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Belt Tensioner Failure

tensioner belt fail tsb

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#1 InfuzeYou

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:15 PM

For those of you who are not familiar with the common problem regarding the belt tensioner assembly on the 1ZZ engine - Toyota put out a TSB (EG021-07 http://www.z-car.com..._T-EG021-07.pdf) that explains the problem and offers part numbers for repair. The problem occurs when the hydraulic piston on the tensioner fails and all the fluid leaks out. In my case, symptoms were an annoying rattle at low RPMs and a belt squeal on cold start.

I noticed that the part number Toyota recommended for repair still includes a hydraulic piston, so I did some research into alternatives. What I came up with is a "solution kit" made by Gates (Part#: 39068K2 https://www.rockauto....php?pk=2762734) that uses a spring instead of a hydraulic cylinder, as well as a beefier alt. pulley and a new belt.

First step is to remove the belt - easy enough, and if you don't know how, there's a nice DIY writeup HERE.

Second, remove the nut that holds the hydraulic piston on the tensioner to a stud on the engine.

Third, remove the bolt holding the tensioner onto the engine... but, wait, the bolt is so long that the head hits the frame before you're able to remove it! So, I go to my trusty Chilton's repair manual - nothing. I check Google - only explanation was some guy who jacked up his engine by placing a jack under the oil pan (wtf?). Finally, I decided to bust out the engine hoist, remove the three bolts holding the engine mount to the frame on the passenger side, and hoist the engine about one inch.

The alternator pulley was a bit of a PITA, too. The new pulley screws directly onto the shaft, as opposed to being held on by a nut. The right way to tighten it is to have a special tool that appears to be some type of hollow hex bit that you can stick a socket through to hold the shaft. Hard to explain unless you've seen the pulley. After a while trying to figure out how to this without the special tools, I used an impact gun to spin the center shaft a few bumps while holding the pulley with a strap wrench, hopefully it holds.

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Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#2 sam18142

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

same thing happened to me about a year ago at the toyota dealership. i was there for an oil change and the technician noticed it was leaking by the hydraulic cylinder .i never noticed symptoms at all but it was replaced with oem part. my car only had at that time 36500 miles approx. ;-(

#3 hughesjasonk

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

hmmmm interesting
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#4 Bryar33092

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:57 AM

just a noob question, but if your tensioner is shot or about to go, would your belt be chirping a bit? I just replaced the belt not even 500 miles ago and I get a little squeaking action now and then.

#5 InfuzeYou

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:16 PM

just a noob question, but if your tensioner is shot or about to go, would your belt be chirping a bit? I just replaced the belt not even 500 miles ago and I get a little squeaking action now and then.

While that could possibly depend on which belt you put on, and what the exact sound is, I would describe the sound of the failing tensioner as a "chirping". Look at the tensioner itself and locate the hydraulic cylinder on the rear of the assembly. If the cylinder is leaking, there will be a dirty, oily residue on and around it.
Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#6 boble

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:59 AM

got a question, where to jack up on if I don't have engine hoist? LOL. Also, would switching out the pulley be fine, or should I pay to get a whole new assembly?

#7 Salsa Guy

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:56 AM

Get a block of wood between a floor jack and oil pan. You are better off changing the whole assy because it's a bit of a pain to do. You should also remove the motor mount and watch the brake lines.
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e-Bay SRI w/AEM Dry Flo, Vibrant/Magnaflow Cat-back, Voltage Stabilizer/Ground Kit, , Alutec Lightweight Crank Pulley. DRL Mod, Fog Light Mod, Sunroof Auto Stop Mod, Ceramic Brakes, TRD SC, AEM UEGO Wideband w/Auber Gauge, Greddy EMU w/Boost sensor, AEM FIC 6, Auber Boost Sensor/Gauge, Oil Catch Can, VVTi Logo Ignition Coil Cover. Lowering Springs, Tranny Cooler

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#8 InfuzeYou

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:24 AM

Get a block of wood between a floor jack and oil pan. You are better off changing the whole assy because it's a bit of a pain to do. You should also remove the motor mount and watch the brake lines.

