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Old 07-31-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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BIG Engine Problem

The other day on my way home from work I noticed that my engine was WAAAY hot, all in the red, and my car was flashing the "your car is about to explode" light. So I pulled over like five times on the way home and allowed the car to cool down.
Just now when I got under the car I realize that my belt is hanging off. When I grab it to put it back on, one of the wheels that the belt turns rattles a little, and fall off. The entire center of the wheel was stripped out, and that's why the belt wasn't turning.
Do you think this is a problem I can fix myself by buying a new wheel from Ford and putting it on, or should I just take it in, or is it even worth it?


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Old 07-31-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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Tough questions.....if you go to Ford and ask for a "little wheel" they won't know what to get you. I suppose what broke is an idler pulley?

Can you fix it? Hard to say.....if you don't fix it at your home you'll need to have it towed. The water pump probably isn't turning, and you risk serious engine problems if you drive even short distances.

It's harder than changing oil.....but easier than replacing the alternator.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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First, how old is the car? Second do you still have the manufacture warranty. If you do, then let ford fix it since it would be there problem. If you don't have it try to do it yourself if you can so you don't spend a butt load of money with ford.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Yeah, it kinda helps if you can identify the pulley that broke. My guess would be that it was the idler pulley. Get a friend to take you to the parts store, and purchase a new serpentine belt tensioner. It should come with the pulley, if not, the pulleys are available separate. If the mileage of your car is over 100k, I'd say you probably need a new tensioner.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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take a picture, and waterpumps on these cars are butts but they're not impossible if that is the problem

could be any one of the pulleys (thats what the "wheels" are called haha) just point it out in the pic

and the car is NOT safe to drive fyi
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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yea i replaced the waterpump in my svt and it was a sonuvabeach
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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Yeah, pulley slipped my mind. It was the small one towards the back of the engine that stripped out. I'll take pics of it so you guys will be able to better understand the problem. I hope I can manage the problem myself, because in this economy I don't have hundreds of dollars sitting around that I'm willing to give to Ford. Oh yeah, It's a 2001 ZX3 that only has about 88,000 miles on it. I'm new to the manual tranny, so I worry that it's the way I drive that could have caused the problem. Pics tomorrow.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:17 PM   #8
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A word of advice - don't mess with overheating conditions. It's really bad for an engine to overheat then cool overheat then cool and on and on (5 times). An engine can only stand so much heat before they start to fail. Electrical problems, oil leaks, blown gaskets, etc. Bad news. My advice is to call for a tow truck rather than risk that kind of damage even if you can "limp" it home by letting it cool every few miles. Good luck, you should try fixing it yourself - you'll learn something and feel like a man when the job's done. :)
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:43 PM   #9
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It's the tensioner that committed suicide.
Do it yourself, real easy to do. There are only 3 12mm bolts holding the thing on, if you buy the Tensioner Assembly (which I would recommend doing). You will also need a 15mm open end wrench to put the belt back on. That's it, all you need are 2 tools essentially. It's very accessible from under the car.
I did mine in the Wal-Mart parking lot and it took me 20 minutes at most (stopping for 1 smoke break).
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reassurance. I want to do it myself because I like learning new things and working with my hands. I only drove it home that one night. From now on I'll use my truck until I can get it fixed.
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