How to replace 2006 Toyota Camry 2.4L belt tensioner

It appears that I have been given the wrong part by AutoZone. I wasted a couple of hours because of this. Additionally, the process included some other hurdles, which I will now share.

Firstly, obtain the correct part. AutoZone lists Duralast Part Number: 305360 as a replacement. It should look like this:

Duralast 305360 Toytota Camry belt tensioner


It must have a metal stand-off within a bearing, as shown. The part I was given (which was in the box with a correct part number) was:

Wrong Duralast 305360 Toytota Camry belt tensioner


Notice that the wrong part only has a plastic insert, and not a metal central stand-off.


To replace the belt tensioner, do the following:


1) Support the vehicle securely

2) Apply lubricating oil to the tensioner bolt, tensioner nut, and right side engine mount nut. Use a straw to avoid spraying oil over the belt and pulleys.

2) Remove front right wheel and plastic cover.

3) Loosen the right side engine mount (nut on top of the bolt).

4) Raise the engine about 4" (up to the top of that mount bolt). This is required, because you will not be able to extract the bolt without raising the engine.

5) CRITICAL: Get a good-quality 14mm ratcheting wrench. There is little space to work in if the engine is not raised high enough. I ended up stripping the head of the relatively soft metal original bolt. If you have an impact wrench, then use it. For some reason, my Craftsman 14mm wrench was too loose on the bolt head, and I ended up stripping it. I had to switch to a Husky wrench instead. I don't know why my original wrench was not tight on the bolt head. Ensure that yours is, as that bolt requires a LOT of torque to loosen up!



6) The original bolt, if reused, must not be stripped or bent. If either is true, get a replacement. The replacement bolt MUST be of the same length, and the thread MUST be of the same length. If your replacement bolt has a shorter thread, then use a die to extend it (M10 1.25).

7) Apply medium-strength threadlock on all threads.

8) Clean the oil off the pulleys before reinstalling the belt. Watch out if the belt is directional (for the right installation).

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Page last modified 12-Apr-12 21:15:01 EDT
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