Brera 3.2 JTS Q4 SV 48,000 miles Timing Chain - Page 5 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Originally Posted by sizewell View Post
I have been looking at the two pictures you included with your post. The faulty one, which appears to have "Blown", has; to my eyes a wide concave, but shallow rim within which the gasket was supposed to sit.
The new one has a channel, within which a "O" ring type seal sits and is compressed into the channel to make the seal. The old one looks; because the concave surface is so shallow, as if when it was fitted, the gasket had shifted over the rim, prior to being torqued down. This would result in the gasket being nipped by the lip of the rim. It probably was done in factory assembly. Overtime, torque from the mounting bolts and temperature would degrade the material, such that the oil pressure would finally cause a rupture. The specifications of the tensioner system states the seals are to ensure the tensioners retain oil and thus maintain pressure on the chains when starting the engine. If this gasket fails, perhaps all the oil has wept away and thus enough slack existed when starting the engine, to cause it to jump the sprocket?
This is only based on poor eyesight, viewing what look like two different profile tensioner oil seal seats. If this is the case, your new one is a later edition, modified for what must have been a problem initially. So are there some rogue parts out there. It's worth keeping a keen eye on buying replacement parts, it this is the case.
Kind regards,
The picture of the tensioners and gaskets are not from a GM V6, it was just to illustrate a possible problem, those pictures are actually from a ford f150 v8 forum, so sorry for the confusion mate.
But yes your conclusions are spot on about slack tension because of a poor fitting or deteriorated gasket, and then yes enough slack for the chain to jump a sprocket.

I've been thinking about the wear in these chains/sprockets and guides, and how you could go a step further with your electric oiler...well what about using your oiler to add additional oil directly to those chains/sprockets/guides, with a couple of solenoids you can control your electric pumps flow to either the engine for pre lube before start, at idle, and to periodically give all those chains/sprockets/guides a good oiling with 3 oil jets/nozzles pointed straight at them through the front/cam cover...see pic...

Mode1: run pump and open orange solenoid (close blue solenoid) for engine oil assistance.
Mode2: run pump and open blue solenoid (close orange) to oil chains/sprockets/guides directly (cut out the middle man!) Put a timer on this to oil every 5 minutes for 10 seconds for example.
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http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ml#post5303983 (Brera V6 Timing Chain Stretch)
interesting quote from CJ romeo here who is a reliable source, that the chain oiling is restricted as much as possible to reduce windage and emissions, it all starts to make sense when you see the bigger picture!
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http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ml#post5303983 (Brera V6 Timing Chain Stretch)
interesting quote from CJ romeo here who is a reliable source, that the chain oiling is restricted as much as possible to reduce windage and emissions, it all starts to make sense when you see the bigger picture!
That's the same problem as I had - primary Morse chain stretched and secondary rollers were OK. Unbelievable that later engines went all Morse with a narrower primary chain - seems like a bigger problem may be lurking unless the materials have been improved.
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That's the same problem as I had - primary Morse chain stretched and secondary rollers were OK. Unbelievable that later engines went all Morse with a narrower primary chain - seems like a bigger problem may be lurking unless the materials have been improved.
I know its just crazy!
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Murder Most Horrid!

Well another sleepless night and then it hit me like a bus! But first let me start with a brief recap.

The internet is full of stretched timing chains, worn sprockets, and worn and crispy guides, we have all seen the pictures and know this is a common problem across a wide range of engines and manufacturers with this design.

On this thread in particular we have analysed and dissected every part of the timing system for signs of weakness and probable cause of some of the failures.
We have highlighted a number of issues with tensioners, from gasket design, spring tension, and how the oil is delivered to the guides and onto the chain/sprockets. We have analysed the effects of oil pressure on the system, and how poor pressure for what ever reason has a dramatic effect on chain tension and parts life/failure.

When looking at the oil supply to these parts in more detail, its always looked strange that such a major mechanical system has such small oiling holes for delivery and so few of them too, to the point of being under oiled. The penny dropped when CJ commented that it was designed with minimal supply to reduce windage and emissions.
To help understand the importance of this statement, oil splashing off rotating parts at high speed create a mist of oil, we all have engine breather systems that draw crankcase blowby/ vapors back through the intake to be re burnt, its all part of emissions control, so the less oil vapor created the better it is for emissions figures.

But wait it gets better! Lets rub salt into the wound, lets run this system on engine grade oil too! Do you see where I'm going with this...
This is the crunch folks (pun intended) you have chains and sprockets with small high load contact points, not nice smooth journals and bearings that spread the load over a wide contact patch.
Would you run your gearbox on engine oil? No it would wear out in no time!

And this is the most important factor why all these timing chain systems wear so fast, they should be sealed and run on gearbox grade oil, hey you could even share the gearbox oil with a pump.


