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Old 11-30-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
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Serpentine belt installation help

One of the tricky steps during the serpentine belt replacement on 1NZ-FE engine is moving the alternator to get the correct belt tension. Many installs ended with damaging the VVT Control Valve because it sits very close to the alternator. Extra care needs to be taken when working near the valve and its connector:



A simple mod that costs less than $2 makes the belt tightening much easier and risk free. All we need are the M8x1.25 bolt with a nut and a washer:



The alternator tensioner bracket has a hole with the nut welded to the back of it- that is where the bolt needs to be installed and tightened with the jam nut:



Now it can be used as the safe leverage point to move the alternator:



Good sources for metric fasteners are ACE Hardware and Do it Center stores.
Hope that helps.

Last edited by PCH; 11-30-2011 at 02:16 AM..
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Perfect Victor and great pics of the tight location
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:49 AM   #3
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Damn, that is brilliant Victor! Gotta do the belts on the new box soon, gonna do this for sure!
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Isn't it extra tricky to do a serpentine belt on our car since we do not use a serpentine belt..... Only kidding. Once again excellent advice and detailed photos from Victor.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

LOL, you don't say. Especially since we don't have an alternator either. According to the tech literature it's a generator. And the belt: the fan and generator V–ribbed belt
Thanks guys. I'm gonna attack my belts soon, already got the genuine Mitsuboshi from the dealer. Thinking if i should change the water pump at the same time since i'm at 80K.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Gates makes racing belts for our cars in blue
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

They look real nice. I also thought about GatorBack – some people have good words about them. But decided to stick with the originals. Mitsuboshi lasted more than required and i only had to tighten it once.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

I replaced the same belt just the other day before joining this forum (this tip sure would have been useful). I still took care of not damaging anything around there when trying to put tension on the belt. Since then when I use the AC, there is still some squeaking. So I might just end up doing this again... I just dread trying to get to the bottom bolt because the last time my arm got stuck between the radiator and the alternator. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:35 PM   #9
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Make sure you don't overtighten the belt because that will put more stress on the water pump and that's a real weak spot. If you just can twist the longest part of the belt (between alternator and main pulley) by hand 90 degrees but no more than that- that's tight enough. Lower quality belts will squeak even when they are tight.

Factory belt replacement manual (thanks Tomas!): http://scionlife.org/Scion_Docs/2004...eplacement.pdf

Last edited by PCH; 12-03-2011 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:56 PM   #10
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

two thumbs up victor!
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:41 AM   #11
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Thanks Eric, HFD are good people

Another thing that sometimes gets difficult is breaking the alternator pivot bolt loose. You only have to give less than one complete turn to be able to move the alternator but the bolt is extra tight (Bolt "B" in the factory diagram).
We need 14mm socket, ratchet and some extra leverage:



Now the job is much easier. A/C line is held out of the way with electrical tape or a zip tie:

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #12
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

The Gates Racing Belts are very nice and they are a cool blue color, too.
I got the 2 of them. Sometimes on Amazon they sell them as used for a much lesser price. But they are not used, they are merely open boxed.

---------- Post added 12-04-2011 at 03:38 PM ----------

Or the box is shelf worn and they cant sell them full price.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:59 PM   #13
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

This is a great write up if i get the guts to do it ill definitely keep this open.
and dang you must have the cleanest engine bay in the world!
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #14
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Used this when I did my belt! Work perfect!

I was having trouble getting it tight before doing this!

Great write up!
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Dang Victor I wish I had read this cuz it cost me 78 bucks to replace the oil control valve but the water pump is still leeking so I guess I will be changing it next weekend. But once again thanks for all the help and tips bro I really do appreciate it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:05 AM   #16
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

Man, sorry it had to happen to you. Good luck with the water pump, i may have that replaced in future and not too looking forward to it. I hope it still lasts though.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #17
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

thanks I will let you know how hard it is when I get done and if I find a trick or two I will let you know.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #18
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Re: Serpentine belt installation help

I never did like tightening up alternators that you had to put leverage on to get the belt tight... On my truck its got a built in tensioning system... Where you tighten one bolt and that bolt you turn pours tension on the belt for you... Then you causally tighten your remaining bolts... I might have to come up with with a way of adapting one for use on the xb when I finally get one... I'll make a diy out of it... Lol

---------- Post added 07-14-2012 at 04:29 PM ----------

Puts not pours, auto correct
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