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Discussion Starter #1
Good Day All,
It's been a sad few months for the Alfa.
Engine developed a loud clattering sound in September.
Took it into the mechanic and it was diagnosed as having 2 or 3 lifters stuck.
She also needed a thermostat and some other bits.
Replaced all lifters, (car has 155K on it), timing belt, water pump, bearings etc.
Sound is not only still there but worse.
No He's thinking bottom end, (piston slap or one of the wrist pins).
About a $7K job. :(
Love the car but I may be hitting law of diminishing returns.
It was my daily until this year.
Car is in otherwise great shape.
Everything works down to the mirrors and display.
The 94's are kind of rare.
What would you all suggest?
Need a peer group.
Cheers.

--Ron Sitnick
Sterling, VA USA
2004 BMW 325xi
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS 24v
1979 Fiat Spider 2000

fiatz79's photos and albums on webshots
 

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Richard Jemison
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Diagnosis

I would suggest a different mechanic. I would be suspicious of one who diaganosed upper valve follower issues, then claimed the same sound is comming from the lower rotating assembly!
Who did you take it to initially? An Alfa knowledgable repair shop?
Maybe AlfaSteve can make a suggestion. He is a club technical rep and not that far from you.
Rj
 

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Good Day All,
It's been a sad few months for the Alfa.
Engine developed a loud clattering sound in September.
Took it into the mechanic and it was diagnosed as having 2 or 3 lifters stuck.
She also needed a thermostat and some other bits.
Replaced all lifters, (car has 155K on it), timing belt, water pump, bearings etc.
Sound is not only still there but worse.
No He's thinking bottom end, (piston slap or one of the wrist pins).
About a $7K job. :(
Love the car but I may be hitting law of diminishing returns.
It was my daily until this year.
Car is in otherwise great shape.
Everything works down to the mirrors and display.
The 94's are kind of rare.
What would you all suggest?
Need a peer group.
Cheers.

--Ron Sitnick
Sterling, VA USA
2004 BMW 325xi
1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS 24v
1979 Fiat Spider 2000

fiatz79's photos and albums on webshots
Hey Ron,
I agree. Find another mechanic or maybe Steve has a suggestion since he may be close by.
May have just slipped a belt by 2 teeth and all you need is a re-time.
I would think that the bottom end went bad, if that is the case most likely due to his work. Is this an alfa mechanic? Experienced?
Bottom end on these 3.0L are very string and rarely see failure.

Jason
 

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I also suggest double check (either yourself or find somebody who knows what he is doing) the engine timing by checking the CAMs and crank marks first.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
London Auto is doing the work.
They've worked on the car for the lat 5 yrs. along with the Fiat.
I'm in Northern VA.
Not sure where Steve is located.
Might be a long trip on a flatbed.
:confused:
 

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I know a very good mech who's been working on Alfa's for decades but still has a few shortcomings when dealing with 24V's. I also would seek out someone with as much LS/Q experience as possible.
 

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Steve is at VB (South Eastern VA). Another option closer to you is Difatta in Baltimore, I believe Paul does most of the services over there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know the DiFatta guys as well.
A little bit of a hike for me.
The London Auto guys work with them as well for tech and parts.
I'm going by there in the morning to find out the story.
 

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Welcome to the BB, Ron!

155k mi. is not a lot for an Alfa engine, unless it hasn't been cared-for... You have a very good and active AROC chapter in the DC/MD/VA area, and there are several places that work on our cars. For info to contact the Capital Chapter see "Community/Chapter/Washington DC" at Alfa Romeo Owners Club USA | Home.

Best regards,
 

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I know the DiFatta guys as well.
A little bit of a hike for me.
The London Auto guys work with them as well for tech and parts.
I'm going by there in the morning to find out the story.
Did your shop guys have timing dies and tensioning tools for belt? Do they really know all 4 cams in time? How did they time cams when they replaced lifters? I wonder if some valves were hitting pistons and some are bent.

Paul at Difatta should have 24v timing dies and tensioning tools. I got mine from them.

I am in Virginia Beach. Yes, bit of a drive for you but had a guy tow his S from Fredricksburg on a tow dolly to here so not to much farther from Sterling.

You going to make 25th Fist Freakout next summer in Poconos?
 

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I've taken my old GTV-6 to Nick and the guys at London for a couple years. I think they've been pretty thorough and have been satisfied with the work they've done. Nick has or had a 164S so he is familiar with the car.

If you are uncomfortable with them, try Precision Import Service (Pete Van Der Vate), they are right up 29 on the other side of the beltway.

