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.
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.
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.
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.