Engine Seized? - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #46 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
An Alfa engine is what's called an "interference engine" - the valves and pistons occupy the same space, ideally not at the same time.
Aaah. I meant to ask earlier if this is an interference engine.

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post #47 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Your master link 'fish' is swimming the wrong way for sure!

I'd pull the head at this point as it's really not that much more work. Make sure to drain coolant down.

You might want to have folks chime in regarding the best way for you to pull the head on your car. I used the rope in the spark plug holes trick and it worked great. The only problem with the rope method is it relies on rocking the motor to have the pistons push up on the head, which isn't really an option for you.
I was thinking of pulling the head too, since I need to replace that gasket anyway. With the engine not rotating, it's going to be interesting to get that head off. Beyond head removal, I'm in pretty deep. I'm thinking of buying an engine overhaul manual from Centerline if I go much further.

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post #48 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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why have you undone the timing chain ?

First thing I would do is (reconnect the chain)
Find a 36mm socket and see if you can turn the engine over via the front pulley nut with the a large extension piece/breaker bar, plugs out obvioulsy, neutral gear.

Will the car roll in neutral ? (Perhaps you recovered it this way - didn't want to assume).

Have you bench tested the starter?
Have you checked the positive cable to the starter is connected (not loose/frayed) and moe importantly that the braided negative earth is connected to gearbox?

I think it unlikely you have a seized engine unless you can see something burnt (oil etc).
Removing cams/chains before you try to even turn it over via the pulley nut is only going to ensure you have to time the cams later...
Craig,
All very good points. I've undone the timing chain, in hopes of isolating what area of the engine is bound up. (e.g. camshafts, valve train, crankshaft)

I'll try to explain my logic so far (not necessarily in chronological order):

I have tried to physically turn the engine at the front nut; no go.

The car does roll in neutral, which is how I towed it back to the house. That seems to eliminate transmission/clutch issues. The engine initially died at a stoplight on a hill, with the trans in 1st gear, and the clutch pedal depressed.

After the first time it died, it successfully restarted, although it only ran momentarily, then died again. Subsequent start attempts resulted in diminishing engine rotation, however the starter would draw so much current from the battery, that it would undervolt the electrical system, and make the stereo reset. (of course at that point, there's not enough voltage for the ECUs to operate anyway) The ability of the starter to draw that much current indicates electrical connections are satisfactory...but I checked them anyway. High current draw would also point toward the starter trying to exert itself against a great deal of resistance.

I have not bench-tested the starter, which is not a bad idea at this point...just to eliminate the starter as a possibility. Although symptoms would seem to remove the starter as the problem, it is certainly possible. I'll bench-test it tomorrow before I go any further with the engine.

-Kevin
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post #49 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:11 PM
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Don't bother bench testing it. Just remove it, remove the cams, and see if the motor turns over by hand.

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post #50 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:12 PM
I'm thinking you may as well pull the motor. The head isn't preventing the crank from rotating. Whatever is, is from below. Pulling the head and everything else will be a lot easier with the motor out.

It's not that hard - we just pulled one yesterday. Two people who know what we're doing took two hours with a few distractions along the way. A first timer can do it over a weekend with a friend, an engine lift and some good floor jacks.

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post #51 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:13 PM
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Ps I never asked but -- the car has oil in the crankcase , right? Your logic is sound ; craig timing the cams is 10 minutes work.

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post #52 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:15 PM
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Rich I think that's where it will end up but possibly if he can verify that crank won't turn with top end disconnected at least it's then a sure thing!

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post #53 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ps I never asked but -- the car has oil in the crankcase , right? Your logic is sound ; craig timing the cams is 10 minutes work.
Oil in the crankcase is good...not black, not burnt smelling or anything.

-Kevin
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post #54 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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@gprocket is right, it probably would be more straightforward to pull the whole engine, but I am not set up for that. I want to ensure it's necessary to pull the engine before I start that process.

