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title says it all.... with regards to the timing belt at 30k on my 164l, I also have a nissan xterra with a timing belt that gets replaced every 105k according to book.. I cjecked with Dayco who akes a belt for both the nissan and Alfa and they say they are made the same way and should be under the same tension in either engine (both being SOHC V6's ). So why does the 164l require every 30k? in fact both require the water pump every belt change also since you have to get to the pump past the belt...

do you need to pull the intake to change rear plugs ?

If these questions have been asked and answered I apologize... in 1 week I am thoroughly addicted to my 164 , new tires today...ordered service parts for this winter already...

Robb
 

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A belt may be a belt, but a 164 is not a Nissan. The belts may go longer than 30,000. Belts are better than they were 16 years ago, but 105,000? NOT on my Alfa!! Too may people have had belt problems and either had large repair bills or parted out their cars. Valves hit pistons on Alfas, not sure about your Nissan.

You don't have to replace the water pump on every belt change on an Alfa. It's not necessary to get the belt on and off. Water pumps last 2 belt changes. Water pumps can also go longer than 60,000, but it's a real pain if the water pump fails and your belt doesn't need changing. The belt has to come off to change the water pump.

When was your belt last changed? If you don't know, you'd be well advised to do it sooner rather than later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
HI Richard and tnx,, the Nissan is the same type of engine (interference) if the belt goes the same type of damage occurs as in the Alfa.. according to the receipts I got from the 2nd owner it was done about 30k ago and the water pump the time before that. I am ordering everything I need to change both as well as the clutch which is original at 163k and holding well but if I am tearing things apart....Robb
 

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Factories and belt manufacturers can state whatever interval they want, but people who have owned these cars and network with other, determine safe intervals based on known failure mileages. I have seen it with other cars as well, such as 944 Porsches (20,000 miles on those or sooner even). You would be well advised to go by the generally accepted wisdom of those that have gone before and not those who have no particular car knowledge, they are all different. In the case of the 164, I don't think anybody trusts the thermo-mechanical T/B tensioner longer than 30k. It is the real weak link, not the belt itself, but it may (likely) cause belt problems at the time of it's failure. I would look into what the "real" safe interval is on the Nissan as well, it may not be wise to let it go as long as the belt manufacturer is saying.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tnx Charles, my mech belt tensioner was replaced 2 belts ago, should it be replaced again ? it is not the hydraulic type I do know that. also the 105k belt rating on the Nissan is from Nissan not the belt company. I did mine at 110k and its now at 130k.Again,, its just the engineer in me asking the questions.
 

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I would replace it. It has to pivot and they get old and dirty and stop working right, also they have a plastic roller and a fragile spring on the backside. Be careful not to over rotate it on installation (the little pointer past the mark) or the little coil spring on the back will either break or be weakened. :eek:
Charles
 

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If you use a OEM Alfa belt or a good aftermarket belt you can safely set up a 35/70k interval. 35 on belt and 70 on tensioner and water pump PROVIDED that you installed the tensioner correctly yourself or can absolutely trust that your mech has not broken outer thermal clutch spring on tensaioner by not correctly installing tensioner.

You must use needle nose pliers or forked tool to rotate pulley eccentric over center to get belt on and to engage tensioner into belt and not snap outer spring as you lift tensioner body over center by lifting lug.
 

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A lot of us wish we'd stayed with the old HYDRAULIC (sorry) tensioner and not changed with all the hype over mechanical ones. They're not that great either. Mechanical tensioners work well if the seals are changed so they don't leak.
 

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title says it all.... with regards to the timing belt at 30k on my 164l, I also have a nissan xterra with a timing belt that gets replaced every 105k according to book.. I cjecked with Dayco who akes a belt for both the nissan and Alfa and they say they are made the same way and should be under the same tension in either engine (both being SOHC V6's ). So why does the 164l require every 30k? in fact both require the water pump every belt change also since you have to get to the pump past the belt...

do you need to pull the intake to change rear plugs ?

If these questions have been asked and answered I apologize... in 1 week I am thoroughly addicted to my 164 , new tires today...ordered service parts for this winter already...

Robb
All Dayco timing belts are made in Italy the same way for all vehicles. Dayco gives the 164 a 50K mile interval. We change them early do to bad experience with the past. Many folks busted t-belts years ago with old style hydraulic tensioner due to letting them go after they started to leak. I still think these units are better than new mechanical. New style tensioner that is much more delicate with "thermal" springs inside and out, fantastic plastic pulley and pot metal construction. than the old but if done right should be trouble free.
Dayco belts will not snap like old belts did 16 years ago. What will go wrong is if not done right will put more tension on the belt than needed, can get loose and then get thrown off 1-2 teeth or more to bend the valves, in a nut shell.
Water pump is to be done every or every other timing belt just because if your in there you might as well be safe and have it done. I have seen too many times a customer come in opt to do a timing belt only and skip on the water pump then it starts leaking a mile down the road. We have to pull it all off again to do the job over.
Happened to a customer about 5 months ago. He insisted on not doing the pump and only the belt and bam the thing leaked.

There are plenty of cars these days that run 100K plus belt intervals. Not these cars. Get use to it, nothing will be like other cars. lol :)

Now I agree with Steve, you can go 35K or more on the belt if installed correctly and 70K+ on water pump and tensioner again if installed correctly. Also depends on climate and conditions.

Anyways, My and others suggest
30-35K on the belt
60-70K on water pump and tensioner.

welcome to the club and have fun with her.