So this brings us back to Sizewells electric oiler. Engine grade oil is not ideal for these sprockets/chains, but its all we have to work with, getting more of it over those chains/sprockets/guides is a step in the right direction, if nothing else its helping absorb heat and taking that away from those surfaces with the latest design I posted with additional oil nozzles.
How having more oil splashing off those parts will effect emissions is an unknown until someone tries this.
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http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ml#post5303983 (Brera V6 Timing Chain Stretch)
interesting quote from CJ romeo here who is a reliable source, that the chain oiling is restricted as much as possible to reduce windage and emissions, it all starts to make sense when you see the bigger picture!
Sorry JB, this is where I bale out. Can you get the guy who started this one to give us more detail? If we forward it to the Alfa Development team it will either prompt apoplectic laughter over their coffee, or design their next engine without any lubrication at all. According To IAMBRERA's figures, potential failures on the basis of production figures could be as high as 20,000 units. But hell, they all passed their emissions tests! We had been doing really well up till now. Then someone throws this one into the mix. I'm off to Switzerland to get stuck in some snow.
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Sorry JB, this is where I bale out. Can you get the guy who started this one to give us more detail? If we forward it to the Alfa Development team it will either prompt apoplectic laughter over their coffee, or design their next engine without any lubrication at all. According To IAMBRERA's figures, potential failures on the basis of production figures could be as high as 20,000 units. But hell, they all passed their emissions tests! We had been doing really well up till now. Then someone throws this one into the mix. I'm off to Switzerland to get stuck in some snow.
Kind regards
morning, I havn't seen CJ post recently but he is very knowledgeable guy and it does explain a lot.
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morning, I havn't seen CJ post recently but he is very knowledgeable guy and it does explain a lot.
Sorry JB,
The previous all alloy twin cam engines had camshafts chains and tensioners lubricated by engine oil, and a considerably less sophisticated method than this engine. And I got 150,000 before I changed a chain. My Q4 has done 100,000, before the chains and tensioners were changed. Many more thousands that don't appear on this site will have similar reliability, I am sure. because the Variable Camshaft Timing System is continually working; never stops being involved with the ECU in determining the right advance/retard, the drain is spewing oil over upper chains continuously, cooling them as you say (oil enters the block after oil cooler) and treating the chains, sprockets, guides and tensioners to a veritable "Niagara Falls", cascading out of the camshaft drains.
The bottom chain tensioner is treated exactly the same as the cam shaft bearings, the crankshaft bearings, the hydraulic tappets and the con rod bearings. Oil starvation, may well be the issue that results in low tensioner pressure, but the afore mentioned are not given the same attention as the tensioner, particularly the lower one. The higher grade oil 5/40 may well have been specified originally because as has been said, "You would not use engine oil in your gearbox", perhaps it provides a little extra protection for the sprockets and chains.

However, as spray of oil continually coming out of the orifice of the lower tensioner; the pressure translated only by the diameter of the galleries and the orifice, but non the less being determined by an oil pump running at 3 - 6 bar, is not in my opinion; if the integrity of the system is soundly maintained, the problem Taking IAMBRERA's figure of potentially 20,000 unit failures out of a production run of 1,000,000 is 2%, if I have interpreted IAMBRERA'S correctly. This is not a major design problem. Production problem? Yes! Quality control problem, most certainly.
For this Engine, cast in Mexico, shipped to Australia, assembled, then shipped to Italy: torn apart and modified/rebuilt, it seems remarkable it should come anywhere close to that figure. If we are going to question the issue of engine against gearbox oil, one cannot neglect the quality of the steel and then Nitriding; previously mooted, comes into the equation. And if one wants to argue the case for an oil more suited to gears, then a valid observation was made in an earlier post about an "Oil Pre-heater".
The bulk of these cars are not new and therefore the quality of the maintenance work done on them is questionable? That they may have been maintained by Alfa dealers, sadly leads one to be more suspicious!

Coming into an enthusiasts ownership, it is implicit one understands this. And, if unlucky as was originator of this thread, it is unfortunate. That is why, if we are serious about Alfas, one needs to understand their DNA. If one doesn't then, given the cost of parts and labour, someone is going to empty ones bank account on the pretext of fanciful reasons for their unreliability. There is nothing wrong in complex systems that do not work, to pick the wrong reason to analyze why. That's the way research and de-bugging prototype systems works. And I know this, having spent many years abroad working to make systems, that left the development lab not working, let alone production, work!
Oil pressure is a fundamental issue for engine's wellbeing, not just the tensioners. Wear will reduce the longevity of the engine, but it will start to make unhealthy sounds.
A code failure can should be an early warning, not a terminal illness diagnosis. I still don't recognize the difference in the length of those two chains as an indication of stretch, certainly not length at least.

IAMBRERA, posted a brilliant link which could give a clue to that code error, but I have been reluctant to introduce it. However, here it is.

All cables have capacity - fact (and inductance but we will ignore that)
Timing for this engine is derived from two crankshaft probes and, I believe one camshaft probe.
The probes are primitive, in so much as they give a pulse on the Leading edge and the lagging edge of a slot.
These can be seen as a series of spikes, having a sharp leading edge and a sloping exponential lagging edge (curve)
The curve is indicative of the capacitance of the cable. Zero capacitance and it would simply be a spike.
The size of the capacitive element on the cable, determines how short or long the exponential curve is.
These pulses enable the ECU to determine the correct engine and camshaft advance timing.
Dirt on the crankshaft disk can cause errors with these pulses.
Dirt on the cable connectors; substantially oil fowling, "can and does increase the Effective Capacity of any cable".
Increase the capacity of these probe cables by fouling and a) the amplitude of the pulse will be reduced, or b) if the increase in capacity is so great, the pulse is lost: "Its energy is expended in charging up the capacitance of the cable"
It is easy to check this as many modern D.V.M's have a capacitance test position.
And if anyone has a mate who works for Alfa, the value can be checked on a new one from the stores.

So, nothing is ever that simple as designing in oil starvation to meet emission standards.

