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Discussion Starter #1
Yeesh. Started out wanting to check for loose hoses and blocked oil vapor can to diagnose gas smell in ****pit. Figured I might as well clean up the rear plugs, which leads to:
-removing entire intake plenum (easier if you remove 4 bolts attaching to throttle)
-noticed the (valve?) cover bolts were a bit less tight that expected, which might be the cause of some oil crud at the left part of the cover
-thought it a good idea to tighten all bolts but wait... one is hidden under the metal T cover bracket, as is one of the front cover bolts as well, which led to...
-trying to remove the front metal bracket for the T cover, which led to...
-loosening the rad hose (and spilling rad fluid on my garage floor as my oil pan was a bit too tall and i did not manage to get it back far enough),
-once loosened up, I looked between the metal bracket and T cover to notice... lots of crud between the rear of the pulley and side of the (valve?) cover, which led to...
-loosening all T cover bolts, only to find that the T cover can not be pulled "up" and out, which led to....
-putting the bolts back in, re-clamping the rad hose and I will put it all back together tomorrow and start her up to make sure I did not break something else. One area of trepidation, I dropped the small 10mm bolt that mates the left and right side T cover and am hoping it isn't sitting in the S belt pathway as I don;t know what it might do to the belt if I crank it. At least it isn't behind the cover and in the T belt pathway.
Why is it necessary to remove the flipping T cover to tighten down or replace the (Valve) cover gasket?

The oily crud between the T belt and (valve) cover are not reassuring so I guess a proper T belt replacement is advisable, however, reading through the procedure makes me a bit uncomfortable especially as I do not have nay special Alfa tools.
The 04,24,2013 thread on belt replacement looks like a good place to start but if anyone has a proper 24v service manual excerpt, it would be appreciated.

Nothing wrecks a car's reputation more than difficult service procedures. I hope Alfa figures this out with their current and future offerings.
 

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You already know why one little thing turns into 10, you care and you want it done right!
That's how many full on projects get started. One minute you are changing part of the exhaust and the next thing you know the engine is out of the car!
 

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I'm confused...you didn't remove the intake plenum to remove and clean the rear bank spark plugs did you? While Removing the plenum to clean up stuff, it's not necessary to remove the plenum to remove rear plugs, at least i don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You already know why one little thing turns into 10, you care and you want it done right!
That's how many full on projects get started. One minute you are changing part of the exhaust and the next thing you know the engine is out of the car!
Yea. I started replacing the T belt on my Maserati Biturbo in 2004. Figured I would pull the engine to replace the turbo-exhaust metal gaskets....then kids got older.... sold it last week at a loss, engine still on the stand. Come to think of it, changing the T belt on the biturbo was childs play next to the 164.

I am going to go as far down as removing the S belt and T cover. If the belt looks good... no spider cracks... i am going to leave it as long as there is no oil contamination on the belt itself.
Still need to change the V cover gaskets to prevent any more seep.


And the 1 job = 10 jobs... mostly lousy engineering logic or a push for outlandish dealer repair costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm confused...you didn't remove the intake plenum to remove and clean the rear bank spark plugs did you? While Removing the plenum to clean up stuff, it's not necessary to remove the plenum to remove rear plugs, at least i don't.
The plenum sits on top of the plugs. How did you get to the plugs without removing the plenum? or did you just loosed and move forward for clearance?

I removed mine to clean up the inside as there was lots of gunk.

Still, should not have been necessary to remove part of the T belt metal bracket to get to the one bolt underneath to check the tightness or to change the gasket. This is basic, logical service that should not require this much effort.
 

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Richard Richard Richard this is a 24v engine not a 12v. You not only have to remove intake plenum to get to plugs you have to remove coil packs, too.

Beeton find that lost bolt before you even turn on the key! Also edit your profile and set of signature profile and add your 24v 164 year and type LS or Q info.

So how old it timing belt and how many miles on it?
 

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I don't remove anything except the plug wires on the rear. Removing the wires is a bit tight, so you could remove the oil canister and idle control valve to give more room. I use a spark plug socket, a 6" and 3" extension to remove the plugs. Your working on a 3L V6, right?

Oppps, my bad:) Maybe you could add your car in your signature to unconfuse me:)
 

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I assume you (Beeton) have a 24v engine? 12v engine, you can easily change all plugs, 24v engine, no, alas.

You should put which model Alfa you own in your signature so that we don't get even more confused as other owners try to help you.

Plus, I ALWAYS recommend that Alfa owners have in their possession a copy of the workshop manual, either CD or paper, and access to the Fiat eper. Both are requisite for Alfa ownership. I've had a copy of the manual for every Alfa I've owned since 1966.

PS, if you change plugs, I recommend the appropriate NGK Iridiums. They last forever in my 94LS.
 

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random useless thoughts from across the pond at 530 in the morning...

why?? Using this mindset, why do we get married?

I love my little 4 more every time I read this stuff.

Spit is right, we all are characters.

On mine the engine has to come out to change the rear brakes.

