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Old 08-28-2017, 11:23 AM   #1
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Afraid of the answer.....

2002 Boxster Base 140k
New AOS, water pump, engine mount, maf, plugs, coil pack (all that I can think of at the moment)

Yesterday while driving home, all of the dash lights started flashing, temp gauge maxed out, steam clouds everywhere, ps Went out, somehow I made it home.

Today I pulled the engine cover and saw that the alternator pulley is GONE.
It sheared off. Belt was intact but not connected to anything.

Oil looks clean, as I poured in distilled water, it came leaking right out from what appears to be the center of the engine.

Called my indie. He said to try and start car as it cooled off all night. It started fine and sounded ok but felt a bit sluggish. I shut it down. Tried it again. No screaches, clunking, or loud mechanical noises. Mechanic says that's a good sign.

But he said we need to replace alternator and find and fix leak before even assessing what other damage may have been done. That's going to probably cost 1k to even find out.

Is it worth the $$ to even find out?
Or is it a roller now? If so, what's a roller worth in Socal?
What are the chances that no major damage was done since the engine started?

Not too happy about this, needless to say.
Continuing to drive was not smart, but I can't undo that now.

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Old 08-29-2017, 10:05 AM   #2
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Water can be pouring out from a crack in the overflow tank. Otherwise you'd have some coolant too.

Find out what's wrong. May be simple stuff.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robdelorenzo View Post
2002 Boxster Base 140k
New AOS, water pump, engine mount, maf, plugs, coil pack (all that I can think of at the moment)

Yesterday while driving home, all of the dash lights started flashing, temp gauge maxed out, steam clouds everywhere, ps Went out, somehow I made it home.

Today I pulled the engine cover and saw that the alternator pulley is GONE.
It sheared off. Belt was intact but not connected to anything.

Oil looks clean, as I poured in distilled water, it came leaking right out from what appears to be the center of the engine.

Called my indie. He said to try and start car as it cooled off all night. It started fine and sounded ok but felt a bit sluggish. I shut it down. Tried it again. No screaches, clunking, or loud mechanical noises. Mechanic says that's a good sign.

But he said we need to replace alternator and find and fix leak before even assessing what other damage may have been done. That's going to probably cost 1k to even find out.

Is it worth the $$ to even find out?
Or is it a roller now? If so, what's a roller worth in Socal?
What are the chances that no major damage was done since the engine started?

Not too happy about this, needless to say.
Continuing to drive was not smart, but I can't undo that now.
Sounds like the alternator seized.

Check your oil to see if there is any intermix. Fortunately these engines don't blow head gaskets, but overheating is not good. Is your trunk wet? Maybe the leak is cracked tank due to overheating and overpressure. It's also possible a hose went, if you have an Auto, the coolant has a line off the water pump that runs to the tranny.

You could do the alternator replacement yourself -- and get some eyes to help with exactly where the water is going/coming from -- then reaccess. That'll probably cost you maybe $200-300.

Mike
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:33 AM   #4
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From here on, DON'T START IT ANYMORE.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thanks.
I did have the coolant tank replaced about a month ago.
When I did some poking around today I saw a broken thin metal pipe that is covered in rubber on the top of the engine. It looks like it came from the coolant bottle.
I also saw a broken hose that I think is a different one that has one of those weird connectors like on the AOS hoses. Both of these are roughly in the same place on the top of the engine near the AOS. I'll go take some photos.

The pulley from the alternator is GONE.
That's what failed.

The real question to me is did I cook the engine? Are the heads warped, cylinders cracked, etc?
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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Ok. From what I have just seen, one of the hoses comes from the top of the oil cooler. The engine still has oil, though. It does not appear to be mixed. There is no coolant in the tank, but all of what I saw on the floor was pinkish in color too. What does it mean when this line is broken?
This hose is in the center of the second photo and kind of out of focus.

The other hose comes from the newly installed coolant tank and looks like it broke off at the firewall, but I am not sure.
This is the one that has the connector on the end of it where it blew up.

The pulley from the alternator is gone. Sheared off.

I have attached photos.
Can anyone attempt to assess how badly damaged the engine may be? Or, does the fact that it started and ran briefly on a low battery yesterday mean good things and there's a chance I'll be ok?

I spoke to the indie he said an alternator is about $800 installed and the hoses may just need to be clamped back on. He said there's no way to know how much damage has been done until those things are repaired and it's run and brought back up to temp. I only paid $5500 for the car and have put about 3k into it in parts. It does have 144k needs some suspension work (front control arms and a chain tensioner- prior to all this) My problem is do I put in another 1k to find out, try to do it myself? (I know I cant get those clamps on the firewall for the coolant tank.) What do I do? He also said that it's possible that it will run fine and then warp in 5000 miles, there's no way to know. Or it might be ok. Or I can sell it as is and walk away. Any advice is welcome. Especially the more experienced guys. He told me he's never seen an alternator pulley shear off or the hose from the top of the oil cooler break. And he's a 3rd generation indie Porsche mechanic.