My priorities are:-
1. Low oil pressure as a consequence of wear. At 100,000 miles one should expect some deterioration.
2. Failure to maintain oil in tensioners due to seal/gasket failure.
3. Wear of tensioner and guide faces, which should be the principal reason. "The chain is not going to stretch by more than the nylon tensioner and guide faces are going to wear. I'm not saying they don't stretch, but the distance the chain revolves around the sprockets, guides and tensioners is going to decrease faster with worn nylon faces; faster than a chain is going to stretch.
4. Poor seal of gaskets on tensioners from new, vis a vis mine 100,000, thread started, 48,000.
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I think the bigger picture is the oil level, as we know the chain needs constant lubrication & by finding the correct refill level seems to be more important than the slight grade varied from of brand to brand that use the same HFV6 engine.

We know to much oil can damage engine oil seals or even draw itself thru the air intake, like the CTS Caddy link i posted

We know that oil is needed to cool the pistons

We can gather the 3.6 version seems to suffer more " Chain Stretch"

We know other oil grades exists for this engine GM use 5W-30 Dexos. Alfa Romeo have Selina 20k 5W-40

We know other HFV6 3.2's not fitted in to Alfa's use a higher refill level & 0W-40

We know Alfa Romeo specified 20,000 mile oil change intervals, GM lowered theirs to 5,000

We know GM have an oil life module that monitiors (allegedly) condition of oil Viscostiy. Some how Saab's oil light can pop up as little as 3,000 or as long as 15,000 depending on how it's driven.

So where do we stand? Oil grade or level? Alfa's 5.4 ltrs or GM's 6.7 ltrs? 0W-40 5W-30 or keep the 5W-40?

I am thinking of changing my oil again soon for 0W 40 (6ltrs worth) & monitor the level, condition & for signs of burn for 200-500 miles & see how it runs, drives & sounds before trying another oil untill i'm happier with the engine oil life. My oil is 2,000 miles old harldy used really over the last 8 month since the last oil change, but it's quite dirty.
On my wifes car oil was changed at the same time & the car is used daily the oils clean as anything 5W-30

I did put 5.4 ltrs in on the last oil change, but have had to top it up twice with around 500ml, so 6ltrs is probably spot on as SWQ4 states

Last edited by IAMBRERA; 18-11-15 at 17:58.
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The picture of the tensioners and gaskets are not from a GM V6, it was just to illustrate a possible problem, those pictures are actually from a ford f150 v8 forum, so sorry for the confusion mate.
But yes your conclusions are spot on about slack tension because of a poor fitting or deteriorated gasket, and then yes enough slack for the chain to jump a sprocket.

I've been thinking about the wear in these chains/sprockets and guides, and how you could go a step further with your electric oiler...well what about using your oiler to add additional oil directly to those chains/sprockets/guides, with a couple of solenoids you can control your electric pumps flow to either the engine for pre lube before start, at idle, and to periodically give all those chains/sprockets/guides a good oiling with 3 oil jets/nozzles pointed straight at them through the front/cam cover...see pic...

Mode1: run pump and open orange solenoid (close blue solenoid) for engine oil assistance.
Mode2: run pump and open blue solenoid (close orange) to oil chains/sprockets/guides directly (cut out the middle man!) Put a timer on this to oil every 5 minutes for 10 seconds for example.
I appreciate all your effort JB. Perhaps a workshop model could be built to test out the principle and determine system pressures. Unfortunately, I went a little too far when my son and I rebuilt my Busso from my GTV6 on the dining room table. Winter is here and I'm not going out into the garage to try this one. Neither am I brave enough to check to see if I have yet been forgiven for the mess my son and I made.
I believe you used the expression "Belt and Braces". you can't apply that handle to your schematic, very thorough.
However, I intend that initially, by using my manifold, I can use the engines current oil filter/cooler assembly.
The Pump will be running and pressure will be up on the engine, before the starter is turned; that was always my intention. If one wanted to, it could be interlocked with the starter button. But not just yet.
One could, as a system evolves, never get to the point where one arrives at definitive conclusions, simply because one has introduced too many elements. Refinements can be made, when the basic premise is established, i.e., is it oil starvation?
If one really wants to analyze what is going on in the galleries, one could remove the blanking plugs and put a pressure gauge on them. But for the moment, when the sump comes off for de-gundging, I will fit the electric oil pump pick up point and the sump wall feed-through pipe, temporarily blanking it off.
Indeed, when it comes to the final testing, pump/manifold and ancillaries set up, the whole system can be tested, presetting the start/stop pressures, even before ever turning the engine.
But that is going to take me a while to get together. The Q4 has now had the two Rear Diff mounting bushes (160 each) fitted. One of the old bushes has the bolt hole clearly out of centre by some considerable margin.
Quality control? "Here Fred, what are we going to do with these bushes Opel rejected?" Sell them to Alfa, they'll put up with any old rubbish! And they'll knock them on at a hell of a mark up. So everybody wins. Customers, Stuff them!
The Front bush of the differential was done about two months ago. The trailing arms are now refitted with their new Polys; large and small ones. All that remains to be done is the rear anti-roll bar drop arms, which should be here tomorrow.Then the Acid test! Is the back end going to be tighter? Will the legendary Clunk/Thunk be exorcised? I hope so.
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I like the idea of an electric oil pump helping things, but when that orange solenoid opens, i think the check valve would only let the electric pump assist if it had more pressure than the engine mechanical pump, and if the electric pump was strong enough it wouldn't let the mechanical pump flow, i think they would have to be matched throughout the rev range which would be complicated, and probably way too much oil pressure! Sure extra oil before start up would be nice, but i think the main problem is the oem service intervals.

I doubt many chains would have a problem if the oil was changed every 5-10k, depending on engine abuse levels. 100k would be safe enough for a well cared for engine, but an abused engine should probably have the chains and tensioners replaced sooner.

