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Hi all,

This is my last resort before admitting defeat. I'm hoping one of y'all might have some experience with this issue I can't seem to overcome on our '09 Pilot EX.

About two weeks ago, I went to change my wife's alternator. In doing so, when I loosened the belt on the tensioner, I noticed that the welded on bolt head on the tensioner itself was in pretty bad shape. Wasn't quite a 19mm, wasn't quite a 20mm. I ordered a new tensioner with cleaner bolt heads, and off we went.

Now, I cannot, for the life of me, slip the new belt onto the pulley. Even when I try with a breaker bar, I can get the tensioner to move, but not enough to slip the belt on. I feel like any more pressure on the tensioner would do damage. Even the few times I've tried *REALLY* wrenching it, the socket is prone to slipping on the bolt head.

I'm at my wit's end. Is there something with the tensioner I'm not aware of? I worry that, when I released the belt to begin the job, I may have over-wrenched the tensioner and pushed something out of place? Do I need to compress the hydraulic arm on the tensioner somehow? My next step is having it towed to a mechanic, and I can't tell y'all how much I don't want to have to do that. The belt doesn't even feel close when I try to slip it on; I've watched several videos, and in all of them the belt goes on relatively easily once the tension is compressed.

Hoping y'all have some wisdom. Thanks in advance!
 

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Let's double check that the belt you got is indeed the correct belt for your Pilot. What are the manufacturers markings and part number.
 

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I encountered the same problem last month when i replaced the oem tensioner with refurb ones from advanceauto. It is easier to compress the new tensioner pulley from beneath the car with the lower welded bolt (between the pulley and actuator). This was after i tried compressing from the top engine bay and stripped the top welded bolt. Hope this helps.
 
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