Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi friends,

As the title suggests, I'm contemplating the idea of pulling the engine in my 164 (12v A/T, right hand drive, 200K miles). I'm curious to know what the consensus view is on the difficulty of an engine removal vs. the amount of time saved by doing jobs with the engine out.

The main task I need to do is a steering rack rebuild (which I'm not really looking forward to...) and replace the rear valve cover gasket. If I pull the engine, I'd probably tackle other non-critical jobs, like refresh the rear cylinder head, change the rear main seal, reseal the sump, replace engine mounts, clean everything etc. None of these things need doing now, but I use the car a couple of times a week and it is starting to show its age. Of course, this would probably see the car stay off the road for 12 months or so.

What do y'all think - do the rack and gasket and drive on, or pull the engine and invest some more time (and $) ?
 

·
Moderator
2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
Joined
·
16,815 Posts
If the engine is out, refresh the starter. Just never hurts even if it works now.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,622 Posts
If the engine is out, refresh the starter. Just never hurts even if it works now.
Where do you stop with that attitude? :eek:

BUT if you intend to replace the timing belt, undo the crankshaft nut before removing the engine ... or just buy a new one and ensure you have a Dremel type tool to cut the old one off. A very poor bit of engineering by Alfa Romeo
Pete
 
  • Like
Reactions: richardbradford

·
Moderator
2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
Joined
·
16,815 Posts
"Where do you stop with that attitude? "

The starter removal/installation in an installed 164 engine is such a pain, it is always wise to refresh that unit if the engine is out. Simple and not costly task for sure. Same as for the steering rack, although that is a little easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments :) Unfortunately for me, my starter solenoid failed last year, so I have just been down this path (with engine installed). It's a painful job, and has perhaps prompted me to ask this question!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
If you take the engine out I’d tear the whole thing down inspect parts and replace as necessary. Pulling the engine is no simple task and not one I’d want to repeat a year later because piston rings or a liner seal goes. Personally I’m of the opinion that whenever a head is pulled on a wet sleeve engine the liner seals must be replaced but as long as you don’t lift a liner out of the bore and disturb it you can get away with leaving it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Moderator
2015 Chevy (Holden) SS, 1989 Milano (Shankle Sport), 1991 164S
Joined
·
16,815 Posts
Depends on the miles on the engine (on average) and how it was taken care of as to whether or not the engine should be torn down or not. These particular engines are incredibly durable and can run for years without any basic block part replacement. Many seem to accumulate well over 100k miles on them without any change from normal in performance. Some achieve at least 200k miles. As an example, the engine in my 91S has 196k miles on it now, the heads have never been off, and the oil pressure is still ~50 psi at hot 3000 rpm (~cruise), and 30 psi hot idle. Still runs well, and has received just normal required maintenance and adjustments, and replacement of consumable parts (which to my mind includes water pump, tensioner and idler bearings, coolant hoses, rotor, fuel lines, brakes, etc), for it's entire lifetime so far. Even the clutch lasted ~188k miles before replacement.

Of course, I always knock on wood (or pasta).

It is always the owner's choice as to just how involved the tear down could be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've just about hit 200k miles on mine, and it runs well. No smoke and minimal oil use. I have adjusted the valves and spooned out a lot of oil sludge from the top of the heads though, and I suspect valve guides, seals and head gaskets are probably getting a bit tired. I think I would just do a top end rebuild on the back head if I pulled it out, and perhaps do the front head with the engine in-situ further down the track. I don't really see a need to get into bearings, but could be convinced to replace piston rings and perhaps hone the back cylinders while the head's off.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,622 Posts
I'd leave the head gasket alone unless it's a problem

There is always something wrong if you look hard enough
Pete
 
  • Like
Reactions: sam the chemist

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,709 Posts
Depends how much money you have, lots? If so take the engine out...... That’s a slippery slope. Considering the job that needs doing is a steering rack. There is a post on here about doing that with engine in, hanging on and engine hoist and taking the subframe out. Either way seems like a big job I have not done. How far from the original job do you was to get?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
If you take the engine out, I would suggest:
  • check the condition of the various fuel hoses behind the false firewall;
  • oil pan gasket;
  • water pump?
  • brake booster;
  • main drive shaft seal if you have the transmission apart;
  • clutch plate if manual transmission.

Do a compression check on each cylinder. I have a bad exhaust value on one of the back cylinders and as a result, it's pressure is very low and it does not fire when idling. Those cannot be replaced with the engine in place. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,283 Posts
Sam, it would help to determine what your intentions are for this car. If it is a car that is in average used 164L condition, that you picked up on the cheap and plan to drive for a couple more years then sell; I'd suggest you just do what needs to be done. If the car is really nice and you plan on keeping it for the long haul (I've had my '92 164-S since it was new) pull the engine and do all the work. The first time my steering rack was rebuilt was in 2007. I paid about $1200 for the job ($700 labor, $450 rack repair). I can't imagine doing this job with the engine in the car -unfortunately it started leaking within a year. If you have not tried it yet, Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak can work miracles -if the seals are just worn as opposed to blown out or torn. I used a Mighty Vac to remove all power steering fluid from the reservoir and filled it with Lucas PSSL. It worked well for the next 10 years with only minor drips!

When pulling the engine in 2018 to replace a failed throw out bearing, I sent the rack to Jason at Alfissimo and he had it properly rebuilt, the starter was rebuilt and the following 40+ items replaced retorqued cleaned or rebuilt: all belts, hoses, fluids, water pump, clutch, pp, t.o.b, rear main seal, shift rod bushings, bellows, motor mounts, idler bearing, CV joints, alternator, starter, tie rod end, heads nuts torqued, valve clearances, plugs, wires, cap, rotor -on and on. I took a few months to go through all of this and enjoyed the process. If you plan on one year, will you ever get it done?

