Help Needed. Ring Gap Anyone? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 3 Old 29-04-13 Thread Starter
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Help Needed. Ring Gap Anyone?

Well. First posting on here, and it is a long sorry story.

My 156 2.0 TS hates me. Trying to get to the bottom of it belching white smoke and knocking like there is not tomorrow.

The head-gasket went on it and I fried it. This was caused by damage to the head from a repaired cam-belt break (before I owned it). The chump who fitted the head somehow put a dent in it between 1 and 2 cylinders, thus the gasket eventually burnt through.

Anyway. To cut a long story short, I now have the head off for the third time. My thoughts were that maybe I had knackered big ends from hydraulic lock, or rings had it from overheating, causing oil burn and piston slap. Well, everything looks fine, so really fed up with it now. Ive had Variator apart - like new, tappets stripped cleaned and primed, now pistons are out.

No signs of slap, but scavenger rings are pretty gooed up, so maybe it is slapping, and maybe the smoke is unrelated to the noise?

Before I waste any more money on it, can anyone advise what the ring gap should be?
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Don't know the ring gap offhand, but I'm sceptical that white smoke or piston slap is related to rings anyway.......white smoke tends to be water vapour - typically linked with a blown head gasket. Equally if it hydraulic-locked sufficiently to damage the big-end bearings it would be likely to have seized completely.

Were the big-end bearings changed after the belt snap (I realise this was before you had the car) - because if not it is only too common for the bottom end to fail a few thousand miles later as the bearings get nipped when the pistons and valves collide.

If this is the case the cheapest option is often simply to replace the engine complete with a used unit.

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(Post Link) post #3 of 3 Old 29-04-13 Thread Starter
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The big ends are fine. I have them all out and they are barely marked. I refuse to let it beat me.

Had thought that smoke was from Coolant in catalyst from when gasket went. Left to run for 20 mins, and still smoking. Switched her off and smoking stopped completely. If it was from the cat, I would have thought it would continue to smoke until cool again?

So now I am starting from scratch. This will be the last time the head will be off. Once (or if) I stop the clattering, I can start process of elimination for smoking. May just need a good run. Might also change a few of the weaker tappets.

There is a video on You Tube of a noisy Alfa that purported to be rings. Sounds like mine. We'll see.

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