2006 xB: Can't screw in Lower Alternator Bolt - Scionlife.com


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Old 10-03-2017, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default 2006 xB: Can't screw in Lower Alternator Bolt

My sad tale: I have a 2006 with a busted serpentine belt. I got a new belt and was going to attempt to install it myself. Not finding any good instructions online, I loosened the upper alternator bolt, the alternator bracket bolt (the bracket that connects the top part of the alternator to the block or whatever). This didn't help me fit the the belt around the pulleys so I loosened the bottom alternator bolt. I did all this from above, without removing the bumper or headlight. (This car is a shoddy salvage, and parts of it are literally wired together so I'm hesitant to completely tear it apart.)

Bottom line: There isn't enough room to get the bolt out, and having it loose doesn't seem to help get the belt on. Even worse, now I can't get the bolt back in! I have one tiny ratchet and small 14mm socket that I can just barely get over the end of the bolt, but I can't get the threads to bite, so I can't reinstall the bolt. I've screwed with it (literally) for about 2 hours. Now I'm in worse shape than when I started.

So I have two problems: (1) I can't screw the bolt back in, and (2) even if I could, I can't figure out how to get the belt on. (My next thing to try is to get it on the grooved pulleys first and then try to coax it onto the grooveless water pump pulley, but honestly it isn't even close so I don't expect that to work.)

Either way it appears the bolt is in the way so I have to get that problem resolved first. Any suggestions?

I've attached a picture of the bolt. It needs to screw in to the right. The fully immediately behind it is the water pump pulley.


Loose bolt in foreground. Water pump pulley is behind it. Alternator is at upper-right.
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
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The alternator might be cocked, making the bottom bolt hole(s) misaligned which may be why the bolt won't go back in. See if you can try to wiggle the alternator back and forth while trying to fit the bolt back in.

I just took off the same belt last night and I only had to loosen the top bracket bolt, and the bottom 14mm that you are having trouble with. Nothing physically needs to be removed though just to remove that belt.

Once you loosen the two bolts, all you have to do is push the alternator toward the engine and it'll rotate that way giving slack to the belt. Then the belt will easily be removable.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying. I've been trying that but haven't been able to find the "sweet spot" where the rotation of the alternator will allow the bolt to be inserted far enough to bite the threads. I guess there's nothing else to do but keep trying the same thing.

By by the way, I'm not trying to get the belt off--I'm trying to get a new belt on. The old belt broke at 65 mph.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:28 PM   #4
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According to the manual (?) you should be able to replace the belt by just loosening the 2 alternator bolts, not remove them.

I would try putting the alternator on without the belt and get the screws mostly in before putting the belt on. If there is not enough slack to get the belt on, it may be that the belt is not the right length??? Was this a genuine toyota part or aftermarket belt?
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:46 PM   #5
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Thanks.

Again, I'm not replacing the alternator, and I haven't removed any bolts. I'm just replacing a broken belt. I've loosened all three bolts, including the bottom one which now won't screw back in. Apparently it wasn't even necessary to loosen it, which just makes this all the more annoying.

There's not enough room to put on the belt until I get that bottom bolt screwed all the way in.

It's an aftermarket belt, but it's the correct belt according to AutoZone's database, and it's identical to the broken belt (which I still have).
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:36 PM   #6
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3 bolts? What is the 3rd bolt?
There is a top bolt (A) that fits thru a slot in a bracket. The adjustment bolt.
There is a pivot bolt (B), at the bottom of the alternator - looks like the one in your photo.
They are hard to get to.

Try taking the alternator out and making sure the bottom bolt will go into the threads. At least you should be able to see whats going on then
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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Holy moly--I don't want to tear the whole car apart just to put a freakin belt on.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:48 PM   #8
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The alternator is on top isn't it? Just disconnect the electrical connections and it should come out... or is the inlet manifold in the way??? I can't remember, it's been a while.
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