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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update: I've completed the water pump swap successfully. I am creating a how-to guide, which begins at post #25. If you want to do a water pump swap, check it out. I've tried to make it as useful as possible for future readers.

Well, the other day I started the van and started hearing a metal "tinging" sound. Not always regular, but varied with engine speed and didn't matter if AC was on or off. Due to the sound, it sounded like it couldn't be internal to the engine, and was coming from the belt area. After a quick search showed water pumps tend to fail around the 100k mile mark (113k miles now), I figured it was that. I did get a mechanics stethoscope, but there's no way to get it on the water pump I could see without it hitting the belt. But I listened to the AC compressor and the alternator and it's not them. And put my hand on the water pump pulley and wiggled it and it had play. So definitely the water pump.

Anything else I really should replace when I'm in there? Things that I definitely will be replacing:
  • Water pump
  • Thermostat
  • Thermostat O-ring
  • Serpentine belt
I saw mentions of people changing the tensioner or tensioner pulley, idler pulley. Some people said change them, some said it's fine. I'm leaning towards just leaving them for now, money is a bit tight at the moment, and the tensioner costs more than the water pump! Haven't had any issues with belt slippage either.
 

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The water pump is such a big job, I would want to confirm it is the source of the noise before digging in. Follow the installation procedure carefully. Different bolts are torqued to different values in a particular order. If it is the water pump, would it save you any work to do the plugs at the same time? Anytime I'm doing 120k plugs, I also change out the rear upstream 02 sensor since it's really a maintenance item (they get lazy, use more fuel and kill cats). Do you have to pull the wiper cowl to do the water pump?

I wouldn't change good parts, so I would leave the tensioner and idlers for your next water pump. :) And you're going to need some AISIN coolant. Good time to do a drain and fill.
 

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Depends who is doing it. If you are paying someone to do it then do the tensioner and the idler pulleys at the same time as you would be paying close to 75% of the labor amount to replace the tensioner. If DIY, then if you can forego the additional components as long as you are ok opening up the area again.
Personally, this is a tedious job and I would just replace them all and be done with it
 

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I have done both the water pump and the plugs on my 09 LE (same engine: 2GR-FE). As long as it's somewhat similar on the Gen3, I wouldn't say any of the labor is shared between the two, so I wouldn't do the plugs unless you just want to take the extra time. I didn't have to remove the wipers or cowl when I did the water pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Removed the top engine mount so far. I don’t even have a tool that can loosen the tensioner on the belt. Can’t do my normal of a socket on a breaker bar cause there’s not enough room. May need to buy one of those tensioner tools that’s long and skinny.

Also can’t even see the mounting bolts for the water pump. I was like “how the F are you supposed to do this??” Then I remembered the FSM step1 is remove the engine. But lots here have done it without that, so I’ll slow down, watch some videos, and get it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah. I removed the upper part of the mount. 5 more annoying bolts, plus loosening the AC line front mounting bracket so I had enough room to wiggle the bottle longest bolt out, and there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel.
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The pulley is very obviously loose now that the belt is off. Kinda crazy the thing was still attached. Well, the pulley itself isn’t loose. It’s firmly fixed to the shaft as it should be. It’s the shaft that’s rocking back and forth.

Also, the belt itself looks to be in perfect condition. I'm guessing the previous owners had the dealer replace it at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm. I had one person I showed a video of this rocking say they were shocked I wasn't spewing antifreeze everywhere. But the pulley is tight to whatever those 4 bolts attach it too. For those that have done this, does the pulley attach to some sort of adapter that connects to the shaft of the pump, which may have come loose? Or does the pulley attach directly to the pump shaft?

If something was just loose that could be tightened, I'd be super happy, and would just button it all back up once tight and bide my time till something else fails. I've lost no antifreeze and haven't cracked any of the radiator lines yet.

