Belt help! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 12-03-17 Thread Starter
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Help Belt help!

Greetings from Remarkable Rwanda!

Having imported, sight unseen, a 1999 Alfa 156 and a 2004 Alfa 147, I am expecting to do a little maintenance I'm no expert on car maintenance, but I do know the cam belts will want doing; and I may as well replace the water pumps at the same time. Now, do I also need to buy and fit a Balancer Belt kit, and is that different from an Auixiliary belt? I understand I will also need to buy the specialist tools to do the cam belt changes, even though the garage here in Kigali will do the work. There are probably less than six Alfa Romeos in all of Rwanda...including my two!

So, is it advisable/necessary to change the balancer and auxiliary belts..and presumably the tensioner that goes with it?

There will be other items needed, one being some sensor that controls the down-changing of the selespeed box on the 156 - apparently, the diagnostic test identified a problem, which was causing the box/engine to basically close down, requiring an engine switch off and on to clear...very embarassing when half way across a major roundabout, and all of a sudden you have no drive! Apparently, this sensor is in contact with then engine, and basically tells the gearbox to down-change when necessary...I should get the part number from the garage soon...anyone else dealt with this problem?

Also, sorry to rabbit on, but I am thinking ahead to when I will need new brake pads. Is it necessary, or again advisable, to replace the discs as well, or just pads is fine? I was also thinking of replacing the pollen filters; does anyone have a view on this? Both cars are 2 litre petrol engined, with 106,000 km (147) and 114,000 km (156)

The 147 has the 3 button key, but it does not work, even after replacing the battery. I only got one key with this car, and no code book. From what I've read about the alarm and security systems, I should be having a problem if the key does not work, no? I have seen no evidence of an alarm, and whilst the engine currently needs to kick over for a long time before initially starting, it does start....maybe the ECU is dead, or am I barking up the wrong tree thinking that this may be a problem?

Your kind input greatly appreciated.
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If the cars are 2.0 litre then yes you should change the balance belt and it's tensioner along wit the cambelt and all it's associated parts. 1.6 and 1.8 don't have the balance belt. I don't bother replacing the aux belt unless it looks like it's about to fail.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprint_veloce View Post
If the cars are 2.0 litre then yes you should change the balance belt and it's tensioner along wit the cambelt and all it's associated parts. 1.6 and 1.8 don't have the balance belt. I don't bother replacing the aux belt unless it looks like it's about to fail.
A broken auxiliary belt can whip about, smash through the cambelt cover and break the cambelt - and voila - bent valves - not a good idea... Balance belts will break cambelt too, so its interval is the same as the cambelt.. It has been left off on many cars without adverse effects - the motor runs a bit more harshly, but installed wrongly (worst being 180 deg out of phase) it runs even more rough.
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You will need the cam locks for the 2.0 before you try and change the belts. Don't use Tippex ... it doesn't work!

Shame you are so far away .. I have a 2.0 TS set I'm about to sell on with two tensioning tools (cam and balance belts).
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(Post Link) post #5 of 13 Old 15-03-17 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer gazza82! I've already ordered the cam locks set off ebay...
However, I am about to order the TDC tools from alfaworkshop.co.uk, but noticed that the garage here has a number of timing tool kits for various other makes - Audi, VW, and a few more, all in their fancy expensive looking little cases - do you think it likely they will have the tools to do the timing correctly with just the cam locks, or do I defo need to buy the laser gizmo and the gauge that goes with it (extra 60 or 70 quid plus courier)?

So...you sold your 156...any withdrawal symptoms?
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Finding TDC on any engine just requires a rod, a dial gauge and a plughole. Google DIY TDC tool for ideas.
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Thanks for that, halftone...so I can assume that a decent sized garage, with many other timing kits for other cars, will have the necessary tools and know how to find TDC on my twin spark engines..? In other words, whilst I have bought the timing belt markers, I don't really need to buy the gauge and laser stick...? That would be a nice little saving...
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Viteh! Congratulations on your “new” Alfa Romeos. Great cars if you bought them in good condition and also great you got them to Rwanda

I agree. Timing belts (or cam belts- as they are often called) need changing – according to Alfa Romeo every 36.000 miles (or 60.000 km) or every 3 years - whatever comes first.

Changing the balance shaft belt will depend on which type of engine your cars have, since the 1,8 and 1,6 Twin Sparks have no balance belts.