Please let me know, this board has some VERY knowledgeable people!


Last edited by robdelorenzo; 08-29-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:21 PM   #7
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Ok. From what I have just seen, one of the hoses comes from the top of the oil cooler. The engine still has oil, though. It does not appear to be mixed. There is no coolant in the tank, but all of what I saw on the floor was pinkish in color too. What does it mean when this line is broken?
This hose is in the center of the second photo and kind of out of focus.

The other hose comes from the newly installed coolant tank and looks like it broke off at the firewall, but I am not sure.
This is the one that has the connector on the end of it where it blew up.

The pulley from the alternator is gone. Sheared off.

I have attached photos.
Can anyone attempt to assess how badly damaged the engine may be? Or, does the fact that it started and ran briefly on a low battery yesterday mean good things and there's a chance I'll be ok?

I spoke to the indie he said an alternator is about $800 installed and the hoses may just need to be clamped back on. He said there's no way to know how much damage has been done until those things are repaired and it's run and brought back up to temp. I only paid $5500 for the car and have put about 3k into it in parts. It does have 144k needs some suspension work (front control arms and a chain tensioner- prior to all this) My problem is do I put in another 1k to find out, try to do it myself? (I know I cant get those clamps on the firewall for the coolant tank.) What do I do? He also said that it's possible that it will run fine and then warp in 5000 miles, there's no way to know. Or it might be ok. Or I can sell it as is and walk away. Any advice is welcome. Especially the more experienced guys. He told me he's never seen an alternator pulley shear off or the hose from the top of the oil cooler break. And he's a 3rd generation indie Porsche mechanic.

Please let me know, this board has some VERY knowledgeable people!

You'll need one of these or similar (or at least you'll wish you had one) for those
hoses.

http://https://www.amazon.com/Astro-9409A-Hose-Clamp-Pliers/dp/B003D3N7YW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1504040951&sr=8-3&keywords=hose+clamp+tool

Looks like those metal pipes were fatigued -- maybe damaged in prior work. Car overheats, temperature (unlikely) or excessive pressure causes the damaged pipe to fail.

You can find a remanufactured Alternator online for Less than $200 bucks with pulley -- (I've even seen them closer to $100 -- but not sure if they had a pulley)

I'd also pick up a new serpentine belt.

Pick up a replacement hose (check with ITSNOTANOVA/Woody), heck he might even have a used alternator for cheaper.

I'd say a few $hundred bucks, some scraped knuckles and some knowledge -- and a weekend of curse words -- and you might be back on the road -- and if you aren't, you gave it a shot. If it grenades itself -- then you can consider your options.

Sounds like you're in it for about $8k -- less than $400 or 5% for probably better than a 50/50 chance your fine. Sure it might have started down a road of a premature lifespan -- but if it runs for 1000 miles -- then it'll likely run for a lot longer.

Mike
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Last edited by seningen; 08-29-2017 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:29 PM   #8
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Thank you Mike!

Thank you Mike!
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:02 PM   #9
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The only way to know how much damage there is is to get it all back together, brought up to temperature and see if you have leaks, misfires, etc. It looks me like $500- $1k or so in parts to get to the point where you can see if you have warped or cracked a head, etc. It is impossible to diagnose with a couple of pictures. You are in a tough spot.

Hopefully you did not damage the engine by driving it, but experience tells me that it is never a good idea to drive without coolant. Remember that when your engine has no coolant in it, the temperature gauge will not read correctly. In fact, it likely won't read higher than boiling once the system is open, so you may think you are OK, when in fact the engine is getting incredibly hot. In my experience, most damage is done after the driver already is aware that there is a problem, but keeps driving.

For example, last week I saw a Cayenne Turbo at a shop that was driven until it stopped after a coolant fitting failed. What could have been just a bad day with a tow and couple hundred dollar repair turned into a very expensive totaled car because the owner decided to keep driving with coolant spraying from the engine bay. The owner just wanted to get it home, 10 miles away. He thought that because the temp gauge did not show that it was overheating (it pegged, then fell just above normal - boiling) that he was OK to keep driving, even with other lights flashing and the smell of burning plastic. It made it about six miles and seized in the middle of the road. The first glance showed that the engine covers had melted. The wiring harnesses were destroyed. Pretty much everything plastic or rubber in the engine bay was damaged. The engine had seized. It was just incredible that it did not catch fire. My guess is that repairing that vehicle would be $20k+, if it even gets repaired. Had he just stopped and gotten a tow in the first place, the repair would have been cheap.