If it is the water pump, would it save you any work to do the plugs at the same time? Anytime I'm doing 120k plugs, I also change out the rear upstream 02 sensor since it's really a maintenance item (they get lazy, use more fuel and kill cats). Do you have to pull the wiper cowl to do the water pump?
I have done both the water pump and the plugs on my 09 LE (same engine: 2GR-FE). As long as it's somewhat similar on the Gen3, I wouldn't say any of the labor is shared between the two, so I wouldn't do the plugs unless you just want to take the extra time. I didn't have to remove the wipers or cowl when I did the water pump.
Yeah, I can confirm now that I'm this far, you don't have to remove the wiper cowl to do the water pump. Though I took a look and replacing the rear pumps looks like it'll be fun. I'm assuming you have to pull the wiper cowl to do this?

If those are 120k, I'll have to do it soon, but I think I'll wait since none of the labor is shared.

Depends who is doing it. If you are paying someone to do it then do the tensioner and the idler pulleys at the same time as you would be paying close to 75% of the labor amount to replace the tensioner. If DIY, then if you can forego the additional components as long as you are ok opening up the area again.
Personally, this is a tedious job and I would just replace them all and be done with it
Ugh. The tensioner seems okay, but yes this is very tedious and everything I need to remove to get to the water pump I need to remove to get to these pulleys too. The tensioner seemed okay, bearing spun freely with zero play, and had good tension with no stickyness as I removed the belt. So part of me wants to leave it, part of me doesn't want to come back in 50k miles if it fails before the next water pump. I'll see how my finances look.

Idler pulley on the other had spun freely, but I could rock it back and forth a little. If it's like most bearings, it should have zero side-to-side play. So I'll get one of those on order, regardless of if I decide to change the tensioner or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nope. Unbolted pulley and while I couldn’t remove it cause it hits the engine bay before it can slide off the shaft, I could feel under it. The flange it bolts too is just press fit on the shaft and is firmly secured to the shaft. It’s the shaft itself that’s wiggling. Must be a shot bearing. Kinda surprising it wasn’t leaking with this much play. Must have some good seals in this pump.
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I agree; surprised it's not leaking coolant all over the place. Mine was.

Yeah, I can confirm now that I'm this far, you don't have to remove the wiper cowl to do the water pump. Though I took a look and replacing the rear pumps looks like it'll be fun. I'm assuming you have to pull the wiper cowl to do this?
On my 2009, I had to. I'm sure you would have to on your 2014 as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On my 2009, I had to. I'm sure you would have to on your 2014 as well.
Yeah on inspection it appears that needs to be removed to get the air intake manifold off? Or perhaps just general access? Anyway, another time. Get this water pump changed, and back together, then once things settle out with money get parts on order for the 120k spark plug change, including rear O2 sensor. Cause as mentioned earlier as a PM replacement, and seems like a great idea. Same with replacing other things when doing the water pump, you've already got access so may as well change it now before it actually fails.

I found one guy who just pressed in his own bearings on the tensioner since you can't buy the pulley seperately (at least from Toyota). I'm planning on taking this hybrid approach too. Not change the entire tensioner, but at least change the bearings. Or change the entire pulley if I can find a suitably sized one on Rockauto once I know the dimensions. While the actual tension part of the tensioner wouldn't be replaced, at least I'd be confident the bearings on the tensioner pulley would be good till the next water pump. I'll update here either way so people know what I did for future reference.

I'm also subscribing to Toyota TIS for another 2 days so I have help figuring out how some of these things come off and go back together. I could probably figure it out, but for any torque values or special ways to tighten it's good to have as a reference.
 

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Yeah on inspection it appears that needs to be removed to get the air intake manifold off? Or perhaps just general access? Anyway, another time. Get this water pump changed, and back together, then once things settle out with money get parts on order for the 120k spark plug change, including rear O2 sensor. Cause as mentioned earlier as a PM replacement, and seems like a great idea. Same with replacing other things when doing the water pump, you've already got access so may as well change it now before it actually fails.
Yes, that's right. It's very tight back there.

O2 sensor sounds interesting; I didn't know about that when I did mine.

Others have recommended changing all three back coils while doing the plugs, since it's so hard to get to. I opted not to, because I'm a cheapskate. Time will tell whether or not I made a wise choice!

