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Hello All,

I am writing this retrospectively, however thought I'd offer up a little guidance as people have had mixed experiences replacing their serpentine/drive belt tensioner or tensioner pulley. I recently replaced my own on my Nov '03 ACA22R 3 door with a 2AZFE, successful in using a method slightly different to that described elsewhere.


apologies if terms used here don't make sense in all countries. i am located in australia.


if replacing the whole assembly, this may be extracted/refitted by:

  • jacking up the front of the vehicle to fit wheel/jack stands
  • remove LHS wheel and guard liners
  • 19mm socket / breaker bar to relieve tension and remove the belt, as described elsewhere
  • removal of nuts retaining the pulley assembly. there is very limited access for the upper bolt. with this i used a large adjustable spanner to crack the nut, and a ratchet spanner to remove it
  • placing a jack underneath the oil sump, with a plate of wood sandwiched so that the load isn't concentrated to the extent that the sump is damaged while bearing the load of the engine
  • removal of three LHS engine mount nuts (those on the engine side). note that two are fitted on the top of the mount bracket, and the third is located on the underside. this must be accessed from under the vehicle. deep sockets are useful here.
  • carefully lowering the engine sufficient to extract the tensioner through the wheel arch. in my instance i levered the engine to side a little. removal of the assembly required a little trial and error, but not a great deal of force. it took less than five minutes.
    • other resources suggested raising the engine and removing the assembly through the engine bay. the bay is very busy, however, so i recommend extraction through the wheel arch
  • fitment of the new assembly, in reverse order.


the pulley alone may, indeed, be replaced by itself. this is substantially less involved than replacing the whole assembly. Gates supply a pulley, or one may be procured by purchasing a cheap assembly (read notes below!!) and removing the pulley from this:

  • remove the drive belt, as described above/elsewhere
  • this is the at your own risk bit!! the factory pulley in my instance was retained with an e-torx bolt. e-torx spanners are not easy to obtain, and there is not enough room to fit a socket/ratchet. however my own pulley was not fixed with a great deal of tension and was easily removed using vise-grips (locking pliers).
  • remove the old pulley via the engine bay
  • fit new pulley to the tensioner assembly, with a conventional (replacement) bolt and some thread-lock. no need to over-tighten.
  • refit the drive belt
  • smile, smug that some poor bastards would still be on their backs, lowering the engine and prying.


Additional Notes (well worth reading!!!)

  • I purchased a non-oem, chinese manufactured, pulley assembly from Ebay. the alloy of the hex on the bracket was not robust enough to take the load required to apply tension and bruised to the extent that the fitting was useless immediately
  • i persisted and used the pulley only, which remains fine after two months of use. this presented as almost identical to the OEM pulley.
  • the vendor claimed that the tensioner assembly could be fitted to a range of 2AZ models. this was not the case, as my factory strut was longer than the ebay item, rendering the belt loose. i suspect that you could hybridise the two, however due to the crap hex fitting, this proved unsuccessful as i could not get apply enough tension to fit the drive-belt.
  • i could have persisted with the assembly i purchased by fitting a smaller belt

serpentine belt removal instructions are located here. i find it useful to use a luggage strap around the breaker bar during removal/fitment.http://http://www.rav4world.com/for...0-serpentine-belt-installation-procedure.html


i hope this provides useful to some of you :)
 
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