Thanks for the excellent tutorial. After frustrating attempt with tools on hand, I took your advice and purchased a 12mm wrench with built in rachet. This made the procedure fairly simple and quick. For over a week now we have had no further ear piercing squeal. Thanks again!
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Thanks! This looks like the solution to the nagging problem I have had for the last 6 months after having a mechanic replace my belts. I had taken it back to him a second time to fix the squeal, but it did not help. I did not want to waste my time taking it back again and the dealer wanted $150 just to look at it.
When you say "squeak", do you mean the embarrassingly loud (as in wake the neighbors up at 5 AM) squealing sound that persists for about 30 seconds opon cold starts?
I hate stirring up old threads, but I just want to add some info from my experience. Big thanks goes out to TunedRX300 for the writeup to begin with.
Here's the drivebelt part numbers (2000 RX300):
90080-9108883 Power Steering P/S belt (vane belt)
99366-2104083 A/C Compressor belt
I got mine from Toyota for ~$10 and $13 respectively.
I was changing the P/S belt as well, so I took the right front wheel off and the front fender apron seal. I found it useful to remove the black plastic apron underneath the car and over into the right wheel well. I could see better what was going on, although in hindsight, it's probably not necessary.
I also took the cap off the coolant reservoir and set the line aside to give me a little more room.
On to the photos. This shot shows me loosening the lock bolt. I did exactly what the thread says: 1/2" adapter on the tool handle and then the 12mm socket on the adapter. Sticks out just enough to avoid the belt and not too much as a typical 4" extension would. And I did have to use the serpentine belt extension to loosen it. Note the lock bolt is only supposed to be 13 ft lbs so when you tighten it back up, go easy.
Now I'm loosening the adjusting bolt which is perpendicular to the lock bolt. I was able to get my ratchet drive in there and turn it a little at a time. But as TunedRX300 said, a wrench with a built-in ratchet is a time saver.
Once it got a little loose, I was able to loosen it by hand. I took the ratchet off but kept the socket on the bolt.
Here's a shot of the vane belt. The two bolts to loosen are circled. Once loosened, I squeezed the belt together and that swiveled the P/S pump up and the belt came off.
It was much harder to swivel the pump down. I stuck a screwdriver in the adjusting slot and pried it down to put tension on the new belt. The two bolts were very loose, so I'm not sure why it was so stiff (probably could have loosened pivot bolt.)
Anyway, the P/S pulley turns very easily so there's no need to crank down and make the belt super tight IMHO.
Lastly, here's shot of the tools. The interesting one is the 6mm allen wrench that goes into a 1/4" 12mm socket. It makes tightening the adjusting bolt on the alternator a bit easier as it's smaller. Or just go buy the tool as mentioned earlier.
The 3/8" socket didn't work for me when tightening, although loosening it did - go figure.
yea, should definately put this in the DIY sticky if it already isnt
It is part of the DIY thread at the top of the RX300 forum.
When I was still drag racing, I used to play around with tightening and loosening the pulleys a bit to see how performance was affected (especially between winter/summer racing), and in addition because a few of us have the URD lightweight crankshaft pulley.
I had an intermittent squealing noise on start-up for several months. It was a little annoying, but I was unable to determine the cause exactly. I was leaning toward replacing the AC compressor, but stopped by my friend's shop to have him check it out. He squirted a little water on the AC/alternator belt, and the noise disappeared. The belts didn't look like any fun to replace, so I had him do the job ($90 total, new OEM belts), and all was quiet. For a few days--the noise came back as before.
I called to order a replacement compressor (http://www.techchoiceparts.com/, NEW Denso $174.80, rebuilt $174.00--what's up with the pricing?), but when I described what was happening, their online expert talked me out of the compressor being the cause. He said "loose belt".
I checked the tension on the newly installed belt with my Gates "Krikit" gauge, and found it wouldn't even register the bottom of the scale, 30 pounds. The spec is 88 +/- 22 pounds for a belt that has been run for more than five minutes. I tightened the belt to 90 pounds tension and the noise is gone. BTW, this is a great little tension gauge, which Porsche sells with their name on the box for about $90; Napa sells it under the Gates brands for less than $10.
It appears that the tech at my friend's shop used his calibrated thumb to set the tension. Old School is not always right.
I felt so warm and fuzzy toward my LX that I washed the engine, then washed/waxed/detailed it inside and out. It looks and runs like a new car!
- On a scale of 1-10 what would be the overall level of difficulty to change the belts safely.
- What should be the reasonable charge my mechanic to change the betls.I see in this email thread that the cost of the belts in approx $25 or so. I am trying to figure out how much time and labor cost would run into.