Brera 3.2 JTS Q4 SV 48,000 miles Timing Chain - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Oh, and who is Paul? Cheers
Ahh, Paul of Avanti Autos, thanks
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Oh, and who is Paul? Cheers
Paul Newton, Alfa Trained Mechanic, very experienced and bloody good.
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Paul Newton, Alfa Trained Mechanic, very experienced and bloody good.
Sadly, they are both divorced. Shame really as I have trusted these guys for years. Still every cloud has a silver lining, we now have two great Alfa guys to go to in East Anglia.
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Have a manual gauge connected to your oil pressure sender unit then you'll find out if you have low oil pressure.
The oil pump just creates the volume of oil in the engine. It's the clearence in the bearings & the bottom end that creates oil pressure the oil pump put out the volume of oil & as it ressists the volume of oil from the all the moving parts that's what creates oil pressure. So low oil pressure may or may not relate to the oil pump.
And yes your car seems to be running fine, they're relaxed below 3,500rpms
Also do a search and you'll find oil temperature gauge's can fail. I think sensor for that is in the sump
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Sadly, they are both divorced. Shame really as I have trusted these guys for years. Still every cloud has a silver lining, we now have two great Alfa guys to go to in East Anglia.
Kind Regards
Sorry guys,
I simply cannot subscribe to the preposition, that every time any anything goes wrong with this engine; the 3.2, it has to be expensive. Under normal circumstances, yes, if one was to believe what Alfa diagnose, then it is. But a little lateral thinking would be in order.
GM, I believe, continue to produce this engine, in great quantities and were it that expensive to maintain, it would now be defunct. That it is not, indicates how wrong Alfa have got it.
Timing chain stretch? they are having a laugh. Yes they do stretch. Several of my cars had the old twin cam - 105 series engines. Timing chain tension was maintained by manually releasing the tensioner sprocket, then rotating the engine forward a little, to ensure that the slack was on the idler/tensioner side. Then, the handle of a hammer, not too long, could be levered behind the still loose tensioner sprocket, whilst the lock nut was done up. Good for another 5000 miles.
Fast forward to Hydraulic tensioners, for which we must thank Mr. Busso. he was a genius, took tension off the belts when the engine was running to maintain the optimum. Anyone who has broken a Busso V6, should not be allowed to own an Alfa, in my opinion. so if any of you did, go buy something else - only joking guys.
But now we have a 3,2 successor to that Busso and does anyone think, Alfa are in the game of moving backwards. I have my criticisms, but I would not accuse them of that. Just sometimes, they lose their focus because of naive attitudes towards cost saving.
Chain stretch?
1. A four stroke engine has camshafts rotating at quarter speed. So any error in the camshaft angle, is four times greater, with respect to the crank shaft/piston/con-rod position.
2. The top chains for the cam shafts are a "Hell of a length".
3. They are Simplex chains and because of this are more prone to stretch than a Duplex chain, vis a vis, the bottom chain.
4. Tensioning of both the top two Simplex and bottom Duplex is done "Hydraulically.
5. The guides and tensioner's are faced with "Neoprene", or some such hard plastic face.
6. Top dead center is determined by a probe on the crank shaft.
7. Valve timing, and thus Cam shaft advance is determined by a probe on the Inlet cam shaft and accurately determined by the ECU; similar principal to turbines used in power generation, but for a different purpose. Only one cam shaft, I think; given the relationship between the inlet and the outlet is always maintained by the timing chains.
8.The upper "Simplex" Camshaft chain, guides and tensioners, are very much longer than on those of the primary "Duplex" bottom chain.
9. Poor lubrication of the "Neoprene", faces of the timing chain guides and tensioners, would result in far greater wear than chain stretch.
10, Thus the relationship between the TDC, determined by the crank shaft probe and the camshaft probe, will be degraded, because although the hydraulic tensioners will theoretically take up the slack, there is a limit to what they can take up.
11. Any slack introduces a "Timing Hysteresis"
12."Distance is Time", and thus Timing errors occur.
In essence, whereas Alfa would claim timing chain stretch is the problem, in truth it is Timing chain tensioner/guide that is the problem.
This may, in truth, also be due to low oil pressure, where sufficient oil pressure is not enough to maintain tension and thus the relationship between crank shaft sensor and camshaft sensor, goes outside the ECU parameters.
However, this easy to determine, without a total strip down, by simply inspecting the guides and tensioners.
Kind Regards,
PS, I am looking for a VRX engine to put in my Q4. Why; Alfa dealerships won't get away with charging me so much for maintaining it.
Hope this provokes a little thought.
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Just to clarify, neoprene is a synthetic rubber and used to make things like wetsuits, so unlikely to be the material of choice here. Much more likely to be a nylon. And most engines I've worked on, the cams turn at half crank speed.
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Yes it is still in production to date with twin turbos & the timing chains are still failing. On the 4-pot 2.2 Version it's been known since 2001 in the US with the problem not really excepted as a fault by GM either, the V6 fault has been known since around 2004 AFAIK

