3.2 JTS timing chain kit old design vs new design (swap??) - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 9 Old 12-07-16 Thread Starter
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159 3.2JTS Q4

Hmmm 3.2 JTS timing chain kit old design vs new design (swap??)

Hello to everyone,

I've recently purchased a 159 3.2 JTS Q4 with a stretched timing chain (surprise surprise) and begun the whole process of importing a complete Cloyes timing chain set + original GM VVT's.
Gathering information on the two designers (first design 92 link roller chains or second design 114 link silent chains) applied, on one of the forums (not here) I received a suggestion to replace my old (and stretched) early design chains for a complete set of the new type silent chains along with VVT's (obviously also matching the new type of chains), as from what I learned (and that user highlighted) the second design silent chains are said to be more durable and long-lasting than the roller typ.

Having in mind that I would be replacing the complete set with sprockets, tensioners, guides as well as VVT's it seemed reasonable to me that such a swap should "work" without any problems (especially that from what I understand, apart from the chains, guides and sprockets there where no changes to the engine construction/setup/parts?) - so I went ahead and ordered the new type timing-kit.

I nearly collapsed on Friday, when my friend running the garage that's doing the replacement phoned me up to say they put the engine together and my 159 is running all wrong. At first he suggested it may be an issue with the new VVT's, as once they filled up with oil it's possible (from what he said this does occur) that they gone off the alignment marks and therefore the engine isn't running as it should.
They took it apart once more to check the marks (and the marks have in fact gone off by a few degrees), but after re-aligning the VVT marks and putting everything back together, today I received another call that it's still running like a tank and at this point he believes that swaping the first design timing kit for the second design isn't possible after all..

I'm pretty much devastated, as getting the parts organized, packed&prepared for alternative shipping and delivered to Europe plus then fitted to my car, apart from a good few bucks it also took over 8 weeks and it's possible that all this went for nothing (adding around 3 days of constant garage work around the car trying to find the problem on top of that). At this point I would like to ask has anyone ever performed such a "swap" before and is there any way to get this done correctly, or am I screwed big time?
I really hope that perhaps some sensor has changed along with introducing the second type of chains and very strongly hope it will be a matter of replacing a sensor or some other small part that may be causing a misreading of the timing chain position, not allowing the engine to run properly.

I know there's a number of highly qualified mechanics and engineers around here that have a great deal of knowledge - also on the JTS engines. I very much ask for any support possible, there might be something we didn't take into consideration or simply overlooked - but then again if it's definite that I screwed up by not verifying this idea with people more experienced and knowledgeable than me prior to ordering the parts and this swap simply can't be done, please pour a bucket of cold water on my head.
What will be left is finding a way of fixing this mess (and obviously paying the price for being an idiot that wanted something "better"). In any case, many thanks for making it through the read (as well as for any input whatsoever), I also hope this will be useful for others in for future.

My best,
e.
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Not much help but I wouldn't have changed the chain type in the first place. On my early engine the primary Morse chain had stretched and the Secondary roller chains were fine. If I were you I'd put it all back to early type and sell the later parts you've already bought.
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Have you changed the solenoids? My 2.2 JTS was running very rough until I bought and fitted new solenoids that control the VVT.
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Originally Posted by nogrip View Post
Not much help but I wouldn't have changed the chain type in the first place. On my early engine the primary Morse chain had stretched and the Secondary roller chains were fine. If I were you I'd put it all back to early type and sell the later parts you've already bought.
Thanks for your comments. The main problem now is that we're trying to verify (just to be 100% sure) has anything else apart from the chains, guides, tensioners, sprockets and VVT's changed along with introducing the second design timing kit. At this point my friend from the garage isn't positive if the timing kit for Cadillac / Pontiac / Saab / Suzuki 3.6L engines is exactly the same as for the 3.2 JTS.
Is someone able to confirm are these 100% the same setup?
Did the first design 3.2 JTS have the same specifics as for the 3.6L GM engines (as below):

First design timing kit: 78 link primary silent chain + 2x 92 link secondary roller chains
Second design timing kit : 96 link primary silent chain + 2x 114 link secondary silent chains

Are these two sets exactly the same for the 3.6L GM engines as for the 3.2 JTS GM engine?
After replacing the full timing kit from first design to second design on my 159, the mechanic suggested that perhaps there where some differences between the 3.6L GM and 3.2 JTS timing kits - although from my understanding these are exactly the same and users on AlfaOwner have successfully replaced their timing chain kits using the 3.6L sets imported from USA - is this correct? I purchased the recommended Cloyes kit number 9-0753S along with original GM VVT's (these couldn't be wrong, as only the newer type of VVT's can house the second design silent type chains).
The person performing the timing kit replacement claims he's having trouble to align the VVT's on mark, as after changing from first design to second design I believe it's the exhaust VVT's that have their marks up-side-down now and the engine currently won't start (it does misfire every other cycle). If the timing chain kit's on both the 3.6L GM engine and 3.2 JTS are in fact the same (I'm nearly positive they are) this may be a problem of getting the marks set / alignment done correctly on the new type of kit.

