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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there everyone, I have a 2008 Focus with 168k miles with a wobbling power steering pump pulley and a wobbling harmonic balancer. The power steering pump was a remanufactured one and installed in September of 2020. I'm not sure if the pulley is supposed to be flush with the end of the shaft or not, but the serpentine belt is riding pretty close to the outer edge of the pulley (towards the outside of the engine bay).

The harmonic balancer is wobbling quite a bit as well. I'm not sure if it is because of the power steering pump pulley, or if it's just age of the pulley. Since it is wobbling, would it be a good preventive measure to replace it anyway? It's only $75 from Oreillys auto parts. I just got a quote for the removal/install at $200 and I supply the part. Is this something I can do myself in an hour or two to just get it over with?

I have read that there are people out there making custom brackets that get bolted to the frame of the car and get wedged into the teeth of the harmonic balancer/crankshaft pulley, and they seem to be having quite some success. I just don't know if there is anything between the sprocket looking thing and the pulley itself.

Not sure if these details will help or not, so I'm going to post them anyway.
I drive for DoorDash in the Houston Texas area and put quite a few miles on the car every week. I keep up with the maintenance on my own. I have trust issues with mechanics ever since I took it in for an oil change at a Firestone in Denver Colorado. I have replaced everything except the engine, wiring harnesses, alternator, cv axles, and the radiator. It's unbelievable that my wife's mechanic gave me a quote of $650 to press wheel bearings into the knuckle on the front of the car... Completely outrageous.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! This is just frustrating!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
can you upload vids to show?
Yes I have the videos, but I can't upload them because they're too big of a file. I also might have found the culprit. The belt tensioner, part 6A228 is almost sideways. I have a pic of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had to redline the engine for the squealing to be noticeable, and when I went to check the results, I saw that bearing like that. I'm going to take the serpentine belt off here in a few to see if the bearing itself wobbles. I'll keep you all updated.
 

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I cannot see much form the pic.
The power steering pulley can be warped if someone previously removed the pulley without a power steering pulley remover.
 

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A bad tensioner will not make the pulleys wobble. Is it an optical illusion because the belt is oscillating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Guess what ladies and gentlemen. I redlined the car and the tensioner pulley was very very wonky. Upon further inspection, this is the tensioner pulley. Sorry for the huge delay, I snapped my reducer socket and had to buy a 4 way tire iron.. Walking in this Houston heat is terrible.. Hahaha.
310258
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The tensioner rattles when I shake it, the pulley is extremely free-rolling (if that makes sense). The spring inside it has very limited play. I also found out from a Ford Stealership and an Oreilly's shop that the Power steering pump pulley should be flush with the end of the shaft. I'm going to test that just so other people having these problems can know for sure if it works or not. I suppose I could upload the videos I took to YouTube and then post the link here if anyone is interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I cannot see much form the pic.
The power steering pulley can be warped if someone previously removed the pulley without a power steering pulley remover.
I replaced the power steering pump (It was a remanufactured one) and by all means STAY THE HELL away from remanufactured ones. I have to replace mine, yet again. It's leaking on the bottom, I'm assuming where the pressure sensor or the low fluid sensor thing is. I'll post pictures of that when I am ready to replace it and install the new tensioner pulley.

I am regretting buying the $60 or $80 remanufactured power steering pump from Oreilly's. Not only is it remanufactured, but it's multiple pieces fitted together. ANY slight amount of back pressure WILL explode the seals. Mine is now making a whooshing sound, like air is escaping a vacuum line. And after doing a string-balance test on the power steering pump, I can confirm that it is slightly warped/bent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just bought the new serpentine belt tensioner pulley, installing it tomorrow morning.
 

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If leaking PS at bottom, check where the pressure hose connects to the pump. Even with the right tools, it is difficult to make that hose tight without removing the pulley, so remove the pulley if necessary (with a ps pump pulley remover). If pulley is warped, you might want to replace that anyway - junk yard pulley will work.
Also there is a mesh screen inside the PS reservoir that commonly clogs after years and causes air to get sucked in (guessing air past the orings where the reservoir attaches). I learned that the hard way because after trying to track down an air leak and replacing reservoir orings, I still had issues but finally installed a new reservoir and problem solved. I broke open the old reservoir and found the screen was clogged. I was surprised because I had kept the power steering fluid clean and fresh since the day I drove the car off the lot.

I usually don't buy reman anything unless it's really hard to get new. ...But I did do a reman on this ps pump once because of price and I only got about 2 years out of it.
 

