Spider Making Mystery Noise - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Spider Making Mystery Noise

Hey all - on a long drive today the S4 Spider began making a noise on front of engine that DOES NOT increase in volume or speed up with engine speed. It's a rattling/grinding noise tha scares the crap out of you.

AC compressor is already disconnected from the belt (shorter belt). Alternator and power steering are working fine.

Any way to diagnose this stuff without pulling off every belt? Worst thing is: as soon as I'm leaning over engine trying to find problem, it goes away. But its there 95 people cent of time.

I do think whatever it is is straining the engine - feels sluggish and running a little hot.

It's just odd that the noise doesn't change pitch or anything as engine speed increases.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 06:01 PM
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One of the electric fan bearings? If you jumper the wires to the switch at the lower right corner of the radiator the fans will run when you switch the ignition to "on." That's an easy way to troubleshoot.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gubi - hmm.

Hard to say what I'm hearing. It seems like a different sound than earlier today. Perhaps it is the engine. It doesn't sound like a valve or the engine chain hitting cover.

It sounds like it's coming from front area of engine and now it's itermittent. Basically it just sounds like a bad bearing somewhere in an accessory. But perhaps it is related to engine speed.

I made an audio recording of it on my phone but not sure it will post here.

Oh well - guess I'll pull the belts and engine cover someday when I have time and go from there.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 12:02 AM
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check the crank pulley is not scraping (occasionally) on the sway bar.......you should be able to fit your finger between pulley and bar.
...a sign of sunken engine mounts, as was the case with my s4.
You can just make out the scraping mark in this photo, where there was barely a mm or two space left!
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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 #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yes that would be a good thing to check - hadn't thought of that.

Motor mounts are about a year old so I might lose my mind if this is the case!

This old Italian car is needing more attention and love than I can give it. I can't keep up.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 11:46 AM
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if the mounts are only a year, you'll be ok.... one hopes!

get one of those mechanics stethoscopes, a few bucks, you can pinpoint noises you never thought even existed!

maybe power steering pump? Aircon belt tensioner?

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 #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 12:01 PM
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Check the tension on the timing chain? Loosen - do not remove - the securing bolt then pry the tensioner out and tighten the locking bolt.

You can remove the fan belt and run the engine for a few minutes - if the noise is present then it is not either the water pump, power steering or alternator.

- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 12:19 PM
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The first thing you need to do is figure out for sure if it's related to engine speed or not. If it isn't then that rules out a lot of the things that have been listed.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
You can remove the fan belt and run the engine for a few minutes...
I would re-phrase that as: "You can remove the fan belt and run the engine for a few minutes as long as the engine is cold when you begin. And a "few" minutes means like 2, max 3 - not ten.

Jay Mackro
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'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 04:49 PM
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Funny thing about noises.I was hearing a couple of rattles and noises on my 61 Giulietta spider and as you said,"stopped when I looked in the engine compartment". The one rattle turned out to be the loose left bumperette that quit making noise when my leg pressed on it. The other intermittent clunk I was hearing I thought was coming from under the rear of the car;It was a petrified mud dauber nest rolling around in a small enclosure around the rear wheel well and the shock tower. I found it when I had to remove my shocks.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - I realize I'm being a bit vague and really won't know much until I have a chance to look at things. It really just sounds like an accessory bearing has bit the bullet big time. I'm hoping it's not engine related. This car has proved to be bulletproof for the most part.

As far as timing chain - it's possible. I'll have to relook at prosejures on how to look at that. I know not to trust the tensioner spring at this age.

Thing is the noise isn't constant - it kind of comes on when it wants to. And then at times it is constant.

Will report back. If it's not an easy fix look for this car in the for sale forums. Cheap. Daddy doesn't have time for himself these days.
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