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I'm just trying to gauge normal-

should you be able to here the valves tapping? there not cranking loud but they are audible.

also- there is a buzz type hum from the area that seems it would be the timing chain ?

I know sounds are difficult to diagnose in a written forum but can someone with a seasoned Alfa ear describe normal??? Might be a ridiculous request but
figured i'd give it a shot.
 

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I'll give this one a shot too....

Alfa valves are noisy by nature---I've heard that if they are totally quiet this is when you have a problem. Now, that being said, there are good noises and bad noises....if the noise is cyclic in volume, that is probably a bad thing. If it goes away at higher revs, that is also probably bad. In other words, if it is a constant tapping that does not change volume with revs or time, then you probably don't have much to worry about, providing it's not TOO loud. A good thing to do would be to check your follower gaps---easy to do and doesn't take much time.

As far as the hum from the timing chain area, it could be water pump, alternator, A/C compressor....or something entirely from a different location. Best thing to do is put your ear to a long screwdriver and touch the end to various items in question. Be careful of hair, ect...and don't touch moving stuff. My best guess would be the alternator bearings wearing out, but that's just a guess.

Obviously, others will have different suggestions---these are just mine, and should not be taken as something brought down from a mountain on stone tablets.
 

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Hi motlust,

The answer to your question varies condiderably, depending upon the model Alfa. For illustration, all of my 4 cylinder Alfas from 1300, 1600 to 2000cc didn't make an appreciable amount of valve train noise assuming the clearances were set correctly and the timing chain was tight. My 1991 Series 4 Spider has relatively loud clicking valve noise and I understand this is "normal" for S4 engines and related to different valve guide material. Some S4 owners set their valve clearances below factory spec's to reduce the noise. I know of one SCCA racer that sets his at .012in.

Another sound on newer Spiders is the power steering pump. NOT heard on Giuliettas!

So: what year and model is your Alfa, what are the valve clearances?


motolust said:
I'm just trying to gauge normal-

should you be able to here the valves tapping? there not cranking loud but they are audible.

also- there is a buzz type hum from the area that seems it would be the timing chain ?

I know sounds are difficult to diagnose in a written forum but can someone with a seasoned Alfa ear describe normal??? Might be a ridiculous request but
figured i'd give it a shot.
 

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When clold you should hear nothing more than a slight ticking. When warm it should totally go away. The buzz is unusual. Check the clearances! I think .014 is better than .012 for a "street" car.

Stu
 

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my 74 spider has a little valve noise after it warms up, still within specs for lash. solid lifter cars always seem to have a little noise, thats why they came up with hydraulic lash adjusters.
cliff
 

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I used to ask customers whether they would rather have a bit of noise and a long time between valve clearance checks, or less noise and less time. My 1980 makes no valve noise at all, nor chain noise, but the clearances are tighter than I'd really like, just not close enough to make me go through the process. Noise also depends on the oil you use. If you're using something like 20 -50, there'll be less noise than if you're using 5-30, or straight 30.
 

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My 87 Spider is "ticky" when it warms up. I have no "buzzing" sound. I am overdue for a valve adjustment. A buzzing noise could be a loose timing chain, or as was listed before, Water Pump, Alt., Bad Belt.

You could also have an exhaust manifold leak at the head. Some of the nuts back off on the studs. This condition will sound like a valve "tick".

Dave
 

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I was listening to mine while I was out for lunch (we're getting ONE day of convertible weather here in Birmingham) and it reminds me of an IBM electric typewriter from the late 70's if you're old enough to remember those.
 

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ScottJ175 said:
I was listening to mine while I was out for lunch (we're getting ONE day of convertible weather here in Birmingham) and it reminds me of an IBM electric typewriter from the late 70's if you're old enough to remember those.
IBM Selectric. Pre-computers it was state of the art, had one "ball type" printing head, not the individual keys that strike the ribbon. When used with a carbon ribbon, could produce camera ready copy for off-set & web-fed (newsprint) printing. Very nice piece of equipment.

On topic valves: the valves normally have a slight pleasant noise, not a loud tapping; the valve cover absorbs some of the noise. Propper clearence is important. Most standard factory camshafts should have a .019 intake and .021 clearence, but there are variations, the 1048 are .018 and .021; 10106 (1300 veloce) .015 & .021; 10121 (1600 Veloce) .017 &.019. Aftermarket cams can have different settings for instance the shankle/ricambi 7L's are recommended at .006 & .008. As previously noted oil will also make a difference.
 

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conedriver said:
My 1991 Series 4 Spider has relatively loud clicking valve noise and I understand this is "normal" for S4 engines and related to different valve guide material.
The other day, a guy at a drive thru window asked me if my spider ('91 S4) have a diesel engine:eek:. The valve noise on my car comes up only after the engine gets fully warmed up and it's very quiet during warmup.
 

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Alfacliff said:
my 74 spider has a little valve noise after it warms up, still within specs for lash. solid lifter cars always seem to have a little noise, thats why they came up with hydraulic lash adjusters.
cliff

Okay, :eek: I'll bite...

What is:rolleyes: a lash adjuster?

And :eek: Why do you have one in your Alfa?
 

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IBM Selectric. Pre-computers it was state of the art, had one "ball type" printing head, not the individual keys that strike the ribbon. When used with a carbon ribbon, could produce camera ready copy for off-set & web-fed (newsprint) printing. Very nice piece of equipment.

My secretary did such a nice job of typing my Master's Thesis on one (using a ball called 'Bookface') that I married her. (And she liked the Berlina and the NSU Sport Prinz I had at the time.)
 
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