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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at rebuilding my 2L engine down the line and was wondering about the quality of new parts like piston/liner sets, valves, valve springs, etc. Are they as good, worse, or better than NOS Alfa (assuming you could run across the NOS). I imagine that new parts vary in quality based on the maker, etc. Any thoughts on what you'd get NOS if you could and what you'd prefer to be new production? Thanks!
 

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Depends on the part. Most metal stuff, valves, valve guides, pistons etc will be fine and Alfa quality is better than most stock-grade stuff that's around now. Things made or rubber, plastic, paper will degrade. I would not use old gaskets or seals without checking them closely. Some modern things like lips seals and o-rings, are better than period stuff. Some oddball things like main and rod bearings can get a dark flaky corrosion to the bearing surface. Folks have told me it's not a problem but I couldn't put such important parts in an engine that appeared to be corroded. Modern rings like Hastings are better machined than old rings, and modern three-piece oil rings are worlds better than the old cast ones.

If you get into super stuff like whiz-bang valves, modern cams, coated low friction pistons, they're all better than the old stock stuff. But that's a different questions.

Andrew
 

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Even if NOS stuff were better, I can't imagine where you would find it. But as Andrew says, modern replacement engine parts are just fine (wish I could say the same about new production rubber door seals and other repro trim items).

Keep in mind that Alfa Romeo itself manufactured only part of the content that they sold: engine castings, transmissions, bodies, etc. But the engine parts replaced in a rebuild, such as bearings and gaskets, came from outside suppliers. So even if you could get NOS parts, they wouldn't have been made by Alfa Romeo.

I get most of my engine parts from Spruell Motorsport in Atlanta and Alfa Parts in Berkeley. The proprietors of those two businesses are long-time Alfa racers and seem to know what parts are high quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help. It's great to know that I can use current parts. It makes life a little easier.
 

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NOS parts are exactly that, made by the various suppliers or in house by Alfa Romeo and deemed fit for purpose.

So today you would have a choice of items which may include: low quality items, items not fit for purpose, items of equivalent standard, items with performance in mind and super performance. The problem you have is you can't tell the difference between low quality items, items not fit for purpose, items of equivalent standard, items with performance in mind if a reproduction, this group I call items with an unknown lifespan.

So you only have three clear distinct categories when it comes to metal items.
1. Items with an unknown lifespan
2. NOS items
3. Super Performance items (New manufactured items tested under race conditions)

With so many 105's coming back to life there is just not enough NOS items to reinstate all of them with NOS parts, so many are forced to resort to items with an unknown lifespan.

What this means is that if you use parts with an unknown lifespan the lifespan of your car is unknown as a result. How long before your car breaks down? How long will your car will be off the road and stay off the road until repaired will depend on what your next step is: Do you now look for NOS parts or do you opt for Super Performance items ?

The term 'current part' I take to mean current manufacture of
1. Items with an unknown lifespan
or
3. Super Performance items
So
It will make life a little easier if you choose 3. Super Performance items but since that was not really what you were asking, I think life will not be easier if you choose 1. Items with an unknown lifespan. Of course getting in writing a warranty on the part may help and not driving the car hard may also help.

Be it for restoration or basic repairs I choose to make my life allot easier! so I choose to reinstate my engines and gearboxes with NOS parts or with super performance items.
 

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A couple of engine specific parts to be careful with are timing chains and intermediate sprockets. There is at least one brand of chain that is not riveted properly and can fail in a short time. IWIS is a very good chain.
Up to about 1990 the sprockets were keyed to the shaft but later ones were just pressed on. I know of an engine that was damaged when the sprockets slipped on the shaft.
 

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A comment on suspension bushings.....

In the last three years roughly HALF of the bushings I’ve received from Classic Alfa have been significantly off spec. I’m not suggesting CA is unique, as their bushing vendors are likely used by other global distributors.

I am specifically referring to the rear trailing arm bushings, and the front sway-bar down-link bushings. On both 102 cars and 105/115 cars the rear trailing arm bushings were too small OD such that they would just drop through the bore in the arm. They should be press-fit.

On the sway bar link bushings the ID in some were so small I had to employ a reamer to get them to fit.

CA has been notified, and was able to quickly replace the off-spec product. I recommend a DIY installer carefully measure the bushings before installation to avoid premature problems, or wasted time during installation.

That this has occurred several times over the last three years suggests to me that CA, and others, should undertake an inbound product conformity testing to avoid costly downstream problems. CA told me they were using an OE Italian vendor that currently supplies FCA, but this doesn’t so much solve our aftermarket needs as it tells us about FCA vendor management.
 

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Two more aftermarket engine parts to be wary of are oil pumps and tappets. In both cases I would prefer a good used OEM part to a new aftermarket part. Same goes for clutch pressure plates.
 
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