I'll have to make space in my garage, purchase a hoist and engine stand, put the car up on jackstands, and do the whole thing myself (daughters and wife are no help).

The good news is that I don't NEED the Alfa until February, when the youngest gets her license, so I have a little time on the calendar. I wish I was retired, so I had more time to work on this!
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-Kevin
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post #55 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
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Don't bother bench testing it. Just remove it, remove the cams, and see if the motor turns over by hand.
+1
remove both cams (do not mix up cam caps!) and starter...then try turning crank (by hand, or pushing in gear)

If it don't turn, remove engine is the next step.

I just wonder if the starter pinion got somehow locked solid into the ring gear....? (misalignment due to missing shoulder bolt, starter coming loose slightly...something like that)

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #56 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 03:44 AM
My bad, I thought you had tried turning it with the cams/chain removed. Yes, do that first...

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post #57 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 10:36 AM
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Hi, I have to agree with most that if the engine is seized it is in the bottom end. What I don't see is that you have pulled the starter and made sure that it is not locked up. Please do so. I have seen shops sell major engine repairs (not Alfa) when the only thing wrong was a seized starter. Normally this condition makes an odd noise. You said you had the sounds on so maybe did not hear it. I myself have jumped into a car and did not recognize the sound for a while. Alfas have pretty robust engines. Locking up the bottom end usually happens when there has been recent engine work or extremely long and poor care and or abuse. Please keep us posted on your progress. Good luck.

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post #58 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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I had some sunshine this afternoon, and was able to work on the Alfa some more.

Pulled the camshafts, pulled the starter, cannot turn the engine by hand at the crank nut. It's not looking good for the home team.

Except for a few small irregularities, I haven't found anything that I would consider a 'smoking gun' as to my current problem. I did find a small amount of grit and some minor scoring in the forward journal for the exhaust camshaft. One of the screws holding on the #4 injector was loose. One bolt loose on the starter (but no damage or unusual wear to the starter gear, or the portion of the flywheel I can see). I found no seal around the shaft of the VVT solenoid, and indications that it too had been seeping oil. Once I had all the FI components removed on the intake side, I could see that the head gasket had been seeping on that side too.

I do have a mystery though: When I removed the thermostat, it looked like a piece had fallen into the bottom hose. It looked like some kind of brass washer. I fished it out, and found this installed in the hose:


My workshop manual makes no mention of this item, nor shows it in the illustrations. It looks like some sort of spring loaded flow restrictor. There's a spring inside, that pushes against that inner disc with a hole in it. Its orientation in the photo is how it was sitting in the hose, with the hole at the top. That means (according to the diagram in the workshop manual) the spring was biased with the flow of water, not against. That basically makes it a static orifice, whose purpose is unclear.

It is looking certain that I'll have to pull the engine. I need to figure out the best way to accomplish a solo engine pull. If I pull the heads first, will it make the engine that much lighter and easier to handle? Can I leave the trans in the car, and pull just the engine?

I think my very next step is to order an engine overhaul manual. Then I'll start accumulating the items I need to pull the engine, and break it down on a stand.

-Kevin
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post #59 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 01:39 AM
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that is indeed a flow restrictor:
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/578121-post23.html
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spid...pass-hose.html

have you looked down to the lower chain/gear idler area with a flashlight to see if there is anything visibly untoward there?

Generally, pulling the engine with head on (the head has the hook for the hoist) together with the transmission seems the way most people go at it.
You obviously need a hoist (maybe hire one for the day of the pull, and again for the day you put it back in)
and iirc one of the steering links needs to be split.

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #60 of 572 (permalink) Old 10-08-2017, 05:27 AM
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You can separate the engine from the transmission and then lift it out but you will have a hard time installing it afterwards. I did it once and I felt like I got lucky that it went together after a long struggle and with good help from an aircraft mechanic. I agree with Dom that you should replace the head before you lift the motor.

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