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It can also relate to faulty bearings of the IDLER on the tensioner pulley and if you can pour some water into the gaps while the engine runs and if the noise stops , this can be a reason too. If not as mentioned you can use the right tool to hold the tension and tighten clockwise.
same part should fit 96-99, call around to local junkyards. there are also some scavengers selling old saturn parts on ebay, contact one through an ad and put in a special order. usually a few old saturns being sold for parts on craigslist.
This is difficult, due to its location. Though it is a simple two bolt GM starter, unless you have a lift, a good selection of tools, and a lot of patience you will be happier to pay a local shop for an hour or two of labor to do this for you.
You are going to replace both sides, if one is shot the other is nearly shot. If you are talking about the front it takes special tools and knowledge. You can buy the new parts at discount prices at ebay, autozone, advance, and pay a shop do it. Do not be surprised if they tell you the struts, drive shafts, and control arms need replaced also as they are most likely at the end of their service life too. Easier to do all of it at once while it is all taken apart. If you are planning on getting rid of it, get a serviceable used knuckle with wheel bearing and pay the shop to put that on. Rear bearing is much easier, comes as a unit you simply bolt on.
The best idea would be to get a Haynes manual from the local auto parts store. The number one thing is to mark the gear/pulley and the block. just use a grease crayon, and draw a straight line from the gear to the block. that way you can align the gears back up with there correct position. also before you make the mark, the #1 cylinder needs to be at the TDC (top dead center) position. I hope this helps Please rate this Thank You
The idler pully can be removed without removing the engine. I have replaced mine in my 97 SL2. As to the bolt breaking off, that is strange. I assume that if the bolt broke off, then the idler pully also fell off. If I remember, the space is somewhat limited, so getting a removal tool in there could be very difficult, especially if the bolt is flush with the mounting hole. That doesn't sound like a fun project. If bolt protrudes, maybe you can get some vise-grips on it and turn it out.