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Old 01-04-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
hwy61
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Default How To Replace/Adjust Accessory Belts - Pictures



Shown is an '05 STI. Other cars should be very similar. The first step is to remove the air intake. Remove the two 10 mm bolts, lightly lift the front of the intake then pull the nose out of the fitting on the right side of the fender. Replacement is just the opposite.



Next remove the 10mm bolt on the left and the 10mm nut on the right. Then lift the left side of the cover straight up. There is a centering pin under the right side, gently lift until it pulls free from the grommet that holds it then pull the right side straight forward and off of the retaining stud at the 10mm nut.



Here the cover is simply turned up-side down to show component layout. Note the long bolt used to secure the left side.



This picture shows the location of bolts that control movement of the alternator and tensioner that are used for loosening the Alternator/Power Steering belt. It sits to the front of the AC belt and must be removed first in order to replace the inner AC belt. First loosen the 12mm bolt at A. Don't remove it, just loosen it. It is the pivot point for the alternator. Positioning the alternator up or down is what tensions this belt.

Next, loosen 12mm bolt B, again don't take it out, just loosen. Then adjust the tension on the belt using 12mm bolt C. Turning this bolt moves the alternator up or down and in the process either loosens or tightens the belt. I think clockwise tightens the belt and counter clockwise loosens it. The belt must be fairly loose to remove it from the grooved pulleys. When it is off the inner belt may be accessed for removal or installation. Check for proper belt tension by pressing in at the center portion of the belt....like....1/2 way between the crank pulley and the alternator pulley. The belt should be able to be pressed in appx 1/4" when applying a good deal of finger knuckle pressure. There is no trick to all of this, it is straight forward even for a novice mechanic. Be sure and retighten both lock bolts (A & B) after the belt has been properly tensioned.



Shown in this picture are the adjustment bolts for the AC belt. First loosen the idler wheel tension bolt. Don't remove it, just loosen. The belt tensioner adjustment bolt will now be able to move the tensioner wheel up to loosen pressure on the belt for removal or press down on the belt for proper tension upon reinstallation. Again, check for proper belt tension in the center of a span of the belt as shown. Be sure to retighten the idler bolt when the belt is properly tensioned. Then reinstall the belt cover and air intake. Check for any tools left in the engine bay before closing that aluminum hood. Run it a bit and then check the belt tension again. Adjust as necessary. Done properly the first time and there should be no need for further adjustment for a long time.

Note: The Tensioner wheel is the weak link in this system. I'm not sure if you can buy a replacement just anywhere. If you have 50,000 or 60,000 miles on your car I would replace this wheel when changing belts. It isn't too expensive, sits in a dirty environment and does a lot of high rpm spinning. OK, that is all I can think of regarding belt changes and adjustment. Remember, old belts can dry out, become glazed and not give the proper grip. Cold weather works the battery/alternator and power steering pump harder. Summer, the AC belt. Yeah, I know.....my engine compartment looks like crap...that will change soon...I should have my STI ownership permit removed. Hwy61
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Last edited by hwy61; 01-04-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
chimchimm5
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Nice. Thanks.

Is there a tool that measures "proper tension"? Or is this just a guess and go deal?
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
hwy61
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I believe there is. I've never owned one. The last belt I had installed by the Subaru dealership lasted about 5,000 miles. I thought it was too tight when I checked it after getting it back from having a new timing belt and idlers installed. Did they use a tool? I don't know. Seems I have seen one but the 1/4" of movement will get you there in my opinion. Hwy61
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:48 PM   #4
Project Barnie
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So, I just checked my belts today due to the fact that I smelled something burning going into the cabin and lo and behold, my ac belt was cut in half and the tensioner wheel well, it looks ripped up.

How do I remove the wheel? just unscrew everything?
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project Barnie View Post
So, I just checked my belts today due to the fact that I smelled something burning going into the cabin and lo and behold, my ac belt was cut in half and the tensioner wheel well, it looks ripped up.

