How do I tighten my serpentine belt? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 09-22-2011, 07:51 PM
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How do I tighten my serpentine belt?

I have a 2001 4cycl Camry and everytime I use the a/c it's been squeeling like a dog with crab on its nose.

Well finally the a/c went out and now the light just blinks...and no more squeeling!

I have a feeling the backyard mechanic that did my water pump and belt a year ago didn't tighten it properly (car has been sitting since so he probably never put it back on right.)

Anyway, how do I tighten it?! I see some bolts...do i just go for it? I know it's not THAT easy... some opinions would be much appreciated!
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#2 Old 09-22-2011, 08:02 PM
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There are two possible causes: either the belt is loose or the AC compressor is seizing (for example, internal wear or lack of refrigerant).

If the belt is loose then look under the alternator. There is a jackscrew (just used for tension adjustment. I'd recommend getting a Gates Krikit-II gauge off Amazon (~$20) to check belt tension.

Scroll down in this thread you'll find the 4th picture of the jackscrew and lock bolt on the alternator. The pivot bolt is on the cylinder head side:
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t109966.html

Do you see bubbles in the sightglass as you operate the AC? If so the charge is low.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blubeater View Post
I have a 2001 4cycl Camry and everytime I use the a/c it's been squeeling like a dog with crab on its nose.

Well finally the a/c went out and now the light just blinks...and no more squeeling!

I have a feeling the backyard mechanic that did my water pump and belt a year ago didn't tighten it properly (car has been sitting since so he probably never put it back on right.)

Anyway, how do I tighten it?! I see some bolts...do i just go for it? I know it's not THAT easy... some opinions would be much appreciated!
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#3 Old 09-22-2011, 08:20 PM
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Thank you,

Do I just loosen one and tighten the other?

Thank you for having patience with a noob..

No bubbles!
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#4 Old 09-22-2011, 08:33 PM
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In the picture of the DIY you see the jackscrew and the lock bolt that goes through a rectangular metal block. The lock bolt needs to be loosened so when you turn the jackscrew that end of the alternator will move in the arc track.

In the next picture of the DIY you'll see that the alternator is removed. There's the black bracket next to the exhaust heat shield with the two bolt holes. Those are what the pivot bolt goes through. This pivot bolt needs to be loosened so when you turn the jackscrew the alternator can pivot.

In summary:
Loosen the pivot bolt and jackscrew lock bolt, and then turn the jackscrew (IIRC right-hand to increase tension and left-hand to decrease tension).
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#5 Old 09-22-2011, 08:50 PM
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Oh today has gone from bad to really bad.

So I went out to take a look at it and the belt is completely gone... well it's not gone but broken and was laying nicely on top of my engine.



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I think I know what you are talking about...
Do I need to loose the bolt at the very bottom of this pic? I'm going to attempt this tomorrow or see if a friend of a friend can assist.


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Thanks again - really. I appreciate it.
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#6 Old 09-22-2011, 09:32 PM
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The top bolt going through the alternator is the pivot bolt. This has to be slightly loosened (not removed).

The bolt at the bottom of the picture that we can see is the jackscrew. You turn this to adjust tension.

Looking at it the lock bolt is on the other side that we can't see in this picture (but visible in the DIY picture #4).
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#7 Old 09-22-2011, 10:34 PM
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Loosen "A"

"B" is not well visible in the picture... you can see the end of the bolt... "B2" is were the head of it is.

Then "C" is the adjustment.

So loosen A, loosen B/B2, just loosen them a bit. Then loosen C alot. Push alternator down.

Install new belt.

Tighten C until belt is tight. Personally, I just tighten it a bit, then I start the car, turn on EVERYTHING, A/C, windshield wipers, lights, radio, ect. It'll squeal, then I tighten C until it stops squealing, plus one turn or so. Then re-tighten A and B to lock it down.

1995 Chevrolet 1/2ton ext cab 4x4 6.5l Turbo Diesel
1998 Toyota Camry 5SFE Auto
2002 Chevrolet Impala
1997 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4
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#8 Old 09-22-2011, 10:40 PM
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Heres this too


1995 Chevrolet 1/2ton ext cab 4x4 6.5l Turbo Diesel
1998 Toyota Camry 5SFE Auto
2002 Chevrolet Impala
1997 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4
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#9 Old 09-23-2011, 12:17 AM
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Seriously thank you guys.
This is my only mode of transportation right now and it's not only for me but my 2yr old daughter.

I really do appreciate this.

I'll report back with how I did
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#10 Old 09-24-2011, 01:48 AM
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That's another way of doing it, and it should well meet the rule-of-thumb about using the minimum belt tension that prevents squealing under full load.

After a few warm up cycles you may loose some belt tension as the belt softens a bit and seat deeper. This is a reason I don't like manual tensioners, but automatic tensioners will cost the manufacturer more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bolink654 View Post
Tighten C until belt is tight. Personally, I just tighten it a bit, then I start the car, turn on EVERYTHING, A/C, windshield wipers, lights, radio, ect. It'll squeal, then I tighten C until it stops squealing, plus one turn or so. Then re-tighten A and B to lock it down.
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#11 Old 09-24-2011, 01:50 PM
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Thank you guys

I was able to do this within 10 minutes... it was quite simple!

Thanks for the tip about turning on the accy's... after I thought it was pretty darn tight I turned on the car along with a/c radio lights etc and found it squealing like just before!

I tightened it a bit more and *perfect*!

I know I should spend the $20 or so bucks on the tool that tells me how tight it is but I'll pick it up down the road.


Thanks again guys ! !!!
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#12 Old 02-02-2014, 05:44 PM
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So I know this is an old thread, but this is the only place I've found people discussing this procedure. Today I attempted to tighten my belt, but the adjusting bolt was so rusted the head snap right off. I removed the whole jack screw assembly and tried to remove the screw from the metal block it moves through. I tried everything, soaking in OB Blaster, heat, etc, etc. from all my attempts I am now down to just the block with the stuck part of the screw still in in. There is no more parts of the screw sticking out either side.

So now what? I can't find just this part. I could go to the junkyard and see if I can't pull one out of another car. If I go this route what other cars use a similar device? I was also thinking of just drilling out the screw all the way and re tapping the hole. Any suggestions?
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#13 Old 02-02-2014, 06:12 PM
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You can either pick up the part from the junkyard, or tap it to a slightly larger SAE size (in case the old thread disintegrated too). SAE bolts (Grade 5 or 8) are easier to find. Of course the block needs to be tapped too, and the lock bolt will limit the max size bolt you can use. So measure things first.

If you find another Camry pull the rear cover off the alternator and check the brush assembly inside. See if it's in better shape than yours, or just pick up a new one on rockauto.com for $15+shipping. Use the 5% discount code in the sticky section.

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