Last edited by alfafanboy; 19-11-15 at 10:54.
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What's this - have you been 'turned'?
Dear James,
Today I picked up the Q4 with all the work on the rear suspension completed. Progressively, there has been improvements, since first changing the rear differential, front mounting bush; no substantial failure in the original, just the re-alignment of the differential made an improvement to gear selection.
Then the rear near side trailing arm was changed for a bona fide Alfa replacement; nearly 400 plus labour. At this point we spoke about the remaining symptoms and my belief that the Hydraulic bushes were perhaps an exercise too far. I did not believe they could continually handle the application of torque from the engine, or the reverse torque from braking, without substantially degrading over time; in the case of the nearside rupturing and spewing oil over the trailing arm and its weather shield.
The work to fit the bushes you kindly supplied me with, was completed this morning. Along with these the two rear differential to sub frame bushes were replaced. One of the old ones had a seriously off-set central mounting hole, which suggested, there is little point in worrying about tolerances, if the manufacturer cared so little about them in production. These bushes I will happily send you, if you feel there may be a demand for them. Plus the front bush.
We discussed the issue of "Squirm", power shifting from left to right as a function of the original bushes flexing and also the view that the back end could benefit from "Tightening up".
Because of the staged improvements, up to the point where the new bushes were fitted, it was difficult to keep focus of where we had started. Discussing this with a friend on the phone, I remarked it seemed to be driving more like a rear wheel drive car than hitherto. He remarked, "So you're not getting torque through the steering". Bloody annoying really, given he wouldn't know which end to hold a spanner. but he was absolutely right. Previously, the feeling of all round solidity, was substantially because of the front end reminding one it was involved, by communicating through the steering wheel.
This car is said to be 63/47 torque split, front to back. That implies the front wheel element was supplementary to the rear drive. But it did not feel like that. It gave one the sense it was the front that was predominantly in charge!
Not so now! It most definitely is showing rear wheel drive traits. the steering is much lighter and there is less load on it when cornering. I predict, front wheel wear will benefit from this. Also what is remarkable is the feeling of solidity from the rear wheels. Taking one's hands of the wheel at 85 and accelerating in a straight line, it is uncanny how stable the car is. Equally, braking suffered no tendency to skew. This to me, is indicative of how the car should be. And that it is wholly due to the precise location the trailing arms are now maintaining; entirely due tho the new Powerflex bushes.
Gear changes are that much more precise and importantly, any error in engaging gear on the move; changing up or down, the consequences of getting it wrong, are reflected in the transmission system, as apposed to somewhere under the car. This sense can be felt both at the rear and the front, which hitherto was not the case. The rub is, I can drive the car, without having to think too much about gear changes and be "Clunk/Thunk" free. It is a solid, well built car, but now the traits it displays are more in keeping with a rear wheel drive system. Of course it is not, but at times when one needs a degree of additional grip; support from the front end, to me, it will make itself known then, rather than constantly.
These are my initial impressions, but they do say first impressions last longest. I think I have a better car now than I did last week. And with winter coming up, I think it won't take too long for it to justify this opinion. It simply is a different animal, and better for it.

Many, Many thanks,
Kind Regards, Brian

PS. Let me know if you would like the old differential bushes.

I include the above Email, sent to James Bourn of Powerflex. I thought both you Ken, O.E. and any other Q4 owners may be interested in my first impressions. I cannot say how it would improve front wheel drive versions, although it is no bad thing to have your rear wheels exactly where they are supposed to be. I'm glad I approached James, not least for the time and effort he took to consider my views, but also in producing a kit for me, PDQ. I was not prepared to spend almost another 400 on a second arm and in any case, these bushes; in my humble opinion are better than OEM.
Kind Regards,
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So are the rear trailing arm Powerflex bushes going to be available for purchase in future? Any idea on likely purchase cost?
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gents,

since having 3.2JTS Q4 159 and oil change time is approaching, have one question for you

till now I have used on many of my Alfas (146s, 156s and 159s; even on my previous Vespa GTS250) the Selenia Racing oil (10 W 60). is that good or not for the engine? had never the problems and engine was nicely revving.

don't you laugh, am testing at the moment Millers Oils' Nano Drive oil CFS10W60NT, few days ago made first 8000 km from the end of June (this year!) till today. no problems at all.

was thinking to order that Nano Drive oil and put it in Alfa.

food for a thought!

  • 146s 1.3 & 1.6 boxer (man I loved those cars!)
  • 156 1.6TS (sold it only since I wanted more power)
  • 159 2.2JTS SW (sold it only since I wanted more power)
  • now driving 159 3.2JTS Q4 SW Ti
  • now driving also Vespa GTS 300ie Super
  • now driving also Aprilia Moto 6.5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfafanboy View Post
I like the idea of an electric oil pump helping things, but when that orange solenoid opens, i think the check valve would only let the electric pump assist if it had more pressure than the engine mechanical pump, and if the electric pump was strong enough it wouldn't let the mechanical pump flow, i think they would have to be matched throughout the rev range which would be complicated, and probably way too much oil pressure! Sure extra oil before start up would be nice, but i think the main problem is the oem service intervals.