It is a good sign that the engine runs smoothly, but having two problems that happened at different times (broken coolant fitting and missing/spun off alternator clutch/pulley) scares me. Until you get it back together I wouldn't say that you are in the clear.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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I have a good used alternator out of a 99 with good shape belt if youre interested. Also may have that rubber hose.

Pm me if you like
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:53 PM   #11
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This is the second failure of this hose quick connect in as many months. Maybe something to replace preventively. Anyone with a part number?


http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-general-discussions/66826-overheating-issue.html

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Old 08-29-2017, 03:28 PM   #12
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Answers are coming in.....

That is the piece that's broken along with the hose that comes off the top of the oil cooler.
The coolant fitting in this case broke as it was probably the weakest link once the pressure became too high because the water pump was not working since the alternator pulley sheared off.
I have yet to have someone tell me they have heard of an alternator pulley shearing off.

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Old 08-29-2017, 05:20 PM   #13
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Looking for the same piece that failed on my car. Went to Brumos Porsche looking for it. The parts guy went to get one for me for free from the shop. The mechanic came out, pulled me aside and softly said that that part is a pos and to go to Napa and buy a copper jointer and that I didnt here it from him. I suggest maybe doing the same. That is the only non oem part I have ever bought and I have bought alot as you can imagine buying a car with 88,000 on the clock. Present mileage 136,000 plus. Good luck
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
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That is the piece that's broken along with the hose that comes off the top of the oil cooler.
The coolant fitting in this case broke as it was probably the weakest link once the pressure became too high because the water pump was not working since the alternator pulley sheared off.
I have yet to have someone tell me they have heard of an alternator pulley shearing off.
Did the alternator shear off -- or bolt back out?

I have seen the water pump shear off, and I have seen an idler pulley shear off twice.
No reason to believe an alternator couldn't

It's possible that the belt replaced was too small. We believe this was the cause of both idler pulley shears. I don't remember if the belt was the same brand or not.

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Old 08-29-2017, 06:31 PM   #15
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I sell used alternators for $50 plus shipping. I haven't seen that hose connection fail too much but I don't think there's anything wrong with going to the hardware store and getting a copper joint like was suggested by Craig. Like it was said earlier. get those pieces fixed first and then see if you've done any damage.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:05 PM   #16
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craig ? I thought I was hiding brhind the nicecar
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:06 PM   #17
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Called my indie. He said to try and start car as it cooled off all night. It started fine and sounded ok but felt a bit sluggish. I shut it down. Tried it again. No screaches, clunking, or loud mechanical noises. Mechanic says that's a good sign.
^ That's about right. I would add scanning for fault codes if you have a OBDII scanner. If not just quickly grab one from your local autozone. Any medium/large mechanical or electrical failure will have registered already.

Quote:
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But he said we need to replace alternator and find and fix leak before even assessing what other damage may have been done. That's going to probably cost 1k to even find out.
Find out what? If no codes and the car starts, just replace the alt and plug that hose where it goes. Fresh fluids and off you go.

Good luck with the car bud! Good thing it still starts. PS: Overheating only hardens the alloy/metal microstructure. Good thing but you can't let this happen a second time as some of the material may already have reached brittle levels. Go easy for the next few hundred miles as everything will need settling down to new shapes and sizes! Should be fine (its a Porsche!)
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:07 PM   #18
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It looks to me like the clutch on the alternator spun off somehow. Weird... Does the alternator still spin? How do the idlers feel? How about the water pump? Check them for smoothness and any play.

As for the coolant fitting, I found that brass PEX crimp plumbing fittings work well and have sizes that work great. Cheap too. There is a plastic T used near the coolant reservoir on many late '90's and early 2000's Audis that fails often and a 3/8" brass PEX Tee replaces it perfectly for $1.25. I showed them to a local independent shop I work with and now then buy them in bulk. My guess is that you could find something that will work better than the factory part for less than $5 at Home Depot.

As for the alternator, you can get rebuilt units or grab one from Woodie for even less. They really don't fail often, so I wouldn't worry too much about using a used one. Get that stuff back together and see what else you find. Hopefully it will be OK...
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:14 PM   #19
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very encouraging news it seems

Yes, the pulley sheared off (as seen in the photo) it's gone and nowhere to be found.
The belt was from Pelican and I'm pretty sure it was the right one.
The alternator still spins, the water pump spins, the rollers still have the required "resistance" (they don't spin for very long) The belt didn't even break!

I'm holding good thoughts that an alternator, a belt, a fixed hose and away I go!
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:51 PM   #20
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I'm holding good thoughts that an alternator, a belt, a fixed hose and away I go!
Pick up below before everybody else does

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotanova View Post
I sell used alternators for $50 plus shipping.

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