Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Dublin, Ohio
Drives: 2003 Kia Sedona XL G 3.5 DOHC
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I'm trying to isolate a bearing noise on my '02 as well. I've done the timing belt and replaced all but the timing belt idler so it's either that idler or it's something exterior toward the front (A/C compressor or alternator).
I can tell you that trying to remove the idler pulley with it still on the vehicle is a booger. There is a bracket that it mounts to, I believe there are 3 bolts that hold it on. Once you get the bolts out of the bracket you can wrestle it out and then try to back out that Torx (or star) fastener that goes through the center of it. I say "try" because I tried to get mine off (after I got it out of the way) and my Torx bit sheared clean off. I pulled the one off my '03 parts van and installed it (bracket and all) instead.
To isolate the bearing noise (whether it's external or internal) you can just remove the A/C and alternator belt and run the engine. The noise should disappear with the belt off if it's in the A/C, alternator, tension or idler pulleys.
You should then be able to spin all of these with the belt removed and listen for noise.
The tension pulley is removed by popping the bolt running through the center of it loose and then turning the tension bolt that runs up behind it (from the bottom). You can see both of these much easier from underneath or by removing the wheel and tire and then the vertical splash shield that hides the crank.
The noise mine makes broadcasts through the motor quite a bit so I haven't been able to put a scope on it and isolate the noise. I getting close though, just not wanting to work on it out there in that freezing Oklahoma weather.
Hope this helps.
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