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After driving my Z for hundreds of miles thorough Europe this past summer to attend the Centennial celebrations, I thought a full check up was in order after the car arrived home to New York - USA. A compression test told the sad story of two cylinders with very low compression. A visual inspection showed that the rear seal was leaking, the transmission bell-housing was leaking, motor mounts were saggy. The clutch, that had been an issue in Europe, also needed looking after. With winter in full force I thought it would be a good time to visit my favorite Alfa shop while they were slow. With all this work to be done the easiest thing to do was is to pull the motor and transmission.

Work done: Replace; transmission mount, clutch, pressure plate, flywheel (Alfaholics lightened steel), front and rear seals, motor mounts. A stainless exhaust system was ordered from Alfaholics as the existing system had some small holes in the manifold. Also from Alfaholics came more aggressive cams and larger intake valves. The main and rod bearings were checked and looked fine so the bottom of the engine was left intact. The lower chain was very slack so a racing change was installed along with a new water pump. The reason for poor compression was determined to be poor seating valves. The head was sent out, valve seats cut and some modification was necessary to accommodate the taler lobs on the performance cams.












The cams were discovered to be very worn with sharp lobs that damaged the followers.


The rear seal was installed incorrectly which caused it to leak.




Some damaged to the head was found from seemingly loose cams.


Quite a bit of slack in the lower chain.


The o-rings on the transmission shafts were leaking.












With the engine out, it was easy work to clean and touch-up the engine bay.





 

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Fred,

What a great car. After the European travel, and engine work, it needs a short break-in trip to the 2011 AROC convention in Lexington, Kentucky


After driving my Z for hundreds of miles thorough Europe this past summer to attend the Centennial celebrations, I thought a full check up was in order after the car arrived home to New York - USA......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Possibly but I've got three other Alfas that want to go as well (Along with a New Fiat 500).
I'm doing a ground up restoration on a Giulia Super that may end up going to the Convention if it's done. My dilemma is what car to bring: Restored Super (great for long drives) 1600Z (rare and fun to drive) GTV 2000, or my Alfasud (very uncommon in the USA). I'll be attending the Fiat Freakout a week later 2 hrs away - so the Fiat is going to tag along regardless.
 

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Looks like you've been putting your Z through it's paces. That's what it's for.

Nice rebuild. Very smart/tasteful improvements. I'd be curious to know how that flywheel feels.

I'm currently in the process of figuring out what to do with the 1750 in my Z. I'm thinking Pittatore cams...

cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Brian.
I'm not keeping it 100% stock but aside from the new SS exhaust system the modifications won't be obvious. Alfaholics claims +10 HP with the exhaust. If true I would think the cams, o/s intake valves and lightened flywheel would possibly double that. I installed an aluminium FW in my GTV and that was the best improvement I've ever made and it idles just fine. Good luck with yours!
 

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Cool beans. I'm going to look into that flywheel...

One question - I noticed that you installed the block/transmission without the head. I've heard that there is clearance issues with 1750s when trying to install a complete motor/head/transmission. Was this the case with your 1600 or is there some other reason for your sequence of assembly.

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I saved 8lbs with the steel FW aluminum is over 10lbs lighter!
The head was not finished so we put the block/trans in without it. We took the motor out separate from trans because we were not planing to remove it... then we saw the o-rings leaking... so it had to come out after the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm finally back up north for a few days and was able to pick up my Z from a buddies garage where it was stored after the mechanic finished. The following photos show the final upgrades and general clean-up. I've been driving the car over the last few days and have put 200 miles on her so far. As I'm still breaking in, I've not really pushed the Z very hard but I can still feel major improvements in performance. The cams and exhaust from Alfaholics provide an all new boost of power at 3,500 rpm. At first it almost felt like a turbo boost! The 1600 engine is an amazing little unit. As a refresher this is what was done:

New Transmission mount Replaced Clutch/pressure plate, Change flywheel to lightened steel, Replace rear engine seal, Change fuel pump to rebuild original, Change motor mounts, Replace exhaust system with Alfaholics stainless. New transmission seals and o-rings.

Engine work: New valves (oversized intake), valve guides and Alfaholic performance cams, Racing valve springs, Racing chains, All new gaskets and seals, Replace cracked valve cover, New Hastings Rings, Inspect all bearings. Also the carburetors were completely disassembled and rebuilt.

















 

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Wow Fred. If I'd known how gorgeous your Z's engine compartment is, yesterday I would have gone out to the parking lot at Dragone Classic Motorcars and taken a look. You should have told me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Bob. Yes, it's looking pretty good now. But to truly appreciate the Z you need to drive it. Next time I see you (and when it's fully broken in) I'll hand you the keys.
 

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Congratulations!

Thanks Bob. Yes, it's looking pretty good now. But to truly appreciate the Z you need to drive it. Next time I see you (and when it's fully broken in) I'll hand you the keys.
Hello Fred,

Congratulations on a Z that really looks great!
About a month ago I bumped into a mechanic who told me he had been working on a blue 1600 Z just a few days before the new owner was going to take it to Italy for the celebrations of 100 years of Alfa Romeo. I asked him if this was 70-XS-25 and he confirmed that. What a small world!
Enjoy your drives with the car!!

Ciao, Olaf
 

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Looks awesome - Congrats!
 
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