How do I remove the wheel? just unscrew everything?
....just unscrew everything? no......

remove the belts, then remove the 2 12mm bolts holding the tensioner bracket to the block. then youll figure it out from there.

your lucky, iv seen those take out the timing belt.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
sarcasticaly
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classic,

I just replaced my A/C belt.....well, added I should say cuz the car didnt come with one on it. My question is when I adjust the long bolts on each belt (A/C & alternator), the bolt head doesnt stay still. I dont know how to tell you without illustrating it but here goes.....if I loosen all bolts of A/C compressor, lets say, and adjust the tensioner the tension caused by the belt pushed the head of the bolt up so I have to press down so the bolt head will sit flush with the bracket and simultaneously tighten the nut on the tensioner wheel. Make sense? Am I missing something that will keep the bolt head in place or did I do it correctly without knowing it?
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:25 AM   #7
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sounds like you haven't loosened the idler tension bolt (pic 5) and the bolt labeled "B" in the 4th pic. If you don't loosen those first then the loosening the long adjustment bolts won't help.

it kinda sounds like you've done this but i'm not sure...?
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:55 PM   #8
sarcasticaly
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No, you're misunderstanding i think. I ow what you mean. Oh well, it still worked, I'm just not used to the bolt head moving also. No biggie. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:04 AM   #9
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Well, my P/S and Alt belt just shed 1/2 it's width. I literally pulled 1/2 the belt out from under the finger protector. Since I have a few 100 Subie bucks that are going to expire in June I'm going to the dealer fix it.

I could change the belt, but the tensioner could be bad too. Why not let my cash back pay for this?
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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Hate to bump an old thread but I'm in desperate need of help.

I replaced my two belts and foolishly the little metal thing that the long bolt on the alternator belt goes into came loose and fell out and I need to reattach it. Now I can't get the bolt to "bite" and it inevitably just slides right out. What on earth am I doing wrong? Was there a nut on the bottom that somehow came off? Otherwise I can't understand how the thing stays in place. Here's a picture.

Any help is appreciated as it's my only vehicle. Luckily I work from home so it's not super urgent but I need to be able to drive the car relatively soon and would feel like a real idiot if I had to have it towed to a dealership for such a stupid and foolish thing on my par.

I've looked at videos and guides online but apparently am just too stupid to figure it out!

Serves me right for thinking I was mechanically skilled enough to do something other than replacing a battery,headlight, or air filter under the hood

Sorry for the poor quality pic but it's late and dark also excuse the slight coolant leak.


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Last edited by Cardiff Giant; 05-26-2011 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:13 PM   #11
Project Barnie
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Same thing happened to me before I realized what I did wrong...

1st: did you loosen the bolt that's facing you?
2nd: If not, check for a crack somewhere on that piece were the long bolt goes into.
3rd: If there is a crack, pay a visit to your local stealer.

OR

You could've stripped it somehow....
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:45 PM   #12
Cardiff Giant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project Barnie View Post
Same thing happened to me before I realized what I did wrong...

1st: did you loosen the bolt that's facing you?
2nd: If not, check for a crack somewhere on that piece were the long bolt goes into.
3rd: If there is a crack, pay a visit to your local stealer.

OR

You could've stripped it somehow....
Thanks I've given up for the evening but will try tomorrow. Luckily I have people who would be willing to give me a ride to a dealer (and one is open until 3pm on Saturdays thank god!) in case I do need a new piece.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:38 AM   #13
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No, there isn't a nut on the end of it.

Are you trying to just turn the bolt and hoping it "catches", or are you pulling up on the alternator to give the adjuster bolt some slack?
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #14
elicea
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Yeah, I cracked mine becuase I didn't loosen it. That little piece isn't expensive. And you might want to replace the bolt cause it might be bent.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #15
Cardiff Giant
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Thanks for the additional replies. It doesn't appear that the little metal piece that bolts to the alternator has any cracks in it, the bolt appears to be straight, and I tighten the bolt on the metal piece somewhat but not fully (basically just enough for the first few threads to go through to the alternator). I thought I had it a few minutes ago as it seemed to be holding tension but then it slid back down again.