Make sure you take it to a mechanic who knows these cars or learn to do it your self and save some money. If your mechanically inclined it is not a super hard job after the first one. ;)

Ciao!
Jason
 

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do you need to pull the intake to change rear plugs ?
Hi and welcome.
Assuming that all 'L's have the 12V V6 (i.e. '90 to '93), you don't have to pull the intake plenum chamber off. I did however remove the IAC (idle air control valve) and I moved the black oil-swirl chamber to one side. That avoids the risk of snapping a plug because you can then get a socket and long 3/8" extension straight on. I think the toolkit has a special (i.e. long) plug spanner as well, but I didn't bother to check.

-Alex
 

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Ke3ee check out this info http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/tsb.htm

http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/b009101.htm we don't go by this one though.

http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/b019303.htm
http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/b019304.htm

http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/

You can pull rear plugs without removing much. I can do mine by not removing IAC or oil seperator but I do remove L-shaped hose from valve cover to oil seperator to get number one plug wire off nearest upper engine mount. Each car set up a bit different so IAC or oil seperator removal as mentioned above maybe will help you, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Steve, new tires on today, brakes all check ok... clutch setup ordered (its original at 163k), next week full timing belt setup will be ordered for a few winter weekends worth of work. Doint the clutch doesnt bother me in the least, Ive done many on front drive cars... the timing belt i am having thoughts of taking to the local X-Alfa dealer. they still have same mechanics and still service and sell the other Italian brands. maybe just some more reading to build confidence and taking my time... I wish I knew another local Alfa owner that has done this.....
 

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so....where is "local?" You might find that you have some kindred spirits in the 'hood.

I'm in the middle of an automatic trans./engine swap. That's a learning experience for me, and I'm surprised how different it is from the manual tranny. I am considering how difficult it might be to swap over the 164S components from my son's defunct car to the auto tranny car. The "new" tranny has 127k miles and the old one had about 157k when it sloughed a bunch of metal inside and started slipping too much to be reliable. Of course, I many try my first auto tranny rebuild, too.

The cars are fun to drive and _can_ be a pleasure to work on. I've learned quite a bit over the nearly four years of 164 ownership I have.

Michael
 

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What about time intervals? Suppose you have a car with 45,000 miles? Do the belts go bad over time, despite low miles?
 

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My personal rationale

The recommendation I've heard is 30k miles or 3 yrs whichever comes first. I've tended to go to 3 yrs in my 3.8 yrs of 164 ownership. The first repeat belt I did was on my wife's former 164L, done in July 2004 and again in June 2007 at nearly 40k miles. The second repeat was the second 164 we purchased, a '93L purchased in Jan 2004. The t-belt done in was done immediately as part of a slew of make-up for the P.O.'s deferred maintenance by the esteemed Alfisto Steve, and replaced in Sept 2007 at about 50k miles.

It is my opinion that examining the tensioner (requires removing the lower rear t-belt cover) periodically for tension is essential with the mechanical tensioner. Keeping track of the engine health is also essential, as oil from the cam seals can be Very Bad for the t-belt. Don't let oil or glycol land on the t-belt, and keep the belt tensioned properly, and you should be able to go the mileage the belt mfr recommends. But don't let the time get away from you.

Just my opinion. It's not that I think the tensioner or belt will turn to dust at 3+ yrs, but rather that the calendar provides a good way to regulate one's maintenance activities. But I'd not drive a 164 100k miles in three years and expect the t-belt to go that long. If I drove the car 30k miles in a single year, I _might_ let it go 2 yrs to 60k miles and I might not. If it were dripping oil down the front of the engine, not. I'm a risk-taker in only in some limited ways. If you have only one 164, then why not go ahead and do the deed every 30k miles? We've had four at one time, and are moving back to that number quickly.

By the way, I'm not an engineer, but a physicist. I understand your interest in details.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes they are.. but they are still at the same location on Baum Blvd. now only a Porsche dealer... Fuzzy left(1 of the original partners) and has his own place Exceptional motor cars and the other 2 Alfa\Ferrari mechanics now work at Exotic cars PGH which is where i would take the car if needed. when i was a kid and did the AC and radios in Alfas,fiats,lancia's and volvos. i worked about 3 blocks from Auto Palace at a place called Harry Survis if you know PGH. they are long gone...
 

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What about time intervals? Suppose you have a car with 45,000 miles? Do the belts go bad over time, despite low miles?
Yes, no, maybe! What kind of valid maintenance history you have has to be your starting point.

We are doinf a timing belt and valve adjustment on my son's 86 Maser Biturbo with only 48k on it but no Maintenance History. He bought it in Hawaii in 2000 and had it shipped to Long Beach then on to the right coast. He drove it some 2001-2003 and stored it. Now finally we have gotten time to induct it into maintenance cycle. If a 86 belt install time is long up for safety reasons.

If you have a 95 24v with only 45k on it belt is still 12-13 years old and way past the safety factor IMHO.
 

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Yes they are.. but they are still at the same location on Baum Blvd. now only a Porsche dealer... Fuzzy left(1 of the original partners) and has his own place Exceptional motor cars and the other 2 Alfa\Ferrari mechanics now work at Exotic cars PGH which is where i would take the car if needed. when i was a kid and did the AC and radios in Alfas,fiats,lancia's and volvos. i worked about 3 blocks from Auto Palace at a place called Harry Survis if you know PGH. they are long gone...
I only know of AP because I bought a 81 Spider in 99 from widow of USAirways maintenance exec at PGH hub who bought Spider new from AP. I got that Spider in 99 with only 19k on it and with AP sales invoice every work order on it they ever did. Owner was anal about car and it showed as it was preserved not restored. Everything was original except top and muffler and they we flawless - $600 canvas and OEM muffler.
 
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