I'm also subscribing to Toyota TIS for another 2 days so I have help figuring out how some of these things come off and go back together. I could probably figure it out, but for any torque values or special ways to tighten it's good to have as a reference.
This website is also helpful. It is for the 2nd gen, but still the same engine as yours:


For example, here is the page that lists the torque values for the water pump:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Huh. So I got the TIS subscription. I'd read here in more than one place the Toyota manual said to remove the engine. It does not actually say to remove the engine! On a quick inspection, the process is the same as what's outlined here in the forum. The only mention of the engine itself is removing the lower mount and jacking the engine slightly to allow the lowest, longest bolt of the lower top passenger engine bracket to clear the AC lines. I didn't need to do that, I was able to just loosen the bracket on the AC lines and pull it gently to the side while I wiggled the bracket and bolt till it slipped free.

Anyway, I'll download all the requisite manual sections for this, which should make the process go a bit smoother.

What I did get a chuckle out of in the service manual is how it says to seperate the water pump pulley. Then after telling you how to do this with a special service tool (SST), it says "HINT: There is not enough clearance to completely remove the water pump pulley from the water pump shaft. Remove the water pump pulley together with the water pump assembly." So why bother to remove the pulley in limited clearance then? Just remove it later? Or maybe the pulley gets in the way of removing the pump from the engine bay?
 

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Huh. So I got the TIS subscription. I'd read here in more than one place the Toyota manual said to remove the engine. It does not actually say to remove the engine! On a quick inspection, the process is the same as what's outlined here in the forum. The only mention of the engine itself is removing the lower mount and jacking the engine slightly to allow the lowest, longest bolt of the lower top passenger engine bracket to clear the AC lines. I didn't need to do that, I was able to just loosen the bracket on the AC lines and pull it gently to the side while I wiggled the bracket and bolt till it slipped free.

Anyway, I'll download all the requisite manual sections for this, which should make the process go a bit smoother.

What I did get a chuckle out of in the service manual is how it says to seperate the water pump pulley. Then after telling you how to do this with a special service tool (SST), it says "HINT: There is not enough clearance to completely remove the water pump pulley from the water pump shaft. Remove the water pump pulley together with the water pump assembly." So why bother to remove the pulley in limited clearance then? Just remove it later? Or maybe the pulley gets in the way of removing the pump from the engine bay?
Sounds like they updated the manual for the 3rd gen. Good for them.

The tsienna.net (2nd gen) manual does say to remove the engine, and does not say anything about the pulley/pump clearance.

The pulley has to be removed because some of the water pump bolts are behind it. And yes, I had to do the same on the 2nd gen—detach pulley first, take out all the water pump bolts, and then remove water pump and pulley at the same time.

I'm glad they updated the manual to (in my opinion) a more reasonable procedure.

Another nice change with the 3rd gen is the air filter box. I recently checked an air filter on a 3rd gen (2011) and it was crazy how easy it was to remove. Great new design. The 2nd gen is a pain. Not a huge deal but nice that they improved it. But then the 3rd gen has the downsides of no tranny dipstick and no full-size 8th-passenger seat. I guess there are always pros and cons...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also I had a coworker who's worked on a lot of vehicles tell me if the tensioner pulley and tensioner are in good shape he'd leave them, since they rarely fail catastrophically and usually fail slowly over time. I took a look at the service manual, and at my van, and I think if the front bumper cover and front passenger tire and cover behind are removed, I could remove the tensioner later without touching all the stuff up top (engine mount/thermostat/cooling lines/etc). If that's the case, since the tensioner still looks good I'll probably skip it, knowing replacing it will be relatively easy.

I haven't removed the front bumper cover, but looking at the manual it looks very similar to the rear one for mounting, which was very easy to remove and reinstall when I installed my hitch. So yeah, if I can confirm here once I get eyes on the mounting bolts that I'd have access to remove them through the wheelwell and front bumper area, I'll pass on the tensioner replacement knowing that I can replace it with relatively minimal work if it doesn't last to another water pump.

I'll update my findings here later.

I did already realize from looking at the service manual that the drive belt can be removed and installed through the front wheelwell. I barely got it off from the top the other night, and was wondering how the heck do I put this on. Then I read the drive belt section in the service manual and realized it's through the wheelwell, can loosen the tensioner and remove/install the belt through the wheelwell without removing any of the stuff I had to remove to get to the water pump.

