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97 Ranger idler pulley falls off on highway

As the title suggests I had the idler pulley fall off today. I literally heard it grind a bit and then “ping” on the road. Luckily I was in a residential neighborhood, going about 25mph and only had to go another .5 to get to the parking lot where I left it.

Is there anything to this besides just replacing that pulley and getting the belt back on? It seems pretty straightforward to me but I wanted to check with more experienced minds. My only potential concern is the fact that I started to run hot just as I was waiting for the light to change to cross the street to park. No steam or anything, but I did have some coolant bubble over when I stopped. I didn’t see a flow from anywhere. Should this concern me? I watched the guage rise as I sat at the light so it was only “hot” for 30-45 seconds maybe.

Any help appreciated!

Does this belt turn your water pump? It sounds like the water pump stopped working when this happened so the engine started to overheat. It sounds like you didn’t run the engine long enough to do any damage to it from overheating.

Did the bearing in the pulley seize up or does it spin normally? If you think the part is still ok, use some thread-locker or lock-tite when you reinstall it if you have it handy. Put it back together and see how it runs. You probably have to release or adjust the serpentine belt tensioner to get it all back together. I’m not familiar with this specific engine though.