skipped timing chain damage - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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skipped timing chain damage

my 92 spider seems to have slipped the timing chain..question, is would that mess up the valves, or do any other damage?
thanks guys.

1992 alfa romeo spider
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 01:47 PM
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If valve timing got so far off to allow valves to hit pistons then damage is likely. If not, then you should be OK.

How did the chain skip timing?

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 02:01 PM
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my 92 spider seems to have slipped the timing chain.
Timing chains very rarely slip - timing belts (like on an Alfa V6) can slip, but chains are pretty bullet-proof. What leads you to believe that it slipped? Did you remove the cam cover and find a lot of slack in the chain? Have you positioned the front pulley at TDC and inspected the timing marks on the camshafts? Done a compression test? What are the symptoms?

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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i was sitting at a light, and it stopped. i had to have it towed, and the mechanic said it was the timing chain. but i have no tgotten any other info as yet, and i was hoping to be a little more equipt, with what is possible. i was told some engines have valve trouble when this happens, i do know the chain still moves, as i can see it without the oil cap.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 02:38 PM
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It happened to me about 6 months ago. A big vibration loosened the tensioner and jumped a tooth. The valves were not damaged but three of the tappets were. Two concave and one convex. They were not easily noticeable but it was impossible to get repeatable clearances when adjusting the shims.

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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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the engine was idling, just went thump, and stopped, would not start. i am hoping for the best, but i am only a minor when it comes to anything like this....

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 03:20 PM
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the mechanic said it was the timing chain
OK, well I assume your mechanic knows what he's talking about. Yea, the damage could be significant.

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i do know the chain still moves, as i can see it without the oil cap
Do you mean that when a friend cranks the engine, you can look through the oil filler cap and see the chain moving and cams turning? If "yes", can you hear any odd noises (like valves impacting pistons) while the engine is turning? If "yes" that's bad.

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the engine was idling, just went thump, and stopped
It is odd that this happened at idle - usually chains fail/slip at high rpm when tension on the chain is greatest. But the bolt that holds the idler in place may have just decided to come loose at that time.

Jay Mackro
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'67 Duetto
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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it sounds different when the engine turns over. yes the chain is viewed, moving when the starter turns. this is not sounding good. the mechanic is suposed to be good with itialian cars. but one can never be sure. Here on SI NY, there are very few alfa romeos, and less alfa mechenics. if i have to get it towed, i may have to send the car out of state...and i am not looking forward to that.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:00 PM
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I'm sure there's a specialist in Queens or elsewhere on LI. You live near the center of the earth. Plus it'll get you off SI.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:10 PM
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Alfa Import Center, 718-381-6764 in Queens. Google is your friend.
http://www.alfaimportcenter.com/

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:18 PM
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I have seen the big nut come loose on the VVT. If that happened the intake cam will stop turning but the chain will still spin. Depending on were the cam stopped. You may or may not have bent valves.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
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the mechanic is suposed to be good with itialian cars. but one can never be sure. Here on SI NY, there are very few alfa romeos, and less alfa mechenics. if i have to get it towed, i may have to send the car out of state.
I can't recommend one mechanic over another. But Alfa valve gear isn't that unique. Yea, the design was revolutionary when it was introduced in the mid 1950's. But today, many imported cars have dual overhead cams, spacers to adjust valve lash, etc. If this mechanic is at all competent, he should be able to diagnose and repair the problem.

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Originally Posted by Jim G
I have seen the big nut come loose on the VVT. If that happened the intake cam will stop turning but the chain will still spin.
I like that theory. All my experience is with pre-VVT Alfas, so I wouldn't have known that. Probably a scenario equally likely to occur at idle as at high rpm.

So BobK: When you view down through the oil filler, with the engine cranking, can you see the camshaft on the passenger side turning? If "no" that supports Jim G's theory.

Jay Mackro
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'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 05:01 PM
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I doubt you will be able to see the intake cam. As the oil fill hole is right over the top of the exhaust cam.

Alfajay. Back when I worked on Alfas for a living I did a valve job for a customer. I never loosened the VVT nut as the cams lined up when the head went back on. About 2 weeks later the car was towed in. The owner said it just quit. I can't remember it it was at idle or driving. Anyways when we spun it over we could tell that something was wrong by the sound. Pulled the valve cover and found that the intake cam was not turning. By looking at the cam followers it didn't look like any of the valves were bent. We retimed it tightened up the big nut on the front off the VVT and it cranked up and ran. The cam stopped were the valves wouldn't be hit by the piston. We lucked out that day.

Also the same thing can happen when the small bolt is left out of the regular cam gear. It will run for a little bit. But the cam gear will eventually spin.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 05:05 PM
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Alfa Import Center, 718-381-6764 in Queens. Google is your friend.
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I bought my car from there.Giuseppe Lo Re is the owner. Good guy.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-23-2016, 05:44 PM
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I bought my car from there.Giuseppe Lo Re is the owner. Good guy.
I have an engine that Giuseppe built in my GTV6. He is a first class Alfa mechanic and a good guy.

Ed Prytherch
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76 Suzuki GT500
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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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