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Joe, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 722
Experience:  27 years import and domestic auto repair.
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2004 Outback: What is the belt..belt tensioner

Customer Question

What is the trick to replacing a 2004 Outback 3.0L drive belt? I just cannot get enough slack out of the belt tensioner. Do I need to remove the altenator or another piece of equipment? The DIY manual says to just reverse the removal.....ha...not that easy.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Joe replied 8 years ago.
HelloCustomer The is no trick to replacing the belt on your subaru. It simply uses a spring loaded tensioner that you need to deflect to replace the belt. The old belt is going to be stretched, therefore come off easily. The new belt will seem tight, almost like it is too small. What you need to do is make sure you have the correct belt (double check!). If it is the proper belt, you need to deflect the tensioner ALL the way to its stop, while nudging the belt on-try sliding the belt over a smooth pulley rather then a grooved one- it will make it easier. Here is a diagram to make sure you are installing it correctly.graphic
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
These are all things I tried for hours. The bely is the correct size. Most belts are 64.xx inches.The tensioner is not allowing enough slack. I have tried to loosen the idler to maybe get just a bit help. I also tried to loosen the help again. Today I will try and find out why the tensioner is maybe not going to a limit. As of right now I cannot accept you answer. If you have other suggestion besides the ones I mentioned, we will continue.

Expert:  Joe replied 8 years ago.

The Gates belt part number for your subaru is K060645. It is 64.44 inches in length (1637mm). Try measuring/matching it up with the old one.

Did you try reinstalling the old belt just to see it it goes back on?

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did reinstall the old belt and it fits okay. No trouble. The v-belt I have is a premium Dayco measuring 64.44" I just returned from shopping and will give it another try. I will write back later.

Thank You,

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I ended up getting a 65 inch belt which worked great. Thank you for you assistance and I will accept you help.