How to Replace a Belt on a 2005 Lexus RX330


Lexus introduced the RX330 during the 1998 model year. The 2005 Lexus RX330 was equipped with a 3.3-liter, dual overhead cam V-6 capable of producing 230 horsepower and 242 foot-pounds of torque. The 2005 RX330 was also produced with the option of either two- or all-wheel drive. The 2005 RX330 has two drive belts on the engine. One drive belt is used to power the alternator and air conditioner pulley, and the other belt powers the power steering pump. Both belts should be replaced at the same time on this engine.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire iron
  • 2-ton or greater capacity floor jack
  • 2-ton or greater capacity jack stand
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set, with 3-inch extension
  • New alternator, A/C compressor belt (Size= 408K6)
  • New power steering pump belt (Size= 345K4)
  • Small pry bar
  • Handheld belt tensioner gauge tool
  • 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and wheel nut socket (19 mm to 21 mm sockets)
  • Loosen the passenger front wheel lug nuts with a tire iron, but do not remove the wheel nuts. Raise the front of the RX300 with the jack. Place the jack stand beneath the lower frame rail, located just under the passenger side of the engine. Remove the wheel lug nuts completely from the passenger wheel, then remove the wheel and tire assembly. Remove the plastic fender skirting panel by using a flat head screwdriver to pry the fasteners free.

  • Raise the hood of the RX330. Remove the negative battery lead or cable from the battery, using a 3/8-inch-drive ratchet and socket to loosen the clamp nut. Tuck the negative cable around the side of the battery to ensure that there is no accidental contact between the cable and battery terminal during this project.

  • Loosen the outer belt -- the alternator and A/C compressor belt -- by loosening the alternator mounting bolts. Use a 3/8-inch-drive ratchet and socket to loosen the upper mounting bolt, on which the alternator swivels. Underneath the alternator on the front, you will find a screw splined tensioner assembly. Loosen the side bolt on the tensioner assembly one full turn with your ratchet and socket. Install a 3-inch extension between the ratchet and socket, and turn the forward-facing bolt of the tensioner assembly counterclockwise. Remove the belt by hand when the alternator has been adjusted far enough inward.

  • Loosen both of the mounting bolts on the power steering pump, using a 3/8-inch-drive ratchet and socket. The bolts are located at the top rear and front middle of the pump. The front mounting bolt is mounted into a slide adjuster. Move the power steering pump inward toward the engine, sliding the pump on the slide adjuster by hand. Once you have adjusted the power steering pump in far enough, remove the power steering belt from the pump and the crank pulley.

  • Install the new power steering pump belt over the power steering pump pulley and the crank pulley. Visually inspect to make sure you have properly aligned the belt with the four-channel grooves on each pulley. The power steering belt should be mounted on the inside track of the crank pulley.

  • Insert a pry bar between the power steering pump and the engine block. Pry the pump outward to tighten the belt with one hand. Use your ratchet and socket to tighten the bolts with your free hand. Use a 3/8-inch-drive torque wrench and socket to tighten the power steering pump mounting bolts to 32 foot-pounds of torque (384 inch-pounds).

  • Use a handheld belt tension gauge between the pump pulley and crank pulley to make sure the belt is tightened between 146 and 190 pounds. Loosen the mounting bolts if adjustment is needed. Pry slightly harder between the engine and power steering pump if the pump is too loose. Gently tap the pump with the pry bar handle to move it inward if the belt is too tight. Tighten the bolts again with the ratchet, and reset the torque to 32 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and socket. Repeat this step as necessary.

  • Loop the alternator belt over the top of the alternator, to hold it out of your way while you install the belt on the other two components. Reach down toward the middle of the engine and set the belt around the crank pulley. Slide the belt around the air conditioning compressor next. Visually inspect the belt to ensure that it is aligned on all six grooves of each pulley. Use the ratchet and socket with a 3-inch extension to slowly tighten the forward facing tensioner bolt.

  • Install a handheld belt tensioner gauge in between the alternator and compressor, on the belt. The belt tension for this belt should measure between 132 and 192 pounds on the gauge. Adjust the tensioner bolt until the tension on the belt falls between these two numbers. Tighten the side tensioner bolt, and the top alternator mounting bolts. Set the torque for the top mounting bolt to 43 foot-pounds (516 inch-pounds), then set the side tensioner bolt to 13 foot-pounds (156 inch-pounds).

  • Reinstall the negative battery cable onto the battery terminal. Turn the nut until it is snug, then 1/4-turn farther. This "snug-and-a-quarter" tightening method is used when no torque is needed, and applied torque could damage a part.

  • Install the passenger front fender skirt back into place. Install the plastic fasteners into their appropriate mounting holes. Use the handle of your screwdriver to gently tamp the fasteners in place if necessary. Reinstall the wheel and snug the wheel lug nuts onto the vehicle. Raise the RX330 off of the jack stands with your jack, then remove the jack stand from beneath the vehicle. Lower the RX330 to the ground, and immediately set the wheel lug nuts to 75-foot-pounds, using a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and wheel nut socket.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always disconnect the battery cable when working on a vehicle.
  • Never raise a vehicle on uneven ground or a slope. Lifting a vehicle on uneven ground can cause jacks or jack stands to collapse. Failure to adhere to this warning could result in personal injury or death if the vehicle collapses onto you.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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