Tensioner vs pulley replacing on 2001 Dodge Ram 1500

My tensioner has started making noise and I just noticed at autozone.com that I could by the pulley or the whole assy. Any thoughts on replacing just the pulley or should I do the tensioner too? Do I have to take very much off to do the tensioner.... That would have a lot to do with my decision LOL

by in Hot Springs National Park, AR on February 05, 2009
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3 answers 3 comments
ANSWER by , March 13, 2009
I had tons of probs w/ my 1500 5-speed, seems it was the center coupling assy holding the fan blade on has a rubber type grommet that dried out enough to change the angle of the belt. I went through about 5 serp belts from $40 to 80 bucks and did change the tensioner pully as well before I found it. Also good time to change radiator too.
COMMENT by , March 13, 2009
Thanks for the answers and the heads up with the fan mounting, I'll keep an eye on it. I ended up taking the cheap route and the car gods must have been smiling that day, cuz it worked :) not the norm LOL, usually it costs twice as much as I think and takes twice as long to put on... did this one in just a few minutes for 22 bux, and a month later it's still rockin' :)
ANSWER by , February 05, 2009
Are you sure the tensioner is the problem? How is the condition of the belt and the pulleys? Look at this earlier question, it is for a different car, but the basics still apply to your vehicle. http://repairpal.com/serpentine-belt-falling-off-351
COMMENT by , February 05, 2009
Yes I check the belt, I replaced it about 2 months ago, as it was really squealing. Then the noise started again, but this a.m. it turned into a whirring noise (bearing probably). So I sprayed some silicone onto the bearing from the rear and the noise stopped.
COMMENT by , February 05, 2009
Nice diagnosis, sounds like you got it. I'm not sure the pulley listed on AutoZone is for the tensioner or if it is the idler pulley though.
ANSWER by , April 06, 2013
Replacing just the pulley and the belt fixed that problem on my '96 T&C. Took about 20 minutes. Good luck!