Swirl flap removal advise - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 17 Old 19-07-16 Thread Starter
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Swirl flap removal advise

Hey all,

Most of the guides I've found for removing the swirl flaps from the 1.9 JTD (and mapping out EGR) recommend removing the swirl flap rods and plug up where the rods used to be.

Would it be ok just to careful pull the flaps themselves off the rod welds (if I can), leave the rods in place to move with the actuator and seal it back up (with a new gasket).

There'd be nothing to fall off and enter the engine AFAI can tell.

I have the newer Magneti Marelli inlet manifold with the swirl flap actuator mounted underneath rather than the old rod type that ran across the top.

Thanks!
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Concidereing the work involved to remove the manifold you would be better off doing it properly and removing the whole lot.
Aparently on the plastic manifold with the metal plate you can just drill out the holes slightly, tap I think an m8 thread and just use a short bolt to blank the holes, much easier than getting it welded.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 17 Old 19-07-16 Thread Starter
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Yeah I heard that was the proper way alright. Threadlock the bolts, give them a gentle thump with a hammer to wedge them and a spot of epoxy around the edges just in case.

I'll go with that sure. Cheers.
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You'll find it's easier just to junk the spindles and insert bolts. I am pretty sure I just ran an M6 tap through the spindle holes in the end, though I had thought M8 would be necessary. Bolts mean you can discard the rack that operates the spindle pinions, and doing so eliminates a possible site of future trouble. The (plastic) rack may be quite worn and capable of jamming otherwise. Also the upper tiny plastic bearings will be knackered, and the larger lower ones worn enough to leak air from the manifold. Loctited bolts will seal fine.

One tip: it's much easier to remove and replace the manifold split into plastic and metal parts. Doing so allows the studs to be removed or inserted far more easily, which is necessary to get the thing off (or on).

It's really quite simple stuff, and massively worth doing in conjunction with EGR blank and map out. Forget theoretical loss of low end torque. Once there's no exhaust gas to mix the swirl flaps serve no useful purpose, and the motor pulls well and smoothly from tickover up. It will work OK without the remap aside from putting the MCSF on with a P0401 fault, but an EGR-delete remap from Autolusso was immediately and obviously beneficial from the moment I pulled away from their shop. Car is a pleasure to drive now, goes really well and gives 46.5 mpg (fill-to-fill calculated) mixed use.
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Originally Posted by halftone View Post
You'll find it's easier just to junk the spindles and insert bolts. I am pretty sure I just ran an M6 tap through the spindle holes in the end, though I had thought M8 would be necessary. Bolts mean you can discard the rack that operates the spindle pinions, and doing so eliminates a possible site of future trouble. The (plastic) rack may be quite worn and capable of jamming otherwise. Also the upper tiny plastic bearings will be knackered, and the larger lower ones worn enough to leak air from the manifold. Loctited bolts will seal fine.

One tip: it's much easier to remove and replace the manifold split into plastic and metal parts. Doing so allows the studs to be removed or inserted far more easily, which is necessary to get the thing off (or on).

It's really quite simple stuff, and massively worth doing in conjunction with EGR blank and map out. Forget theoretical loss of low end torque. Once there's no exhaust gas to mix the swirl flaps serve no useful purpose, and the motor pulls well and smoothly from tickover up. It will work OK without the remap aside from putting the MCSF on with a P0401 fault, but an EGR-delete remap from Autolusso was immediately and obviously beneficial from the moment I pulled away from their shop. Car is a pleasure to drive now, goes really well and gives 46.5 mpg (fill-to-fill calculated) mixed use.
Yeah getting the manifold out was a pain. I didn't realise until it was all done that it could be split as you describe.

The instructions I was following were for the older fully metal manifold.

I could have avoided some tedious filing

Anyway, tapped the holes for M6 bolt which fit snugly into the raised circular bevel where the flag spindles used to be.

Only issue is there's not much grip. I can easily spin the bolt by hand.

I was going to wrap the bolts in PTFE tap which is rated for 200deg C and coat with threadlock. Maybe cap off with epoxy to seal the head of the bolt.

Any issues esp. temperature wise, with using PTFE tape?
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Quote:
Only issue is there's not much grip. I can easily spin the bolt by hand.
Mine bolted up fine, with M6 and Loctite, but if your spindle holes were more worn. I'd suggest you go up a size or two (M7, M8) and re-tap to suit. There's no stress on the bolts and you can't do them up very tight because the manifold metal is so soft, but I'd still want them to be secure and gas-tight.

OTOH, at a pinch Araldite or JBWeld on the threads and head would do, provided everything you want it to stick to is degreased with acetone first. I'd not use PTFE tape as well or instead.

[EDIT: see post #8. Not 6mm but 8mm tap!]

Last edited by halftone; 29-07-16 at 18:27. Reason: Wrong info
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In case anyone else is contemplating swirl flap removal from a 'plastic' CF4 manifold, this is probably the definitive thread (also includes cylinder head removal thanks to valve damage from a swirl flap, and turbo strip/clean - on the 147 and 159 1.9 16v JTDM: http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...e-159-1-a.html (Swirl flaps How To and MAF clean How To anywhere? 159 1.9)
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Bad info - 8mm tap, not 6mm

Sorry, I misinformed you. I didn't use an M6 tap but M8 (now I've checked).

See here:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...l#post14243601 (Swirl flaps How To and MAF clean How To anywhere? 159 1.9)
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I had my flaps out in March, zero drop in performance (with an EGR delete and a remap), 100% elimination of worries about my engine chewing itself to pieces... Absolutely the right thing to do with these engines, they're starting to fail more and more now!

Last weak link is the oil cooler unions, then I'm on to all the fun things!
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I've been quoted £312 for five hours labour plus any parts to remove swirl flaps,is this reasonable?
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Feels about right tbh... I believe Autolusso were doing them for £300 (not 100% sure on that mind..), so £312 doesn't seem too bad at all!
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I've been quoted £312 for five hours labour plus any parts to remove swirl flaps,is this reasonable?
Yes but depends on how they are doing it, if they are unsure get them to call me

Ned
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Which models of 156 does this issue affect ?

I have a 2005 156 JTDM 150 with an EGR blanking plate ( with holes so as not to upset the EML) that now has 134,000 miles on.

Just wondering if it affects my car....
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See Autolusso - Swirl Flap Delete for which type of manifold your car has, which type of flaps, and possible consequences.

I think 156 16v JTD were all CF3 (all-metal manifold, plastic flaps, exterior top linkage), so not exposed to the same sudden engine-trashing failure of CF4 147 & GT (plastic plenum on metal stub manifold, interior bottom linkage, metal flaps).
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The 156 never had the swirl valve manifold.
For you piece of mind to confirm it will be easy to see, with the plastic cover off look down between the rear cam and the ally inlet manifold, you will see the glow plugs, the swirl valve tops will be just rear of them, about the size of a 10p with a flat bar joining them together.
But your car shouldnt have them
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Thanks for that valuable information, much appreciated.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ S4 View Post
Which models of 156 does this issue affect ?

I have a 2005 156 JTDM 150 with an EGR blanking plate ( with holes so as not to upset the EML) that now has 134,000 miles on.

Just wondering if it affects my car....
You don't have swirl flaps.

You'd be better off upgrading that to a full blanking plate & EGR switch-off in your software. That way you'll not clog up your inlet manifold and MAP sensor with soot. If you fancy a drive over the '66 to Penrith we can do it for you.
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