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I am not sure how it happened, but my pulley spins freely by hand without the belt keeping tension on it. Crank itself is solid and doesn't appear to have any unwanted play.
I noticed this when my lights seemed to not be steady, like my alt wasn't working well, and my power steering was spotty. Popped the hood to see a near ruined belt. It had hopped off the accessory pulley halfway onto the AC one as well. Loosen it to inspect and see possible causes and notice the pulley moved when I was trying to free up the belt off of it.
Some backstory, this is this car's....3rd belt in my ownership. My uncle and I replaced it the first time because of slipping and some fatigue. That eventually gave out. I then took it to a dealer to err on the side of caution and that one too came off. However, this one was spectacular as it gave no real warning and blew off the AC belt in the process.
I replaced that one as well and was on my way. I saw nor felt anything obviously awry mechanically.
Every pulley is free to spin by hand, dealer saw nothing wrong.
I'm at my wit's end, and quite frustrated I've blown this much time and money on something so trivial.
At this point, what is my best course of action for repair? I have AAA if it needs towed, if a shop is recommended, The car still runs, and seems to only have made a bunch of noise with it slipping like that. Grooving, scratching, etc is yet to be seen.
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Same thing happened on my 96. Driving at hwy. speed Battery light came on. No charging. Had it checked and at idle alt. output was good. Raised the engine speed and alt. ouput dropped off. Started to replace alt. and when belt tension was released harmonic balancer fell off the crank end. Replace balancer and all was good.
If that is what you are going to do remember a standerd puller will not work. The crankshaft bolt bottoms out on the balancer not the crank end. You will need a puller that will extend to the bottom of the crankshaft bolt hole. Autozone had the correct puller in the loaner tools.