Brera 3.2 JTS Q4 SV 48,000 miles Timing Chain - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Brera 3.2 JTS Q4 SV 48,000 miles Timing Chain

Dear Wise and Wonderful Alfistas,

I recently bought the car above in excellent condition thoughout except a known P0016 fault (and since then, apparently, it has a P0017) in October. I got it for 6 grand on the basis of the fault. I now realise I made a big mistake because the timing chain issues I read about on here were all to do with 2.2 or 2.4 engines. I didn't do my homework and bought it with my heart, thinking I was faced with an 800 bill or so.

I took it to the world-famous Gonella Brothers of Catford ?, who confirmed the faults. They said I was looking at up to 2 grand for a new timing chain.

Having read the world famous Gonella thread, I thought I'd shop around, so I called up the wonderful Anna of Day & Whites and immediately knew I was talking to somebody who knew their stuff and wasn't going to mess me around. Long story short, 5000, because they would replace all the other parts that were removed in the process.

Now, 11000 for a 3.2 SV JTS Q4 on (now) 49,000 seems a high price to pay.

What are all your thoughts on what to do? Should I sell it and try again? Or go with just the chain? Or the whole nine yards?

Thanks
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(Post Link) post #2 of 229 Old 06-11-15 Thread Starter
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*the ? Mark after Gonella Brothers is supposed to be a wink face emoticon....
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The 2.4 doesn't have a timing chain - it's a diesel and has a belt. Both the belt and the waterpump need regular servicing though.
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5,000, that's way over priced. I think Autolusso do it for 2,700 but i could be wrong. What are the symptoms of the engine other than the fault codes? Does it smoke, rattle, or miss-fire, ect? Other than that you could be waiting a while to resell it on. A Vauxhall or Saab Specialist may do the job cheaper as it's a GM block so shares the shame chain, sprockects, ect

Either way you look at it the engine will need to be stripped down to see why the chain/s have failed, could be a huge bill
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Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
5,000, that's way over priced. I think Autolusso do it for 2,700 but i could be wrong. What are the symptoms of the engine other than the fault codes? Does it smoke, rattle, or miss-fire, ect? Other than that you could be waiting a while to resell it on. A Vauxhall or Saab Specialist may do the job cheaper as it's a GM block so shares the shame chain, sprockects, ect

Either way you look at it the engine will need to be stripped down to see why the chain/s have failed, could be a huge bill
Thanks guys.

IAMBRERA - Anna of Day and Whites was talking about replacing a 'list as long as my arm' of other components (that have to be removed to replace the timing chain) when she would also replace timing chains. 3300 for the components (OEM) and 1500 (or thereabouts) for the labour.

The New Engine option sounds much more appealing - thanks.

T
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Sell and cut your losses.

Used to own one of these. Things can and do go wrong.

Engine/timing chain problems though....slippery slope requiring deep pockets.

Sell and try again.

Get a solid example and you'll be smitten.
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It's still an excessive price, if you do an internet search for about half a hour you'll find out all about this engine, & the parts what are needed are all GM made & can be soursed for no where near 3,300.

Some GM parts suppliers in the US can send you the parts for 100's if not less, not 1,000's though (all the parts too ) the only difference is they come in GM part bags, not Alfa Romeo ones.

So do you have any engine symptoms so other owners know what to expect if theirs goes? I'm thinking no engine running problems & just an EML "check engine light" could be the sensors need a clean, or replacing.

Option 3 probably would be what i'd do, then sourse the parts from GM US and have the 48,000 mile one fixed for little expence whilst the engines out. Once it's fixed you have a spare engine or it could be sold to cover the price of the new engine

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5,000, that's way over priced. I think Autolusso do it for 2,700 but i could be wrong. What are the symptoms of the engine other than the fault codes? Does it smoke, rattle, or miss-fire, ect? Other than that you could be waiting a while to resell it on. A Vauxhall or Saab Specialist may do the job cheaper as it's a GM block so shares the shame chain, sprockects, ect

Either way you look at it the engine will need to be stripped down to see why the chain/s have failed, could be a huge bill
The chains done actually fail as such they stretch and jump on the gears, the middle of the 3 is worst for it

