Removing Broken Belt Tensioner Bolt
A little back story: the ol’ lady was driving my ’07 base Vibe home from school and the belt started squealing. Luckily, she made it home as the bolt holding the belt tensioner on broke. The unlucky part: the other half was still in the head. So, I took to the Internet and found a nice write up from an older 1ZZ Corolla. Process was a little different for the Vibe/Matrix so here’s my little how to. Also replaced the timing chain tensioner o-ring while I was in here and had easier access to it (since they are prone to leak). As always, I assume no liability if you break anything, blow up your car, alien invasions, if you’re upset over our president, etc.
To avoid self destruction, I’d recommend unhooking the battery.
• Belt Tensioner Assembly (Duralast 305356 for $115ish)
• Dayco Serpentine Belt (5060725 for $25ish)
• NEW from Toyota: Belt Tensioner Bolt (90105-12297 for $6.00)
• NEW from Toyota: Timing Chain Tensioner O-Ring (90301-22013for $6.00)
• Bolt Extractor Kit: Irwin from Lowe’s (576748 for $25ish)
• From this—I used the three smallest bits (5/64, 7/64, and 5/32) to make my pilot hole. Then I used EX3 to extract the bolt.
• Milwaukee M12 Right Angle Drill (BARE TOOL) from Home Depot (2415-20 for $79ish)
• M12 Charger & Battery (48-59-2420 for another $79ish)
• 14mm shallow sockets
• I used mostly 3/8, but having 1/4 on hand wouldn’t hurt.
• 17mm ratcheting wrench
• The longer you can get, the less you’ll beat your hand up trying to get the tensioner bolt in/out.
• 10mm socket
• Again, used 3/8 mostly, but even 1/4 would suffice for the few 10mm bolts you mess with.
• 19mm socket and breaker bar to loosen belt tensioner to put the new belt on.
• This I used half inch as that was the only breaker bar I had.
• 3/8 Extensions
• The two I had on hand were probably 6 and 9 inch ones. This makes it easier to reach some of the bolts for the passenger side engine mount.
• Bolt Extractor (See Above)
• Right Angle Drill (See Above)
Step 1) Remove engine cover. These should be four 10mm bolts. No pictures of this as hopefully you should know what the engine cover is and how to remove it. If not, this may not be a task for you.
Step 2) Remove belt and belt tensioner assembly. In my case, it was quite easy since it was broken. To remove:
• Undo the 12mm NUT holding the hydraulic onto the back of the engine. (See Image 1)
o I also removed the 10mm bolt holding the power steering lines to the fender and then used a bungee cord to pull them up a bit. This made just enough room to get the top of the drill in level. (See Image 1)
• Undo the 17mm bolt holding the tensioner assembly to the engine down amongst the pulls. Highly recommend a long ratcheting wrench for this to save time and aggravation. (See Image 2…Drill is in place where the belt tensioner & bolt would be had it not broke)
Step 3) Unbolt passenger side engine mount and wiggle it out.
• Three 14mm bolts hold this onto the chassis. (See Images 3)
• One 12mm bolt holds this to the alternator (See Image 4)
• Three 14mm bolt hold this to the block (See Image 4)
Step 4) Remove bolts holding front engine mount. This is probably optional, but I did it as I thought it’d give me a little extra wiggle room.
• Two 14mm bolts are holding this on near the tow point on the front. (See Image 5)
Step 5) Undo the nuts holding the AC line in place. Also probably optional, but again, trying to make room where there is none. I also popped the wiring harness tab out of the fender and held it up out of the way.
• Two 10mm nuts hold this in place. Be careful moving this out of the way so as not to pinch/break the AC line. No pictures as hopefully you know where the AC line is.
Step 6) Carefully jack up the engine. I used the oil pan with a piece of a 2x4 between the jack and pan. Be very careful as not to make a hole in the pan. I didn’t go to a specific height. I kept adjusting as needed until I found the sweet spot. Again, no pictures as you should know where the oil pan is. If you do not, I’d recommend not doing this.
Step 7) Basically: GET THE BOLT OUT. I was rather lucky mine broke off nearly flush. Making the pilot hole was rather simple once I got the drill in there. After making a smaller hole, I upgraded to a slightly bigger bit. After making the hole sufficiently deep, I started with the screw extractor. Very carefully using the drill in reverse (I had no other way to work the extractor) I slowly started working the bolt out. After a short time, it came out. Take extra caution on this step because if you screw up, you’ll most likely have to get the engine pulled and then you’ll be even unhappier.
Step 8) Reinstall everything. Just a few notes on this…
• Bolt the passenger engine mount to the block before installing the belt tensioner; I found this out the hard way. You’ll need to raise/lower the jack a bit to get all the bolts to line up for both mounts.
• Insert the long 17mm bolt into the tensioner assembly BEFORE trying to wiggle it down there. Again, found this out the hard way.
• For those who need it, see Image 6 for belt routing.
All in all, it wasn’t HORRIBLE to complete, just very unfavorable in the conditions I had. Had it not been 15°F, this would have probably been a 3-4 hour tasks, especially if you had an extra set of hands to help. Another thing you may be able to do to help is remove the long bolt holding the rear engine mount. I did not do this, as removing the front and passenger side mounts definitely gave me enough room. I hope this helps anyone who has the same unfortunate fate. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me on here.
Last edited by zbyers
on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.