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Discussion Starter #1
After fixing timing/spica issue, The Jammer ran great for a few weeks. Then died. I was able to coast to a safe spot. Upon trying to restart I noticed the engine turning over way to easily, and not starting. Looking into the oil fill slot I could see the upper timing chain not turning with the crank. Thus, TOW TRUCK. After removing the cam cover this is what I saw on Intake #1.

I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. Is the aluminum on the head repairable? Do I need a new head? New valve(s)? This is the deepest I've ever gone into the engine. Any advice is most welcome. Thanks Alfistis!
 

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ouch!

what is really worrying is when you say
"...I could see the upper timing chain not turning with the crank..."......!??
 

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The cylinder head and sump need to come off, for sure. Never, ever seen a follower shatter. Pretty unusual. That said, many moons ago I did experience a camshaft shearing in half, which was noisy, terminal and also unexpected - even though it was a (ahem) Ford.
 

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Upon trying to restart I noticed the engine turning over way to easily, and not starting. Looking into the oil fill slot I could see the upper timing chain not turning with the crank.
The head will almost certainly need to come off to determine the extent of the damage and the repairs required. I doubt you'll need a new head but if you do, that's not a huge problem. As Dom mentions, the big question is what caused the valve timing problem leading to bent valves? I am being a little presumptuous but not much.
 

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If that chain was really not turning with the crank (ie. the chain itself wasn't broken), I am guessing sheared lower sprocket....
 

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Is it a 2000? If so finding a good used head is probably cheaper and easier than repairing that one. Once the head is off, see if there's evidence any valves hit pistons, or other issues. Some exploration by an experience Alfa engine builder will be prudent.

I've seen many mangled tappets, but like Alex, never seen this. I've seen very deep pockets where valves met pistons and the cam lobe pressed deeply into the tappet. I would do some exploration to see if there's more going on that caused this than mere failure of the tappet.

Andrew
 

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I have one that has done the same thing. The PO had a valve job done and several hundreds of miles latter he heard some noise. He took it back to the shop that did the work. They pulled the head back off and found that 3 of the 4 shims on the exhaust side had shattered. The owner put the car up for sale. I bought the car and took the head to my machine shop and we found that the valve stems had enough ground off of them that the lip of the shims was resting on the valve keepers and not the top off the stem.

While mine had not shattered a valve cup and lock down the cam it did have the same type damage to the valve keepers. There really is no way for the cam to do the damage you see to the valve keepers.

The only other possibility I see that could have happened is the gear broke in the timing cover and the piston slammed the valve causing the cup to shatter but you wouldn't have the damage you see around the valve keeper.

Over the years I have seen a few 4 cylinder's with bent valves but no broken valve cups. But on the V-6's broken valve cups on both the intake and exhaust were normal. The intakes cups on the V-6's are the same as the spiders.

The only things I have seen that cause the gear to break in the timing cover are cam shafts that seized in the head or the timing chain being over tighten a lot.

Also when you look at the gear in the timing cover it won't look broken. But there will usually be a chuck broken away from around the center of the bigger gear. The smaller gear is part of the shaft and the bigger gear has slot cut in it and is pressed on to the shaft with a key in the shaft keeping the bigger gear from spinning on the shaft. So its usually a chunk of metal broken off the bigger gear around the key way area.

Cam shafts will seize for various reasons. Lack of oil to the cams and the cam caps not being put on the correct way or put on in the wrong place to name a few.
 

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Also when you look at the gear in the timing cover it won't look broken. But there will usually be a chuck broken away from around the center of the bigger gear. The smaller gear is part of the shaft and the bigger gear has slot cut in it and is pressed on to the shaft with a key in the shaft keeping the bigger gear from spinning on the shaft. So its usually a chunk of metal broken off the bigger gear around the key way area.
and not all have this key, but were "shrunk on" so to speak........but we will see when bguitarbrown gets back to us........

(hint, hint:))
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all! This sounds WAY over my head. I'm going to try to find a local Alfa pro to help with this. I hope to be able to observe and help and gain this skill-set; but right now I simply don't have it. Thanks for all the advice and steering me to a pro. I'll let you all know about progress.
 

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bguitarbrown

Do you think you could handle a straight cylinder head swap without tring to actually repair the one on the car now? If so you should be able to locate a good used or rebuilt cylinder head assembly. After it is shipped to you, you could just do the R & R of the 2 heads. That way you could leave the repair or parting out of the damaged head to someone else.

I am in Memphis, but just too far away to be in a position to give you a hand. I am pretty sure you should be able to locate a dependable cylinder head assembly from someone on this BB.

I also have never seen this problem before but am willing to bet it is due to improper previous maintenance. Certain cars have in the past been cam shaft breakers (the earliest Honda civics were notorious, als well as some 1800 and 2000 Fiats) but I have never seem an alfa break a camshaft or a tappet.

Robert
 

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bguitarbrown

Do you think you could handle a straight cylinder head swap without tring to actually repair the one on the car now?

I think I can handle that and think I may go this route. Thanks so much!:thumbup:
I notice that someone feels that there may be a possibility that you have cylinder/piston damage as well. But since the spring cap and keepers stayed in place, I am thinking that you have an excellent chance of finding no damage inside that cylinder when the head is removed. If this turns out to be the case, then a straight forward cylinder head swap should fix you up and put you back on the road. But read up on cylinder head removal and replacement before you start. You can find this in the technical digest postings at the head of this forum. Big thing is to make yourself a set of cylinder liner hold downs prior to getting started on removing the head. If you get the head loose or off and accidently move the crankshaft, a piston rising can lift up a cylinder liner, destroying the sealing of the liner to the crakncase by way of the thin rubber O ring at the bottom of the liner. If this happens you are doomed to getting deep into the engine to install a new set of liner O rings. You don't want to go there if at all possible. if you get into a head swap and need some advice, PM me and I will give you my phone number and we can talk you through it. If you do swap the head yourself, be SURE to put the shifter into neutral and disconnect the battery before getting started. This will minumize the chances of accidently truning the crank whice you are involved in the head swap.

Robert
 

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I just wonder if all this has anything to do with the timing chain tensioner wedge that went missing some months back.......?
 

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After fixing timing/spica issue, The Jammer ran great for a few weeks. Then died. I was able to coast to a safe spot. Upon trying to restart I noticed the engine turning over way to easily, and not starting. Looking into the oil fill slot I could see the upper timing chain not turning with the crank. Thus, TOW TRUCK. After removing the cam cover this is what I saw on Intake #1.

I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. Is the aluminum on the head repairable? Do I need a new head? New valve(s)? This is the deepest I've ever gone into the engine. Any advice is most welcome. Thanks Alfistis!
The issue here is (looking into the oil fill slot I could see the upper timing chain NOT turning with the crank) I think the valve cup damage is due to failure with the timing chain. Maybe even bottom chain break or key failure.
Lots to do to check why the timing chain doesn't move. :detective:
 

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I once had a catastrophic engine failure in my Spider (my daughter was driving it) at a time when it shared daily driver duties. I bought a well worn but usable engine from Bill Sinclair for $400 or $500. It came out of an old Berlina but it had started life in a 79 Spider - same year as mine. That engine lasted for a couple of years, slowly using more and more oil and it gave me plenty of time to build my next engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
So I'm not the quickest mechanic, but I finally got the cylinder head off. A replacement is on the way. BUUUUTTTTTTT........ Here's why the crank was turning and upper timing chain not. Dang! Looks like I'll be pulling my first engine soon. Wish me luck. I'll need it.
 

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