There used to be a couple good Alfa shops in Richmond, but i'm not sure if there still is. I know one of them closed down.
 

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I've taken my old GTV-6 to Nick and the guys at London for a couple years. I think they've been pretty thorough and have been satisfied with the work they've done. Nick has or had a 164S so he is familiar with the car.

If you are uncomfortable with them, try Precision Import Service (Pete Van Der Vate), they are right up 29 on the other side of the beltway.

There used to be a couple good Alfa shops in Richmond, but i'm not sure if there still is. I know one of them closed down.
Wherever you take it, they need to know the 24v engine, especially the cam and timing belt set up and have factory bulletins and special tools or be very good mechs if they don't at least have timing dies to hold cams while setting belt tension.

IT IS NOT A SIMPLE 12V TWO CAM SET UP.
 

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Dittos

Wherever you take it, they need to know the 24v engine, especially the cam and timing belt set up and have factory bulletins and special tools or be very good mechs if they don't at least have timing dies to hold cams while setting belt tension.

IT IS NOT A SIMPLE 12V TWO CAM SET UP.
The 24V is a whole different level of complexity.
Unless there was an issue with oil starvation, the bottom-end should last past 150,000 mi.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wherever you take it, they need to know the 24v engine, especially the cam and timing belt set up and have factory bulletins and special tools or be very good mechs if they don't at least have timing dies to hold cams while setting belt tension.

IT IS NOT A SIMPLE 12V TWO CAM SET UP.
Thanks Steve,
We've been through 2 Tibing Belt changes in the past.
I know they have all the tech bulletins including the updates.
Went through a time when timing was half a tooth off.
I'm going to have them recheck.
 

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Not to be alarmist, but hasn't there been a few reported cases of spun rod big end bearings in the 24v, esp the 94's? My recollection is that for some reason the #4 rod big end bearing seems to starve, seize on the crank, and then spin in the rod in a few of these 24v engines.

What weight oil have you been using, and do you let the engine warm up a little near idle before taking off on your drive? I think these engines benefit from using something akin to 5W/10W/15W-50 synthetic rather than the usual Castrol 20W-50 which I tend to use in the 91S (with 145k miles on it now). Ensures getting oil flow to the bearings faster when cold. I also let the engine warm up just a little, a practice from the old days, before revving the engine too much, but that's just me. I also say soothing words to it as it warms. You wouldn't run a race horse from cold, would you?

I agree that the 24v engine is a horse of a different color in complexity. My mechanic, although quite skilled and anal about getting it right, just hates to work on them. Although I could probably do it, I have no desire to get into retiming the 24v valve gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Been using Castrol 20/50.
Always let it warm up first.
This happened suddenly on a drive.
They did find 3 of the lifters sticking and I had all 24 replaced.
 

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What weight oil have you been using, and do you let the engine warm up a little near idle before taking off on your drive? I think these engines benefit from using something akin to 5W/10W/15W-50 synthetic rather than the usual Castrol 20W-50 which I tend to use in the 91S (with 145k miles on it now). Ensures getting oil flow to the bearings faster when cold. I also let the engine warm up just a little, a practice from the old days, before revving the engine too much, but that's just me. I also say soothing words to it as it warms. You wouldn't run a race horse from cold, would you?
I also use 5W/10W-50/60 synthetic oil (whatever on sale for this range) for the 24V. I think the lower viscosity of synthetic oil allow the valve lifters to get pressurized and lubricated easier. Having pulled some lifters out and saw how delicate they are, I think it is also important to keep the engine clean to minimize the possibility of having the lifters get stucked or damaged (by dirt or overheat due to poor lubrication).

I have no problem using 20W-50 for 12V although it tends to be a little thick in the winter. I usually switch to or mix in some 10w-40 to benefit cold start.
 

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You going to make 25th Fist Freakout next summer in Poconos?
STEVE!!!:eek::eek:

I didn't know you were like that!!

Sorry couldn't resist:D

If it is indeed the whole engine I can't see where you couldn't find a good used engine if all these other suggestions don't pan out. $7,000 sounds like someone is trying to rape you.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #19
:D
Yes..
Trying for Freakout this year.
Probably in the little red car with my lovely wife!

:p
 

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Ok, since Fiatz79 has hijacked his own thread ;) ... I volunteered to help with the Freakout this coming year. :) I do own a '75 FIAT Spider, which will definitely not be ready by next summer, but the the Fiat Lancia Unlimited (FLU) guys have been so good about organizing events, that I think it's a nice way to contribute something to the group. And they have always welcomed my Alfa Spiders. :)

Best regards,
 
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