I doubt many chains would have a problem if the oil was changed every 5-10k, depending on engine abuse levels. 100k would be safe enough for a well cared for engine, but an abused engine should probably have the chains and tensioners replaced sooner.
I think Sizewell is still looking at pump options, for sure the pressures and flow will add, so as you rightly point out we need to be aware of the pressures not being too high or too low, some testing will be needed to "Tune" the system.
Yes 100k miles is possible, what I find puzzling is everyone just accepts the more and more frequent oil changes advised without considering why they are having to change the oil so frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mash4077 View Post
gents,

since having 3.2JTS Q4 159 and oil change time is approaching, have one question for you

till now I have used on many of my Alfas (146s, 156s and 159s; even on my previous Vespa GTS250) the Selenia Racing oil (10 W 60). is that good or not for the engine? had never the problems and engine was nicely revving.

don't you laugh, am testing at the moment Millers Oils' Nano Drive oil CFS10W60NT, few days ago made first 8000 km from the end of June (this year!) till today. no problems at all.

was thinking to order that Nano Drive oil and put it in Alfa.

food for a thought!
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
I think the bigger picture is the oil level, as we know the chain needs constant lubrication & by finding the correct refill level seems to be more important than the slight grade varied from of brand to brand that use the same HFV6 engine.

We know to much oil can damage engine oil seals or even draw itself thru the air intake, like the CTS Caddy link i posted

We know that oil is needed to cool the pistons

We can gather the 3.6 version seems to suffer more " Chain Stretch"

We know other oil grades exists for this engine GM use 5W-30 Dexos. Alfa Romeo have Selina 20k 5W-40

We know other HFV6 3.2's not fitted in to Alfa's use a higher refill level & 0W-40

We know Alfa Romeo specified 20,000 mile oil change intervals, GM lowered theirs to 5,000

We know GM have an oil life module that monitiors (allegedly) condition of oil Viscostiy. Some how Saab's oil light can pop up as little as 3,000 or as long as 15,000 depending on how it's driven.

So where do we stand? Oil grade or level? Alfa's 5.4 ltrs or GM's 6.7 ltrs? 0W-40 5W-30 or keep the 5W-40?

I am thinking of changing my oil again soon for 0W 40 (6ltrs worth) & monitor the level, condition & for signs of burn for 200-500 miles & see how it runs, drives & sounds before trying another oil untill i'm happier with the engine oil life. My oil is 2,000 miles old harldy used really over the last 8 month since the last oil change, but it's quite dirty.
On my wifes car oil was changed at the same time & the car is used daily the oils clean as anything 5W-30

I did put 5.4 ltrs in on the last oil change, but have had to top it up twice with around 500ml, so 6ltrs is probably spot on as SWQ4 states
There isn't a quick answer to this, the oil W (winter) is based on working ambient climate the engine is working in, bearing clearance, operating temperature the oil viscosity range the engine was designed to work in, without knowing all the finer details my best advice is stick to recommended spec from your local dealer in that part of the world, and go by your dip stick for oil level.

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Originally Posted by sizewell View Post
I appreciate all your effort JB. Perhaps a workshop model could be built to test out the principle and determine system pressures. Unfortunately, I went a little too far when my son and I rebuilt my Busso from my GTV6 on the dining room table. Winter is here and I'm not going out into the garage to try this one. Neither am I brave enough to check to see if I have yet been forgiven for the mess my son and I made.
I believe you used the expression "Belt and Braces". you can't apply that handle to your schematic, very thorough.
However, I intend that initially, by using my manifold, I can use the engines current oil filter/cooler assembly.
The Pump will be running and pressure will be up on the engine, before the starter is turned; that was always my intention. If one wanted to, it could be interlocked with the starter button. But not just yet.
One could, as a system evolves, never get to the point where one arrives at definitive conclusions, simply because one has introduced too many elements. Refinements can be made, when the basic premise is established, i.e., is it oil starvation?
If one really wants to analyze what is going on in the galleries, one could remove the blanking plugs and put a pressure gauge on them. But for the moment, when the sump comes off for de-gundging, I will fit the electric oil pump pick up point and the sump wall feed-through pipe, temporarily blanking it off.
Indeed, when it comes to the final testing, pump/manifold and ancillaries set up, the whole system can be tested, presetting the start/stop pressures, even before ever turning the engine.
But that is going to take me a while to get together. The Q4 has now had the two Rear Diff mounting bushes (160 each) fitted. One of the old bushes has the bolt hole clearly out of centre by some considerable margin.
Quality control? "Here Fred, what are we going to do with these bushes Opel rejected?" Sell them to Alfa, they'll put up with any old rubbish! And they'll knock them on at a hell of a mark up. So everybody wins. Customers, Stuff them!
The Front bush of the differential was done about two months ago. The trailing arms are now refitted with their new Polys; large and small ones. All that remains to be done is the rear anti-roll bar drop arms, which should be here tomorrow.Then the Acid test! Is the back end going to be tighter? Will the legendary Clunk/Thunk be exorcised? I hope so.
Kind Regards
lol no problem, I enjoy the engineering challenge, and exploring solutions like you've done with the PF bushes, I've had ManFlu the past couple of days, but it hasn't stopped me thinking.

