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Question For Wwest


RX in NC

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wwest,

Would you check your 2001 RX300 shop manual for the details on removing and replacing the power steering belt? I'd like to know if it is to be accessed from above (under the hood) or below (underneath the chassis), where exactly is the adjustment bolt (is there more than one), how do you get to it and what mm size it is, and any other tips or details your shop manual can provide for tackling this task.

Our vehicle is a 2000 model but I'm assuming that few if any changes were made to the belt configurations between 2000 and 2001. I also assume that like our 2000 model, your vehicle has two belts (the AC/alternator belt and the power steering belt). If so, then the 2000 and 2001 models probably match up identically in this particular area.

Any details you can provide would be much appreciated. Changing this belt is not going to be easy and I welcome all the information I can assemble before I decide to go after it.

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The belt set-up for the RX300 is right out of the 1960s except back then you had plenty of working room. There are no spring-loaded tensioners in this configuration. Pop your own hood and take a look - you'll see what I mean.

I'd still appreciate the details on getting to and changing the power steering belt per your shop manual. I won't be surprised if it instructs you to remove the right front wheel, then all of the plastic wheelwell skirting, and gain access to the power steering belt in that manner.

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Right on!

For the alternator belt it says to loosen the adjusting lock bolt, the adjusting bolt, and then remove the belt. The lock bolt and adjusting bolt are visible just under the alternator, toward the front of the vehicle.

Surprisingly the power stearing pump drive belt removal is not all that complex, although it does indicate an SST is required. The bolt head to loosen the drive belt must be accessed via one of the holes, openings, in the power stearing drive pulley itself.

The bolt to be loosened is under the power stearing pump drive pulley toward the crankshaft pulley.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the clarification on "SST".

Does your shop manual describe how to get to the power steering belt? Is it from the top (through the hood), from underneath the vehicle, or from removing the right front wheel and associated plastic skirting material and thereby gaining access through the now-exposed wheelwell?

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The manual indicates that using the SST the belt can be changed from the top. I suspect on could use a rachet and socket in place o fthe SST but with a few more busted knuckles.

The SST appears to be a long thin flat metal with a socket welded to it. A thin breaker bar, if you will.

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I have a 1999 RX300 with 86k miles and no warning lights or troubles so far.

How would I know when to change the alternator and power steering pump belts?

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No warning lights will tell you when to change your belts. Most decent-quality belts (Toyota's OEM RX300 belts are decent, not superior) will last 4 to 5 years before they begin to chirp, squeal, or tick. The belt noise is an annoying indication that your belts are beginning to fail. Automotive belts stretch over time from usage and constant exposure to heat, cold, and wetness; they then begin to slip on their pulleys, and this begins to create the annoying ticks and squeals that get worse and worse as our belts get old and worn.

Look carefully and closely at the inside portion of your belts (the side with the ribs and grooves on it). Do you see hairline cracks on the ribs? Press on the belt, make it flex, and look for those cracks as you're moving the belt back and forth. You may need to use a magnifying glass to get a better look at the hairline cracks and crevices that are definitely present in a five or six-year-old belt.

If you have a 1999 RX300 with original belts, it's past time to change them regardless of your mileage. Your AC/alternator belt is somewhat challenging but very doable yourself if you have the right tools (a socket wrench with 12mm and 14mm sockets and a long, thin 12 mm box wrench to get into the tight spots where your socket wrench can't go). I changed this belt on my wife's 2000 RX300 last Saturday with the help of a friend and his long, thin 12 mm box wrench.

But your power steering belt is a pain in the rear to get to and change. Be aware that your AC/alternator belt must be removed before you can remove and replace your power steering belt. Open your hood and look at the belt configuration on your vehicle and you'll see why - the power steering belt is located BEHIND the AC/alternator belt, almost to the point where there's no room to get to it.

Good luck with your belts. If you decide to tackle this project, let us know how it turns out for you. Especially if you're successful in changing your power steering belt. I'm going to tackle this project eventually, but not until my friend is available again with his full set of specialty wrenches and extensions. We were both grumbling last Saturday about the inaccessability of the power steering belt on this vehicle and how much trouble we knew it was going to be to change it....

