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Old 05-31-2009, 01:46 AM   #1
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Going to dinner tonight we took my wife's 91 BRG. I was driving and all of a sudden I hear a two thunks. Battery Charge light comes on and then steam starts rolling out and there is antifreeze all over the windshield. I pull over thinking WTF?

Cop pulls up behind me just as I pop the hood. The hose for the overflow had popped off the rad, of course puking a lot of the coolant out. It's really loose so I cut off an inch and push it back on. Cop leaves when he saw everything was OK.

I turn around and try to limp the two miles back to town. Temp continued to climb. When it got close to H I shut it off and coasted. I had to start it one more time and at least got up the last hill and coasted into the gas station. With it full hot, I didn't want to pop the cap so we walked over to the local eatery, the Barn Door in this lovely town of 665 people for a "quality" meal.

After dinner I fed it two liters of the finest water the cooler had to offer as that was all it would take and set off for the seven mile drive home. I made it but had a lot of air in the system. Had to shut down a couple of times.

So, I get it home and on jackstands in the front to bleed the air. I can't understand why I have the charge light on. I figured that the hose flopping around soaked the alternator. Upon closer inspection I see the alternator belt in a heap on the undertray. So, obviously, when it flung off it took the overflow drain hose with it.

At least it will be a cheap fix but it sure did put a damper on the night out. Dining at the Barn Door wasn't what I had in mind.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:05 AM   #2
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You drove the car for 10+ miles with no water pump. Not good at all.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:31 AM   #3
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Sucks, Sorry to hear. I've been in your shoes. At the very least you might be lucky. That trashed my head, cracked it in 7 different places. Cost about 400$ to have it fixed and rebuilt.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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Bummer indeed. With luck, a belt and a couple of hoses will be the entire parts list for the repair...

- L
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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My alternator **** on me last night, well I suspect it did in the morning, but my battery had enough juice to get me to work at least.
After work I didnt make it more than a mile or two before the car shut off..
luckily my dad doesnt work too far from where I work. So I had to wait for 2 hours at a gas station in downtown SLC on a Saturday night..
Easy fix, but still made for a shitty night.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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So, I get it home and on jackstands in the front to bleed the air. I can't understand why I have the charge light on. I figured that the hose flopping around soaked the alternator. Upon closer inspection I see the alternator belt in a heap on the undertray. So, obviously, when it flung off it took the overflow drain hose with it.

yeah this happens. you'll lose your belts when you overheat, dunno why but it's happened to me too. on both my miata and 626.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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You're saying that overheating was the cause of the lost belt? I'm kinda thinking the other way around here. The alternator belt failed, and as a result, the water pump stopped turning. Ergo: overheating.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:46 AM   #8
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im in same boat with everyone else and alternator problems =( mines is slowly dying
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
Going to dinner tonight we took my wife's 91 BRG. I was driving and all of a sudden I hear a two thunks. Battery Charge light comes on and then steam starts rolling out and there is antifreeze all over the windshield. I pull over thinking WTF?

Cop pulls up behind me just as I pop the hood. The hose for the overflow had popped off the rad, of course puking a lot of the coolant out. It's really loose so I cut off an inch and push it back on. Cop leaves when he saw everything was OK.

I turn around and try to limp the two miles back to town. Temp continued to climb. When it got close to H I shut it off and coasted. I had to start it one more time and at least got up the last hill and coasted into the gas station. With it full hot, I didn't want to pop the cap so we walked over to the local eatery, the Barn Door in this lovely town of 665 people for a "quality" meal.

After dinner I fed it two liters of the finest water the cooler had to offer as that was all it would take and set off for the seven mile drive home. I made it but had a lot of air in the system. Had to shut down a couple of times.

So, I get it home and on jackstands in the front to bleed the air. I can't understand why I have the charge light on. I figured that the hose flopping around soaked the alternator. Upon closer inspection I see the alternator belt in a heap on the undertray. So, obviously, when it flung off it took the overflow drain hose with it.

At least it will be a cheap fix but it sure did put a damper on the night out. Dining at the Barn Door wasn't what I had in mind.
Sorry to hear sir....But hey, at least your miata is doing good right?
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:28 AM   #10
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Sorry to hear sir....But hey, at least your miata is doing good right?
Meh, I haven't driven it for almost two weeks. I haven't been very motivated to work on it. I do need to get back to it, get it idling, install new IC, install EBC, install Tein Flex. New 6UL's will be here later in June, Set of RS3's for those wheels will be here this week.