Another Hypothesis for everyone to ponder on

We know the oil boundary layer is not ideal and throw in fuel/ethanol/carbon dilution and contamination of the oil, and we can assume this critical boundary layer in time is quickly compromised.
So as everyone is already doing, the frequent oil changes are critical and I've read people changing oil as frequently as every 3000 miles! There's nothing wrong with frequent oil/filter changes in any engine, what I would question is why I'm having to do this.
So, have we overlooked another scenario? We know the filter does its job in filtering and protecting the engine from this metal particulate contamination that All engines encounter, but what about the initial path this contaminated oil takes to the filter via the oil pump? Could the oil pump rotor assembly be exposed to this abrasive mix which accelerates the wears of the tight tolerances needed for pumping, this being another catalyst for low oil pressure and slack tensioners at idle and questionable lubrication with less flow in these small galleries over time?
There is a simple solution to protecting the oil pump and that is Magnets. A magnetic sump plug will help, but I would be trying to place magnets as close as possible to all those chains and sprockets to reduce the transportation of this metal to the sump to start with.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
So are the rear trailing arm Powerflex bushes going to be available for purchase in future? Any idea on likely purchase cost?
Yes Ken,
The day before I went to pick up the bushes, I looked at Powerflex site. Sure enough they are there; the large and small. Under 40 for the large pair and same I think for the small.
As you know, I initially had difficulty with first and second, not baulking the syncs, just reluctant to go in, almost as if the syncs were new, Progressively I have moved to where I am now. The alignment is now so good;helped in no small measure by the new Differential Bushes and realignment, that it feels as if they are worn.The trailing arms are now keeping the drive shafts located precisely and substantially there is little vertical load on them. The smaller bushes are for locational purposes and although they were not worn, Powerflex made a set of them for me as well.
Still no baulking, just able to select them as if the oil isl up to temperature. With the new bushes all round, I think the alignment is enabling the transmission to move more freely than hitherto. It is early days and indeed I reasoned I would at least be no worse off after all this work. But no, the improvements are tangible, not least because when I get it wrong, the noise is centred in the transmission system, front or back and not just somewhere vaguely under the car.
I don't think I will go so far as to do the fronts, for the reasons I have previously stated. But it is fair to say, "If one wants to know where ones rear wheels are", that maxim can equally be applied to the front wheels. I think the freedom in the transmission system I see now is going to manifest itself in other areas too. But I will wait until I have had a chance to test the water.
Kind Regards,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsmith1 View Post
There isn't a quick answer to this, the oil W (winter) is based on working ambient climate the engine is working in, bearing clearance, operating temperature the oil viscosity range the engine was designed to work in, without knowing all the finer details my best advice is stick to recommended spec from your local dealer in that part of the world, and go by your dip stick for oil level.
well, in my manual (German model) it says 10W40. but have found that 10W60 Selenia Racing is good replacement for 10W40 "if one drives the car bit more temperament" this not only stated by Selenia, also by others.

can 10W60 have negative impact on something that normally use 10W40?

Nano particles should be assuring less friction (respectable manufacturer claims so, providing evidence from rolling roads on several car models, different brands), in our case meaning bit more protection for the parts in relative movement.

so, food for thought
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Originally Posted by jbsmith1 View Post
I think Sizewell is still looking at pump options, for sure the pressures and flow will add, so as you rightly point out we need to be aware of the pressures not being too high or too low, some testing will be needed to "Tune" the system.
Yes 100k miles is possible, what I find puzzling is everyone just accepts the more and more frequent oil changes advised without considering why they are having to change the oil so frequently.




There isn't a quick answer to this, the oil W (winter) is based on working ambient climate the engine is working in, bearing clearance, operating temperature the oil viscosity range the engine was designed to work in, without knowing all the finer details my best advice is stick to recommended spec from your local dealer in that part of the world, and go by your dip stick for oil level.


lol no problem, I enjoy the engineering challenge, and exploring solutions like you've done with the PF bushes, I've had ManFlu the past couple of days, but it hasn't stopped me thinking.

Another Hypothesis for everyone to ponder on

We know the oil boundary layer is not ideal and throw in fuel/ethanol/carbon dilution and contamination of the oil, and we can assume this critical boundary layer in time is quickly compromised.
So as everyone is already doing, the frequent oil changes are critical and I've read people changing oil as frequently as every 3000 miles! There's nothing wrong with frequent oil/filter changes in any engine, what I would question is why I'm having to do this.
So, have we overlooked another scenario? We know the filter does its job in filtering and protecting the engine from this metal particulate contamination that All engines encounter, but what about the initial path this contaminated oil takes to the filter via the oil pump? Could the oil pump rotor assembly be exposed to this abrasive mix which accelerates the wears of the tight tolerances needed for pumping, this being another catalyst for low oil pressure and slack tensioners at idle and questionable lubrication with less flow in these small galleries over time?
There is a simple solution to protecting the oil pump and that is Magnets. A magnetic sump plug will help, but I would be trying to place magnets as close as possible to all those chains and sprockets to reduce the transportation of this metal to the sump to start with.
JB,
Further to your hypothesis about oil pump wear, Is this the reason Alfa would not split the lower guide from the Oil pump, yet neglecting to give a reason. The reason perhaps being exactly your observation??? Just got a catalog from Demon Tweeks and currently thumbing through it to find an Oil pressure gauge, so I can check mine
Kind Regards
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mash4077 View Post
well, in my manual (German model) it says 10W40. but have found that 10W60 Selenia Racing is good replacement for 10W40 "if one drives the car bit more temperament" this not only stated by Selenia, also by others.

can 10W60 have negative impact on something that normally use 10W40?

Nano particles should be assuring less friction (respectable manufacturer claims so, providing evidence from rolling roads on several car models, different brands), in our case meaning bit more protection for the parts in relative movement.

so, food for thought
"40" vs "60"
Have a look at the link:Engine oil ? viscosity table and viscosity chart
You can cross reference the dynamic viscosity for a given temperature and compare "40 vs 60", your engine temperature is tightly controlled and matched oil pump design too, the viscosity flow with "40" should be perfect for your bearings for example.
If your engine is running hotter than normal because its a race car doing 1/2 hour races, then fit a bigger radiator/fans and look at moving generated heat away from the engine bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sizewell View Post
JB,
Further to your hypothesis about oil pump wear, Is this the reason Alfa would not split the lower guide from the Oil pump, yet neglecting to give a reason. The reason perhaps being exactly your observation??? Just got a catalog from Demon Tweeks and currently thumbing through it to find an Oil pressure gauge, so I can check mine
Kind Regards
arh ha let the conspiracies begin! I wonder what the pressures will reveal?

