1600 to 1700 conversion - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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1600 to 1700 conversion

Fired up, runs. At 200 mi #1 cylinder liner cracked. I replaced the honed used liners with new liners from Darton.
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 09:08 AM
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Very interested to know how this works out for you over the next few months, and I might be picking your brains via email. I've been deliberating an overbore in my 1570cc engine since forever, even though I've invested deeply in NOS 1750 parts (even a block) to upgrade using a more traditional route. Decisions, decisions. Gordon's been helpful too, but I just have not made a start on it.

Did you do the build yourself? Custom liners or used but honed out to 79/80mm? Valve sizes and seat angles? Any info shared would be gratefully received.

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to all parts I have advertised on the BB so far. Plenty more! Just ask.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 09:37 AM
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The Fram filter is ONE good one they still make.... for Ferrari. When you buy the "Ferrari Filter for a 2 cam 275, It's painted red with the black prancing horse, and a Ferrari part number. Under the red paint is ORANGE paint and PH8A. The other good ones are the PB50, (also a Ferrari factory part when painted red) and the various HP Fram Series, (HP-1-2 and so on) Many drag racers and some old Alfa racers (me) like the HP-1 as a remote filter. Years ago I used one on my Plymouth Hemi GTX drag car.
Interesting..


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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:56 AM
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As I explained to you in an e-mail, this CAN happen. Often there is no "fault" to be found. I'm writing this for others, Wes, that might not understand. The most common cause is always detonation. This can be from any number of other causes, but often comes from failure to re-calculate CC volume AFTER a bore increase. Compression WILL increase.
Assuming calculations are correct, and piston crowns have been cut enough to get compression back where it should be, and assembly is correct, we are down to simply "liner-failure".
Many quality new liners are "spun-cast" in an attempt to minimize stresses in the actual casting.
These new liners are often honed to final dimension and finish rather than bored with a boring bar.
Used liners, made up for oversize bores, should also be honed to size with a Sunnin honing machine or the like. This machine is commonly used for aircraft liners and cylinders, as well as cylinders in motorcycles, and other "dry" liners. The purpose is to minimize any stresses built up in the casting. If a boring bar is used, even with a sharp cutter, some slight metal is displaced rather than cut, due to the nature of most castings. This creates stresses in the liner, and with heat / cool cycles, the stresses will be relieved to some extent, BUT one relief is a stress crack, and that's never good.
Honed liners may also have stresses, but not caused by the honing, though they may be brought to the surface by honing.
I prefer USED liners for all overbore applications as the hot/cold cycles hopefully have negated some stresses from manufacture. These are used in my own 1600's with a 79 mm bore. Liner skirts get pretty thin at 80mm, and boring the block for cut down 1750 liners may weaken the block itself. With the 1600 block, you can go big, but form building "BIG" small bore motorcycle engines, blocks may get pretty jello-like. You can discuss this with Jim Steck, who has built some pretty powerful Alfa engines for Bonneville. These blocks are seriously reinforced both top with mono-liner, and bottom with steel cradle, to avoid the jello issues.
Cracked liners are annoying, and can and do happen. Compression, machining, assembly, and unknown existing liner stresses all can contribute.
The above is from my own experiences, as well as of others I know well. I hope it is useful information.


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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:02 AM
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Nope. Your not in error. This DOES happen, and even to very experienced engine builders. One tells me NOT to fool around with mouse engines, just build a 2L. Well, that can work. He has cracked liners in his own race 2L's, so it's still not an absolute if you are looking for maximum power and torque. I was fortunate that in my mispent youth, I spent time at Outboard Marine in Waukegan Illinois doing "failure analysis" on blown up aluminum racing marine 2 cycle engines.
Some of that has stuck with me, 50+ years later!


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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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Help!

Some of you guys enamored with mouse motors, please send Wes a couple of used 1600 liners!

Wes you might as well have two bored so you have a spare....
But I agree the best install would be a 2 liter.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 11:02 AM
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Actually......
it IS your fault.
You trusted them.....

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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 02:33 PM
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Lets see, I've been working on mine for 52 years now. Sometimes I actually drive it! Drove it today! Went to a friends shop, parked in the sun, (it was hot), and on restart, the ever-so-slight tickle of the gas pedal before starting, + underhood heat, flooded it. Ok...... ran great after the EVENTUAL restart. Typical.
I know that 2L guy well. He has cracked liners as well. It's not hard at all.


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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:29 AM
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Wes, I would encourage you to post a vendor review based on your experience with whomever jacked you around.