We do it for 2,500 inc VAT

1,500 parts some GM and some Alfa and a grand in labour, it is one hell of a job

Ned
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Just to add if the fault codes show P0016 & P0017 that's pointing to the Crank & Camshaft postion sensor(s) suggesting both timing cogs have slipped their correct timing postion, the fault which would point to both secondary chains being the fault normally, but a timing slip would have the engine have starting issues, miss-firing or stalling out, you certainly should expect to have idle issues, rattles, or once the engine climbs above 4,500rmp's the Varible Valve Timing wouldn't perform the way it should upto the rev limiter
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It's a good price Ned, if his chains have gone, even cheaper than what i said & the knowing that the car will be put right first time is what you pay for
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Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
Just to add if the fault codes show P0016 & P0017 that's pointing to the Crank & Camshaft postion sensor(s) suggesting both timing cogs have slipped their correct timing postion, the fault which would point to both secondary chains being the fault normally, but a timing slip would have the engine have starting issues, miss-firing or stalling out, you certainly should expect to have idle issues, rattles, or once the engine climbs above 4,500rmp's the Varible Valve Timing wouldn't perform the way it should upto the rev limiter
The codes show the timing chain has stretched therefore slightly out of time, if it had slipped on the teeth of the gears the car would not be running, only takes a jump of 1 tooth to bend the valves

Sorry not trying to say you are wrong just correcting a point

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That's granted Ned, & no offence was taken from what you was correcting me with. I was just suggesting a cheaper way by having the sensors checked or the conection to them first if he has no running problems to save cost.

I'd be more in denial at first if it was mine without running problems, but on the other hand if i had the sensors checked for fault with a Multimeter then it's obvious it's the chain(s). He may have had that done already that's what he ment by confirmed the faults without visual inpection
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tomhk500 - if you've fallen for the Brera and can see yourself wanting to drive it for some years, then get it to Autolusso to be properly sorted.
Their price does sound good - over 3k seems to be the most quoted figure, and they're very highly thought of by the Alfisti.

Conversely, if this issue has put you off, try a part-ex at a dealer.
Every time I switched my EML off, I usually had one to two hundred miles before it'd come back on again, so there could be a small window of opportunity to get rid...

Past: GTV T.Spark Lusso (owned 8 years) Present: 948 Spider LE (bought Nov. '10) Future: 8C (in my dreams )
Previously (selective): Porsche 944 Turbo; Porsche 944S; Jaguar XJ6; Audi Coupe; Mark 2 Golf GTI.
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Out of curiosity what was the service history of the car? Every two year service?
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If you do swap your engine can I have 1st refusal on your old one? I can sort it for a few quid
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Originally Posted by IAMBRERA View Post
5,000, that's way over priced. I think Autolusso do it for 2,700 but i could be wrong. What are the symptoms of the engine other than the fault codes? Does it smoke, rattle, or miss-fire, ect? Other than that you could be waiting a while to resell it on. A Vauxhall or Saab Specialist may do the job cheaper as it's a GM block so shares the shame chain, sprockects, ect

Either way you look at it the engine will need to be stripped down to see why the chain/s have failed, could be a huge bill
Sorry I should have said - no engine symptoms whatsoever except for the fault codes. Although, it does seem a little under-powered in the lower halves of the Rev range to make anything happen. Power comes through from about 3,500 rpm. Don't know if that's a standard engine characteristic or if that's a symptom as I've never driven another car like it.
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Out of curiosity what was the service history of the car? Every two year service?
Yep. It's had 4 or 5 (can't remember - not at home) and obviously done just shy of 50,000 miles
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If you do swap your engine can I have 1st refusal on your old one? I can sort it for a few quid
I may go ahead with engine swap. How much would you be willing to pay? Feel free to pm me. You'd probably want to collect it yourself. Engine would be at Brands Hatch.
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Dear Wise and Wonderful Alfistas,

I recently bought the car above in excellent condition thoughout except a known P0016 fault (and since then, apparently, it has a P0017) in October. I got it for 6 grand on the basis of the fault. I now realise I made a big mistake because the timing chain issues I read about on here were all to do with 2.2 or 2.4 engines. I didn't do my homework and bought it with my heart, thinking I was faced with an 800 bill or so.

