Lurker here. I am about to tackle this job here in the next few weeks. I have ordered most parts. All OEM from Toyota. Really appreciate the write up. I would love to know all the tools I will need along with the torque specs on everything. That would help also.
This thread has been invaluable. This, along with some YouTube videos and other forums. I have had a slapping chain noise on cold start ups over the winter. At first, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As the engine warms, the noise abated. As the winter wore on, the problem worsened and even near 50 degrees F outside it would make noise. It would go away once the engine was warmed to operating temperature, but took longer than initially. My thought was that oil pressure was not sufficient to that driver's side main tensioner, as that's where the noice came from. Cold oil not getting through the orifices until good and warm. So, I tried SeaFoam in the oil, in the intake, and in the gas tank. I did the Seafoam treatment twice, each time allowing it to completely cycle through the fuel system. I did an oil change at 1,000 miles and repeated the SeaFoam in the crankcase for another 1,000 miles. I only did the intake system once with Seafoam. I thought this would clean out the plugged/restricted orifices and cause the tensioner to work properly. It sounded promising at first, as after the first oil change, the noise was gone. But, it just continued to make noise and this problem persisted even when the outside temperature was over 50 degrees (Pacific Northwest). So, I decided to tackle changing out the tensioner. I have followed all the advice from the forums and YouTube videos. There's a good one here:
But he doesn't show how everything comes off. He jumps from radiator removal and a few external components to no timing chain cover. So I had to watch separate videos on how to remove the AC compressor, alternator, power steering pump, oil filter/cooler housing (was surprised to see that the oil filter was water cooled!), etc. If you don't know how/can't figure out how to remove an accessory, search YouTube or forums for that specific component.
NOTE: There were no good videos or advice on how to loosen the crank pulley/harmonic balancer pulley from the engine. I was not going to do the starter bump method, so I thought about it for a couple of days and came up with a solution. I took the serpentine belt and wrapped it around the crank pulley. I wrapped it all the way around the pulley back under itself almost around another whole time. Then I took the end of it and pulled it under the driver's frame rail (wheel removed to access the AC compressor nuts and bolts. I hooked the end of the belt to a ratchet strap and the other strap hook I attached to the coil spring (suspension). I tightened it VERY snug. This grabbed the pulley like a pit bull on a steak bone and, using a long breaker bar and floor jack handle (hollow tube) to extend the breaker bar, I was able to loosen the crank pulley bolt without that much effort.
That was a problem that is not described anywhere that I could find. None of the commercial auto parts retailers or tool suppliers in my large city had a tool to hold the pulley.There is one on Amazon or that you can get through Snap On, but I was able to solve my problem in the time it would have taken to get the tool. I needed to replace the belt anyway. If you do this, don't reuse the belt. Replace it as it will have a nice, permanent fold in it and is now compromised.
The belt grips the pulley in the grooves, and grips itself as well. Like putting a rubber band on a jar to loosen it. Works really well. I had to do this on my daughter's Subaru a couple of years, and don't know why I didn't remember this "one weird trick"! Getting old, I guess.
A couple of other notes: You have to remove the nuts on two studs on both the power steering pump and the AC compressor. But you can't get those pumps off as there's no room to pull them out. Once the nuts are off, you have to use a torx socket to remove the studs as well. Then you can remove those two accessories.
Also, I have an '07 with 190,000 miles on it. So all the electrical connectors are old and kind of brittle. The hoses are as well. So, I used two methods to ease in their removal and didn't break any plugs or hoses. I sprayed a little WD-40 on each one, and using hose pliers like these, I was able to pinch the electrical connectors gently and with more feel and dexterity than my fat fingers, and loosen/disconnect them. On the hoses, I used a 90 degree pick and lifted the edge of the hoses and then used grease (wheel bearing) on the end of the pick to lubricate the hose end all the way around. This allowed me to lift the edge of the hose enough to shoot a little WD-40 in there. Let is sit a minute, then grab the hose with the hose pliers (I used the biggest one on most of the hoses/lines) and wiggled them free. I didn't ruin any plugs or hoses using this method. I don't want to have to replace anything I don't need to.
In addition to those tips, some people do not remove the radiator. I don't know how you can do it without. My Tundra is stock height, and I'm 6' tall. I needed all the room I could get to reach over the top of the truck to do this job. Removing everything that was in the way, i.e. battery, radiator, fan, shroud, lower engine cover, air box, etc. gave me all the room I needed. I still bloodied my arms and back of my hands though. When you get to be 60, your skin isn't as durable and now my arms look like my cat attacked me. I did not take off the air intake from the center of the V. Some people did, but later said it was unnecessary.
At this point, I'm ready to pull off the crank pulley. I rented a tool from AutoZone to do this. Don't use the jaw type. Use the steering wheel puller type. Here's what it looks like:
I also picked up a Haynes manual. It shows a good picture of the front engine cover and specifies which of the 28 bolts and nuts go where. There are six different sizes/lengths. They are not interchangeable. I will draw a diagram on cardboard and insert the bolts in each hole on the diagram. It also shows the torque specs for everything.
That's all for now. I'll finish this post when I get the job done. I have to get the cover off and assess whether I need to replace just the main driver's side tensioner, or all four chains and all four tensioner. I hope this helps anyone with a similar issue.
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