156 V6 woes - am I being taken for a ride? - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 14-11-06 Thread Starter
Status: -
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 3

Member car:

Alfa 156 V6 2.5

Cry Like A Baby 156 V6 woes - am I being taken for a ride?

Hello fellow Alfa nuts! This is my first post but I've been lurking for some time

About 3000 miles ago, I had my cam belt changed together with the water pump (metal impellers). The car's mileage is 58000 but it's a 1999 so it was due to be done - I thought this would save me some bad problems later. Seems I was wrong!!

The car has been driving fine but just recently was lacking in power (I mean really lacking - it had trouble pulling away from an old Metro). It felt lumpy as if it was not firing on all cylinders, then a couple of days ago it refused to start - I left it a bit, tried again and it eventually came to life but it sounded like a tractor - as if there was some damage happening. So a breakdown truck later, my bella arrives at the garage that did the original cam belt job.

First the mechanic said the cam belt had jumped a tooth and that was causing all the problems. He said he'd done a compression test and all was fine, there was no damage to the valves etc...

Then we had another call to say that he thought it was down to something called a "woodruff key" being too small, he then took it upon himself to make one and fit it. All was fine, he thought that was the problem and put everything back together.

Had another call today, now he's still unable to get the car started and it has an injector warning light coming on (which it didn't previously).

I've looked for references to woodruff keys and found next to nothing!! Does it sound feasible that this would cause this kind of problem? Does this guy know what he's doing?

I'm worried now

Does anybody have any opinions / ideas?


Last edited by AlfaDave; 14-11-06 at 18:12.
AlfaDave is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: -
AO Silver Member
Rob 156's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: W. London
Posts: 1,305

Member car:

156 2.5

Re: 156 V6 woes - am I being taken for a ride?

I may be wrong, but by woodruff key, I think he means a key on the cam so the pulley (the gearwheel thingy on the end of the cam) can only be fitted in one exact location.

How on earth he would construct one is beyond me.

On a v6, when doing the belt, cylinder 1 should be at tdc (checked with a dial thingy). Then camlocks should be placed on each of the cams to lock them in place. The pulleys should be left loose, new adjustable tensioner tensioned, then pulleys tightened onto cams.

Sound like your guy doesn't know what he's on about. Ask him how he is doing it, and if he doesn't mention camlocks, I would be concerned.
Rob 156 is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 164
Images: 6
Re: 156 V6 woes - am I being taken for a ride?

The only woodruff key on V6 is the one on the crankshaft gear. But the most common problem on V6 is people do timing belts that don't have the locking tools so therefore don't slacken the cam pulleys to tension the belt so once the belt has stretched after a 1000 or 2000 miles they usually jump teeth on the rear camshaft bacause the belt tension is too slack. Sorry but it sounds like this may be your problem. Kev
kevs gta is offline  
(Post Link) post #4 of 4 Old 16-11-06 Thread Starter
Status: -
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 3

Member car:

Alfa 156 V6 2.5

Thumbs Up Re: 156 V6 woes - am I being taken for a ride?

Thanks for your replies guys...

Seems he was on the right track. It starts fine now, sounds better than it ever did and it is so smooth - I think it has been wrong for a while.

The problems were down to the woodruff key disintegrating and catching the belts, putting the timing out. I think I was very lucky! In the end there was no damage to the engine whatsoever.

What's puzzling is where this obviously wrong woodruff key came from... it was 1cm shorter than it should have been. I suspect either a manufacturing error at the factory or at some point someone has swapped it for some reason... it's a bit odd really. Alfa wouldn't sell just the woodruff key, they would only sell the whole crank shaft at some ridiculous price Having the piece made at a professional machining shop was the best solution although at the time it seemed a bit left-field.

I trust my mechanic now but I think I should get a second car
AlfaDave is offline  

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

156 , ride , woes

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