When installing a new timing belt, it’s important to tighten the timing belt idler pulley to the correct torque specs. The pulley can get loose over time from vibration. So when you’re in there, it’s worth taking the time to retighten the timing belt idler pulley. It’s very important to set the right amount of torque.

Why It’s Important To Set The Right Amount Of Timing Belt Idler Torque

There are several different designs of idlers found in engines. Depending on the design, incorrect torque causes different problems.

  • A timing belt idler pulley that’s too loose will vibrate excessively. That can cause the timing belt to slip off.
  • A timing belt idler pulley that’s torqued too tight will not move freely. That can lead to premature wear on the timing belt. The timing belt will start to exhibit some symptoms like squeaking.
  • Some idlers are mounted in cast aluminum. Over tightening can strip the threads, resulting in an expensive fix.

The timing belt idler torque specs vary between engines. In some engines, it’s 33 ft lbs of torque. In other engines, it’s 50 ft lbs. In others, it’s 17 ft lbs. And so on. The specs are never universal. That’s why it’s important to find the right specs before tightening the timing belt idler pulley.

You’ll find the right specs in the automaker’s service information for technicians. The timing belt idler may be called the belt guide pulley in the handbook.

How To Set The Timing Belt Idler Torque

There’s a bolt holding the timing belt idler pulley in place. You need to torque that bolt to the correct specs with a torque wrench. All you need to do is:

  1. Hand tighten the bolt.
  2. Set the torque specs on the torque wrench.
  3. Torque the bolt with the torque wrench until the wrench clicks or vibrates.

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