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, RIP 04/21/2019,
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Discussion Starter #1
Cam bolt unthreaded and punched its way through the front of newly restored engine without warning while motoring down US 44 towards the site of the 2015 Alfa Romeo Convention in Warwick, RI for a meeting of the Convention organizing committee. New head needed. Please help me if you can.

I was able to retrieve the cam bolt (still lodged in engine), the tab lock washer (fell down in engine to the oil pan), and the flat washer (laying on side of road about 200 yards back from where I stopped the car). However, I was not able to find the piece that broke off the head.

Haggerty did a great job getting the car back to my garage.

Roger.
 

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Super Moderator
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your head can be repaired, but it would be an expensive repair.
 

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Contact Jay Nuxoll (twoliterlover) -- he may have a spare head.
 

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Does this engine not use a bolt with a castellated nut and split pin?
I am guessing that the bolt that came loose goes into the center of the camshaft. That unlike the later series of engine, those early 2L's use a bolt, rather than a nut, to retain the gear on the cam. So if that bolt backs out enough to contact the head, friction against the head prevents it from turning, causing the rotation of the cam to unscrew it further, and creating enough force to break out that piece of the head casting. Ouch!

I assume that those engines also use the "bolt with a castellated nut and split pin" to hold the gear to the flange on the cam for the veneer adjustment.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Head

Head can be repaired by a competant shop. It`s really no big deal, or expensive....what about the cam cover? Did cam 6mm through bolt keep the cam turning or are valves, seats etc damaged?
 

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, RIP 04/21/2019,
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Discussion Starter #8
Cam cover appears undamaged. 6mm bolt remained in position, timing chain is still tight and appears okay.
Local machine shop that just did the the engine rebuild is confident they can repair the head. Next step for me, remove engine from car.
 

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Is it easier to just remove the head? I know in many situations, it is more expedient to remove the whole engine.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Local Machine shop

Local machine shop that just did the the engine rebuild is confident they can repair the head.
Usually after such an issue the machine shop should absorb the repair. Show them what a bottle of LockTite looks like.
 

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Heck I'd lock wire both camshaft bolts after experiencing that ... but yes I'm a big fan if Locktite.

What a pity.
Pete
 

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Push hard and live
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I may have some new lock-tabs for the 102 engine. I had a batch done a while back, but not sure how many I have left over. Which, BTW, are the same as for the left side intake cam on the Montreal.
 

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Well, do you want a head?

Sorry about the bolt backing out. It has happened to me too, but I heard a strange rattle and knew something was amiss and then caught it before the casting was broken. I fully agree that a good welder can make an almost non detectable repair (Two liter heads should be done in black crinkle finish anyway), but if you need a head I have several. I'm in Seattle so it would take time to get it there.

And it's easier just to remove a head. Too much work and no need to remove the whole engine. But from the tone of your posting I suspect you don't do a lot of your own engine repairs. If you are taking the car to a shop they will only remove the head. Only advantage, as I see it, to buying an extra head is that it could be built up in advance (maybe with stainless steel valves), and swapped so the car gets out quickly and you can continue driving (in salt in the winter??!! -- not!), and then the old head could be done at leisure. If it's time to put the car up for the winter anyway, just take the head off and take it in for repair, and when it's ready you can put it back on yourself. Piece of cake! If you need me to write up a step by step procedure for you to follow so you could feel safe about doing it yourself, just ask. I believe Alfa owners should do as much of their own work as they can, especially this simple stuff.
 

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Locktite is good to use, but it should not be the main source for stopping parts from moving - mechanical means should be used instead. Locktite will also have curing issues on old parts unless they cleaned extremly well. The type of Loctite and date codes are also issues. We use Locktite at work building new product, and we have run into many issues with the stuff when not used correctly.

Doug
 

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I've seen good welders like Dennis at Norman Racing fix bigger damage than that, though without the original piece it might be tough to make the repair invisible. On an otherwise good 102 head (I guess you won't know if there's hidden damage til it's removed), probably more economical to weld than find another.

Andrew
 

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, RIP 04/21/2019,
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks one and all for your comments.

I have drained the fluids, removed the carburetors and radiator and disconnected the exhaust manifold in preparation to remove the head for repair. (However I have found a shop that may be willing to repair the head with the engine in place)

Have also removed all the fasteners that secure the sump to the engine in preparation to remove the sump from the car. It looks like I will have to lift the engine slightly to be able to slide the sump out from above the front suspension cross member in order for it to clear the transmission. It is possible to remove the sump this way, right? (The main reason for removing the sump is to retrieve the lost tab washer as possible evidence that it was not installed correctly. See photo below for how the other side looked when I took the cam cover off)

Roger
 

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Personally, I don't think you want to have any shop work on your car that will repair the head "in place". Welding, grinding, refinishing, to say nothing of the heat generated in the repair would likely ruin your engine forever.
The correct repair with or without the missing chunk is NOT a simple procedure. It will require the talents of a shop that specializes in this type of work, and having done several of this type repair, I'm familiar with what is involved, and it is NOT a job that can be done with the head "in place".
From my experience.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Pulling the motor?

Why are you pulling the engine. All you need is to take the head off.
It has to bwe off to do the repairs. As Gordon said you dont want crap getting into the engine!

Noticed the lock tab is not used on the other cam either. I wouldn`t trust your shop to change the oil!
 

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tab washer

Just out of interest what does the tab washer do? Surely the correct torque will hold the cam bolt in not the tab washer? My highly experienced race engine builder does not fit the tab washers anyware on an Alfa engine on the basis that once the tab washer is needed ie the bolt is lose its already too late. As when it is lose the bolt will just rattle around against the tab washer till it falls off any way. If you believe you have a claim of lose cam bolts , an untabbed tab washer is not enough evidence, you need to check if the bolt was actually torqued up
 

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My highly experienced race engine builder does not fit the tab washers anyware on an Alfa engine on the basis that once the tab washer is needed ie the bolt is lose its already too late.
So what does your highly experienced race engine builder use to retain bolts? Not tab washers obviously, but does he use split washers or Loctite? I find it hard to believe that he just torques them to the proper setting and hopes they stay in place.
 
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