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-   -   Lost my idler pulley Fri. (http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/3211-lost-my-idler-pulley-fri.html)

mspell 07-18-2005 05:50 AM

Lost my idler pulley Fri.
Was in stop & go traffic, when I heard a god awful squealing, then bang the belt let go. I lost my power steering, alternator(battery light was on), water pump(car started to overheat). Managed to limp into an Exxon gas station that low & behold had a brand new Speed Yellow 996TT sitting in one of the garage bays. The garage/TT owner took a look, apparently the idler pulley came apart from fatigue cracks?? The 30k service was done 2k miles ago, a board search has turned up 2 others who lost their idler shortly after the 30k service. Any thoughts?



deliriousga 07-18-2005 07:19 AM

Did you hear a low rattling from the engine compartment before that? When you say you "lost it", did the bearings in the pulley give out or was it the idler arm that holds it?

Mine is rattling and I just figured it out this weekend. The idler pulley is vibrating back and forth so I do not know if it is the pulley bearings or the idler part (maybe the spring is giving out) that is causing the problem.

Btw, if you loose your belt and the alternator is not working, don't take a chance driving it to a mechanic. Have it towed. I had this happen to another car and the whole computer had to be replaced. The mechanic said the jump up and down in electrical current when the battery died killed the computer.

limoncello 07-18-2005 09:07 AM

mspell, what year car & which engine? seemslow miles for that type problem -
Wonder if anything in the 30k service disturbs the pulley/belt?

mspell 07-18-2005 10:43 AM

I've got a '99 with 33k miles, however the motor was replaced at 10k. Other similar tales I've found all indicate the idler coming apart shortly after the 30k service...due to misadjustment?? I know the 30k service dictates an inspection of the belt, & the 60k a replacement. Unfortunately(well, fortunately, really), the previous owner had the service done prior to me purchasing the car, so I can't really go back to the dealer...plus, the dealer was incredibly helpful in giving me info on the maintenance history of the car prior to my purchase. That alone is worth the $300 to fix the idler IMO.

deliriousga, I had no such tell tale rattle, I will tell you that my Defender-90 had a weak idler pulley that gave off a rattle, and it's known in the D90 circles that if you notice it vibrating back & forth & wait on it, it will separate & punch holes in all sorts of expensive British underhood parts. By lost it, I mean that the belt shredded off due to the pulley cracking off of the center bearing mount.

Tool Pants 07-19-2005 05:06 PM

The belt is supposed to be inspected at 30k but not the pulleys. Having the bearings go bad is not an unknown problem. When we do the 60k belt replacement I inspect the bearings for this reason. I think I will also start doing this at the 30k service.

socratic 08-17-2005 01:33 PM

I think I have the same problem (I started another thread before I saw this).

Should I stop driving the car now? A "pulley system" is on order and the service is sheduled for another week and a half from now.

mspell 08-17-2005 01:47 PM

See that line/seam underneath the "MUB" letters on that pic?...that seam cracked 3/4 of the way around on mine...the bearings are in perfect shape...weird...

Socratic...I wouldn't drive the car, b/c/if it goes, you're either stranded at best, or looking at alot more than just a pulley kit if it separates & ping pongs around your engine compartment.

deliriousga 08-17-2005 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by socratic
Should I stop driving the car now? A "pulley system" is on order and the service is sheduled for another week and a half from now.

Remove the keys and step away from the car sir. :cool:

Definitely wait. It's an easy DIY. If you want to do it, let me know and I'll get you the torque values and write it up real quick. Btw, you ought to just go ahead and replace all three idler pulleys and the belt WYAIT. As the pulleys go bad and get a little crooked, they stress other parts (like the alternator) so they end up wearing prematurely. :( The total for parts at Sunset Imports was ~$150.

socratic 08-17-2005 06:57 PM

Thanks John.

I hope by "pulley system" they mean all 3 pulleys and they all get replaced.

In a different place and time (i.e. when I was younger), I'd do it myself and would have enjoyed myself. Now, I'll pay the techs to do it.

[Though recently I did replace the headlight bulds myself and installed an AUX input for the Becker CDR-220 to use my MP3 player.]

deliriousga 08-18-2005 11:33 AM

If it's the system, it should be three "idler rollers". The rollers are identical (have the same part# on each roller), but the kits are all different part numbers due to the different size bolts that come with each roller. Hopefully, since you don't hear any rattling, you have caught it early enough to save your alternator. :D

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