Serp belt growl

kids 03 vue 3.0 has a serp belt growl. it has 2 idler pulleys. 1 is next to ac compressor and really growls with a stethoscope. the 2nd is further away and seem quieter. the noise seems to vary with the ac on/off. i put my hand on compressor while it cycled and i cant really feel any rumble when it cycles. i took off the noisy pulley and it is not smooth but it does not feel “bad”? of course its $60 at AZ. i even tried using the scope on the ac and it sounds less noisy than the idler pulley. i guess i start with idler? as i really dont want to change the compressor?
yes i checked the alternator, wp.

All the haulmarks of a bad idler bearing. More load when the AC is on… more noise because there is more load on the idler. $60 these days is a cheap repair.

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I took a noisy idler pulley into NAPA on a Sunday. They didn’t have a new one to sell me, but they did have the bearing and pressed it in place while I waited.

Got another pulley. No difference in noise. Took off SERP belt and motor idles nice and quiet. the comp pulley does not spin freely/easily. watched a video on removing clutch and hub. i even found a $30 comp at local yard. already pulled. maybe i could use it for clutch parts?

pulley I bet

with the belt off, spin all the pulleys you can. if you can’t feel the growl at the a/c compressor when it is on, then I kinda doubt it is the a/c compressor or clutch.

I think you found your problem

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A/C pulley bearing failure is usually caused by a leaking compressor shaft seal. Refrigerant oil gets onto the clutch, the clutch slips, gets very hot and destroys the pulley bearing seals.

new hub is on. Nice and quiet. Not a fun job.