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Photo DIY 4: RX300 AC/Alternator Belt Adjustment

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Old 01-11-12, 10:27 AM   #31
salimshah
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Pivot and lock (nut/bots) are easy, the only tough one (for me) was the tension adjust nut. I wish I had a flexible drive or a better wrench .. I could only do 1/8 of a turn.

The labor time to replace and tension the belt should be 1/2 hr but one has to wait for the engine to cool down.

Caution: For novice and people in a hurry, remember to loosen the lock and pivot before attempting to turn the tension adjust.

About the tool: I am not sure if the one in the link would work as it needs to be placed perpendicular to the belt. There may not be enough room at the middle of the belt between the wheel well and the belt. The alien looking (from a video game) is the one recommended in the service manual.


Salim
PS: I could never get leverage on the steering pump to get precise tension, so that one is by feel only. (cant win 'em all)
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Old 03-04-12, 01:57 PM   #32
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I just spent 2 hours replacing the alternator belt and after putting the new belt on and tightening everything up, I started the car and it's screaming like crazy! Do I need more or less tension? I tried using belt conditioner to see if that would help but no luck. I have enough tension on the belt to only be able to turn it about 90 degrees. Help!
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Old 03-04-12, 03:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by joetarin View Post
I just spent 2 hours replacing the alternator belt and after putting the new belt on and tightening everything up, I started the car and it's screaming like crazy! Do I need more or less tension? I tried using belt conditioner to see if that would help but no luck. I have enough tension on the belt to only be able to turn it about 90 degrees. Help!
In general if a new belt is making noise it is too loose. Did you buy an OE belt or aftermarket? Aftermarket belts seem to regularly have issues on these cars. If that's the case the cure is a new (and usually less expensive) OE belt.
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Old 03-04-12, 05:44 PM   #34
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My personal recommendation would be to not ever use belt conditioner. I have had experience with this very thing (the squealing, not the use of belt conditioner). I bought a new Dayco ribbed belt at PB's, only because I was there for some car polish. The ORIGINAL belt said Toyota/ Dayco on the belt. Had over 100K mi. so thought better change it, though it didn't look very bad. With no noise from the old belt, I started it and had quite a bit of squeal from the new belt. Checked tension and was convinced it was plenty tight. Removed it and compared to the old belt and with a mic found that the angle of the grooves was off a few thousanths from the old belt AND the pulley grooves! Put the old belt back on and it was silent. Went to Toyota dealer and purchased a new OEM belt (for several dollars less than PB's belt) and when installed, it was once again silent. I have completely stopped buying aftermarket parts for the most part because I've found them to be problematic in a way they never used to be. I think one of the problems is so many being manufactured in 3rd word countries to save money.
I put a new timing belt on the RX (Goodyear Gatorback, which I had always respected) and about 30K mi. later was chasing a small noise and was amazed when I pulled the TB cover off and ran it and found that that TB had become a snake! It was perfectly true when I installed it and yet now it was tracking in a zig-zag pattern about 1/4in. Pulled it off and replaced with an OEM belt and problems gone. It's taken a little while to learn my lesson but I think even the major brand names are too focused on profit and to little on quality control. I was not real happy when I saw on the belt that it was made in some hard to pronounce African country but figured Goodyear would have good quality control to protect their name, even in "loin cloth country". Guess I was wrong about that one, huh? When I stretched it from the crossbar on my vise I could readily see why it tracked like a snake- It LOOKED like a snake!
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Old 03-05-12, 07:01 AM   #35
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Thanks for the responses. It is an aftermarket belt from AZ (duralast). If the squealing continues I will go OEM.

Also, I had a really hard time loosening the adjustment nut enough to allow the belt to come off. I cranked on the nut for what felt like an hour and it only allowed the alternator to move maybe a 1/4". I had to forcefully pull the old belt off and then had to force the new one on. It wasn't easy. My question is, once you loosen the adjustment nut all the way, should the belt come off and go on easily or is there still a good amount of effort required to get it off and put it on?
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Old 03-05-12, 04:51 PM   #36
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The pivot was probably binding or not loose enough.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:09 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by joetarin View Post
Thanks for the responses. It is an aftermarket belt from AZ (duralast). If the squealing continues I will go OEM.

Also, I had a really hard time loosening the adjustment nut enough to allow the belt to come off. I cranked on the nut for what felt like an hour and it only allowed the alternator to move maybe a 1/4". I had to forcefully pull the old belt off and then had to force the new one on. It wasn't easy. My question is, once you loosen the adjustment nut all the way, should the belt come off and go on easily or is there still a good amount of effort required to get it off and put it on?
There are three things.

1) Pivot nut/bolt
2) Tension adjust lock nut
3) adjustment nut.

1 & 2 must be loosened before you attempt to move 3.

I am still looking for the best tool to move 3. One of these days I will buy a cable (flexible) drive. If any one knows of a better tool, please post.

Salim
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Old 03-06-12, 01:20 AM   #38
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As Carguy and Salim stated, that's definitely not normal. It is likely one or both of those answers. I have done them several times and though not a piece of cake, I had no such problem. It should move freely once the PIVOT bolt is loosened. If you actually had the pivot bolt loosened, it is likely rusty and dry and didn't want to move. Living in rust and corrosion free Ca. I don't normally even think of those things.
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Old 10-24-12, 11:29 AM   #39
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My belt is making slight clicking noise and carefully looking at it i realized that one small portion of the AC/alternator belt is falling apart. I am hoping that may be the reason for the clicking noise and so planning to get the belt replaced either by myself or go to an independent or call a mobile mechanic.