Finally you mention basic logical service. Good grief man, this is an Alfa. :)

And to jump on the bandwagon, model, engine and locale. You can just make stuff up but it really does help. ciao jc
 

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"Good grief man, this is an Alfa"

And... it is Italian.
 

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as I said, 530 in the morning. I hadn't considered the "Italian" aspect of things. R2, Alpaca Mike needs to meet this Beeton fella eh? I think in retrospect to the original query, it's because we want our cars, heaps, jalopies, whatever, to be just so... ciao jc
 

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what Steve Said

DO NOT turn the starter until that bolt is found. No foolin

Make sure you use a torque wrench on all valve cover bolts and on any bolts. Otherwise, I promise you, you will strip at least one. Do not lose any of the valve cover bolts. They are M7 uncommon and a pain find as I recall

As you get more experience with 24V you will find it gets easier. I can probably get my rear plenum off in 15 minutes give or take. Only because ive done it like 50 times.

A good rule on 24V car is it will take 4 times as long as you thought to do anything. Dont mess with stuff that seems OK as that just invites trouble. Dropped nuts bolts and washers must be found or at the very least cleared from moving areas. Try not to remove the intake runners from the intake manifold. you can loosen them but dont remove the screws or the runners, If you do stuff paper towels in the intakes. Cover everything you can with a towel or other drape. It helps for when you invariably drop your pliers or wrench. 24V car eats tools and bolts if you let it.

its a great car when it runs tho......
 

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I about fainted a dozen times when I installed the larger Q intake runners on my 94LS, worrying about losing something down the drain, so to speak. I used lots of wadded up paper and old T shirts to keep the intakes and access toward the timing belt area blocked most of the time during the operation.

When I mess with the rear sparkplugs, I disconnect the runners from the plenum. I don't mess with the runners themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks all of you.

Sorry, thought I had my car setup info noted.
It is a 24v (95LS). No idea as to exact belt age as I drove this to my home from Montreal last fall. The po's papers are not really accurate and most of the history belongs to the po-po. It is an Alfa belt and although the engine was changed at 65xxxkm (car has over 3x that on the clock) I can only hope this isn't the belt that was changed at 65xxxkm.
Mind you, from what I can see, there are no linear cracks on the belt so that's a good sign.

Yea, I have to snoop around for that nut. Hopefully sitting on the suspension somewhere but getting a hand in there involves taking off the front-pass wheel. Like I said, one little job turns into 10 more.

All of the runners are off the plenum but on the block and I am going to clean them up one atta time as I am not certain the gaskets are all good and some of the bolts seem a bit looser than 7lbs would indicate. I have a good "click" torque wrench but the hex socket I was using also fell down between runners... two things to find.

Incidentally, All of the hoses and intake hose (large one) are crack-free but some of the rubber is a bit hard and I don't think clamping is alwys good.
I have some "magic" tape, that's basically an electrical-tape size roll of really stretchy rubber that friction-sticks to itself. I am going to lay down one layer of this on all fittings that take rubber hoses and use new clamps instead of the old click style.
I have used this stuff on my clamp-on pool fittings and it is really useful. Only holds up to 200 degrees but as it won't be directly exposed, shouldn't be a problem. It should help keep all vacuum hose seals nice and tight.
Will report back when this operation is over.
 

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It may help to remember that this engine was not originally intended for its transverse orientation. Ford had similar issues with their duratec V6 and they knew when they laid it out that it was to go both ways. V6 or V8 engines are compact designs but so are fwd engine bays.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Report on previous findings 164 24v s belt, etc

O.K. double jacked the Alfa (a 1x6 under the frame and on the jack to keep metal from getting scraped) and removed the arch covers. Lots and loots of greasy gunk all over so a good time to clean years of rust spray and dirt.
Looking through the S belt replacement procedure on another thread, I couldn't be sure if the 8mm Allan key was to be pushed up or pulled down but logic said "up". Couldn't get enough elbow power down there so I used an old bottle jack and 4x4 to gently jack it up and the pulley finally released. Old belt is off, T covers to follow for a proper inspection.

Question: Is the stock Alfa belt a good quality one or are any aftermarket ones better?
If the belt is not showing any degradation, should I leave it be or replace just the same?
It's not a cost issue, just a technical issue as I would rather not have to make tools to complete the T belt replacement.

Thanks all.
 

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Lefty loosey in general except for fan hub mounting nuts and a few odd wheel knockoffs. IIRC that 8mm allen bolt get 55 ft/lbs (or might be 38, have to check the manual) so not surprising you cant get it off with a regular key.

Hopefully you installed drift pin into the little shock absorber.
OEM belt is fine, no need to replace if the belt looks ok. Check both serp idler pulleys for noise/run out and all other rotating parts likewise (PS pump, AC compressor and alternator). You will need the Serp belt tensioner tool to do this properly.

The T belt covers will come off , sometimes you have to remove the bracket that holds the AC valve (on pass fender inside) to jiggle that around a bit to get clearance

Be careful go slow work clean buy a case of brake cleaner and go to it. You may have a split CV joint boot that's slinging grease
 
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