I've oficially hit the point where I have as much invested in mods for the car as the car is worth. A year ago, I would have said "no way".
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:33 AM   #11
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I've oficially hit the point where I have as much invested in mods for the car as the car is worth. A year ago, I would have said "no way".
Heh. I crossed that threshold a long time ago. 'Course, the pole's a lot lower for a '99. Still, welcome to the club.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:53 AM   #12
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Back on topic, I'm a bit confused. I thought the WP was run by the serpentine belt and the Alt is run by it's own V belt.

When I got it home I put the front on jackstands to elevate the rad, added water and let in run for 20 minutes. It burped itself for a while and temps settled down to normal. I then took it for a drive for a couple of miles, including a high speed run of about 90 in 5th for a mile. Temps stayed normal.

I put it away when I got home as it was almost out of juice. I had run it for 40 minutes total and 15 miles on battery alone. No way this thing would have lasted with no WP for that long.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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I thought the WP was run by the serpentine belt and the Alt is run by it's own V belt.
Nope.

On the 1.6 engines, the V-belt runs both the alt and the water pump, and the flat belt runs the A/C and PS.

On 1.8 engines it's the same arrangement, except the alt/WP belt is also flat instead of V-shaped.

Here's a pic from my 1.6 engine:



The belt nearest the camera runs around the crank pulley and the P/S pump only (I have no A/C). The belt behind it runs around the crank pulley, the ALT pulley, and the water pump pulley, which is the large black pulley with three small bolts in it, just above the crank pulley.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:10 AM   #14
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I don't think it would have lasted on just the battery for that long.....

Alternator and water pump are definitely on the same belt. That's the only belt I run (and have an extra sitting in the cowl).

Sorry to hear about your night, but if you're going to eat somewhere in a Miata...at night...the Barn Door is oddly fitting.

I hope your car didn't suffer any damage, although that much time without water circulating can not be good. These things are sturdy, but my family killed the previous two motors in ours due to overheating. My mom just drove the first one until it warped the head, my little bro drove the second one until the whole shebang locked up. Thus PWR radiator for motor number 3.

So did you have the alt/wp belt on for this most recent test? If so I imagine it's not completely running on the battery. My alt went out in January, and had a slooow painful kind of death. First it didn't push quite enough to run everything and sound system...then a/c would kick on charge light...then lights were asking too much...then it went out for good.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:24 AM   #15
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Well hell, I need to look again tonight. I could have sworn I saw the belt laying in the tray. Maybe it was my imagination. It was just a cursory glance and maybe I was seeing things and "figured" that was what I saw. Yes, I have since ran the car for at least 40 minutes and 15 miles, including the second to last full mile at WOT.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:19 AM   #16
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UPDATE:

Yes, the alt/WP belt was broken.

Put a new one on today and started it up. Valve train was dead quiet, no water in oil, no oil in water.

Put it on jackstands in the front with the cap off and it only burped a couple of bubbles.

Drove it for a few miles and all is well. Temps are solid at thermostat open temp. Looks like I dodged a bullet on this one.

For the record, total of 15 miles and 20 minutes idling with no WP and it held together. Tough motors. I think the only thing that aved me is the temp never left the "safe" range on the gauge. If it got close I shut it off and coasted.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:46 AM   #17
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Yes, thank god our temp gauges are uber accurate, otherwise you'd be screwed.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:46 AM   #18
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haha yeah, my stock needle doesn't even budge til about 220F!
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:09 AM   #19
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haha yeah, my stock needle doesn't even budge til about 220F!
No doubt. On my 99, it will read "normal" on the guage and be anywhere from about 45*C to 110*C on WARI. Fortunately, I've never seen over 110*C. What a worthles POS.

That said, thread butsexxing my own thread, if I were to add one temp gauge to my 99, which would be more important/helpful - a real water temp or oil temp gauge?
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:35 AM   #20
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That said, thread butsexxing my own thread, if I were to add one temp gauge to my 99, which would be more important/helpful - a real water temp or oil temp gauge?
Get a single gauge, two senders and a switch to toggle between the two.
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