Need help on some of the questions. Apologies if some of the questions are basic.

1 - Would the following part numbers apply to 2001 RX300
90080-9108883 Power Steering P/S belt (vane belt)
99366-2104083 A/C Compressor belt

2- Are the above part numbers for Toyota and i can get them at a Toyota dealership?
Or can i ask Toyota dealer to give me the 2001 Toyota Highlander belts and they would apply to my 2001 RX300 too?

3- Rockauto has a closeout deal on Gates P/S belt and Goodyear Alt and AC belt, each for around $7.
Does anyone recommend i can go with these belts?

4- What would be a reasonable price that i should plan to pay an independent/mobile mechanic to change both the belts for me.

5- Should i be prepared to listen from the independent mechanic shop that there are few other related items (pulley, bearings, etc) that have gone bad and telling me that they also needs to be changed in addition to the belt.
If yes then what can i check to make sure what they are saying is correct. That way i like to work with mobile mechanic, as i can learn and also see from my eyes what is getting changed :-)

Thanks,
Trips
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Old 10-24-12, 06:31 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trips1 View Post
My belt is making slight clicking noise and carefully looking at it i realized that one small portion of the AC/alternator belt is falling apart. I am hoping that may be the reason for the clicking noise and so planning to get the belt replaced either by myself or go to an independent or call a mobile mechanic.

Need help on some of the questions. Apologies if some of the questions are basic.

1 - Would the following part numbers apply to 2001 RX300
90080-9108883 Power Steering P/S belt (vane belt)
99366-2104083 A/C Compressor belt

2- Are the above part numbers for Toyota and i can get them at a Toyota dealership?
Or can i ask Toyota dealer to give me the 2001 Toyota Highlander belts and they would apply to my 2001 RX300 too?

3- Rockauto has a closeout deal on Gates P/S belt and Goodyear Alt and AC belt, each for around $7.
Does anyone recommend i can go with these belts?

4- What would be a reasonable price that i should plan to pay an independent/mobile mechanic to change both the belts for me.

5- Should i be prepared to listen from the independent mechanic shop that there are few other related items (pulley, bearings, etc) that have gone bad and telling me that they also needs to be changed in addition to the belt.
If yes then what can i check to make sure what they are saying is correct. That way i like to work with mobile mechanic, as i can learn and also see from my eyes what is getting changed :-)

Thanks,
Trips
1 Looks correct to me.

2 Obviously not every Highlander part crosses over, but Lexus part numbers and Toyota part numbers are the same thing. In fact most Lexus parts come in a Toyota box. So yes, you can get parts from a Toyota dealer as long as the part number is correct for your car.

3 No, ONLY OE belts for this car. Aftermarket ones just do not seem to work the same and slip/squeal even when very tight.

4 I would say $50 -$75 is fair, it's less than an hour job.

5 These cars generally do not have issues with that stuff, but you never know.
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Old 03-10-13, 10:09 PM   #41
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I changed my belt this afternoon. Thanks for the great DIY guide.

Although, I'm not sure I needed to change it. Can someone take a look at these pics and tell me if my belt was bad? I tried tightening it once, but the squeak came back, so I changed it out. I paid $20 for the belt, so it's not a tragedy if I didn't need to replace it.
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Old 04-05-13, 02:19 AM   #42
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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.
HI all,

Is the RX330 (2004) Second generation arrangement same as this?
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Old 04-06-13, 10:06 AM   #43
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HI all,

Is the RX330 (2004) Second generation arrangement same as this?
I did one a while back and it was very similar if not the same.
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Old 05-05-13, 05:18 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunedRX300 View Post
Step 4: Adjusting Belt Tension
The adjusting bolt is just above the locking bolt. Use the 12mm open wrench to turn the adjusting bolt clockwise to tighten. Check the belt by twisting belt, I stopped when I could no longer twist it past 90 degree. I did not loosen the pivot bolt since I am not going to replace the belt.

Click the image to open in full size.

Important: There is not a lot of space between the alternator and AC condenser fan. I got around by using my left hand to help to wedge the wrench onto the bolt, using my right hand to turn at the same time. It requires a lot patience and wrench flipping to not to strip the bolt, perhaps a 12mm wrench with build-in wrachet can save some agony.

Step 5: Tighten the Adjusting Locking Bolt

After belt tension is adjusted to your desired level, just tighten the adjusting lock bolt. I first used the short rod + 12mm socket to tighten until I get enough space, then use wrachet to finish it off.

Last step is put tools away and turn on the car and check for noise. I had couple of cold starts and squeak is go e

FYI, if one wants to replace AC/Alt belt, here is a good link:
http://autorepair.about.com/library/faqs/bl794h.htm
I followed all of these steps and my belt is right, but, I still have the squeaking. Any ideas?
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Old 05-05-13, 05:37 PM   #45
salimshah
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I followed all of these steps and my belt is right, but, I still have the squeaking. Any ideas?
What is the condition of the belt? Any cracks or missing ridges on the inside?

I personally use a tension gauge.

Salim
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Old 05-05-13, 05:37 PM
 
 
 
 
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