Variator replaced but car still sounds like a diesel
I would like to start off this discussion by saying please donít flog this off before you have read it. Yes this is yet another variator diesel noise problem but I have replaced the variator, twice.
I bought my Alfa 147 16ts a year ago, only 40000miles on the clock. I got it at a reasonable price because of the noisy engine and the requirement of a service, but I like a challenge most of the time so I thought I would get it anyway and give it a service while replacing the noisy variator at the same time. So about a month after getting the car and allot of reading of mechanics manuals I ordered all the kit I needed to replace the variator, cam locks, variator removal tool, TDC, etc. During the service the following parts were replaced, timing belt, pulleys, tensioners, water pump, coolant, variator, fan belt. Car was running allot better after that but still noisy in the first 2500RPM. After 2500RPM then it is like a switch is flicked and the noise goes away.
So after some more reading on forums I was told that an engine flush and oil change may fix the problem, both by cleaning out the variator and cleaning out the tappets. So I put a can of Whynns engine flush into the engine, revved the car at 2500rpm for about 15 mins, engine off, drained the oil from the sump, replaced the oil filter and the sump bolt, refilled the oil with castrol magnatec part synthetic 10w40 (not cheap). Turned the car over and gave it a rev, still the same noise from the engine.
Back on the forums again. This time got told the rank sensor could be the problem. I replaced the crank and cam sensors, and reset them using fiat ecu scan. Still the same problem.
More advice from the forums, the battery, which needed to be replaced anyway because I had fitted a power hungry stereo. Same noise.
Again more advice from the forums, possible dodgy second variator, so again new timing belt and variator. No change.
Unrelated but encase anyone suggests this, I replaced the first cat after it had a hole in the flexy pipe, also replaced the manifold cover with heat wrap and I heard that the cover has a tendency to crack and rattle.
More research and have traced it down to the variator solenoid, have taken it apart and cleaned it. No joy. Replaced it with a second hand one, no joy. Tested the solenoid by putting a 12v power source though it and it worked, so the solenoid works. Checked the voltage of the cables going to the solenoid with a multi meter, getting a constant 7.5v from the cables in the lower revs and above 2500rpm which is when it should be at 12v. Further testing the theory I have tried connecting a separate 12v power source to the solenoid when the car is running, it makes the engine choke a bit while connected but if you take it for a run after then it sounds slightly quieter for a couple of hundred meters then goes back to the diesel noise. Another test I tried was to remove the power cables to the variator completely and try running the car. The car behaves the same as when the solenoid is plugged in (noisy first 2500rpm, quiet after) so it makes me think that it is the power to the variator solenoid that is causing the problem. It is supposed to kick in after 2500rpm to feed the variator oil to allow it to advance, and then that oil it stored in the variator once it goes below 2500 again to keep that noise down.
I have plugged my car into my laptop and have used fiat ecu scan to check if the ďvariable cam timingĒ is working and it says it is off. No option to turn it off or on in the software.
1: Does anyone know what fuses control the power to the variator solenoid?
2: Does anyone know if there is anything else that could be causing the problem with the power to the variator solenoid?
3: Is there any way that I can turn the variable cam timing system on again?
Please any input would be nice, I am running out of cash and sanity.
Thank you in advance for any input.