I'd say phone around & find a warrenty Co that will replace the chain under warrenty no questions asked with the knowledge of this potential problem & cost of upto 3,000. Explained to them the chain issue, that's the only way you get peace of mind. This V6 is fitted into every GM branded (V6) car in the US & has countless fails, even at 5k oil change intervals.
GM tryed an oil of their own named Dexos for GM engines but the chain still fails. SUZUKI had lots of come back too with this engine in their XL7. The chain will let go at some stage wheather it's 35k or 135k.
Chain updates have been made but to no avail so far. Put GM INSIDE NEW TIMING CHAIN into a search engine

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Yes it is still in production to date with twin turbos & the timing chains are still failing. On the 4-pot 2.2 Version it's been known since 2001 in the US with the problem not really excepted as a fault by GM either, the V6 fault has been known since around 2004 AFAIK

I'd say phone around & find a warrenty Co that will replace the chain under warrenty no questions asked with the knowledge of this potential problem & cost of upto 3,000. Explained to them the chain issue, that's the only way you get peace of mind. This V6 is fitted into every GM branded (V6) car in the US & has countless fails, even at 5k oil change intervals.
GM tryed an oil of their own named Dexos for GM engines but the chain still fails. SUZUKI had lots of come back too with this engine in their XL7. The chain will let go at some stage wheather it's 35k or 135k.
Chain updates have been made but to no avail so far. Put GM INSIDE NEW TIMING CHAIN into a search engine
Thanks for this. However, Alfa are known for their brevity when it comes to faults. Has "Timing Chain System Failure" been substituted by "Timing Chain Failure". Has anyone measured this "Stretch". Is there any evidence of the chains breaking. It just does not seem credible that short, high grade hardened links would lose out to Nylon tensioner and guide faces. It would still be the Nylon that suffered, if there was oil starvation. The weak point of the chain is the metal around the pins and this implies, the pins would come adrift from the link, causing breakage. I've never heard that, well not generally. And if they did, the engine would be wrecked. I'm not saying it has not happened, but I've never hear it.
I did hear about the oil scenario and anecdotally it is said, the wrong oil can block a small lubrication orifice, for lubricating the chains. It's what I have heard but don't know the truth. What I can say is, I suffer from high oil consumption, using fully synthetic, but am reluctant to change to a "Thicker Grade", even though it is suggested, it will reduce my oil consumption. I am concerned it may be too thick for the oil ways, effectively reducing the pressure at the tensioners and perhaps reducing the efficiency of the oil pump.
Kind regards,
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TBH it's not Alfa Romeo's fault they didn't make the engine block & chain design Holden GM did in OZ, Alfa's engineers designed it to a 3.2 Holden GM subcontract each engine build from 2.8L - 4.0L Alfa just adjusted the VVT for their own characteristics. The chain does/can stretch by 1-2mm putting timing out of sync hence the fault codes. Some primary chain faults from my research have fell off the cogs causing damage, low compression from the rear bank, damaged valves seats can happen if the chain stretches to much
Thicker oil would probably lead to engine clogging with sludge. Engine heat doesn't help either, stuck in slow moving traffic, ect. Alfa probably put the stop start button on the facia for a reason. If the car does idle a lot because of slow moving traffic, switch if off & change the oil when it starts to get dirty.
If the chain does go & causes other engine damage, if you can't do the work yourself you may as well buy a new engine for less than 2,500 & ship it the cheapest way possible or get a 12 month warrenty every year