I took it to the world-famous Gonella Brothers of Catford ?, who confirmed the faults. They said I was looking at up to 2 grand for a new timing chain.

Having read the world famous Gonella thread, I thought I'd shop around, so I called up the wonderful Anna of Day & Whites and immediately knew I was talking to somebody who knew their stuff and wasn't going to mess me around. Long story short, 5000, because they would replace all the other parts that were removed in the process.

Now, 11000 for a 3.2 SV JTS Q4 on (now) 49,000 seems a high price to pay.

What are all your thoughts on what to do? Should I sell it and try again? Or go with just the chain? Or the whole nine yards?

Thanks
I would not be too Hasty and if everything else seems to fit your bill, shop about. Give Mario at Avanti Autos a ring, 01473-211123. My 3.2 Q4 159 had all guides, tensioners, chains, replaced at 100,000 miles with GM parts. They are much cheaper. The bottom sprocket and pulley had to be cut off as they had seized. They came from Alfa, but he soon realised their pricing policy is geared to take cars off the road, not maintain them, and thus went to Vauxhall. They did a great job on my engine. I have also found my local Vauxhall dealer incredibly helpful in getting parts, so you might try the direct approach. I think the 2.8 VRX, although twin turbo, has the same architecture as the 3.2 Alfa. Well, of course it does, cos the bits are on my 159.
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I would not be too Hasty and if everything else seems to fit your bill, shop about. Give Mario at Avanti Autos a ring, 01473-211123. My 3.2 Q4 159 had all guides, tensioners, chains, replaced at 100,000 miles with GM parts. They are much cheaper. The bottom sprocket and pulley had to be cut off as they had seized. They came from Alfa, but he soon realised their pricing policy is geared to take cars off the road, not maintain them, and thus went to Vauxhall. They did a great job on my engine. I have also found my local Vauxhall dealer incredibly helpful in getting parts, so you might try the direct approach. I think the 2.8 VRX, although twin turbo, has the same architecture as the 3.2 Alfa. Well, of course it does, cos the bits are on my 159.
Kind regards,
Additional info. The bottom duplex timing chain has a guide attached to the tensioner oil pump. Alfa would not split the two and wanted 700, plus vat I believe. Anecdotally, if the oil pressure is not maintained, then the tension comes off the primary chain. the Simplex chains, I would have though would not fail, both at the same time. Where as lack of tension due to that oil pump failure will immediately put the timing out on both bank as well, given the same pump provides for their tensioning as well, I believe. So you might be looking at low oil pressure from the pump, which I believe can be removed with the chains and sprockets and sprockets remaining in situ.
kind Regards,
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Additional info. The bottom duplex timing chain has a guide attached to the tensioner oil pump. Alfa would not split the two and wanted 700, plus vat I believe. Anecdotally, if the oil pressure is not maintained, then the tension comes off the primary chain. the Simplex chains, I would have though would not fail, both at the same time. Where as lack of tension due to that oil pump failure will immediately put the timing out on both bank as well, given the same pump provides for their tensioning as well, I believe. So you might be looking at low oil pressure from the pump, which I believe can be removed with the chains and sprockets and sprockets remaining in situ.
kind Regards,
You could of course, speak to Vauxhall, who will give you a definitive answer on my last statement. For the life of me, I cannot believe that Vauxhall or Opel or Holden would continue to sell cars, fitted with this engine if it made life so difficult for their technicians or so expensive for their customers. So their has to be a more simple way of maintaining them than the way Alfa do. They do it to maintain the myth of "Italian Sophistication", whereas the other three see it as a reliable workhorse. You could also give Paul a ring on 01473-833390 or 07801596711.
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Thanks very much for this info Sizewell. Just had a thought: given that my oil temp gauge doesn't work and you're mentioning oil pressure, could there be any correlation to the sensor reading these faults, seeing as the car doesn't have any appreciable symptoms? Sorry if not - I'm a total newbie to this
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Oh, and who is Paul? Cheers
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Thanks very much for this info Sizewell. Just had a thought: given that my oil temp gauge doesn't work and you're mentioning oil pressure, could there be any correlation to the sensor reading these faults, seeing as the car doesn't have any appreciable symptoms? Sorry if not - I'm a total newbie to this
Either it doesn't work or the temperature is always 70C!!
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