Last edited by jbsmith1; 21-11-15 at 19:10. Reason: spelling...and removed pump and chain gibberish
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I don't know why the 3.2 would need the oil changed more frequently, but i've noticed oil not lasting long on many different gm engines, as in turning black within a few thousand km, and needing topping up soon after, about half a litre usage was average for gm engines between 50-100k km. But the same oils in various japanese cars like hondas, mitsubishis, nissanas and toyotas, driven hard by the same boy racers, some with engines over 100k, would take around 10k km to turn black, and lucky to use around 100ml of oil. Most would not bother topping up ever. I don't know how good fully alfa built engines are with oil use.

Maybe it's poor cylinder lubrication? Maybe there are a heap of little design differences that cause the gm motors my mates and i have used to excessively burn oil? There are a few guys we know that will proudly claim their gm engines do not burn any oil, and never need topping up, but when asked how often do you change the oil? 5k, km not even miles lol.

There are additives like marvel mystery oil that supposedly cure or at least improove oil consumption.
::Marvel Mystery Oil::
This stuff is supposed to get rid of deposits clogging up oil control piston rings, and can even be added to fuel to lubricate the top piston rings, there's heaps of benefits listed on the website. I haven't ever tried oil additives, but i've been very tempted to with gm engines.

Chain stretch is only half the problem, the tensioners barely last 100k, maybe the chain and tensioners should be rated at 75k to be safe?
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I was interested in Mavels Mystrey Oil a few weeks ago so i looked it up. It hasn't been scientifically proven to do anything according to Wiki. Lots of people highly regard it as an engine flush or fuel cleaner on youtube clips & the web in general, but about the same amount also claim it's snake oil on forums. I was in two minds. As a fuel cleaner yes, but not as an engine flush or oil treatment.

Someone on this forum test drove a Q4 with 197k on the clock & said it drove well, not sure if it was on the original chain though
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbsmith1 View Post
"40" vs "60"
Have a look at the link:Engine oil ? viscosity table and viscosity chart
You can cross reference the dynamic viscosity for a given temperature and compare "40 vs 60", your engine temperature is tightly controlled and matched oil pump design too, the viscosity flow with "40" should be perfect for your bearings for example.
If your engine is running hotter than normal because its a race car doing 1/2 hour races, then fit a bigger radiator/fans and look at moving generated heat away from the engine bay.


arh ha let the conspiracies begin! I wonder what the pressures will reveal?
hey JB, thanks for that link

am I reading correctly the diagrams for 5W40 and 10W60? yes, the biggest differences in dynamic viscosity are when the oil temps are lets say <60C. at around 0C 10W60 is almost double "thicker" than 5W40. but this affects you only at the very start phase of the engine "living" in quite cold conditions. 3.2JTS engine (coolant fluid) heats up quite quick passing the heat to the oil via WOC. when normally heated up engine, my oil temp gauge is around 90C, while more demanding drive (rush hour, highway or simply trashing it) brings me never more than 110C. as mentioned before >60C dynamic viscosity values are almost the same.

my car is parked in underground garage where temperatures vary from 18 to 22 C during the year. until I am out of the garage, water coolant temp gauge starts moving above 70 C

so, do you still think that I use "wrong oil grade 10W60" or should I go with purchase of the Nano Oil in prescribed oil grade 5W40?

thanks for the advice in advance!
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Originally Posted by Ken View Post
So are the rear trailing arm Powerflex bushes going to be available for purchase in future? Any idea on likely purchase cost?
Ken, O.E.
Below are 159 Q4 Trailing Arm bushes, for your perusal

Brian Moyle
Reply|
To:
sales@powerflex.co.uk; Sun 22/11/2015 12:24

Paul,
Since writing to Powerflex, I have been having a little "play." You remarked that you could rotate the prop shaft, by hand and get a "clunk" and from that I take it you meant at one end and the other. This was ever thus with rear wheel drive cars - an element of "backlash". Well as I recall, previously there was not that freedom of movement. It was tight. Bearing in mind the front and rear differentials are open, there should be freedom of movement purely because, if there was no "slack" effectively the gear faces are in permanent contact. In that situation there is no margin for error and it would accelerate wear.
Also with a differential, there is a common misunderstanding in that it is often said the torque is transfered from the gripping wheel to the one which has lost grip. Not so. I'm writing this for me. The resistance to turn by the wheel with the most grip, is causing the drive from the prop shaft to go to the one with the least. The collective torque is just the same as when they both were gripping. Traction to both wheels is continuously changing, even when just driving normally and nominally that will transfer back to the prop shaft, i.e. its load is continually changing. This will be reflected back to the central differential and thus onto the front one.
But it is freedom from stiction that allows this to happen. If at rest - vehicle stationary; engine off or in neutral with engine running - there is any tightness in the system, this predisposes the natural torque bias to be skewed - biased more to the front or back. When driven, the car will demonstrate a bias to more front or rear wheel drive character than was intended in the design.
Torque is maximum, when the applied force is at right angles to the object one is trying to turn; a nut, bolt or in this case, shafts. Thus if differential drive shafts are not at right angles to both the wheel and the prop shaft, then torque (turning force) is changed and is reflected back along the prop shaft to the central differential.
This action, shifts the natural transmission bias; in the case of the Q4, 56/44, rear/front split. Bear in mind only a small mis-alignment is needed, 6%, to make the car a fifty, fifty spit drive. 10%, still not a lot and it becomes a 46/54, rear/front. And that would exist on a perfect road surface, let alone our dirt tracks. The characteristic traits of the Q4 would then most definitely be "Front Wheel Drive".
We know the wheels were out of alignment, because of the collapsed bushes. We know the differential was out of alignment because of the eccentric hole for the bolt on one of the rear Differential to sub frame bushes. And we know, mis-alignment of the rear differential front mounting bush and bracket existed.
These elements have now been removed from the transmission system, because:-
1) The trailing arms are now held precisely in their location and thus the wheels, by the new Powerflex bushes. Not just the large ones, but the small ones too as they contribute to locating the arms precisely, whilst still allowing free movement in the vertical plane.
2) The rear differential bushes have been replaced
3) The rear differential front bush has been replaced and the the mounting bracket and thus differential, re-aligned.
4) The Anti-Roll bar drop arms have been replaced.
5) Back - lash in the prop shaft confirms any static load has been remove from the transmission and the Q4 is now able to assume its design criteria, 56/44, rear wheel drive bias.