You probably have seen already, that alfaworkshop.co.uk brilliantly explains how to change cam belts, but what is really important is that you do find the exact TDC. Of cause it doesn’t matter how, as long as you have some suitable cam lock tools to fixate the camshafts once you got the TDC:

Alfa Romeo Cam Belt Replacement on 1.6l and 1.8l TS engines

Or for 2,0 L engines:

How To.. replace a cam belt on an Alfa Romeo 2l engine

I have no experience with Selespeed, but some webpages might be helpful if you Google these:

Alfa Romeo "How To..." Workshop Guides

Fun starts @ 3000!

Alfa Romeo Timing Belts Explained - Alfa Men

Alfa Romeo Parts from The AlfaWorkshop

It is not possible to say anything specific about the brake discs on cars that age - unless I see it. It all depends on the actual mileage of the discs. You have to check when the time comes for changing the brake pads, whether or not the brake discs are above the required minimum thickness:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...thickness.html (147 2.0 TS Brake disc Minimum Thickness)

Alfa Romeo forum: Undersized Brake Discs?

Alarm is optional depending on the model and which marked the car was build for, but in the owners’ manual you can see how the code warning light is supposed to behave. In case your cars have no owners' manual you might still be able to download – at least something similar :

https://aftersales.fiat.com/elum/Hom...?id_language=2

If the warning light of the code acts as described in the manual, the difficulties of getting the engine started is most likely caused by the usual stuff:

Check the spark plugs, and the wiring for water or oil etc. The spark Plugs might need cleaning with a steel brush – or a replacement. Pretty expensive, but usually lasts more than
60.000 miles.
Also you might want to check the air filter, and that the air intake is air tight and the clamps are not loose. Of course the fuel intake is important as well as the ignition cables and not least ignition coil racks.

If the voltage on the battery is insufficient it might also cause a lot of difficulties on an Alfa Romeo - eventhough you hear the starter engine working.

Repair and explanation of a key itself you find here :

https://www.alfa156.net/tech/buttonflipkey.pdf

Good luck

Last edited by EngholmP; 21-03-17 at 00:14.
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(Post Link) post #9 of 13 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice!

I've been trolling through the web site on just about everything relevant, so am now mostly up to speed...the key issue worries me on the 147, primarily because I only got one key; I would happily send it off for repair - the buttons appear not to work - if I had another key. I was thinking of getting a new one cut, but was - and still - not sure a basic new cut key would work? The 147 was originally from Japan; not sure if they had the alarm fitted or not, but it certainly is not working now. Where in the engine bay need I check to see if an alarm is fitted?
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(Post Link) post #10 of 13 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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The immobilizer transponder is embedded in the key housing and is separate from the alarm system and key buttons. As long as you use the key to lock and open, the alarm will not engage. So if you have a key cut to open and lock doors, it will still not start the car. It is a backup fail-safe to tow your car home, if you loose your main key, but not a permanent solution - you have to get a whole new key and have the immobilizer ECU programmed to accept it.

Last edited by Gertie; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:46.
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DONT clean spark plugs with wire brush .you can put earth tracks down electrodes and cause misfires .just replace them cheap enough long term
brake pads I would fit new discs as well there cheap enough ..modern pads are quite harsh on discs..while your at it change brake fluid (put bleed tube on nipple and then force pad back or rewind depending on front or rear ) brake fluid should be changed every 2 years anyway (fluid is hydroscopic)and is not often done ,leading to brake calliper issues of internal corrosion
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Wow! You guys are great with useful advice!

I was afraid the answer to the key question was get a new one from Alfa...I'm guessing that's not going to be cheap!

As for the brakes...no sense in messing around, especially as I don't know the history of the cars - so it will be new discs as well when pads need replacing, and the brake fluid too. It has been an expensive journey already this month on parts...new cam belts, tensioners, waterpumps, auxiliary belts and tensioners, light bulb spares all round, rear shock absorbers, new rpm sensor, wipers, transmission oil, 16 spark plugs, partridge in a pear tree... Oh, and a new radiator for my BMW 750...but I'm still glad I didn't buy a Toyota or Mercedes like 95% of the cars here in Rwanda
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You can get blanks:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_fr...eyfob&_sacat=0

But you have to get it cut and then programmed
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