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Old 08-14-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
andrewmcg
 
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Easy fix for Squeaky / Squealing Belt

I've never posted here before but thought this might be of help for some of you. I have almost 90k miles on my wife's Yaris and since about 50k miles, the belt squeaks every now and then. I decided to tighten it myself and to my surprise there is no tensioner. You are just supposed to pry on it while tightening. After doing so, it was not much better. So I brought it to my local Toyota dealership and had them put a new one on thinking they would be able to do it right since this is the first time I've seen a belt without a tensioner. I picked up the car and the brand new belt squealed worse than it ever did before. So I went home and made my own tensioner. Here are a few pictures of what I did. I just got some angle iron and cut 2 pieces about 1.5" long each and drilled two holes in each. Put a couple bolts in and made my own tensioner. No more squealing. Angle iron can be picked up at Home Depot or Lowe's for a couple bucks. You just tighten down the two bolts on the alternator slider and have the two pieces about 1" apart. Then put a bolt through the two L brackets and start tightening. You can put washers in between them if you want to space them out further and not tension the belt as much. Don't over tighten, but this is a sure fire way to not have it squeak anymore.





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Old 08-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
Lil Abner
 
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Interesting idea! Just remember though, those pieces of angle iron will rust FAST!! You might want to remove them and hit them with some paint.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
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In my oblong hole on the metal plate is tensioning the belt.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
"G"
 
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Tensioner is not needed. The adjusting slider is all that's needed. Instructions below.

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:37 AM   #5
andrewmcg
 
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Lil Abner, they are already painted black.

"G", you apparently didn't read my post. I'm well aware what Toyota thinks is necessary and how to do it. My point is that neither I, nor the Toyota technicians can successfully perform that apparently as a brand new belt still squeals after doing it properly. Therefore, a tensioner makes it dead simple and squeal proof.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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Awesome!

Squeeking belts are a plague on the ECHO and the Yaris as they get older. And as you found out, taking them to a shop doesnt fix the problem.

One thing:

I dont understand how it works!

CAn you explain some more? How do you use the adjuster?

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:26 AM   #7
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Ok, using the picture below, you start by tightening down bolt #1 all the way so it wont budge. Bolt #2 is in stock location and needs to be loose. Bolt #2 is the one that moves with the alternator and moves as belt tightens or loosens. Now L brackets should be about 1" apart and you put bolt #3 in and start tightening. As you tighten #3, it pulls the alternator out towards the front of the car, also tightening the belt. Once you like how tight the belt is, tighten up bolt #2 and it will all stay there. Viola!

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:54 AM   #8
"G"
 
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Then you and the technician are failing to do it correctly or you have another problem. Their are hundreds of thousands of yari around the world that do not squeak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
Awesome!

Squeeking belts are a plague on the ECHO and the Yaris as they get older. And as you found out, taking them to a shop doesnt fix the problem.

One thing:

I dont understand how it works!

CAn you explain some more? How do you use the adjuster?

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:08 AM   #9
ilikerice
 
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I dont wanna start a problem. but most brand new belts, esp aftermarket will stretch given time. You can easily just tighten the belt without using those brackes and using a crowbar or lever of some sort to pull the alt. towards you while you tighten up your #2 bolt.

Your idea is very interesting though. My only problem is over tightening it and ruining your alt bearing for the newbies. And if that 3# bolt isnt of all the way because you can still overtighten it, the vibrations of the motor will shake it off and possible land inbetween a belt and pulley and shred it.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "G" View Post
Then you and the technician are failing to do it correctly or you have another problem. Their are hundreds of thousands of yari around the world that do not squeak.
Well look at it this way. With a screw adjustment you turn the screw a little bit each time until the squeel goes away. So you get precisely the tension you need to make the noise go away and no more.

With the pry method who knows how much over tension you have created?

Also I recommend putting the L brackets out in the rain till they rust real good. Then paint them with Rust Converter instead of painting them. Rust Converter converts the rust into something that will NEVER rust.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewmcg View Post
Ok, using the picture below, you start by tightening down bolt #1 all the way so it wont budge. Bolt #2 is in stock location and needs to be loose. Bolt #2 is the one that moves with the alternator and moves as belt tightens or loosens. Now L brackets should be about 1" apart and you put bolt #3 in and start tightening. As you tighten #3, it pulls the alternator out towards the front of the car, also tightening the belt. Once you like how tight the belt is, tighten up bolt #2 and it will all stay there. Viola!

Ah thankyou. The brackets being together is what threw me off. I always need everything explained to me.

Speaking of that, what size is that angle iron? 3/4 inch?

Oh and I have an improvement! (subject to approval)

Welding the nut that the adjustment screw goes into to the angle iron will make adjustment easier.

And am I right you also need to drill holes in each piece of angle irion for the bolts going to the adjusting bracket?

Beautiful, simple, effective, cheap design!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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"G", quit being a douche. You act like this is some ghetto mod that I just invented. Ive owned over 30 cars and this is the first time Ive owned a car without a belt tensioner. Its a stupid idea from Toyota to not have one. There have been many ideas and inventions by manufacturers that only last a few years cuz they were stupid and Im willing to bet this is one of them.

Bronsin, I believe it is 1" angle iron, but I bet you could make 3/4" work. And, yes you could weld that nut to make the adjustment a one wrench affair. Yes, you drill 2 holes in each piece of angle iron. As for rust, I don't know if you drive with your hood off your car or what but my engine bay will never see enough water to rust those :)
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewmcg View Post
As for rust, I don't know if you drive with your hood off your car or what but my engine bay will never see enough water to rust those :)
HA, spend one winter in Michigan, and you'll have rust in places you never thought of
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:55 AM   #14
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[quote=andrewmcg;600027] Ive owned over 30 cars and this is the first time Ive owned a car without a belt tensioner. Its a stupid idea from Toyota to not have one. There have been many ideas and inventions by manufacturers that only last a few years cuz they were stupid and Im willing to bet this is one of them.

QUOTE]

I believe the squeal problem is due to the new flat belts which need beaucoup tension not to squeal.

Almost NO car I ever owned had tensioneers. Nor were they needed with the old fashioned V belt. You could get a very satisfactory tension using the pry method.

The belt on the ECHO/Yaris is another story...
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:02 PM   #15
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My sister's Sienna minivan has a similar process for tightening the power steering pump (V6, down in the back of the engine). I "thought" I used enough leverage to tighten a brand new belt. After a week of driving and stretching the belt, I was back under the van, with HELP, to re-tighten it.

My Celica with a 2ZZ had a REAL tensioner on it. The only downside with that one was you needed the power of ZEUS to release it. But it never squealed. So yeah, now I'm not looking forward to replacing my belt!
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:11 PM   #16
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If you have a serpentine belt and that kind of tensioner that comes with it (spring loaded) the tensioneer can fail (like at 80k miles)

If you dont have it, it cant break!
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
If you have a serpentine belt and that kind of tensioner that comes with it (spring loaded) the tensioneer can fail (like at 80k miles)
Actually, it failed earlier than that. But Toyota replaced it under warranty. 100K miles after that, the replacement didn't fail.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:12 AM   #18
andrewmcg
 
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Here is a picture with the washers in between to show it with less tension if you want. I still like the guys who think that prying with a pry bar or using a wrench with a tensioner has any different outcome. The only difference is:

1. With this setup, I have exactly the tension I want. Not too much, not too little.
2. With this setup, I don't have to leverage a pry bar against my aluminum block and be scared of putting a hole in the timing cover or block. Cast aluminum is easy to put a hole in.

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