Toyota Nation Forum banner

Tensioner Pulley

4794 Views 26 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dizzie_chick
Has anyone had problems moving the tensioner to be able to change their serpentine belt? I've been putting the 19mm socket and breaker bar on the tensioner and pulling towards the front of the engine (Clockwise) but it doesn't budge. Have there been problems with the piston seizing? What's the best course of action? Cut the belt then remove the whole assembly? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
per Toyota's Repair manual.......

When retracting the tensioner, turn it clockwise slowly in 3 seconds or more. Do not apply force rapidly.
After the tensioner is retracted all the way, do not apply force any more than necessary.
.....which is what you've done.

If you can't get the tensioner to move, then you might need to replace the assembly. Just like you said, cut the belt, remove and replace the assembly, and reinstall the new belt. :)
Thanks HATEnFATE, I kind of figured that's the way it would be, but was hoping for a better answer. I'll order the assembly today and hopefully have it by Friday.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Hope all goes smooth! :)
I ordered the parts but I couldn't get them before next week. So the car will be sitting a few more days. I found the whole tensioner assembly on Amazon for $37.00 + free shipping, it had a 4 star rating, I couldn't pass up the deal considering the parts stores want between $130 - $190 for the assembly.
Also try loosening the tensioner bolt 1/4 turn and then try. In case you have issues with bolt, its better to replace the oem bolt at the same time with your new assembly.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I got the assembly off yesterday, what a PIA. I checked the old tensioner assembly, the only thing wrong with it was the shock cover was cracked, maybe that's why the assembly was seized. I checked the alternator pulley and the water pump pulley, those are fine, the rubber in the crank pulley is a little beat up, might have to change that too.

I started the car while everything is disconnected and the same noise is coming from what sounds like the front of the motor. It almost sounds like either a bad PS pump, or a transmission whine. Not quite sure which way to go here. My son said he was looking online and had seen where some guys are having problems with their transmission pumps, would the trans pump even be going with the car in park and engine running?

Here is a youtube video, although this guys problem was his alternator, mine is not, but it's the same sound.

See less See more
The Trans fluid pump will work as long as the torque convertor is spinning so yes, even in park.

Only thing I could suggest would be to probe each engine componant for sounds with a scope. See if you can pin down the noise location. Hopefully it's not inside the engine's timing cover. :/
I could pull the valve cover and go down the timing cover with my camera I don't know if I'd be able to see anything or not. When I had the engine tore apart to do the head bolt fix I did replace the timing components, but I didn't replace the chain tensioner as it was working just fine. I may try to pull the crank pulley off and see if the noise goes away before I start disassembly,

I did try to locate the sound with a stethoscope and it's just echoing all over, unless I find someone with better ears than me to try to isolate it.
If I find something, I'll report back, thanks.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
What timing chain parts did you replace?
I replaced the chain and guides, i didn't change the tensioner though as it was in good shape.
Did it start making the noise right after you changed the stuff out or has it been fine till recently?
The car has been fine. I've driven about 30,000 miles on it since the head repair. The whining sound has just started recently. Two weeks to be exact I drove it for a week thinking a pulley or the tensioner was going bad and now it's been parked for a week. Had a guy on another forum having the same problem a few years ago. I messaged him, he said it ended up being his VVTi was bad he replaced it and everything was fine. I figure I'll start pulling it apart although I really don't know what I'd be looking at. How can you tell if the vvti is bad?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I was starting to question the VVT-i but I'm not sure on the proper diag for it....

Is it throwing any codes?
No codes are being thrown at this point. I understand the basics about vvt, and I've seen on the internet what the inside of a VVT gear looks like, pretty simple construct actually, but I was wondering if there is a way to either flush it out if it's sludged up, take it apart and clean it, or if the only answer would be to buy a new one? I have been searching online for replacements but I don't really find much for the Scion 2005 2.4L. I can find for newer 2.5L, 1.5L, Chevy, Ford, etc, Even Toyota, just not 2.4L or 2AZFE engine, maybe I'm looking it up wrong, I don't know. I was thinking I might try unplugging the VVT-I solenoid and see if the growling stops, if it does then I know pretty much it's the gear for sure, Do you agree?
Thanks again for your input on this.
There are methods for checking the VVTi actuation but all involve using a scan tool for activation.

I'm sure you could unplug it and see what happens but I'm not sure what to look for when you do.
According to what I've read, If I unplug the solenoid, the VVT gear becomes fixed and should stop chattering if it is the problem. I can't see sludge really being the culprit as I have rarely let the car go over on oil changes, but you never know. The car was my sons, he was good about changing the oil, but he bought it used with 80,000 miles on it, and I could tell they were hard miles, but when I had the engine apart it didn't look to be sludged up, or have a lot of carbon build up. anything could happen, I understand there are screens that need to be pulled and cleaned also, which I never knew about until I started reading about the VVT, I'll have to find their locations and pull them out.
The oil Control Valve is on the back of the cylinder head on the passenger side, just offset of the PCV valve.
Yes I know where the ocv is, I unplugged it to day and it made no difference in the noise the car is making so I'm not sure if the noise is coming from the vvt or not. There is duppose . To be an allen head type plug somewhere on the motor that has a screen inside of it that needs to be cleaned, I can't find it though. At this point I'm kind of scratching my head trying to think of what to do next.
Sorry. I missed the line about the filter when I was reading your prior post.

I'm guessing you're talking about the Oil Control Valve Filter..It's located on the rear of the engine block, about halfway down, just off of the front timing cover.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.