95 Windstar serpentine belt snapped - won't start after replacement

First some background - this is a 3.8 engine, 1995 Windstar with a heavily diluted antifreeze (mostly water) in North Texas. This Windstar 3.8 engine already had the head gaskets replaced 45K miles ago.
One recent morning, with the temperature (an unusually cold for Texas) 26 degrees, I started the Windstar to warm it up before I took off to work. Immediately the car started as usual but I could hear a loud screeching like belts rubbing which within seconds was accompanied by a ton of white smoke coming from the engine compartment. I popped the hood to check but the smoke was too great to see anything - the screeching/whining continued. Within a minute I heard a snap and the engine seemed to relax as the white smoke started to dissipate. I shut off the engine anticipating that I had just snapped the serpentine belt. Sure enough the belt had shredded and melted the idler pulley. Later during the day, with the temperature in the 40s, a closer inspection revealed a small amount of the belt material on the water pump pulley with signs of friction on the pulley as well - at this time, the water pump pulley turned freely. It doesn't take a seasoned mechanic to hypothesize that the water pump has siezed probably due to ice overnight which caused the whole belt shredding fiasco. All other pulleys turned relatively freely.
I went to the parts place, got a new belt and idler pulley and installed. The starter turns but now the engine will not turnover. I inspected under the engine for and signs of antifreeze/water leakage as well as out of the tailpipe as I continued to try to turn the engine over - no signs of antifreeze or water leakage. The Windstar serpentine belt drives the alternator, power steering pump, A/C and water pump so I do not see any connection to the timing belt which could cause a no turnover. Any ideas?
PC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Although everything points in other directions, pull the spark plugs and see if it will crank. Maybe it's hydro-locked.
Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Being that I am not a mechanic, I had to research "hyrodlocked" and I now have a pretty good understanding that I would have to have a considerable amount of water in the combustion chamber to get that condition and would most likely have issues cranking. This engine cranks fine - just doesn't start (I thought "turnover" meant "start" but I have been seemingly corrected in this thread).
Funny thing is, your suggestion jogged my memory on another term - Vapor-locked. I know that VL mostly happens in non fuel-injection vehicles but I thought that some way, some how, VL might also be a consideration considering my clean cranking. I figured that if I crank enough, it should clear out the fuel line eventually if in fact I have a vapor lock situation.
Well, I went out and cranked it this morning (48 degrees outside), and it started! Pretty rough at first but it all smoothed out after 2 minutes. No coolant out of the tailpipe at all! No leaks under the engine! I think I may have dodged a major bullet.
Next, going out to drain the system and fill with coolant - somebody up there is cutting me some slack!
PC
message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3 Dec 2006 08:12:20 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@attbi.com wrote:

Why aren't you running the correct mix of coolant?
Did you check all the pullies to make sure they were free?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As some may already know regarding these 3.8s, they have big problems with head and front engine cover gaskets. My head gaskets were blown/replaced 45K miles ago and there is a very small ongoing leak from the front engine cover gasket - small enough where if I top off the reservior every 2 weeks or so, it can be managed. Of course, this leads to a very diluted coolant mix which isn't a big problem except for maybe 20 days a year in TX - this cool snap snuck up on me :-(.
All pullies move although there is some resistance with the steering pump pulley - not sure if that is normal or not. When cranking, the belt moves all pullies. Think there may be enough resistance to keep from turning over?
PC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When cranking the pulleys turn
next
engine not turning over
---------Unquote-----------
What is it
Doesn't crank/turn over or doesn't start ????????
There is a big difference
If it cranks but doesn't start check the crank sensor, maybe the belt snapped it or damage the connector
<
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, it was almost a problem for a lot more than 20 days - including the days it would have taken to get your engine fixed.
Sounds like you really need to fix that front engine cover gasket. It will save you in the long run. Plus, having coolant leak all over Texas is not good for the environment, unless you can park it outside a particular ranch in Crawford, in which case I don't care.
Not to mention, that, in the long run, you will save enough money on antifreeze to cover the front engine gasket repair.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I appreciate your concern regarding the environment and for the most part, I am equally concerned. In this case, the leak is so slight that it actually slides down the engine cover and drips on a heat shield over the exhaust manifold - immediately evaporating on contact. As such, none (or next to none) of it ever hits Texas ground (air is another matter).
As far as the economics, I have done extensive research regarding my situation and it is clearly NOT a good (financial) idea to repair the engine cover gasket. I'm guessing that you never worked on a '95 Windstar? The engine cover gasket, like many engine-related repairs on this vehicle, requires an engine pull - and I have had it quoted at $1000+ (I do not have the equipment for an engine pull). A gallon of coolant costs ~$7 and at the current leak rate, I will generously say it would require 1 gallon a month. That's $72 per year and even after 10 years, I'd be hundreds of dollars ahead. '95 Windstars go for around 1K tops on eBay based on their lemon reputation - it would make NO sense pouring money into this vehicle. I'm better off driving it until it drops and buying a used Honda Odyssey for 6K post mortum.
PC

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actually, $84 per year - it's late and I'm tired...
On Dec 3, 11:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attbi.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3 Dec 2006 09:14:58 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@attbi.com wrote:

You can get pre-mixed coolant at any car store. I would get that if I were you. I once had an old taurus and did the same thing. KEpt adding tap water. at one point the radiator was complety clogged due to all the minerals form the tap water I kept adding. Do yourself a favor and get a gallon of pre-mixed stuff.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Buying the pre-mixed Antifreeze Coolant doesn't in any way guarantee they used distilled water in making the mix...
Go buy a case or two of distilled water and keep it in the garage. Then you can be 100% sure of what you have.
--<< Bruce >>--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.