I am lifting the alternator to get it started but because the metal piece has no threads the second i take my hand off the alternator (even after tightening up the bolt on the metal piece) it seems to slide back down. Maybe my problem is I just am not understanding how you can feed a threaded bolt through and unthreaded hole and expect it to stay.

I'm going to try again a bit after the work day otherwise I'll be going to my dealership tomorrow morning and getting new pieces.

One last question, I noticed a stamped number 3 on the metal piece. Does anyone know if the 3 is the top or the bottom? Not sure if that matters or not but figured I'd ask since I'm running out of ideas.

Edit-Is the piece that the bolt goes into not threaded? Because mine is not which seems to make zero sense to me, I don't even know how it has stayed in place all these years.

Last edited by Cardiff Giant; 05-27-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:44 PM   #16
JohnM10
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I believe it must be threaded as the bolt has threads on it. It is probably stripped. I am not sure if it is threaded all the way through but you might want to check to see if you put it on upside down in case it is not threaded all the way through.

John
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #17
Cardiff Giant
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Thanks I just got off the phone with the parts department at one of my dealers and they confirmed it should be threaded. Mine sure doesn't look like it was ever threaded, looks pretty darn smooth.

They don't have the exact slide and bolt in stock but they do have a similar one. Another dealer does (34435AA030 and 34436AA001 in case anyone else ever needs them for an 04 non turbo Impreza) so I'm going to get both. Hopefully having a piece that's properly threaded will be the solution!


Update-
Wow I am going to self proclaim myself an idiot. A friend picked up the pieces and I realized immediately that one side was threaded one was not. I was putting them on wrong, putting the front bolt through the threaded side rather than the top bolt. Put everything back on in about two minutes. I guess when the slide part fell off I didn't realize it went on the other way and even looking at pictures and reading the replies here didn't clue me in that one side was threaded and the other wasn't.

I really am dumb sometimes

Last edited by Cardiff Giant; 05-27-2011 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:34 AM   #18
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hwy61, you are freaking awesome! Thanks so much for this, saved me from getting a new ps pump. If anyone is having issues with the power steering, try replacing the 4 clamps on the 2 hoses going from the reservoir to the pump, cutting the edges of the hoses if they are very hard and cracked, replace the o-ring on top of the pump, and inspect and tighten the belt if necessary. Of course burb the power steering system after all this.
This is what i did and everything was good to go, drives and turns better than ever.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #19
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Default Gates PS/Alt Belt

If you end up purchasing Gates High Performance MicroV belt you will discover its too small and wont fit. Couldnt figure out how to get it around Alt pulley and couldn't find it anywhere on here. So I finally took top right pivot bolt out, dropped the Alt, put the belt on pulley and forced Alt back up. Works now.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #20
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For some reason, I feel like the new belt must be a little bigger than the old belt. The bolt on the tensioner is very very very close to the belt once tightened. I feel a little uneasy about it actually.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #21
alan ling
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Thank you for these instructions. Had to replace mine today when the power steering one decided to disintegrate. Two thirds of it decided to cover my engine bay. These instructions were spot on and the install was a breeze. The belt gave up just before I was supposed to go to work. Managed to get the parts (on my bicycle) install the belts and only lose half a day of work.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:22 AM   #22
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Curious - how many miles do you folks with failing bolts have?

I've an 02 WRX with original belts, but I've only 70K miles on it...
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #23
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Great write-up,

Preventive maintenance - getting ready for another winter. The power steering belt was starting to show some cracking, replaced 'em both while I had everything out.....

thanks,

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:40 PM   #24
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Thank you for this write-up!

I had to change mine and your walk-through was perfect. This video I found is also pretty helpful in case anyone needs.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:09 AM   #25
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Just another thank you for this great walkthrough. I had my ps/alt belt snap the other morning and after finding this post decided to try this one myself. Mine became a bit more difficult as it turns out one of the bolts (bolt B in you pic) was broken off. The broken bolt caused the alternator to move, no doubt resulting in the broken belt. I ended up having to remove the alternator to extract what was left of the bolt. This was also the first time I have had to drill out a bolt and was happy that I also found a good walkthough online of how to do that. After a quick trip to get the replacement bolt, everything went back together fine and me and my car are happy again.
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