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Old 02-17-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
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Question Hit something?

I didn't see anything (very dark out) and I did not feel a bump on the tires.
But something sounded like a rock bouncing under the car.
My ABS and Battery warning lights came on and I seem to have lost power steering.
Other than the hard steering I can't tell anything is wrong.
Until I get a look underneath, I can't tell if I hit something that damaged the wiring harness, or if something broke off?
The ABS light makes me think the Wheel sensor harness is damaged, but I have not owned my Boxster for very long.
(About 4 months)
I was hoping some one could say if a wiring harness damage could account for the hard steering? or do I have multiple problems.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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If it helps, I have a 99 with 120k
I should update my profile?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:16 PM   #3
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Sounds like your serpintine belt broke making the noise & causing the power steering loss. Search the forum on how to inspect & replace.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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It does sound like the serpentine belt.

If so watch out for overheating as the water pump may stop turning with the belt coming apart.

I'd stop driving it until you can confirm the belt issue.

You dont want to damage the expensive engine.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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Thanks.
I will inspect tomorrow when I have some light.
It didn't sound like it came from behind the seat though?
Shouldn't cost too much to replace? maybe 25 dollars?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #6
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I see this is likely?
Quoting another post;
"I lost the serpentine belt. Lost power steering, traction control and ABS and the battery light came on. I made it just off the highway before it started over heating (stupid traffic)."
I only had to drive about a quarter mile, so overheating was not a factor.
Thanks again.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #7
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did you temp. gauge hit the roof? (i.e. the red/orange light comes on)?

if indeed its the serpentine belt ...3 things will happen

1) AC will not work (the air will not be cold)
2) temp gauge shoots up through the roof within 30 secs if u are driving
3) your battery light comes on (which you saw).
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:09 AM   #8
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When you look for the broken belt, also check the water pump - it may not just be the belt that broke but the pump shaft snapping, or the deflection / tension rollers siezing causing the belt to dislodge or break....
You will need to remove the inspection hatch behind the seats (its difficult from underneath). To do this you will have to put the top into the service position and remove the carpets and engine cover before you can access the inspection plate.
Use the search function if you get stuck....
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Well I got a spare belt.
My belt was still there and it looks better than new.
The bad news, I'm missing the lower idler pulley. (That explains the hitting a rock noise.)
The mounting bolt is broken off in the hole. :-( very :-(
Not much room to try to get a drill and easy-out in the tight space. (Dremel?)
About $90. for a replacement pulley, but it will take a lot longer to get the old bolt out.
The good news is everything else looks good and all the other pulleys spin freely.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #10
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Right-angle reversing drill will help
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
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I went back to where it happened and found the pulley.
The barring seems okay but it's a little scratched up from the road.
Not sure why the bolt failed?
No sign of the spacer.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Dude - turn that frown upside down! You have a valid excuse to go out and buy an expensive new tool!

Yep, it's an ill wind that blows no good.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:57 PM   #13
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The frown will turn right side up, when I have a clean bolt hole with good healthy threads. :-)
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:46 PM   #14
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I think I'm going to look for a local shop to remove the broken bolt.
If I screwed up the threads on a perfectly good running Porsche engine block...
Let's just say, I'm hesitant to risk it.
I'll call some shops tomorrow.
No Porsche shops around here anyway.
I live in Corvallis Oregon.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
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Sorry having problems trying to host images

Last edited by Bulldog; 02-18-2014 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:17 PM   #16
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Yea! Got the picture up.
You can see the bolt broke off deep in the hole.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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The good news is that you are close to Sunset Porsche in Portland.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:15 AM   #18
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The most perplexing thing is why it broke a bolt on the idler?

Perhaps the idler wheel seized?

The fact that it broke off deep in the hole points to a twisting failure which would be consistent with a seized pulley.

I can't think of any other reason for such a failure.

Better to replace all those bearing parts in that case.

Heres a handy DIY reference: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/17-ENGINE-Idler_Pullies/17-ENGINE-Idler_Pullies.htm

and the parts: http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/986M/POR_986M_ENGmis_pg1.htm#item5
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Last edited by jb92563; 02-19-2014 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:08 AM   #19
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May as well do the belt and water pump while you're up in there to ensure this doesn't happen again for a good long time.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:27 PM   #20
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The pulley's bearing seems to be fine. (I found it on the road where it broke) and all the pulleys rotate freely.
So it is a mystery. Very perplexing! Maybe the spacer got loose and spun with the pulley on the bolt?
I did not find the spacer, so I can't evaluate the cause better.
I hate to modify anything. But I'm thinking of cutting an access panel to get a direct line for a drill. Make a guide to keep the drill strait too?
I don't know. I'm going to have to study the options.
I think welding the access plate back afterwards, is still a lot cheaper than dropping the motor.
Estimates at 11 hours of shop rate just to drop the motor, with who knows how many more, to drill out the bolt.
Might be the most expensive $4.00 bolt replacement ever.
Luckily it's not my only car.
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