GT JTS Engine Failure - Need Advice - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 3 Old 31-12-13 Thread Starter
Status: -
Join Date: Oct 2012
County: -
Posts: 2
GT JTS Engine Failure - Need Advice

Hi all,

You'll have to bear with me because although I love Alfas i'm not the most mechanically minded, and apologies for the length but there is quite a bit of back story.

My Alfa GT at 55k suffered a major coolant pipe leak in April, the engine overheated and warped as a result.

I took it to an Alfa specialist (will not name as I am pursuing legal action) to get this fixed, they had the head reskimmed, and eventually the main block was replaced along with all gaskets oil filter etc. To be honest the price soon spiralled out of control and ended up costing over 2k.

Since the work I noticed it used slightly more oil, and it eventually developed a misfire, I took it back to the same garage and was told that the coil pack on cylinder 3 was covered in oil and need replacing, which they did. The oil spillage was blamed on me (due to being uncareful when adding oil).

In September it suffered a catastrophic engine failure (5 month and 8k miles after the job). The failure began with a tapping come from under the hood at which point I started to slow, I then heard a clunk and the car halted and the interior filled up with smoke. It was that bad that passers by had called fire engines to site. I checked oil regularly and there was no lack of oil or engine diag lights before the failure.

I returned the car once again to the garage, they say the con rod has gone through the block, the cause of this was a misfire and the misfire has been caused (again) by my inability to top up oil, and I had covered the coil packs.

As stated I am pursuing legal action for the entire repair costs as I believe this to be at their fault, their claim is that this car developed a misfire on the second occasion and I continued to drive on it (in fact it did not have a misfire). Taking off the engine cover ALL coil pack wells are completed full with oil, there is absolutely no way this due to me topping up oil. Can anyone shed some light on whether this may be a valve cover gasket, and if so how this links to a con rod going through the block and subsequently an engine failure.

Many Thanks,

andypowernet is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lancashire
Posts: 124
I am NOT a mechanic but I am a graduate mechanical engineer - though I have to admit it has been some time since I did any engineering ... so please do NOT take what follows as gospel but I did run a couple of race cars at various times over the years when much younger. These are just my own musings.

Firstly, sorry to read about your misfortune. You must be gutted.

Now re the con rod failure.

The only things I have heard causing conrods through the block are
1 - Running out of oil caused big end failure which lets the conrod fly away and come out the side
2 - heavy over-revving weakening the conrod which then breaks (usually around the bottom end and more specifically the bolts breaking so it looks similar to 1
3 - an in compressible liquid (such as water or I guess oil) getting caught in the combustion chamber which then stops the piston moving up. This usually results in the piston being stoved in rather than a conrod through the side but it can happen.

I can't actually think how a misfire would cause the rods to break - unless they are saying that it was symptomatic of one of the other conditions above which they are blaming on you (which they seem to be doing). To cause the conrod to come through the side there has to have been either a weakening of the big end in some way leading to it failing or something which abruptly stopped the piston causing the conrod itself to fail. If you have the engine around, it might be helpful to see some pics of the conrod and block as this might give us a better idea of the failure mode. I just cannot see how a misfire could cause either of the prerequisite conditions for this sort of failure on its own.

Did you challenge them about their original assertion that you spilt oil and damaged the coil? If they are arguing that you have been negligent over the misfire I would think you have a counter claim that they were negligent in not properly identifying the cause of the oil in the plug wells as that to me seems a much more likely cause than the misfire - which could easily be symptomatic of a deeper underlying problem from their rebuild.

Just had a thought. Did you overfill the oil and run the engine? This can cause crank slap which can lead to catastrophic failures in the bottom of the engine - not too sure how that would result in oil in the plug wells though.

I believe the JTS engine is essentially a redeveloped Twinspark. If so then I think I am right in saying that the most likely cause of the oil in the wells would be a leaking rocker cover.

Did you check the oil regularly? Was there any consumption issues?

As I said, just my musings and not something you should rely on without others reinforcing anytrhing here ... but I think I would want something more than a simple assertion from them that it was your fault. What you have typed so far is far from convincing to me - but maybe someone with more specific knowledge and experience will come along and destroy everything I have just said.

Good luck with your action though. Let us know what happens

Just re-read your message. I think the added oil consumption might be significant. How much was it using before and after? A further thought on the misfire, if it was really bad, it could be pre-igniting so early that it stopped the engine from running suddenly - and that could develop over a period of time I guess, but I can't see it happening so suddenly that you would not have stopped driving it long before unless you have NO mechanical sympathy at all. I would like to see the piston and bore of the rod which went through the side as well as the block and rod - pref in situ.

Last edited by chc; 31-12-13 at 15:05.
chc is offline  
Status: The artist formerly known as Roarsbaby
AO Silver Member
Mufasa's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ireland
County: Dublin
Posts: 5,146
Images: 27
Did they put in new piston rings when it was rebuilt?
Mufasa is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

advice , engine , failure , jts

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome