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Old 06-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default No alternator, no water pump, no problem

Yesterday on the highway my water temp started to quickly climb. I took the next exit and parked the car. Inspection shows that the bolt holding the alternator to the tensioning bolt snapped off, leaving the end of it still in the alternator and therefore no way for me to put a new bolt in roadside - I'll need to drill out the old bolt end first... this failure eliminated the tension on the belt, so the belt jumped off the pulley. And so now my car is over on a random street, sad and lonely, and my motorcycle is down for repairs right now too so my girlfriend had to pick me up.

So here's the dealio - can I pull the belt off and limp this sucker the 5-6 miles to my home on no alternator/no water pump? I know the car can run a couple hours sans-alternator, but I'm not sure about the pump.. I've got an aftermarket water gauge, which is how I quickly noticed the problem at first (even when it was reading 230 degrees, the stock water temp gauge was still in the normal range) so if it gets too warm I can always pull over and let it cool before continuing...
I know it's not the best thing to do but... can I do it?

Thoughts?
-Ryan
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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No. You shouldn't drive more than a couple blocks on an engine with no flowing water. My guess is that if you did do that, you would be home in about 3 days.

Seriously though, I would get it towed. If you can't do a proper fix there to get it home, the cost of a tow truck for 5 miles offsets the possibility of screwing up even more stuff. It will probably cost you $75, if that, and couple possibly save your engine.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:37 PM   #3
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If there is no water flowing, what the gauge reads is not an indication of the hottest water in the system.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Word. Tow it.

Either that or try to find a way to swap out the alternator, not sure if you can though based on your description. But I would think you could remove the tensioner bracket bolt at the engine and the lower alternator bolt at the engine, pull the alternator and bracket assy, fix it, then reinstall.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:04 PM   #5
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AAA, or buy a shorter belt.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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Trust me, don't drive it. I was lucky I just popped the radiator.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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Ok, I took the advice that I absolutely needed the water pump... so I went home and got the zip ties... hahahaha ohhhh yea.
Zip tied the alternator to the tensioning bracket with what qualifies as the most ghetto overuse of zip ties ever. About 20 zips held that mother onto the car with just enough tension on the belt to keep it on, but hey, it was spinning the water pump! Got it home just a little while ago, temps were perfect.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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Awesome. Need picts!
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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So the belt that runs that alternator also runs the water pump?
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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In the old days, you would ask your GF for her stockings or pantyhose and tie a new belt from the main pulley to the water pump. But, alas, another lost excuse to help her off with her pantyhose. Almost as bad as the loss of bench seats
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:22 AM   #11
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So it's fixed. I changed both alternator bolts to grade 8 ones, and although they thread into and through the alternator casting and should hold tight just fine as per mazda's original design, I put a lock washer and nut on the back side of each bolt. Not going anywhere now.

It couldn't have been possible without the zip ties...
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
Ok, I took the advice that I absolutely needed the water pump... so I went home and got the zip ties... hahahaha ohhhh yea.
Zip tied the alternator to the tensioning bracket with what qualifies as the most ghetto overuse of zip ties ever. About 20 zips held that mother onto the car with just enough tension on the belt to keep it on, but hey, it was spinning the water pump! Got it home just a little while ago, temps were perfect.
Sounds like when the bolts on my water pump pully striped and I zipped tied the pully back on and gimped the car the last 3 miles home.

Zipties own all
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94mx5red View Post
So the belt that runs that alternator also runs the water pump?

Shane, your kidding right?
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
Shane, your kidding right?
Yea...kidding...

I think I might need to install a breathalyzer on my computer.
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