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Old 01-08-2018, 12:47 PM   #1
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Alternator Pulley sheared off!?!

Was driving my '00 boxster today when i lost my power steering and both the ABS and battery light came on. luckily i was close to home. Did some quick research, it seemed like it was just a serpentine belt that needed to be replaced.

Open up the back compartment to put a new belt in and saw that the belt slipped off and it seemed like it was in good condition. I inspected the pulleys and saw that my alternator pulley had sheared off!? A part of the pulley is still connected to the shaft it seems.

Here are some pictures:

https://imgur.com/gallery/3EqtE


Is this normal? I've looked throughout the forums and haven't seem a similar occurrence happen? Should i replace the alternator as well?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-09-2018, 08:04 PM   #2
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Um, no. That is not normal. But, from the looks of it, that thing was rusted badly. I can't believe it wasn't making some crazy howling noises. All the red stuff is rust. That pully was seized. The $100,000,000 question is why was it so rusty in the first place? That requires moisture, which there shouldn't be much of in that part of the engine compartment. If I were you, replace the alt and EVERY other rotating thing on the engine, to include the water pump, idler pullies, even possibly the power steering pump. It is possible every one of these items has rust, which is bad. At the very least, closely inspect all of these for ANY sign of rust and replace as necessary.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jpdal View Post
Was driving my '00 boxster today when i lost my power steering and both the ABS and battery light came on. luckily i was close to home. Did some quick research, it seemed like it was just a serpentine belt that needed to be replaced.

Open up the back compartment to put a new belt in and saw that the belt slipped off and it seemed like it was in good condition. I inspected the pulleys and saw that my alternator pulley had sheared off!? A part of the pulley is still connected to the shaft it seems.

Here are some pictures:

https://imgur.com/gallery/3EqtE


Is this normal? I've looked throughout the forums and haven't seem a similar occurrence happen? Should i replace the alternator as well?

Thanks in advance!
That pulley is completely normal. It is a declutching style pulley, the only thing missing is the snap on plastic from cover, which is decorative:


If the alternator is not making ratcheting sounds, put a new belt on it and you are done.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:27 AM   #4
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Um, no. That is not normal. But, from the looks of it, that thing was rusted badly. I can't believe it wasn't making some crazy howling noises. All the red stuff is rust. That pully was seized. The $100,000,000 question is why was it so rusty in the first place? That requires moisture, which there shouldn't be much of in that part of the engine compartment. If I were you, replace the alt and EVERY other rotating thing on the engine, to include the water pump, idler pullies, even possibly the power steering pump. It is possible every one of these items has rust, which is bad. At the very least, closely inspect all of these for ANY sign of rust and replace as necessary.
You seemingly have no clue what you're talking about

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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
That pulley is completely normal. It is a declutching style pulley, the only thing missing is the snap on plastic from cover, which is decorative:


If the alternator is not making ratcheting sounds, put a new belt on it and you are done.
Scroll down to the next pic.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:20 AM   #5
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...Scroll down to the next pic.
The next pic:

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Old 01-10-2018, 06:35 AM   #6
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Seems the alternator clutch pulley seized
It looks like you can buy just the alternator clutch pulley for around $40
That does seem odd that much rust is up there. Maybe the water pump is leaking onto the belt?
Don't think you need to immediately jump to replacing all spinning things BUT you should spin and listen to see if any others are coming to their end of life

You may want to replace the belt as well
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:38 AM   #7
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If the alt. clutch had seized, wouldn't the alternator still turn? Does the alternator turn easily and smoothly?

I don't think I'd buy a new alt. clutch before I answered these questions. More likely I'd look for a reman'd alternator. And check out the operation of all the other rotating thingies on the front of the engine.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Geof3 View Post
Um, no. That is not normal. But, from the looks of it, that thing was rusted badly. I can't believe it wasn't making some crazy howling noises. All the red stuff is rust. That pully was seized. The $100,000,000 question is why was it so rusty in the first place? That requires moisture, which there shouldn't be much of in that part of the engine compartment. If I were you, replace the alt and EVERY other rotating thing on the engine, to include the water pump, idler pullies, even possibly the power steering pump. It is possible every one of these items has rust, which is bad. At the very least, closely inspect all of these for ANY sign of rust and replace as necessary.
Yikes, that's not what i was hoping to hear. I did inspect the other pulleys and components back there - didn't see any rust and they all do spin freely. Maybe the pulley somehow got rusted and when it seized the rust blew onto the alternator????

The alternator does spin easily and freely. I ordered a new alternator pulley and alternator tool (CTA Tools 8088 Bosch Alternator Wrench). Hopefully that's all that's needed.

