Hey all, I have an update! It's sort of bittersweet, but heregoes:
It's definitely not something from the crank case or VANOS, which is great news. I pulled the belts off yesterday and ran the engine momentarily and there was no terrible noise. To verify it was a pulley, I spun them and they both made noise (both tensioning pulleys on the serpentine belt and the AC belt were shot). My car has no idler pulley, so that made things even cheaper! Hurrah.
So the mechanical tensioner and replacement pulley as well as new belts are on their way and should arrive next week. So I put the old belts back on since I still had to make a few trips from my place to Waterloo and back for the weekend. On the way back, shit hit the fan. Or should I say, the fan hit the rad.
Never before have I seen something fail so catastrophically. Turns out, the noise came from the water pump bearing and I couldn't hear it with the belts off and spun by hand. The bearing seem to have failed and the pulley became misaligned due to belt tension and sent the fan into the shroud, blowing two blades off in the process. My coolant is now all over the 401 (saves the coolant flush mess in my garage, at least).
Check this out:
Kind of an appropriate song on in the background (Another one bites the dust).
I will keep posting to this thread with updates. Looks like the rad may be OK and I'll just need a new water pump and fan. Anyone experience bits of metal in their cooling system? What method should I use to flush/get it out?
Edit: Before everyone harps on me for being silly and not suspecting the water pump, I did check for noise and I couldn't hear much. That plus the fact that the previous owner said he replaced it right before I bought the car (Sept. 2010) caused me to think it was OK. D'OH
Last edited by tehskeo; 01-05-2013 at 07:19 PM.