With that realization, the drive belt, which looks new, will not be getting replaced now either, now that I know how I can access it, even on the side of the road, by removing just the front tire and the panel behind the tire. I figure if it's just a drive belt I could swap it in about 20 minutes.
 

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Well, the other day I started the van and started hearing a metal "tinging" sound. Not always regular, but varied with engine speed and didn't matter if AC was on or off. Due to the sound, it sounded like it couldn't be internal to the engine, and was coming from the belt area. After a quick search showed water pumps tend to fail around the 100k mile mark (113k miles now), I figured it was that. I did get a mechanics stethoscope, but there's no way to get it on the water pump I could see without it hitting the belt. But I listened to the AC compressor and the alternator and it's not them. And put my hand on the water pump pulley and wiggled it and it had play. So definitely the water pump.

Anything else I really should replace when I'm in there? Things that I definitely will be replacing:
  • Water pump
  • Thermostat
  • Thermostat O-ring
  • Serpentine belt
I saw mentions of people changing the tensioner or tensioner pulley, idler pulley. Some people said change them, some said it's fine. I'm leaning towards just leaving them for now, money is a bit tight at the moment, and the tensioner costs more than the water pump! Haven't had any issues with belt slippage either.
Sorry, Just saw this I see you are at it already. I was able to do this in about 3 hours without removing the engine mounts (except for the top torque mount) and without jacking the engine. Some are for different years. Mine is a 2013 Limited AWD. Parts I replaced:
Waterpump
idler pulley
tensioner bearings. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08X6GB3JK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 you need a pair for the idler pulley
serpentine belt
coolant
replacement torque mount
blue locktite

Here are some youtubes to watch.

The tensioner pulley is not sold separate from the tensioner assembly. Aside from it being like $200 it is a total PITA to replace and not necessary. You can remove the pulley and drive out the old bearings which is a double stack of 17x40x12 bearings. Then I just used a 6" vice and some sockets to drive in the replacements stacked. That part took about 10 min. Timken 2 pack is under $20
They key to getting everything out is being able to be patient and rotating the water pump so that it clears obstacles. You need to remove the pulley from the waterpump and then take it off the waterpump once the waterpump is free and can be moved around a bit.
There are two types of bolts on the waterpump. All the big ones are the same length and will not fit in the small holes and all the small ones are the same size as well. It would be smart to place the bolts into the new waterpump as you remove them to keep track of all the bolts and that you have removed all of them.
I had my sienna up on a quickjack. I did not use a jack to move the engine.
The bracket on top of the waterpump has a long bolt in it that gives everyone trouble both taking out and getting in. This is one of those puzzle things that the best I can tell you is that it is possible if you move it into the right position.
There is a bleeder bolt on the back of the engine near the torque mount that you need to open to bleed out the air in the system.
In the end, my water pump was bad, not leaking, fins still in place but you could feel slop in it after removal. My tensioner pulley bearing was also bad which I figured as it was noisy on the stethescope.
Another tip. If you drain the radiator and leave the cap on it will suck the coolant out of the expansion tank. Otherwise you should drain that manually. Open the bleeder on back of engine to get all the coolant out of the engine.
I used pretty standard tools to pull the tensioner back to pull the belt. I loosened the bolts on the pump pully before removing the belt and use the belt in tightening them as well. There are also empty holes on the belt that you could put an allen key into to lock the pulley but the belt worked for me.
 

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The video that discusses possible replacement idler pulley that might match up is where I found you could just replace the bearings. It was one of the commenters under the video that identified the size of the bearings and that there were two. Based on that I purchased the bearings on amazon for 18 and replaced them reusing the pulley and bolt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
It would be smart to place the bolts into the new waterpump as you remove them to keep track of all the bolts and that you have removed all of them.
Oh that's a slick idea. Thanks!

Open the bleeder on back of engine to get all the coolant out of the engine.
Where's this at? The air bleeder? I found that, but not the two cylinder block drain cock plugs. I've found 1 (the air bleeder valve, pretty obvious), 4 (the radiator drain cock, very obvious), but not the two cylinder drain cock plugs, 3.
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I was thinking it was best to drain all the coolant while I'm at it, but according to the Carfax this did have some sort of coolant work done at a dealer at 100k miles, and the 100k mile interval is coolant change, so I wasn't too concerned about draining every last drop of old coolant. It was very bright pink.