Is there anything I can do to help you help me - like photos of the current positioning, close-ups on any specific elements to verify is the marks / symbols are properly set and aligned?

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Originally Posted by jezyk View Post
Have you changed the solenoids? My 2.2 JTS was running very rough until I bought and fitted new solenoids that control the VVT.
Thanks buddy, now it's an issue with misfiring and not running at all - therefore this is definitely related to the timing kit itself and my friend is positive that the solenoids for nothing to do with this specific symptom. Cheers for sending an idea though
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Originally Posted by ericssoun View Post
Thanks buddy, now it's an issue with misfiring and not running at all - therefore this is definitely related to the timing kit itself and my friend is positive that the solenoids for nothing to do with this specific symptom. Cheers for sending an idea though
Don't be so sure that a misfire cant be solenoid related. I recently replaced mine with the exact equivalent GM solenoids - within a day the car suddenly developed an undriveable misfire - we put the old ones back and the misfire vanished. I've now ordered the original Alfa solenoids.

If that gets you nowhere, I would recommend contacting the guys at Alfa Workshop UK (The Alfa Workshop, specialist Alfa Romeo garage and web site) - super helpful and they know their stuff when it comes to timing chains.
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Quote:
At this point my friend from the garage isn't positive if the timing kit for Cadillac / Pontiac / Saab / Suzuki 3.6L engines is exactly the same as for the 3.2 JTS.
All the parts I used for my early setup chain swap were GM / Cadillac / Saab etc.. parts - the numbers are in this post:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...it-wanted.html (chain kit wanted!)
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Originally Posted by VeloceRagno View Post
Don't be so sure that a misfire cant be solenoid related. I recently replaced mine with the exact equivalent GM solenoids - within a day the car suddenly developed an undriveable misfire - we put the old ones back and the misfire vanished. I've now ordered the original Alfa solenoids.

If that gets you nowhere, I would recommend contacting the guys at Alfa Workshop UK (The Alfa Workshop, specialist Alfa Romeo garage and web site) - super helpful and they know their stuff when it comes to timing chains.
The thing is that before we replaced the timing kit, the car was running alright (apart from it having a stretched chain, and this error was shown by the diagnostic system), so we kind of ruled out the solenoids. Having in mind that it's not just replacing the timing kit but also swaping from 1st design to 2nd (occuring in things like up-side-down alignment marks on the VVT's) and we aren't 100% sure if in fact the 3.6L GM and the 3.2 JTS share exactly the same kits (but I believe there is such a thread here as well, saying this is a much cheaper alternative to purchasing the complete kit in Europe from Alfa / Fiat).
It also may be that we simply aren't able to work out how the second design set should be correctly positioned, therefore your suggestion to try getting in touch with The Alfa Workshop might be my best bet at this point - so thanks for the heads-up
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Originally Posted by nogrip View Post
All the parts I used for my early setup chain swap were GM / Cadillac / Saab etc.. parts - the numbers are in this post:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...it-wanted.html (chain kit wanted!)
Cheers nogrip - so we know for sure that teh first design / early setup GM / Cadillac / Saab were the same thing, which is good. I ordered a complete kit from Cloyes (More Information for CLOYES 90753S), but assuming the first desing did match, the second design should also be compatible. Do you know when did Alfa Romeo introduce the second design timing kit to the 3.2 JTS? As mentioned earlier, I have a feeling that the issue is related to correctly aligning everything and setting on the marks (which appear to be placed differently than on the previous, early setup - at least for the VVT's). Perhaps doing some photos and trying to ask The Alfa Workshop for a helpful hand..
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Bear in mind that the solenoids control the oil flow to the VVTs - it might just be that they worked fine with the old VVTs, but now that you have brand-new ones, it could be that they are not functioning as required with the new VVTs - I'm speculating of course.
This will then result in the cams not operating properly and causing your misfire. Maybe try giving the solenoids a good flush clean before spending money to replace them - they could just be dirty - the holes that they feed the oil through are almost microscopic.

That said - you could be on the right track with the alignment stuff - speak to Jamie at Alfa Workshop.

.
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