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It's typical of Ford branded tensioners to wear out of plane to have crooked arms, it's built into the basic design and why I never use Ford ones. I've seen them be dead crooked in 25K miles in a really dirty environment. They have no big long term wear area to take load and the arms then tilt crooked very quick. Other brands like Gates with the long bar sticking out prevent that tilting. The anti-friction bearing in a Ford tensioner is pretty much crap as well, the area is full of holes to wear out faster to sell more parts.

'....the Power steering pump pulley should be flush with the end of the shaft.'

No and most of them are NOT, they can be off 1/8" and run forever like that. The pulley should run dead true and different from running out of plane which can be dead true as well. Every PS pump on earth is made up of multiple pieces and they have seals that take thousands of psi worth of pressure and all day long. I've rebuilt them mtself and most people cannot correctly, the pump section must be treated as a unit or the work is wasted and often makes the pump run worse.

There is a set of marks on tensioner the belt should be running in and shows both belt correct length new as well as worn or not, use it. The pic in post #8 clearly shows them and the zero point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And I'm back! I ended up replacing the Serpentine Belt Tensioner Pulley, and there is a HUGE difference between them. Not only is the new one straight, but there is no belt squeal. I'm not sure if changing the serpentine belt tensioner pulley helped this, but my car now seems to shift easier and has a lower idle rpm. I do have a video of the work I've done, but the website won't allow a .mp4 video format. I'll modify the video and save it as a supported file if it'll let me. If not, I'll upload it to YouTube and post the link here.

Also, regarding the power steering pulley, it is straight. The only problem with it is the leak by the bolt that's like a 21mm wrench (I don't remember it's exact size, but I had to mess with it when I replaced the pump assembly).

Also, the harmonic balancer seems to be normal, but I am not entirely certain.

Here's the video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should have ran that through my encoder before uploading.. That video is choppy as hell :ROFLMAO:
 

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Crank pulley not 100% dead true but good enough, I'd leave it. It'll run forever.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Crank pulley not 100% dead true but good enough, I'd leave it. It'll run forever.
I decided, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". So I'll fix it when it either flies off or my belt flies off. Hahaha.
 

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It's typical of Ford branded tensioners to wear out of plane to have crooked arms, it's built into the basic design and why I never use Ford ones. I've seen them be dead crooked in 25K miles in a really dirty environment. They have no big long term wear area to take load and the arms then tilt crooked very quick. Other brands like Gates with the long bar sticking out prevent that tilting. The anti-friction bearing in a Ford tensioner is pretty much crap as well, the area is full of holes to wear out faster to sell more parts.

'....the Power steering pump pulley should be flush with the end of the shaft.'

No and most of them are NOT, they can be off 1/8" and run forever like that. The pulley should run dead true and different from running out of plane which can be dead true as well. Every PS pump on earth is made up of multiple pieces and they have seals that take thousands of psi worth of pressure and all day long. I've rebuilt them mtself and most people cannot correctly, the pump section must be treated as a unit or the work is wasted and often makes the pump run worse.

There is a set of marks on tensioner the belt should be running in and shows both belt correct length new as well as worn or not, use it. The pic in post #8 clearly shows them and the zero point.
I have 150K on my and all is well from factory original don't know what you mean!! Ford works for Ford after market does not work for Ford, if you do your homework and do the right install with OEM all will be well, The pulley on his remen was not installed right it should have been seated deeper i have removed power steering pulley's number of times you need to put them back where they came from to line up with the other ones on the engine you should have checked the alignment of the other pulleys and made the proper adjustment, you can rent power steering pulley pullers from your local parts store for free, buying new power steering pumps will not solve your problem if the pulleys are off, check the alignment rent the pulley puller and fix the problem don't forget they are in the business to rebuild not to make sure all is aligned perfectly that’s your responsibility
 

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For being brand new, and even with the AC on, the play on the belt tensioner seems a bit on the high side.
 

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The more the pulley moves from one extreme to the other the worse the belt is as far as stretched to be tighter in part of it than the other part. Signals a bad new or a very old or stressed belt.

Some of the tensioner designs last longer than others. I pulled about 15 zetec type tensioners apart (including like 5 Ford ones) as they were dead worn out in 30K miles each and the inside design showed why they tilt out of plane so much. I rebuilt those same various brand tensioners with mods so that they would last longer and they did as compared to Ford ones, easily double the life. One particular design from Dayco that tended to break within a week I was able to mod to run for several years each and the ones I preferred after finding that out. I'm running one car right now with a tensioner that I remove andc reinstall by hand alone without the use of any tool at all.
 
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