My Take on Idler Arms

My Take on Idler Arms

Postby Matrixx [OP] » August 25th 2008, 7:02am

Over the years of owning my van, I have replaced my idlers as well. My take on the idlers wearing out so quickly on these vans are,
1- Located in a very poor spot so the weather attacks them constantly IE: Rain-Snow Salt. They are very exposed to the elements.
2-Warped rotors play havoc on idler arms and I feel is the first and foremost cause of idler arm failure.

When the back drums aren't adjusted properly (every 5000 miles) then this puts more load on the front rotors and if the rotors aren't made of good quality steel, they will warp in short order. The constant Pulse from the now warped rotors when the brakes are applied resonates through the front end parts and finds the weakest link to punch out which is usually the idler arms. In a way this is a good thing, idlers are easy to replace and no alignment is "usually" required. Like I said, it's just my take on the idler arm issue. Take Care
96-GMC Safari - Rwd - Original Transmission - Exhaust - Air Cared - 3.73 Limited Slip Rear End - Motor Replaced - 91 octane (Chevron) for the last 14 years - MFI Upgrade - 640,000 Kilometers.
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Re: My Take on Idler Arms

Postby 77bc » August 27th 2008, 2:37am

Just swapped out the idler arms on my "new to me" Astro. Other than finding that my spreader fork was messed up (from loaning it to a friend) & riding my bike back to O'Reilly's to get a loaner tool set (wife was gone in her car, and I had the van blocking the driveway, so I couldn't get the hotrod out), the job didn't take very long.

Did the debate on spending $80 on the O'Reilly "lifetime guaranteed" idlers and spending $200 on Moogs, that had to be ordered from the warehouse, delaying my repair...I went the cheap way, and will probably have to revisit them in the future.

Anyway...the new idlers made a HUGE difference in the way the van drives. Happy for now.
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Re: My Take on Idler Arms

Postby Matrixx [OP] » August 27th 2008, 6:36am

Hi 77bc
Yes it does make a big difference for sure. Mine are due again. This will be the second time around for me. These rotors aren't the best in quality and I will have to replace them on the next brake job I do. They have been turned to many times and are at the thickness limit now. Both times the idlers needed to be replaced, the rotors were warped and pulsing when the brakes were applied and my conclusions to my comment above.

The passenger side idler is located right in front of the tire and wheel and picks up everything that side throws at it. That's the one that is worn the most but I will probably replace them both with the new "Enhanced" Moogs. I have no idea what that means but hopefully will be a better design than whats in it now. I have "standard" Moogs and they have lasted about 9 years now. Better than the factory ones which only lasted 3 I guess.

If you have a life time warranty with the ones you bought, then you really can't beat that. :)
96-GMC Safari - Rwd - Original Transmission - Exhaust - Air Cared - 3.73 Limited Slip Rear End - Motor Replaced - 91 octane (Chevron) for the last 14 years - MFI Upgrade - 640,000 Kilometers.
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