Thank you guys for the help! really appreciate it!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jpdal View Post
Yikes, that's not what i was hoping to hear. I did inspect the other pulleys and components back there - didn't see any rust and they all do spin freely. Maybe the pulley somehow got rusted and when it seized the rust blew onto the alternator????

The alternator does spin easily and freely. I ordered a new alternator pulley and alternator tool (CTA Tools 8088 Bosch Alternator Wrench). Hopefully that's all that's needed.

Thank you guys for the help! really appreciate it!
Don't pay much attention to Geof3's post, there isn't much good information in it.

From your picture, it doesn't look like rust, it looks like a red dust, which would make me suspicious of a bearing starting to fail. It could be the pulley bearing, or a bearing in the alternator itself. If it were me, I'd play it safe and just replace the entire alternator.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:05 AM   #10
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I had the same thing happen a while ago, except the pulley shaft sheared off.
Car overheated and fortunately did not cook anything other than the hose coming from the oil cooler. Mechanic replaced it and all is well. It's a potential engine killer though if I wasn't paying attention.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:47 PM   #11
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Is this normal? I've looked throughout the forums and haven't seem a similar occurrence happen?
Its not normal. Normally, the belt fails or the alternator bearing fails or the voltage regulator fails.


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Should i replace the alternator as well?
If it were me, I'd replace the entire alternator. Mostly because I value reliability over cost. You don't say how many miles the car has, but I'll guess that it has enough miles that I wouldn't want to take the chance that the bearing or voltage regulator will fail in a short time and then you'd have to do a second repair on the same component. Since labor is typically 40%-60% of a repair cost, saving money on the parts replaced sometimes isn't the cheapest route. And even if you DIY it, no one wants to replace an alternator in a Boxster more than once.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:48 PM   #12
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You seemingly have no clue what you're talking about



Scroll down to the next pic.
You guys obviously didn't see the pic where the pully was sheared clean off the spool? I am fully aware the pully is a clutch type.

And where would "red dust" come from? Other than a rusted/worn bearing/surface? That pully is NOT normal. Sorry.

As mentioned, the pully is replaceable with a special tool. If there are no further signs of corrosion or otherwise, it should be fine. (though thstone's advice is spot on)

Last edited by Geof3; 01-10-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:38 PM   #13
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Its not normal. Normally, the belt fails or the alternator bearing fails or the voltage regulator fails.




If it were me, I'd replace the entire alternator. Mostly because I value reliability over cost. You don't say how many miles the car has, but I'll guess that it has enough miles that I wouldn't want to take the chance that the bearing or voltage regulator will fail in a short time and then you'd have to do a second repair on the same component. Since labor is typically 40%-60% of a repair cost, saving money on the parts replaced sometimes isn't the cheapest route. And even if you DIY it, no one wants to replace an alternator in a Boxster more than once.
NO DOUBT about that! That bolt/bushing can be a major BIOTCH!
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:33 AM   #14
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You guys obviously didn't see the pic where the pully was sheared clean off the spool? I am fully aware the pully is a clutch type.

And where would "red dust" come from? Other than a rusted/worn bearing/surface? That pully is NOT normal. Sorry.

As mentioned, the pully is replaceable with a special tool. If there are no further signs of corrosion or otherwise, it should be fine. (though thstone's advice is spot on)
Sorry, but we see about 20 or so that look like this every week and they are both serviceable and completely normal (OP's original photo):



They all throw some red dust, which is probably why Porsche put the plastic cover on them in the first place.......
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Old 01-11-2018, 03:25 PM   #15
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JFP, have you still not seen the picture with the pulley sitting in his hand? The pulley sheared off the spindle. The race is actually broken. You are only looking at the first picture...
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:21 PM   #16
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JFP, have you still not seen the picture with the pulley sitting in his hand? The pulley sheared off the spindle. The race is actually broken. You are only looking at the first picture...
I was under the impression that the one being held in a hand is not by the original poster, it is from someone else, but if that is the OP's pulley, then it has failed.

That doesn't change the question about the pulley's emitting some rust, they all do that to varying degrees.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:30 PM   #17
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hey - fooled me too initially, but if you follow the link to the OPs imagur account and scroll up on the pic that appears you will get a bunch more pics, including those posted by others later in the thread. the OPs pulley did in fact come right off.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:37 PM   #18
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I was under the impression that the one being held in a hand is not by the original poster, it is from someone else, but if that is the OP's pulley, then it has failed..
I reposted a screen shot of the subsequent images so I wouldn't make the thread unreadable with a SUPER SIZED IMAGE.

Thanks for all you do, but in this case, I think you missed it originally.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:37 PM   #19
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NO DOUBT about that! That bolt/bushing can be a major BIOTCH!
Yes, those who have done this job, know exactly what I was talking about!
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:46 PM   #20
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What is the purpose of the alternator having a clutch?

Does it engage under computer control or is it static?

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