Oh how right you were Matt!!
I had the car working happily for a whole week and then suddenly on Sunday evening, it decided to let go again. This time the belt did actually snap resulting in my steering turning into a full arm work out of which even Schwarzneggar would have been put through his paces. I cannot believe just how heavy the car becomes without the steering assistance.
Anyway, long story short, I had to get the car rushed to the closest independent I could find and £60 later the belt is on, the battery is being charged and the power steering is doing what it was designed to do. However, unfortunately the saga continues. It only took 1 trip to work before the horrible squeal returned and now I am driving, knowing full well, the new belt is also going to liberate itself from the collection of pulleys and idlers.
One thing Keith, my new found friend, mentioned was that the idler located to the right of the crank (the one that needs some sort of adjustment) does not spin freely at all. It didnt seem to be moving on its axis (no movement on bearing) but it does not appear to be permitting any sort of free movement. I am now wondering if this is the root cause of the whole issue and that the pulley is simply dead!
In your experience, would you be able to tell me whether or not ALL the idlers/pullies should rotate and spin freely or whether some are indeed "damped" in their rotation.
I am considering buying one of these anyway and making a tool in order to adjust it once I do fit it, but would like a heads up on what I should expect in terms of movement.
The last question is how the hell do you get the bleeding thing off? It appears the bolt is longer than the space between the chassis and the block and so neither the bolt or pulley are removable. If there is any specific method for this, I would be MOST grateful. I am guessing an engine mount needs to be removed, allowing the whole assembly to drop low enough for the bolt and pulley to be removed.
Although, the garage was extremely helpful and the cost was not high at all considering the parts + labour were less than a quarter of that quoted by the Alfa stealers, I am tempted to carry out the next replacement myself this weekend. This, of course depends on whether or not the belt hangs on in there that long.
So calling out to anyone willing to lend some advice, please let me know your ideas.