164 S engine by mistake? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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164 S engine by mistake?

Are there any known cases of 164L cars receiving the 164 S engine?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 07:52 PM
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Are there any known cases of 164L cars receiving the 164 S engine?
Many! Not an issue if properly set up with ECU and AFM. Otherwise it's just an L engine.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:48 AM
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If the L and S versions in the US translate to Super Lusso and Cloverleaf version in the UK, then the only difference between these engines is the diameter of the inlet runners. Bigger on the Cloverleaf, giving the extra power via better air flow top end.

Hope that helps.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:08 AM
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Many! Not an issue if properly set up with ECU and AFM. Otherwise it's just an L engine.
Cam timing is also different as is compression ratio. Imho the S was just a window dressing engine: compression and cam changed peak power by 8% or so but of course only reachable at 5,500 rpm. The cam change also moved the torque curve upwards while increasing torque by an undetectable 4 lb ft. You need the shorter final drive ratio (10%) from the S gearbox in order to get the modest advantage in acceleration these differences made. The S was in fact undergeared since the L would reach a higher top speed.

Putting an L engine into an S equipped car technically made more sense performancewise.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:12 AM
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Cam timing is also different as is compression ratio. Imho the S was just a window dressing engine: compression and cam changed peak power a tiny bit but moved the torque curve upwards. You need the shorter final drive ratio (10%) to get the modest advantage in acceleration these differences made. Putting an L engine into an S equipped car technically made more sense performancewise.
Well yes that's clear. But with L ecu and afm it's bascially the same as a L. I preferred the L engine with the low end torque and power range.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 09:41 AM
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RJ told me that early S motors had the old style rockers that were fitted to GTV6's and Milano's and only got the stronger rockers a little later whereas L motors got them from the start.
It is hard to determine which cams you have as they all have the same casting numbers but as Michael writes, they do not make much difference.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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Well yes that's clear. But with L ecu and afm it's bascially the same as a L. I preferred the L engine with the low end torque and power range.
Me too and the gearing is correct in the L but not in the S. For North America the S gearing works reasonably well but for high speeds cross country the L has much longer legs and the engine is right smack in the middle of its torque band at highway speeds and up, right where it should be.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 12:47 PM
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RJ told me that early S motors had the old style rockers that were fitted to GTV6's and Milano's and only got the stronger rockers a little later whereas L motors got them from the start.
It is hard to determine which cams you have as they all have the same casting numbers but as Michael writes, they do not make much difference.
B and L cams have less overlap and earlier open and close angles. Intakes are 20' later opening and 6 degrees 20' earlier closing, reduced duration is 6 degrees 40'; exhausts are 13 degrees less duration, opening 7 degrees later and but closing 4 degrees later (according to the shop manual but those numbers don't add up )

This unsurprisingly puts peak torque 100 rpm earlier although that's not the whole story. The torque curve for the L should be flatter also. Peak power is only 200 rpm lower which implies the S engine breathes better from 4,500 up than the L. Peak torque is only 4 lb ft more for the S so it is hard to see where the extra on paper 17 hp comes from!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:15 PM
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L engines

The L engine received cams with more lift than the base 164 but not as much lift as the "S" intake cam

All of the V6 2.5 and 3.0 liter including the Verde and 164 base engine had cams with .358 intake lift and .252 exhaust. Early engines for the GTV6 had lobe separation angle of 105 degrees(LCs of 102/108)

After `84 the cams in the Milano and GTV6 had same lifts with LSAs of 108 (108/108 better for torque on these short intake runner designed intakes). The same cams were in the Base 164.

The 164 "S" cam had int lift of .398 (1mm more than early cams), exh .252 (same on all the V6 12 V cams), with a LSA of 109.5(LCs of 108.8/110.5). This due to longer & larger ID intake runners.

The 164 L cams had intake lobe lift of .379 (.5mm more than the early V6 cams), same exh lobe and 109 LSAs.(108/110)

The S cam isn`t a performance cam but does produce more Torque.

Using the later "L" & "S" cams in pre 1884 engines (LCs marked at 102) requires careful setting of the correct Lobe Centers (about 106 intake which forces a exhaust LC of 112/113 depending on which later cam used, to have appropriate valve timing events.
The lobe separation angles are really too wide for short runner GTV6 & Milano induction system design.

All the later cams used the same casting #s (3033/3035) so only way to identify is actual intake lobe lift.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Martin,

Haha, you are right about that! Thank you for responding to my private message. I am glad that you responded, as this is not a topic that I wish to discuss in the general forum area.

The reason for my thread is that I believe that somehow, the Alfa Romeo factory mistakenly installed an S engine in my wife's boss's 164L. I don't drive to work, so my 164 L only has 45,000 miles since new. My wife never seems to take any interest in it. My wife's boss, a 35 year-old Ferrari guy, saw my car at the company picnic and thought that it was 'rad'. So, he went ahead and bought a nice 91 164L. The thing is, my wife, who never liked my 164, suddenly loves her boss's car.

What really gets me is that she asked why my 164 isn't as fast as her boss's. Both being L models, I must assume that his car has a 164 S engine. Can we be 100% certain that the Alfa Romeo plant wasn't swapping engines by mistake?

And, if he doesn't have an S engine, can I be certain that swapping an S engine into my L will remedy the acceleration issue? I have read about S cams - would those help?

Thanks,

Dell
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 01:42 PM
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I just watched a tranformers movie where the girlfriend's boss's car, was faster than the boyfriend's car

164LS 1994
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:18 PM
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Check the engine block number located under the area of distributor.

B/L 12v engines short block AR06412 Air Flow Meter-201 ECU -117
S 12v engine short block AR64301 AFM -035 and ECU -130 S transaxle has lower gear ratio, too.

My 164 L w/AT has S engine (at least the short block) but has B/L Air flow meter and ECU.

True S engine has higher compression ratio pistons and different cams.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:09 PM
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That's interesting, Steve.
Must be more differences between US and UK models than I thought. The AFM for all manual 24v 3.0 164s in the UK (including Cloverleaf but possibly not the 4wd 164s) ends in 026, same as a Porsche 944 turbo.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:28 PM
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I think that ALFA claimed an extra 10 HP for the "S" cars. You may be able to feel a 10 HP difference in back to back tests.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 04:32 PM
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I think that ALFA claimed an extra 10 HP for the "S" cars. You may be able to feel a 10 HP difference in back to back tests.
My shop manual lists 17 more hp for the S, 200 v 183.

Mind you my shop manual doesn't say there's any difference between the base and L engines. Also the shop manual spec shows no difference in maximum lift between S and L cams. One would be surprised if there were to be a difference given the high bore/stroke ratio.

These two web pages claim to know the actual figures:

https://www.automobile-catalog.com/c...meo_164_l.html

https://www.automobile-catalog.com/c...meo_164_s.html

Anybody want to produce a common graph for ease of comparison?

As you'd expect the S shows next to no advantage over the L until the peak torque number is reached then the S struts its stuff all the way to redline.

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Last edited by Michael Smith; 04-10-2019 at 06:26 AM.
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