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Her is a picture of one we did a while ago where the middle chain had slipped

The tensioner is off it in the picture but you can see where the chains run

Ned
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I can see Ned that the bottom tensioner & chain guide looks like it has failed on the primary chain. Mine has a slight rattle coming from that area as if the chain is brushing against the chain guide ever so slightly ( sounds like a bearing in a stakeboard wheel when spun ) which the chain is suppose to do. It did go when i changed the oil to Valvoline SynPower at 56,500 miles in march for around 1,500 miles, i now have 58,880 & the slight rattle is back. No lights are on the dash & the car runs, idles & still sounds as it should apart from the slight rattle you really have to listen out for when the car is idling at 750rmps.
I asked my friend about this who's a mechanic about this time last year, he reckons it's a normal sound. I don't, hence research on this chain issue. One question Ned, what sits in the hole below the alternator outside the engine in the photo?

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Just to clarify, neoprene is a synthetic rubber and used to make things like wetsuits, so unlikely to be the material of choice here. Much more likely to be a nylon. And most engines I've worked on, the cams turn at half crank speed.
Stand corrected, it's an age thing. Cheers
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I did hear about the oil scenario and anecdotally it is said, the wrong oil can block a small lubrication orifice, for lubricating the chains.
This is what I've always believed to be the culprit.

I've always made sure the mechanic knew the precise grade of oil to use, and in recent years have started supplying it myself for them to use.
I started doing this after spotting ''19 engine oil'' listed on a previous invoice.
Obviously the wrong grade, and the chain issue started about a year later. Perhaps just conincidence, but I use somebody else for servicing now.
I couldn't use somebody again who ignored me when I specified what grade of oil I wanted to be used.
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https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-arti...nadequate.html