I did try the block of wood under the oil pan when I did it, but didn't think to disconnect the motor mount. Couldn't get enough clearance. Also, the pulley may not be the whole problem. Normally it's the cylinder on the back side of the tensioner that fails.
Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#9 Salsa Guy

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

Oh geez you didn't unbolt at least one side of the motor mount. The manual suggests removing the motor mount but getting at the motor side was a PITA. So I did the frame side and had to disconnect the brake lines from the frame also( down and front of motor mount). When doing so the brake lines will come into contact with the motor mount and that's where you need to be careful not to damage them.
05 Matrix XR 4WD. "The Low and Slow!" 03 Vibe GT. The Old and Quick"
"If you want Government to solve your problems, then you are the problem!" BMSR

Trix MODS:
e-Bay SRI w/AEM Dry Flo, Vibrant/Magnaflow Cat-back, Voltage Stabilizer/Ground Kit, , Alutec Lightweight Crank Pulley. DRL Mod, Fog Light Mod, Sunroof Auto Stop Mod, Ceramic Brakes, TRD SC, AEM UEGO Wideband w/Auber Gauge, Greddy EMU w/Boost sensor, AEM FIC 6, Auber Boost Sensor/Gauge, Oil Catch Can, VVTi Logo Ignition Coil Cover. Lowering Springs, Tranny Cooler

Vibe MODS: DC Sports STB, K&N Drop-in, DRL Mod, Fog Light Mod, Sunroof Auto Stop Mod, Hella Horns, HID Fogs.
Soon to add: Hotchkis Sway Bar, Suspension Techniques lowering springs and Cosmo Racing SRI

#10 boble

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:37 PM

I actually think it is the belt tensioner because I had a stethoscope on the bolt that holds the pulley on.

#11 InfuzeYou

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:19 PM

I actually think it is the belt tensioner because I had a stethoscope on the bolt that holds the pulley on.

If you've heard bad bearings before, you're familiar with the "roaring" sound that they make. The sound of a bad hydraulic tensioner, at least in my case, was a kind of chirping/squeaking.
Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#12 boble

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:11 PM

sounds like a bearing though don't it?


#13 Cruisin_Corolla

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:03 PM

I'm having an issure with a rattling sound too. I'm not sure if its coming from the belt tensioner assembly ....or, if it's coming from the cam chain tensioner. The sound is only noticable when im inside the car. Also, My gas milage has gone down a lot. I don't hear any chirping or squeeking; just a rattle-ish kinda sound around a certain RPM (about 1500-1800 rpm).
When i'm cruising around town, that's about where the rpms like to sit in any gear.

Any thoughts would be helpful :)

#14 InfuzeYou

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

I'm having an issure with a rattling sound too. I'm not sure if its coming from the belt tensioner assembly ....or, if it's coming from the cam chain tensioner. The sound is only noticable when im inside the car. Also, My gas milage has gone down a lot. I don't hear any chirping or squeeking; just a rattle-ish kinda sound around a certain RPM (about 1500-1800 rpm).
When i'm cruising around town, that's about where the rpms like to sit in any gear.

Any thoughts would be helpful :)

I'd suggest both of you start new threads about this, I don't think either of you have the same problem I had. Start new threads with your questions and you might get more input. I can't really say anything helpful on your problems, as I haven't run into this.

boble - that does not sound like a bearing to me.
Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#15 Cruisin_Corolla

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

meh....

I'll start a new thread; in the near future. Just thought I might be able to get some kinda insight on the problem here (as the problem just came about recently).

My bad for (sorta) thread jacking .

#16 boble

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:14 AM

alright. thanks for your help.

#17 Bryar33092

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

Yurp =\

My Hyd. Cylinder is shot so it's time for me to do this. Any advice?

#18 InfuzeYou

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:22 AM

Yurp =\

My Hyd. Cylinder is shot so it's time for me to do this. Any advice?

You could take the easy way out and just replace the cylinder, or do what I recommend: buy the Gates kit and replace the whole assembly.
Performance Mods: K&N Typhoon SRI, Megan Racing coilovers, DC Sports strut bar, Alutec lightweight crank pulley, R1 Concepts cross-drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HPS pads, NRG voltage stabilizer/grounding kit, Optima Red Top battery

Other Mods: Chrome w/black mesh grille, H9 chrome projector headlights, 5000K 35W HIDs, 2nd gen Altis LED tails, AVS window visors, stubby antenna, Tc armrest, Räzo quick-shift knob, Enkei Super 7 18" wheels, Avital remote start w/ trunk pop & lock/unlock, LED Swap: every single bulb replaced w/ LEDs (interior & exterior), plus engine bay LEDs and under-dash LED bars

Coming soon: JP header, Vibrant axle-back exhaust, high-flow catalytic converter, Weapon-R oil catch can, TRD CAI

#19 sam18142

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

My opinion is you should replace the whole assembly.

#20 Kurai

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

For the guys having this issue if yo uare hearing the "rattle sound" make sure that you also take a minute to check out your water pump pulley as well..i had this rattle mixed with occasional squeak so changed the belt and tensioner think it was those (was due a new set anyways) but still heard the rattle and ended up being the water pump pulley bearing failing causing it to more alittle back and forth causing the rattle. Just FYI guys

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