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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Per my other thread I seem to have a pulley, hopefully just the alternator, making light grinding noise from cold start up and going away when warm (please reply to that thread about it). So right now I am planning on remove the serpentine belt so I can troubleshoot it more other than assuming it's the alternator. I have broken two serpentine belt tensioners on a 2AZ-FE. One was when I was in school and my cousin and I were struggle with the belt so we had "the big guy" do it. Needless to say he snapped it and that this belt tensioner was of the hydraulic type so we were doing it wrong anyway. The second time was on my car and I snapped mine by just bad luck and probably by having the wrong tools (aka probably two wrenches). The one thing I learned the first time was to push/pull slowly... except mine is the spring type and it snapped...

So in order to prevent this I want to get a serpentine belt tool set, probably this GearWrench, so I can get the proper leverage on the tensioner without struggling. The only issue I see right now is that the clearance is really tight and looking at the GearWrench I don't think it will fit. When I did mine I had my cousin bring the non-similar belt tools and those either failed to fit the bolt or had clearance issues and those seems smaller than the GearWrench. I'm willing to invest in the tool even if I use it once because I rather not have to remove a broken tensioner each time. So does anyone else have any luck with not breaking their tensioner with any belt tools?

 

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I'd suggest a 24" breaker bar (with a compact hinge/head - there's barely enough room) and a regular-length 19mm 12 pt socket. Slowly remove the tension from the belt, and slip it off the water pump pulley. Both tools have many other applications.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd suggest a 24" breaker bar (with a compact hinge - there's barely enough room) and a regular-length 19mm 12 pt socket. Slowly remove the tension from the belt, and slip it off the water pump pulley. Both tools have many other applications.
Got any example's? The main reason I want a belt tool is because it's not like I can't just use multiple tools to make it work but at the same time using the right tool just makes it so much easier. Especially when that tool can be two feet long and is able to be hinged in the middle for more leverage.
 

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Removing bolts off suspension and brakes; sub-frame bolts; I even use it loosing lug nuts. Granted, you'd want a full set of metric sockets and a few extensions, and a universal.

24" is plenty of leverage, you don't need one that can hinge.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Removing bolts off suspension and brakes; sub-frame bolts; I even use it loosing lug nuts. Granted, you'd want a full set of metric sockets and a few extensions, and a universal.

24" is plenty of leverage, you don't need one that can hinge.
The main thing is fit. I don't see a much of anything fitting that and what you're describing mostly just cast doubt on it. If you got a picture of it I may be more willing but otherwise that adjustable hinge can be more useful than you would think.
 

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Auto parts stores, like O'Reilly and Autozone, actually do rent out a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool. You can try that first before you invest in one. I've tried both, and neither of the sets I rented had the right size 19mm socket, so you'll have to at least have that on your own. You may have better luck than me, but each time I pulled down on the tool, there wasn't enough clearance and they would get stuck on the water pump pulley bolts.

What actually worked for me and based on the YouTube videos I've seen was to use a flex-head ratchet connected to a 19mm 6pt socket. You can attach a pipe to the handle of the ratchet to give yourself more leverage. That would be my recommendation, but I'm sure many other ways work.
 

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i don't recall i have any trouble removing my serpentine belt when i did the valve stem seal job and at the end, i found i don't even need to remove the serpentine belt, power steering pump, serpentine belt tensioner at all.
what i've used, astro nano 3/8" socket set, part# 78314, i've used the 19mm 6 point socket, and a harbor freight double ended long reach flex ratchet, sku 67994, 3/8" on one end and 1/4" on the other end, no issue with clearance, both removing and reinstall, single handily press the handle down slowly with right hand clockwise , and left hand reach over do undo the belt at water pump pulley, or alternator pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Auto parts stores, like O'Reilly and Autozone, actually do rent out a Serpentine Belt Tensioner Tool. You can try that first before you invest in one. I've tried both, and neither of the sets I rented had the right size 19mm socket, so you'll have to at least have that on your own. You may have better luck than me, but each time I pulled down on the tool, there wasn't enough clearance and they would get stuck on the water pump pulley bolts.

What actually worked for me and based on the YouTube videos I've seen was to use a flex-head ratchet connected to a 19mm 6pt socket. You can attach a pipe to the handle of the ratchet to give yourself more leverage. That would be my recommendation, but I'm sure many other ways work.
I'm not too surprised about that. Can I assume that one tool was just a tool with two different heads on each end and the other tool was probably similar to the GearWrench one?

If I remember correctly Toyota might've had or listed an Special Service Tool that I am willing to invest in (for a "low" price of course). I won't deny there are ways to relieve tension without a special tool but after snapping one and technically snapping another I rather not risk that again.