It's common on your engine lussoman
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TBH it's not Alfa Romeo's fault they didn't make the engine block & chain design Holden GM did in OZ, Alfa's engineers designed it to a 3.2 Holden GM subcontract each engine build from 2.8L - 4.0L Alfa just adjusted the VVT for their own characteristics. The chain does/can stretch by 1-2mm putting timing out of sync hence the fault codes. Some primary chain faults from my research have fell off the cogs causing damage, low compression from the rear bank, damaged valves seats can happen if the chain stretches to much
Thicker oil would probably lead to engine clogging with sludge. Engine heat doesn't help either, stuck in slow moving traffic, ect. Alfa probably put the stop start button on the facia for a reason. If the car does idle a lot because of slow moving traffic, switch if off & change the oil when it starts to get dirty.
If the chain does go & causes other engine damage, if you can't do the work yourself you may as well buy a new engine for less than 2,500 & ship it the cheapest way possible or get a 12 month warrenty every year
Still, has anyone got pictures of the guides, after such a failure, or simply when the code comes up and the chains are changed? 1 - 2mm is not enough to clear any one of the sprockets; just thinking laterally. The Middle Chain is the primary, the position of which TDC is determined - connected to the crank and thus it's position relative to the TDC sensor. The chain is tensioned by the central Guide/hydraulic tensioner although it was said by Alfa to be a oil pump with guide attached. It this unit that they would not split, although Vauxhall would. A 1 - 2 millimetre stretch would, or should be within the working range of this tensioner. When the engine is not running, there must be some "static tension" on it, otherwise on having stopped turning, the slack could end up at the bottom. Starting the engine again, could cause the starter motor driven crank to rotate, whilst skipping a tooth on the sprocket. That surely is worst case scenario, causing untold damage. If the tensioner has not failed completely; just weakened due to low oil pressure and I believe this bottom pump/tensioner is also responsible for the tension on the upper guides/tensioners, then this could account for the relationship between the crank TDC probe and the camshaft probe. Hence the Code fault. If oil pressure is not optimum, slack may appear in the chains, a combination of bottom and bottom driven top chains, such that the two timing pulses (Crank TDC and Camshaft Sensor) are outside spec. This would mimic Timing chain Stretch/Failure.
If it were me, as soon as I got that code come up, I would change the bottom chain pump/guide soonest, whilst inspecting all the other guides come tensioners. Thats the least expensive option. That's if it was my engine, which it is not. A code fault should be a warning of slack, not terminal stretch of the chains. Surely its an early warning code, rather than a "Sorry mate, we're in terminal engine collapse" code
I have just begged the question, "Were my tensioners/guides scored, when the work was done?". Yes, by about 2mm. I then asked, "If all the guides and tensioners were replaced, would the code clear, without changing the chains? Again, Yes was the answer. However, the lower guide, attached to the lower primary chain tensioner, was changed, but not the pump:Vauxhall were prepared to sell them separately.
The guys told me the pump was ok. But had I been asked, I would have said "Change it".
Quite rightly, you point out the grade of Oil and after my engine was rebuilt, it was flushed twice as at a 100,000 miles, there was considerable "Sludge" sitting in and around the camshafts and cylinder heads. For me, logically, given my engine had 100k on the clock when the code came up, this is indicative of Guide/Tensioner wear and possibly reduced tension due to sludge build up, with the potential for a failing lower tensioner/pump. A 1 to 2 millimetre chain stretch would add to this, but I don't think This was the primary issue which led to the code warning. In saying that however, I'm glad they were done because it was not at my expense.
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https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-arti...nadequate.html


It's common on your engine lussoman
Thanks for the link. Interesting article.
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05 CTS 3.6L Timing Chain Job, Tons-o-pics (I mean tons)

Sizewell the ECU is programed to show fault codes for as little as 1-3 mm stretch. I think the ECU can/will also adjust it's timing to counter the slight error in the chain stretch, probably why some have no running problems.
In the link above show a timing chain repair, also shows wear on the chain guides & cog
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TBH it's not Alfa Romeo's fault they didn't make the engine block & chain design Holden GM did in OZ, Alfa's engineers designed it to a 3.2 Holden GM subcontract each engine build from 2.8L - 4.0L Alfa just adjusted the VVT for their own characteristics. The chain does/can stretch by 1-2mm putting timing out of sync hence the fault codes. Some primary chain faults from my research have fell off the cogs causing damage, low compression from the rear bank, damaged valves seats can happen if the chain stretches to much
Thicker oil would probably lead to engine clogging with sludge. Engine heat doesn't help either, stuck in slow moving traffic, ect. Alfa probably put the stop start button on the facia for a reason. If the car does idle a lot because of slow moving traffic, switch if off & change the oil when it starts to get dirty.
If the chain does go & causes other engine damage, if you can't do the work yourself you may as well buy a new engine for less than 2,500 & ship it the cheapest way possible or get a 12 month warrenty every year
Not really blaming Alfa as do believe it is a good engine. The cost of their parts and labour is what I am Baulking at. Suggested a new engine imported, at Circa 2500 and yet work done to restore 5000. Has to be something wrong with their prices.
Thanks for the reply.
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This is what I've always believed to be the culprit.