I was able to do this in about 3 hours without removing the engine mounts (except for the top torque mount) and without jacking the engine. Some are for different years.
Yeah, I've already realized I don't need to do this. The only reason the service manual says to remove the lower engine mount and jack the engine is to remove the 5th bolt from the lower portion of the upper passenger engine mount. The bolt hits the AC lines. Jacking the engine was to get this bolt above the lines. But I got this out before I read the service manual by removing the screw holding the AC line bracket up near the radiator over the wheel and gently pulling the lines to the side and wiggling the mount till the bolt slipped free.

replacement torque mount
What's the torque mount?

It was one of the commenters under the video that identified the size of the bearings and that there were two.
I only saw one bearing, myself. Maybe I need to take a closer look.

In any case, my coworker stopped by today, took a look at it, and said "I wouldn't bother replacing it, it's good." The idler pulley, like the tensioner pulley, should be easy to remove through the passenger wheel-well at any point in the future, so I'm going to skip it and see how much longer it goes.

The tensioner pulley is not sold separate from the tensioner assembly. Aside from it being like $200 it is a total PITA to replace and not necessary.
Yeah I took a look at this this morning before I left for work. In the service manual it looks like the mounting bolts are on the front side of the engine, not the side of the engine. This seemed to be confirmed with my limited view of it. It looked like you'd need to pull the AC compressor to get the bolts out, though perhaps you could manage to squeak them out without doing that. It's in good shape though, so I'll leave it. As previously mentioned, like the idler pulley, the tensioner pulley can be removed at any point through the wheelwell with almost no cursing, so I'm just going to leave it. If the bearings ever start going bad, I'll pull the pulley and press in new bearings then.

So, all that said and done, my total replacement parts, after consultation with coworker and seeing how I can access certain things later, is down to just the following. All parts from Rockauto:
  • Water pump: Aisin WPT803. Aisin is the OEM pump manufacturer, and at $95 it beats the Toyota MSRP of $180 by a lot. See post #25 for Toyota OEM pump PN
  • Thermostat: Aisin THT019 See post #25 for Toyota OEM thermostat PN
  • Three gaskets/o-rings (Toyota PNs specified here in parenthesis for reference for future readers to find gaskets easily, but Fel-pro is not the OEM gasket maker for Toyota. Just a brand Rockauto sold)
    • Thermostat housing to engine block: Fel-pro 35809 (163250P020) Update: Included with pump (see post #25)
    • Thermostat gasket: Fel-pro 35445 (1632562010)
    • Outlet pipe O-ring: Fel-pro 61324 (9676124021) Update: Included with pump (see post #25)
Total cost: $181.52, including $59.97 in express shipping to get this (hopefully) by Friday. Not bad, considering the MSRP for this pump from Toyota is $174. Assuming, that is, that FedEx actually delivers it. Cause I had an unrelated FedEx delivery that was supposed to be delivered Tuesday, but tracking said it was not delivered because " Customer not available or business closed." Same today. On a package that didn't require a signature. And no door tags were left. So it appears the driver could not be bothered to find my door. But at least even if that happens with the Rockauto, as long as it makes it here Friday I can pick it up Friday evening or Sat morning from the FedEx center.

Current status: Ready to remove thermostat housing and the tensioner pulley, then the water pump. Van is jacked up in the front and resting on jack stands. Will also remove the front passenger tire to gain access from below to help remove/install pump and install belt later. Assuming parts come, I should be driving this again this weekend.
 

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Where's this at? The air bleeder? I found that, but not the two cylinder block drain cock plugs. I've found 1 (the air bleeder valve, pretty obvious), 4 (the radiator drain cock, very obvious), but not the two cylinder drain cock plugs, 3.
AFAIK, there is only one drain plug on the engine block, on the rear of the block. If you slide under and look upwards towards the back of the block, you can't miss it. The drain pipe, IIRC, is slightly curved.

What's the torque mount?
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