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shredded alternator belt ... no oil pressure. Please help! (pictures)

Posted by pneumagger, Nov 15, 2009

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  1. pneumagger

    pneumagger Probationary Member

    Joined Sep 13, 2009
    St. Pete Beach, Florida
    1992 tsi awd, H/G and belt change only 1500mi ago, Mitsubishi & parts dinosaur belts.
    Mobile 1 synthetic oil/filter and some Lucas oil stabilizer.

    Driving home from the mall today & glanced down while waiting @ stop light. Zero oil pressure but no engine lights or oil lights. Engine temp normal, everything feels fine. I give it a little gas to see if the oil pressure just resting low because I'm idling @ a light. Nothing... oil gauge is dead zero. I often check my gauges when I'm stopped so it must've just happened in the last mile or so. Nevertheless, I pretty much stopped driving immediately. I pop the hood and check the oil. Golden and pretty full... on the top notch of the dipstick. Engine still has both balance shafts, so I'd definitely know if the oil pump (& rear bs) stopped spinning - I would be getting bad vibrations.

    I caught a look @ some of the accessory belts and noticed the alternator belt was shredded and half was missing.
    Not like half the belt was worn/shaved away... the belt split and shredded down the middle and half the belt fell off the pulleys (see pics).
    I cut the broken loose half of the belt off to get it out of the engine and noticed it seemed to have taken some sort of wire harness with it (see pics).
    The wire has a black sheath around it and appears to oly have one or two wires in it. I'm unsure if it's broken or simply disconnected.
    The broken alt belt piece was a still complete loop, but I simply cut it to easily get it out of the pulleys. That's why it is cut in the pictures.

    a) Why would an alternator belt fail like this? Nothing appears to be rubbing it.
    b) I'm going to guess driving with half of a badly damaged belt is a no-go. ??
    c) What is that little broken wire and connector?
    d) Why is my oil pressure reading zero? The oil pump & timing belt appear to be OK.

  2. river

    river Proven Member

    Joined Jun 9, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    the wire with the black shielding around it goes to your oil pressure sending unit. it's pretty common to have them fall off. look at where your oil filter is, you'll see on the very bottom of the assembly to the right of the oil filter there is a little copper "nub", you need to slip that wire connector over that, it will slightly click onto it.

    alternator belt shredded most likely cause your harmonic balancer is going bad.

    441  0

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    12.540 @ 107.590 · 1G DSM
  3. godfather75

    godfather75 Proven Member

    Joined Aug 9, 2008
    Dearborn Height, Michigan
    The wire is to your oil pressure sending unit. Fix it and plug it in and your gauge should work. As far as the belt a rock or something could of got caught in between the pulley and the belt and tore it, especially if your missing the plastic guard. Its happened a bunch of times to me.

    193  0

    1992 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
  4. EagleTSIawd

    EagleTSIawd Proven Member

    Joined Mar 17, 2005
    Stayton, Oregon
    Another reason the belt could have gone bad would be because of the water pump pulleys, were they installed correctly? There's a small and big pulley that are held together by four bolts on the pump. If you install the outer pulley facing the wrong side it will throw off the alignment between it the crank and alternator pulley. With that the belt will just get chewed up. Look at the two pulleys on the pump, there should be no gap between them if installed correctly. I did this mistake and cought it short after because my new belts would squeal randomly. I would check them and they were nice and tight until finally when I looked closely at the alt belt I saw that it did not align straight.

    829  0

    1995 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    · 2G DSM
  5. Boost_Addict_88

    Boost_Addict_88 Proven Member

    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    Brazil, BC, Canada
    A non working oil pressure gauge is common in DSMs. A good way to check if you have some kind of pressure without the gauge is to pull the oil cap off during idle and look at the cam. You'll see oil splashing around if you have pressure. As far as alternator belt, I'm stumped. Do what EagleTsiawd said and make sure water pump pulley is in right then report back.
  6. broken1g

    broken1g Proven Member

    Joined Dec 19, 2008
    Parma, Ohio
    the exact same thing just happened to me.. thanks for asking.. more on harmonic balancer going bad? is this true?
  7. 1997gsx4sr

    1997gsx4sr Probationary Member

    Joined Jan 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm having a different problem. When I start the car, my oil pressure gauge show normal. But when it heat up, the pressure gauge went down like no oil in there. I check the oil and it look ok. What caused that problem?

    196  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
  8. joe_mopar

    joe_mopar Proven Member

    Joined May 28, 2009
    Castle Hayne, North Carolina
    If you didn't lock-tite the crankshaft bolt ( I use the red stuff for this one), the timing gear will start to walk outward on the crankshaft snout and push the pulleys out of alignment, hence chewing up the belts. Had it happen to a 92 tsi.

    As the oil heats and thins, the oil pressure will be lower. I would suspect a lot of bearing clearance or a worn out oil pump.
  9. 1997gsx4sr

    1997gsx4sr Probationary Member

    Joined Jan 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for your help. I will have a mechanic looks at it. I don't know much about the car.

    196  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
  10. psiaddict

    psiaddict Proven Member

    Joined Dec 13, 2005
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    I agree that this is a likely candidate for the belt getting chewed up, I also made this mistake by having the pully installed wrong when putting in the new motor…:ohdamn:

    When looking at it afterward, I could see that the pullies were misaligned with the Harmonic balancer which is what caused the belt damage… you should be able to see it by looking down onto the pullies from above and see the mis-alignment. The good thing is that its an easy fix.
  11. TSi Kid

    TSi Kid Proven Member

    Joined Mar 12, 2010
    Avondale, Arizona
    check your pullys that spin on the altenator belt
    i had that same problem and it turned out that my crank shaft pullys was ripping up my belts
    hope this helps

    663  0

    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    · 1G DSM

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