So when my initial impressions suggested the car was displaying rear wheel drive traits; "less torque steer" as a friend said, these technical observations, lend credence to that view. Having been out in her this week -end, only re-enforces this opinion. Steering is more relaxed, tangibly less loaded, particularly in the straight ahead position. A bit Jag/BMW-esk.
However, at high speed, It has moved up to a different league. I've never known it to be this stable. No tendency to drift; as easy to steer at 90 mph as it is at 40 mph, And when hitting the brakes, not even the slightest change in the car's geometry. This car reeks of class. The load has shifted markedly from front to back. One gets to know when things are different about ones cars; seat not quite right, steering wheel just not so. Little things, some subtle, some obvious.
The back end is not subtle, it's patently obvious! It's rock solid and planted four square on the tarmac. The feeling of drive from behind is more subtle but it is there and the longer the drive, the more obvious it becomes. There is no question about the lessening of frontal involvement. It is lighter and loads up less when turning into corners: we're not talking "Stirling Moss" here. And there is a hint of under steer, where hitherto there was not!
Gear changes? Well for a 100,000 miler, it's difficult to see how it could be better. First and second, so slick, one would think the syncros were worn. But no, no baulking. Clunk? Only when I get it wrong. But even then it is coming from the transmission and not some imprecise location, somewhere under the car. Occasionally a soft "dunk"; very re-assuring.
This motor is in a league of its own. No wonder they pulled it early. If this chassis is not on the Giulia, lightened and strengthened, I'm a "Monkeys Uncle".

Kind Regards,

:- my latest comments to Paul, who undertook to do the work on the Q4 for me; Powerflex also kept in the loop.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mash4077 View Post
hey JB, thanks for that link

am I reading correctly the diagrams for 5W40 and 10W60? yes, the biggest differences in dynamic viscosity are when the oil temps are lets say <60C. at around 0C 10W60 is almost double "thicker" than 5W40. but this affects you only at the very start phase of the engine "living" in quite cold conditions. 3.2JTS engine (coolant fluid) heats up quite quick passing the heat to the oil via WOC. when normally heated up engine, my oil temp gauge is around 90C, while more demanding drive (rush hour, highway or simply trashing it) brings me never more than 110C. as mentioned before >60C dynamic viscosity values are almost the same.

my car is parked in underground garage where temperatures vary from 18 to 22 C during the year. until I am out of the garage, water coolant temp gauge starts moving above 70 C

so, do you still think that I use "wrong oil grade 10W60" or should I go with purchase of the Nano Oil in prescribed oil grade 5W40?

thanks for the advice in advance!
I don't get why you want to push a thicker oil round your engine, it doesn't need it. All your bearing pressures will change and tensioner pressures too, and you'l have higher power losses working the pump harder. If you want to have tighter temperature control then look at improving your cooling systems and leave the oil alone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfafanboy View Post
I don't know why the 3.2 would need the oil changed more frequently, but i've noticed oil not lasting long on many different gm engines, as in turning black within a few thousand km, and needing topping up soon after, about half a litre usage was average for gm engines between 50-100k km. But the same oils in various japanese cars like hondas, mitsubishis, nissanas and toyotas, driven hard by the same boy racers, some with engines over 100k, would take around 10k km to turn black, and lucky to use around 100ml of oil. Most would not bother topping up ever. I don't know how good fully alfa built engines are with oil use.

Maybe it's poor cylinder lubrication? Maybe there are a heap of little design differences that cause the gm motors my mates and i have used to excessively burn oil? There are a few guys we know that will proudly claim their gm engines do not burn any oil, and never need topping up, but when asked how often do you change the oil? 5k, km not even miles lol.

There are additives like marvel mystery oil that supposedly cure or at least improove oil consumption.
::Marvel Mystery Oil::
This stuff is supposed to get rid of deposits clogging up oil control piston rings, and can even be added to fuel to lubricate the top piston rings, there's heaps of benefits listed on the website. I haven't ever tried oil additives, but i've been very tempted to with gm engines.

Chain stretch is only half the problem, the tensioners barely last 100k, maybe the chain and tensioners should be rated at 75k to be safe?
Clean oil vs Black...well you could argue with your friends, that your oil is working better to remove the carbon deposits and other contaminants, or are they try to BS you that there combustion is 100% efficient.
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