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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently found some slime underneath my radiator cap. Before my Alfa turned into a milkshake machine I decided to go ahead and replace the headgasket.

Removing the head was a giant PITA but I did manage to get it off. Before I start slapping things together I did have a question I wanted to throw out there.

My #2 exhaust follower has a circular indentation on it and lacks the scoring around the middle of my other followers. Anyone have any clues as to what this means?

 

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Curious....If I remember correctly, the tops of my followers were smooth and bright polished surfaces, after all that's what the cam lobe wipes across...
Can't give you more advice, except if it were me, I'd be replacing the followers.
Elio
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just now flipped the head over and poured gasoline into each combustion chamber.

The #4 chamber empties through the exhaust port and is halfway empty in 5 minutes. All others hold the gasoline. :mad:

I assume this means I need new valves in that chamber?
 

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Yes, there is a problem in # 4. Where did the follower come from? The should be put back where they "lived". The damage to the follower is from wearing through the surface hardening. It is history. Sorry, but the matching cam lobe is also history. The cheap option is to attempt to locate (CHEAPLY) another undamaged cam, and replace the damaged follower. Go no further.
Next, as far as cost, it to have that one cam "reconditioned" by a reputable Alfa cam grinder like WebCam, and replace all four followers on that cam. Never reuse old followers on a new cam surface.)
Finally, have both cams "reconditioned" and replace all 8 followers with new. the thought here is that if one is failing, the rest will soon fail as well.
As far as valves, cheap, replace one valve. Better replace all 4 exhaust. Best, replace 8 with new guides.
Be SURE the shop that does your head work KNOWS Alfa and other aluminum heads!
 

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Had the same problem with my number one exhaust follower and cam lobe. Replaced the cam and follower, use Rotella T oil, no problem after 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
After taking a closer look at the exhaust cam there is a very tiny flat spot developing at the top of the #2 lobe.

I've prepped the head for machining and am going to drop it off at a shop for dipping, pressure testing and to have the bottom cleaned up. From what I understand shaving the head on these is a big no-no? I'd really like to bump up compression a half point or so.

Also, where can I get replacement exhaust studs? Looks like I boogered a couple threads on the lower #4 one when taking it out.
 

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Any good machine shop can make the studs, otherwise they are available (sometimes) from the usual sources.
If the head is a good one, or a race head with $ invested in porting, or ANYTHING special, milling Alfa heads other than for welding repair clean up or pitting clean up is a bad idea. There are variations on 2L heads and 1300 101, 1600 101 and 105 and 1750's are now getting harder to find good ones. Any material removed, cannot be replaced at any later date. The more the head is cut, the smaller the combustion chamber becomes, and the closer the intake valve to the liner inside bore. This will shield the intake valve, and require boring to get better gas flow. Then you have to consider machine work required on piston crowns to clear the edge of the smaller combustion chamber. Getting these heads flat, should they warp, (from use or welding repair) is best done with a hydraulic press, "bending" them back as they should be, and maintaining the straight bores of the cam bearings. This MUST be done by one that is experienced in this practice. There are a few shops that specialize in straightening warped aluminum heads.
As the cost and scarcity of Alfa heads continues to increase, the old racers trick of milling the head is less cost effective than custom pistons.
Just some thoughts to consider, and just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
After doing the math I think I'm just going to get a good used head for now.

I'm gonna save the head I pulled off my car and eventually build it up. Will l-jet support hotter cams and oversize valves or would I need to go over to megasquirt at that point?
 
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