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Thank you so much RX for your info and recommendations.

I feel like I have a family here at this forum.

I will try to replace those belts sometime after the July 4th holiday and I certainly will keep you guys posted.

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Purchase your new belts from your local Toyota parts department, not Lexus. Toyota's prices are always better and the belts are exactly the same ones used by Lexus. Here are the part numbers you'll need:

AC/alternator belt: 99366-21040-83 (should cost about $14).

Power steering belt: 99364-20880-83 (should cost about $11).

Good luck and let us know how it turns out for you. Tips and tricks for making tough tasks easier are always appreciated here on this forum.

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wwest,

One last question on the power steering belt change instructions in your shop manual and I'll leave you alone for awhile.

Does your shop manual indicate what mm-sized socket is welded onto the tip of the Special Service Tool needed to reach the adjustment bolt located underneath the power steering pump drive pulley? It's crucial to know the exact mm-size required before contorting myself down into the engine compartment to go after that bolt so I don't have to fumble around trying to guess the mm-size to use.

Thanks for your patience on this topic. You've been very helpful.

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RX

I've just bought a 1999 rx300 Repair manual (in 3 volumes). I hope it can be used for 2000 model too.

In volume 2, I found the picture of the SST 09249-63010 which is used to loosen "bolt A" thru one of the holes on the pulley, just like you said.

Bolt A cannot be removed, only loosened.

And it looks like the sizes of bolt A and another bolt ("bolt B") are the same, since they have the same part # 43(440-32). (Bolt B is somewhere between bolt A and the crankshaft pulley). These 2 bolts are to be loosened in order to change the belt.

I don't know how to show those pages to you since I've never done tranfering/sending a digital picture on the Web before. But I can borrow a digital camera from my son on Tuesday then maybe you can show me how to do it.

Or I can make copies of those pages and mail it to you if you want. :)

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Thanks for the offer to post or mail the pictures, but I think I have a good idea of the task ahead of me without them.

If you can find any information in your shop manual pertaining to what mm-sized socket is welded onto the tip of this Special Service Tool, that's really the only missing link that I need now.

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You're welcome.

The SST 09249-63010 is called Torque wrench adapter.

It looks like a thin piece/bar of metal, one end has a "male" part of a regular socket wrench (where you can attach, at a 90 degree to the piece, any socket with the same size of those 2 bolts), and the other end has a square hole to accomodate the end male part of any regular socket wrench or a torque wrench (as shown on the manual in this case to tighten the bolt).

Unfortunately nowhere in the manual that says the size of any bolt or nut or SST. But both bolt A and B have the same size, I think. Maybe by checking bolt B, we can figure out the size of bolt A.

Sorry.

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Okay....

Real-time response.

Couldn't get my hand far enough down in front of the engine from above.

But if you turn the wheels to the far right you can quite readily access both bolt heads with a box-end wrench from below. No need to even lift the vehicle. 14mm for the pivot bolt under the pump pulley and 12mm for the "slip" belt tension adjustment bolt.

A good LED ( 1 watt luxeon) flashlight, 2 for $27.00 at Costco, is a big help also.

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Thanks for the real-time check. Looks like going in from underneath will be the best way to change this pesky power steering belt. As you pointed out, long-handled box wrenches will apparently be the tool of choice - there's just not enough room down there for our socket wrenches to operate.

I'm going to change this belt later this summer. The original one is still in fairly good shape and remains quiet. The power steering belt is just a two-pulley belt as opposed to the AC/alternator belt which is a three-pulley belt and has to work harder as a result. Our original AC/alternator belt was in far worse shape and ticking quite annoyingly, so I changed it last weekend as mentioned previously on another belt thread.

If anyone decides to change their power steering belt during the course of the next few weeks, please post a full report here and let us know the tips and tricks you discovered to make this unpleasant job a bit easier next time.

Thanks again to wwest and lsrxlex for your input on this thread. I've consolidated a full page of hand-written notes from it, and I'll work from these notes when I decide to go after the power steering belt later this summer.

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