Brian __________________________________
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ossodiseppia View Post
Wes, I would encourage you to post a vendor review based on your experience with whomever jacked you around.
Yes, how the heck are we supposed to avoid your situation if we don't know who was involved?

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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:28 AM
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Get an 1800 or 2000 motor. You will save yourself so much money, frustration and reliability issues. If your engine number matches the chassis on your beautiful spider rather keep it as standard in a corner ready to drop in when you eventually part with it.
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:40 AM
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I and many have had similar problems with this vendor. When you buy it, it`s yours, regardless of issues, including him sending the wrong parts. Paul Spruell.

The Darton steel sleeves will solve the problem, but I would have a stock one bored, and put on a distributor with a moderate advance curve to avoid mid RPM detonation/preignition as we discussed.

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RJR Racing

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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:48 AM
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Historical factoid. One day I called John Shankle (the most patient of men when talking to newbies) with another question about cyl. head porting. Our conversation turned to his current project which was a 1600 engine fitted with 1750 pistons and liners. To do this you have to machine the block to accept the larger dia. liners. You also have to machine to tops of the liners to match the length of 1600 liners. Not for the faint of heart, but John felt it was the best way, short of a monosleeve, to increase displacement. I'll bet it's a job Steve Hanniford can handle, however. I gave some brief consideration to building this kind of engine but then---thankfully---built a hot-rod 2 liter. The folklore about 2 liters being slow revving is not true.

Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:29 AM
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Jim Steck can build these as well. These are for builders with thick wallets and patience.
Maching the 1600 block for 1750 liner skirts weakens the block itself so reinforcement is needed.
Original iron liners do not magnaflux well as they may contain inclusions in the castings. Grey iron is the worst, then nodular iron, steel the best. I AM NOT a metalurgist, but trust those that KNOW.
Generally when one builds a performance engine from individually sourced components, the builder assumes responsibility for correct assembly procedure, clearances, set-up, and even then, only plenty of experience minimizes the OMG! factor when it comes apart. Ask Richard J, myself or any other builder.
Years ago, I spent time with Ron Neal at Ausca, learning "tricks". Ron's engines did not always develop the most power, or best power curve of ALL Alfa engine builders at the time, but Ron's TRICK was to build engines that stayed together and FINISHED which is how Ausca would win the Trans Am, and build engines for other very successful race drivers.
In the final analysis, you can re-engineer the entire 1600 engine as Jim Steck can do to use a larger displacement with amazing power, you can work within the often more cost effective "stock-block" limitations, with tricks for longivity, or you can build an economic grenade engine, that is fun for a few minutes.
My last interesting build that involved re-engineering, cheating, and economics was a 101 1300 Veloce engine that was really 1603 cc's. It used Richards cams, and was pretty amazing. It ran and felt like a 1300 Veloce until about 4,000 rpm. Then became a monster. So much in fact that the buyer had me rebuild it as a 1290 cc stock motor. I was NOT happy, and the buyer wasn't either as he DID NOT KNOW what he really wanted.
This is not an isolated case.
From my experience.


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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:46 AM
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Timely

Dr. G's initial note about his travails with the 1700 conversion arrived just in time, literally, to set off my latent buyer's remorse. Nonetheless, very grateful for initial narrative and photos, along with responses. And very to sorry to see the failure and all that goes with it.

My Duetto's 1600 engine has been undergoing a similar careful sorting out over what is now nearly two years. It has revealed many interesting historical matters that have required proper attention.

I did consider finding a 1750 to build, but eventually decided on a 1700 conversion.

We measured the head carefully (111.9mm height) and supplied the data to Paul Spruell for the fabrication of 81mm 10.0:1 JE pistons. The used liners were checked for cracks and honed to diameter by the veterano mechanic building the engine. Rods are new Carrillo I-beam. We were concerned about and paid close attention paid to the thinness of the liner walls, and the somewhat out-of-round liners at the lower, spigot ends. Head gasket the heavier Reinz.

Engine lower end all gone through, honed aligned, balanced, crank tidied up, etc. I have not discussed with the mechanic the torque settings, but am entirely confident that they were done correctly. Webers set up specifically for this engine at sea level. Spin-on oil filter adaptor from our friend in the United Kingdom. Free-flow steel-tube headers now ceramic-coated inside and out.

Using 123 distributor and the pre-set Duetto curve. Well aware of detonation dangers.

Engine has run on the bench now for about three hours, without issues other than revealing a hairline crack in the lower oil pan cover and consequent oil leak, some oil leak at the rear, possibly due to quality-control issues in plugs.

Some general once said that it's better to lucky than good... I know I have good. we'll see if I am lucky. Stay tuned.

1967 Duetto (2X)
DC
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