MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/11/20 10:53 p.m.

One of todays many  goals was to replace a serpentine belt on the Vibe today with the boy child.  We were almost thwarted by a Toyota design using poor leverage on a cast aluminum nut to release tension, and a parts store catalog that go lazy and assumed all vibes required the same belt that was 18mm too short. Wasted 3+ hours and ended up stuck with a proper sized belt on a tensioner with a gaping wound in the middle. The boy is getting many lessons on the challenges of car projects. He seems to be having fun though smiley.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
10/11/20 11:41 p.m.

I harbour a deep hatred for those tensioners.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/12/20 2:16 p.m.

What I've noticed about them, assuming i'm not wrong, is that they actually seem to get 'hung up' or bound up and it's not actually the spring that makes them that damn hard to turn (yes, it's hard), but that you have to 'unstick' the thing first and that's the part where it either works out, or breaks off on you. I have never dissected one, though. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
10/12/20 2:34 p.m.

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

Its not a rotary tensioner, its a coil over shock, which is very hard to ger hold of, and requires constant vigilance and a bunch of muscle to hold back enough to get the belt on.  Hateful.

andy_b
andy_b New Reader
10/12/20 7:42 p.m.

In reply to MrJoshua :

I've got a clean tensioner assembly on a 1zz I'm about to scrap.  It's yours if it will help at this point.

Steve
Steve New Reader
10/13/20 1:55 p.m.

I've found that it helps to compress the tensioner to a point where it becomes incredibly difficult to move, and then hold it there while the shock "catches up", after which it seems to move easier. Still a real pain in the rear, but I've done it way more times than I would've really wanted to and this method works well for me. 

Also, I basically lodge my knees against the front end allow me to leverage my core muscles against the tool, which helps with having to hold the load on the tensioner. I look like a weirdo, but then again I do this with my garage door closed. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/13/20 4:29 p.m.
andy_b said:

In reply to MrJoshua :

I've got a clean tensioner assembly on a 1zz I'm about to scrap.  It's yours if it will help at this point.

I've found that it helps to compress the tensioner to a point where it becomes incredibly difficult to move, and then hold it there while the shock "catches up", after which it seems to move easier. Still a real pain in the rear, but I've done it way more times than I would've really wanted to and this method works well for me. 

Also, I basically lodge my knees against the front end allow me to leverage my core muscles against the tool, which helps with having to hold the load on the tensioner. I look like a weirdo, but then again I do this with my garage door closed. 

I am not sure if I need one or if the current one will survive. I managed to make the old one work by compressing the shock from the original motor tensioner, ratchet strapping it compressed, and then installing it on the JY motor tensioner. That's when I noticed that even with the shock fully compressed there was no way the belt was long enough to go on. The current one does have a chunk missing where the "nut" broke off, but there is a lot of metal around it. Fingers crossed. I may take you up on it for a backup. My zip is 32606 if you could check shipping.

I noticed the "catch up" behavior later. It is interesting for sure. I think I could definitely replace the belt more easily the second time around. I think I broke it by bottoming  it out and trying to go just a little more to make the short belt fit.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/14/20 1:23 p.m.

Its not a rotary tensioner, its a coil over shock, which is very hard to ger hold of, and requires constant vigilance and a bunch of muscle to hold back enough to get the belt on.  Hateful.

I know. I've broken one this exact way before. laugh 

Also call me crazy but it almost seems like the cast 'nut' you have to grab is made tapered, as if they fully intend for it to try to drive the wrench off in the process of stripping/snapping itself off. Just a wonderful design. 

Would be nice if it was like other coilovers and you could just crank down the spring seat until it was loose..

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/14/20 4:18 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

In reply to Vigo (Forum Supporter) :

Its not a rotary tensioner, its a coil over shock, which is very hard to ger hold of, and requires constant vigilance and a bunch of muscle to hold back enough to get the belt on.  Hateful.

Kind of like the 1.8 liter in my 2006 Civic has.  That thing really flummoxed me until I stumbled upon the compress til you can’t, ho,d it for a bit to catch up, compress it more, hold, etc. method.  Then it was easier to work with, but still frustrating.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/14/20 6:04 p.m.

There was talk online of using a 5" C-Clamp to compress the coilover. I was finished by the time I found that gem but I will definitely be trying it out next time.

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