I've always made sure the mechanic knew the precise grade of oil to use, and in recent years have started supplying it myself for them to use.
I started doing this after spotting ''19 engine oil'' listed on a previous invoice.
Obviously the wrong grade, and the chain issue started about a year later. Perhaps just conincidence, but I use somebody else for servicing now.
I couldn't use somebody again who ignored me when I specified what grade of oil I wanted to be used.
Absolutely spot on. "He Who Pays The Piper, Calls The Tune".
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Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
05 CTS 3.6L Timing Chain Job, Tons-o-pics (I mean tons)

Sizewell the ECU is programed to show fault codes for as little as 1-3 mm stretch. I think the ECU can/will also adjust it's timing to counter the slight error in the chain stretch, probably why some have no running problems.
In the link above show a timing chain repair, also shows wear on the chain guides & cog
What an absolutely Brilliant link. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Well this is just about on the scale of "War and Peace". A superb reference library and it is good to see the final comment of page one, this guy, who I can only bow before, also attributes the problems to guides, tensioners and Oil starvation, rather than chain stretch. He does say it is only opinion, but hell, it the experience behind the opinion that counts. I'm keeping this Forever.
Many Many Thanks
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This was how much my primary Morse type chain had stretched - it triggered the CEL every 50 miles or so.

The tensioner was at it's full extent with minimal wear on the sliders and tensioner nylon surfaces.

The secondary roller chain tensioners were about 25% extended with a bit of scoring on a couple of slider surfaces but no appreciable stretch in the chains.
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That's just the tip of the iceberg of all the information that's out there on this V6 Sizewell. Stories & threads on it are worldwide & they all conclude the same theory, lack of lubricant. But you can see the same stories on different forums too. The BMW, 1 Series diesel's, Audi TT V6, also V8 model Audi's, even the R8 V10 timing chain fails. That's a 10,000 job.
So i hope people are not to worried after reading this thread about there chain because there's nothing to stop it, just prevention by changing the oil like people use to Winter & Summer oil changes
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This was how much my primary Morse type chain had stretched - it triggered the CEL every 50 miles or so.

The tensioner was at it's full extent with minimal wear on the sliders and tensioner nylon surfaces.

The secondary roller chain tensioners were about 25% extended with a bit of scoring on a couple of slider surfaces but no appreciable stretch in the chains.
That seems incredible. Are the two chains identical, same manufacturer? There has to be something wrong. To me that doesn't seem possible, Particularly if you say their was no appreciable stretch on the uppers, which are simplex and one has the high pressure direct injection pump? I am stunned, never seen that before, unless the're not the same animals. That must have floored you when you saw it.
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That's just the tip of the iceberg of all the information that's out there on this V6 Sizewell. Stories & threads on it are worldwide & they all conclude the same theory, lack of lubricant. But you can see the same stories on different forums too. The BMW, 1 Series diesel's, Audi TT V6, also V8 model Audi's, even the R8 V10 timing chain fails. That's a 10,000 job.
So i hope people are not to worried after reading this thread about there chain because there's nothing to stop it, just prevention by changing the oil like people use to Winter & Summer oil changes
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/image...es/teacher.gif

Sound advice. I'll sacrifice oil consumption for longevity. And from now on, prior to oil changes, my Guy is going to give me the flushing additive, to add when leaving home to have her serviced. He is about 9 miles away, so the engine should get good and warm and the flush well distributed around the galleries. Hope everyone heeds your message.
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Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
That's just the tip of the iceberg of all the information that's out there on this V6 Sizewell. Stories & threads on it are worldwide & they all conclude the same theory, lack of lubricant. But you can see the same stories on different forums too. The BMW, 1 Series diesel's, Audi TT V6, also V8 model Audi's, even the R8 V10 timing chain fails. That's a 10,000 job.
So i hope people are not to worried after reading this thread about there chain because there's nothing to stop it, just prevention by changing the oil like people use to Winter & Summer oil changes
Is it possible; has anyone done it? Can the 159 3.2 be converted to Electric Oil Pressure Pump, either supplementary, or primary?
Pro's:-
1.) Working oil pressure before the engine is started.
2.) Oil pressure regulation can be maintained by pressure regulator valve.
3.) Oil Pressure gauge can be fitted.
4.) Low oil pressure warning light can be set accurately with modern Transducer Technology.
5.) Can be made to work in Tandem with the mechanical pump.
6.) Nominal working oil pressure, prior to start - up will minimize wear.
7.) any more?

Con:-
Answers please - is it feasible?
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