys at CarQuest said the new pulley will be pressed on (they pointed at the key slot to tell me that means its a press fit).
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
If you are talking about the Crankshaft pulley, Harmonic Balancer .... it goes by many names. If the rubber is separated, this is more common than people realize and it must be replaced.

It's held by a large single center bolt ( torqued to 140 ft lbs ). YES Subaru replacements are expensive, but here's a much cheaper aftermarket one ....and YES I have used them with no failures:

 

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2005 Forester XT
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yup, Crankshaft pulley is the one I was talking about. Sorry about that, I didn't specify in my reply which pulley I was talking about.

The pulley you linked to says 96-99 Subaru replacement. Is that going to fit an '05 XT?
 

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2005 Forester XT
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Or would I be better off getting this one since it specifies its for an '05 XT?

partsgeek.com/catalog/2005/subaru/forester/engine_mechanical/engine_harmonic_balancer.html

(can't make it clicky yet...I need at least 15 posts)
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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I have used ones from 96 to present on all 2.2L and 2.5L. By the way, the 2005 XT uses the same part number as the N/A model.
 

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2005 Forester XT
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The one you linked to doesn't say '96 to present' it says '96 to 99' Are you saving you've used this particular pulley on vehicles newer than '99? Or did you just link to that pulley as an example of which brand to get?

The reason I keep asking is because the one you linked to is much cheaper than the other Dorman pulley I found that is specifically for the 2005 Subaru. And if the one you linked to will work in a 2005 even though it only says 1996-1999 then I definitely want to go with the cheaper priced one.

Sorry to be such a pain.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,319 Posts
I have used a 99 legacy 2.2L pulley on a 2003 N/A Forester. So it's your choice. If you are more confident in the specific one for a 2005, then by all means go for it. But I have used quite a few interchangeably.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... is this pulley pressed on? I've read a couple threads saying it is not, but the guys at CarQuest said the new pulley will be pressed on (they pointed at the key slot to tell me that means its a press fit).
The pulley goes onto a tapered cone on the end of the crankshaft, which has a slot and woodruff-type key, all pressed together with a nut on the end.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(engineering)#Woodruff_keys

The nut is applied with very high torque. The key locks the pulley against the possibility its moving on the friction fit on the cone. But it is not a press fit, which refers to the interference fitting of two things that don't otherwise fit at all.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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43 Posts
My pulley broke in 2 peices a few weeks ago. I was plugging along, and all of a sudden, my batt light and power steering was gone. Pulled over, saw the "ribbed" part of the pulley not where it was supposed to be.

All 2.5 engines use the same pulley. We have a lot of parts laying around, so the pulley on my 04XT came off of an 01Outback.

Good luck. Hopefully you dont have to get a new one.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,071 Posts
The doorman pulley is also available from autozone for $80 part # 594-166.

As Vintage mentioned you can use virtually any Subaru crank pulley.
 

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admin
2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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Thanks guys. I'm going to order one from Amazon. This summer my alt belt self destructed at only 38k. I'm now suspecting the pulley may be the cause and on it's way out. But at idle the pulley seems to run true. :shrug:
 

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2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,250 Posts
Maybe, but an alt belt failing at that low mileage is a little weird.
 

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2005 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #19
Alright, time for an update.

I ordered the Dorman 594-166 harmonic balancer/dampener from Amazon with free shipping. It got to my door in about 3 days. I just put it on tonight and it looks a lot better. It turns perfectly smooth and doesn't wobble at all.

However, I think my problems are separate from that. Now I don't have any A/C. It blows out warm air. I'm wondering if my compressor was starting to fail and maybe THAT is why the belt came off and got stuck behind the pulleys in the first place. I then tried a new belt and it did the same thing. So if the compressor locked up for a second and made the belt fly off and get stuck behind the pulleys, maybe THAT is what messed up my crank pulley? Does that sound possible to anyone?

I don't know, but I'm assuming my compressor is dead. It turns fine, turns on and off fine, but blows out warm air. I don't want to get the system recharged for a fee only to find out the compressor is bad and have to get it recharged again after I put a new compressor on.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
Someone more technically knowledgeable about the compressor can chime in here but I believe you may be able to unplug the compressor and keep it from engaging and locking up until you get it fixed because unless the thing is plugged in, the clutch shouldn't engage and hence lock up and throw the belt off but I could be wrong so maybe a seasoned professional can lend some advice about this in particular as a temporary fix.
 
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