Unfortunately there are still a few issues. I though the A/C would work but had a bad relay or something. When installing the engine we broke the capillary tube on the right front engine compartment -apparently it had no charge...and the clutch pedal sticks part way down sometimes and I've been replacing switches for window and mirrors lately...

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sam, it would help to determine what your intentions are for this car. If it is a car that is in average used 164L condition, that you picked up on the cheap and plan to drive for a couple more years then sell; I'd suggest you just do what needs to be done. If the car is really nice and you plan on keeping it for the long haul (I've had my '92 164-S since it was new) pull the engine and do all the work. The first time my steering rack was rebuilt was in 2007. I paid about $1200 for the job ($700 labor, $450 rack repair). I can't imagine doing this job with the engine in the car -unfortunately it started leaking within a year. If you have not tried it yet, Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak can work miracles -if the seals are just worn as opposed to blown out or torn. I used a Mighty Vac to remove all power steering fluid from the reservoir and filled it with Lucas PSSL. It worked well for the next 10 years with only minor drips!

Mark
Thanks Mark and others who have replied. Yes, I did pick this car up on the (very) cheap, and agree with others on the 164 Board that they are a well-kept secret. While it doesn't have the transaxle fun of the 75 or 90 that I used to own, it's a much better package as a whole, and I can't see that I'd get much more enjoyment out of a newer car. The bodywork is almost faultless, leather interior very good and no rust in our part of the world. So long story short - I'll probably hang onto it medium/long term.

I've given the Lucas PSSL a go after vacuuming out the dirty fluid in the reservoir. It has slowed my leak down to a small drip after being parked overnight, however the big boot on the rack is split so I think needing a rebuild is only a matter of time. Hopefully the PSSL will buy me a few months to get some other projects finished!

I think based on everyone's comments, I'll leave the engine in the car and drop the subframe for this job. An engine rebuild can be future-Sam's problem, and I'll just keep up the maintenance for now. I might even come across a spare engine in that time which I can refresh at my leisure and drop in, which would probably make more sense :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
I took the steering rack off a 164 twinspark with the engine in and it was a dog but do-able (obviously as did it). For V6 I'd probably take off any ancilliary in the way, for example on 24v the power-steering pump. Not sure what advantage dropping the subframe would give, unless you can drop it a lot. The clearance issue I found was between the engine and the bulkhead; getting a tool on the rack mount bolts and then having enough movement to turn it was a pain.
Well done for sorting the starter with engine in btw. Have done that on my 24v though such a pig of a job actually got close to scrapping the car so totally understand the notion of changing/rebuilding it when ever the engine is out.
Fuel lines at rear of engine can be changed with engine in - am talking of 24v and assume similar on 12v though could be wrong. On 24v there are hard lines at rear that connect to rubbers that go to the fuel rails. Bit tricky but not an awful job - especially if plenum off - gives better access.
My 24v has done over 150k miles and, subjectively, power remains bang on. Have rebuilt the AFM and dropped in a new (genuine) Bosch TPS sensor, which really rejuvinated things. Average over 20mpg (probably getting half that during full-bore driving). No smoke from exhaust and barely any oil consumption - emissions all great in annual tests. I do change the oil every 4 to 8000 miles, using Castol Magnatec 10w40 - which is what the car had in when bought it - and don't boot it (usually) until warmed up. From what I've seen, the valves all look clean, with not even a hint of coking up; indicating good airflow design. Mechanically, these are really solid engines and think the biggest fall-down they face is poor maintainence/treatment.
Not sure if any of this helps but good luck either way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took the steering rack off a 164 twinspark with the engine in and it was a dog but do-able (obviously as did it). For V6 I'd probably take off any ancilliary in the way, for example on 24v the power-steering pump. Not sure what advantage dropping the subframe would give, unless you can drop it a lot. The clearance issue I found was between the engine and the bulkhead; getting a tool on the rack mount bolts and then having enough movement to turn it was a pain.
Well done for sorting the starter with engine in btw. Have done that on my 24v though such a pig of a job actually got close to scrapping the car so totally understand the notion of changing/rebuilding it when ever the engine is out.
Fuel lines at rear of engine can be changed with engine in - am talking of 24v and assume similar on 12v though could be wrong. On 24v there are hard lines at rear that connect to rubbers that go to the fuel rails. Bit tricky but not an awful job - especially if plenum off - gives better access.
My 24v has done over 150k miles and, subjectively, power remains bang on. Have rebuilt the AFM and dropped in a new (genuine) Bosch TPS sensor, which really rejuvinated things. Average over 20mpg (probably getting half that during full-bore driving). No smoke from exhaust and barely any oil consumption - emissions all great in annual tests. I do change the oil every 4 to 8000 miles, using Castol Magnatec 10w40 - which is what the car had in when bought it - and don't boot it (usually) until warmed up. From what I've seen, the valves all look clean, with not even a hint of coking up; indicating good airflow design. Mechanically, these are really solid engines and think the biggest fall-down they face is poor maintainence/treatment.
Not sure if any of this helps but good luck either way.

Thanks Richard - that's a good point about the fuel lines, I will have a good look when I'm in there. I've replaced the short flexible sections near the injectors as they had deteriorated, so if there are others I'll tackle them too. It's a great car so I'll look forward to getting on with the job!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top