Some SST's I am looking at:

Just found a useful website for SST's
 

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Both the O'Reilly and AutoZone serpentine tools for rent pretty much looked exactly the same.


In both, they were missing the 19mm socket.

Basically, you put the short and longer metal pieces together to make an L-shape and then pull down. Similar to as assembled in this video:


I am not familiar with how the GearWrench one works. The SST you posted look nice, but I am not a fan of it being 12 point, as that would make it easier to round the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Both the O'Reilly and AutoZone serpentine tools for rent pretty much looked exactly the same.


In both, they were missing the 19mm socket.

Basically, you put the short and longer metal pieces together to make an L-shape and then pull down. Similar to as assembled in this video:


I am not familiar with how the GearWrench one works. The SST you posted look nice, but I am not a fan of it being 12 point, as that would make it easier to round the nut.
It just shows that the 19mm is a very common socket. Some of the tools I have been searching for has the socket that goes into the tool so that there is less clearance as opposed a normal ratchet so I am hoping one of those fit. Some of those SST's and the actual SST's look okay but whether or not they fit or not is an issue. Ebay seems to have plenty of those and one review was that it did not fit but I am sorta willing to take a chance with them.

The downside being that they are 12 point but at the same time the upside is that they are 12 point so this means that since they are non-ratcheting you have 12... more angles of attack than just six and given the space in there having more points is helpful than being limited to a few unless it is a guarantee that the six point will always fit and have leverage.

Right now I may just go for a universal style like the GearWrench as I believe it is a guarantee that a belt tool that is like a ratchet will not fit. Gotta get as much clearance as possible.

Looking at the size of this, it seems like it will only barely fit...
 

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I just saw a video of the GearWrench tool. It looks like it would probably work fine. Whether you have clearance, I guess it partially depends on how shallow or deep the 19mm socket is. For me, I actually had a to buy a shallow19mm socket as I didnt have it handy, but the sockets turned out to be too shallow, and so the metal sticks for the tool would hit the WP pulley bolts when I pulled down. I ended using the method I described above, which I'm happy with.

For me, I try not to have too many specialty tools or I'd rather just rent if I needed it, but I can see how a serpentine belt tool can certainly be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just saw a video of the GearWrench tool. It looks like it would probably work fine. Whether you have clearance, I guess it partially depends on how shallow or deep the 19mm socket is. For me, I actually had a to buy a shallow19mm socket as I didnt have it handy, but the sockets turned out to be too shallow, and so the metal sticks for the tool would hit the WP pulley bolts when I pulled down. I ended using the method I described above, which I'm happy with.

For me, I try not to have too many specialty tools or I'd rather just rent if I needed it, but I can see how a serpentine belt tool can certainly be useful.
Same, I prefer to not have many SST's but since I plan on keeping my Camry for as long as I can getting the belt tool, even if I use it only four times throughout my life, I would prefer to have that tool to make changing belts easier instead of having to potentially replace the belt tensioner each time due to breaking it. In addition to regular maintenance I rather not have to deal with a "broken" tensioner each time I need to get to a different component whether that is the alternator, the water pump, or any of those pulleys.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This gives me some hope on the SST and I also apparently did not know that apparently Toyota may suggest jacking the vehicle up and removing the belt from the bottom...
 

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I think Toyota FSM recommends removing the right wheel splash shield and the top dogbone mount for work on the serpentine belt. It's not strictly necessary though. Everything can be done from above, if desired. I also found this thread helpful for working on the serpentine belt.

 

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I think Toyota FSM recommends removing the right wheel splash shield and the top dogbone mount for work on the serpentine belt. It's not strictly necessary though. Everything can be done from above, if desired. I also found this thread helpful for working on the serpentine belt.

More than likely. I've done it before... Struggled with that school car that we broke, did one in the parking lot of my old shop that took me forever, probably did another one while I was still there, then my car. Main issue was the relieving tension.
 

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I'm with @AlanAZ, 1/2" breaker bar and 19mm socket is what I've used. I've done the head bolts on 3 different Camry's. One I F'd up the timing on so took that belt off a couple times. It's a snug fit but works well.

I'm a junkie for having tools, but in this case simple worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think the main thing is clearance... even though I have looked at the engine multiple times looking for that grinding sound I forgot to look at the space to reach the belt tensioner. All I remember is that there is no space, hence I used two wrench's instead of my ratchet so right now to me it seems like a 1/2" breaker bar and a 19mm socket will not at all fit. I will take a look later. I won't deny that the belt tool I am looking at looks like it will have nearly the same length as a breaker bar and socket.
 

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@Vangm25 It is tight. And looking at that link I was thinking it didn't look like that tool would be much different by the time you get the adapters on. Hate to see you spending $$ only to find it doesn't fit either. :confused:
 
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