Swirl flaps How To and MAF clean How To anywhere? 159 1.9 - Page 7 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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I've been running Autolusso Penrith the last 18 months, used work at the Bedfordshire branch for 6 years prior. Quite often the heads look a lot worse than yours. Does the engine turn freely now the head is off? You can clean up the surface of the pistons, if you level them all out in the block then you can use some brake cleaner to determine if the bores/pistonrings are all OK, it shouldn't leak away.

Have you had chance to look at the exhaust side of the turbo to see if there is any damage there?

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I've been running Autolusso Penrith the last 18 months, used work at the Bedfordshire branch for 6 years prior. Quite often the heads look a lot worse than yours. Does the engine turn freely now the head is off? You can clean up the surface of the pistons, if you level them all out in the block then you can use some brake cleaner to determine if the bores/pistonrings are all OK, it shouldn't leak away.

Have you had chance to look at the exhaust side of the turbo to see if there is any damage there?
I had a suspicion you where an autolussian from threads you have participated in. I'm very happy for your input.

"Does the engine turn freely now the head is off?" To be honest I don't know what I can or can't do, this is all new to me and a big learning curve, but definitely picking it up fast. How do I turn the engine as it is? Is it by the crank pulley? I will clean up the block tomorrow.

I've only loosened the exhaust manifold and turbo, not removed them, although I want to. I couldn't figure out to well how to get them out but will have a better look tomorrow. There is a lot of oil n dirt built up around the turbo and I don't know why. Caked really bad with the large pipes around it all covered in thick sticky oil. Big clean up job. Could this issue be related to the missing flaps? What should I be looking for regarding damage on that side of things? What are the vines people talk about?
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2 flaps have got past the inlet valves, into the combustion chambers of #2 and #4. Then - since they are no longer there - they've been blown out past the exhaust valve, apparently after causing less damage than I have. Of course their next destination would then be the turbo, but we'll get to that later.

You have a few minor nicks and dings to the head and the pistons, but as far as I can see no deep or heavy impacts = nothing serious. It'll be easier to see if you rotate the crank to TDC for each piston, and clean up each piston in turn with Scotchbrite and brake cleaner/WD40/Paraffin or Plus Gas. Don't worry about losing cam timing, the crank can easily be turned back to the right position before the cam box goes back. Take care to mop up all the dirt and Scotchbrite fibres as you generate them, so lots of clean rag is good. You don't want any of that stuff in oilways or water channels or anywhere else.

In fact you want to check the crank rotates smoothly, without binding or tight spots that might indicate a bent conrod. {EDIT: Yes, spanner on the crank pulley to turn the engine over}

First thing to check is the bores. Have a good look at the surface of the bores on cylinders #2 and #4, especially at the top. It should be smooth and shiny, with no deep scratches or obvious abrasions or chunks missing.

If you put all pistons at about the same height, ie middle of stroke, you can check bore and ring condition by pouring a small amount of brake cleaner into the bore to cover the entire top of the piston. 50ml or so should do it. If brake cleaner doesn't leak past the piston and rings, gas isn't going to, so compression will be OK. Ideally you should do all 4 pistons and check that it drains equally slowly from each pot. I just did my one damaged piston, and the level hadn't reduced at all after a minute so I concluded all was fine and mopped the lot out with a clean cloth.

Next, rotate the crank to TDC and refer to the undamaged pistons. You'll notice that you can push each sideways (toward you, away from, left, right) a tiny amount toward the cylinder walls. This is possible because the piston is slightly smaller than the bore and the piston rings are free to float in their slots, sprung against the bore walls. That's important. So check your damaged pistons also have the same slight lateral movements . If not, a ring may be trapped in its land by piston damage, and that will lead to eventual poor compression and bore wear.

Aside from the pitting and slight impact damage on the piston crown, those inspections establish everything is OK. It's hard to tell, especially until they are cleaned up, but I'd say your pistons look OK. They both look to have had somewhat less of a clobbering than my one casualty, which I think is OK - or will be once I've softened sharp edges on the damage to avoid hot spots. It doesn't look pretty partly due to the bas-relief effect of carbon in the pits and more-than-lifesize pics, but none of the damage is more than a fraction of a mm deep. Although I would welcome other opinions on that.

As for your head, the same applies - you seem to have only superficial damage, a few minor pits and some tiny chunks knocked out around valve seats. Whether you have any bent valves I can't tell. You'd need a valve spring compressor to be able to remove the valves and it's then easy to see run-out when you rotate the valve by its stem. But if you don't have one and you're taking the head for reconditioning I wouldn't bother. The reconditioner will tell you what, if anything, needs replacement.

So it looks like you've had as good a result as possible, and won't have to remove the sump and replace conrods, pistons and big-end shells. Or even worse, start thinking about rebores or engine swaps.

The only other thing is that you do need to go in search of the remains of the missing flaps and any damage they may have caused to the turbo. I've done nothing further beyond a quick look at the turbine (pictured) which doesn't show any obvious chunks knocked out of the blades. I'll get around to that ASAP, but meanwhile here's a good video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1Hvt2b7PL0
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...
There is a lot of oil n dirt built up around the turbo and I don't know why. Caked really bad with the large pipes around it all covered in thick sticky oil. Big clean up job. Could this issue be related to the missing flaps? What should I be looking for regarding damage on that side of things? What are the vines people talk about?
Oil could be coming from the oil feed or return connections, or from the bearings of the turbo itself. Some oil mist on the compressor side is normal (hence the oiliness of the hoses), but if the bearing has begun to fail it will leak badly and the turbo is then toast.
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Fantastic. I'm very happy so far. Thank you so much for putting your time and knowledge into your posts. Don't know where I'd be without it. I will clean around the Pistons tomorrow, again weather permitted, but from what I quickly inspected all looks good so finger crossed.

I'll drop the head in to get checked out 1st thing tomorrow.

I do need to ask, I don't know what TDC is with the piston positioning. I'm sure is obviously but I do have to ask.

Then getting the whole manifold and turbo off is next for inspection. Great video, thank you. Is it the catalytic converter that comes straight after the turbo, do I need to check anything there or further down the exhaust for damage?
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How can I check the bearings? Can the core just be replaced with something like THIS? Or is it a FULL turbo and manifold setup like this i would need to solve knackered bearings?
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I do need to ask, I don't know what TDC is with the piston positioning. I'm sure is obviously but I do have to ask...
Top Dead Centre.

Does that mean for each piston while i clean each one, then rotate the crank to TDC for the next one?
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TDC = Top Dead Centre, the piston positioned at the highest point of crankshaft rotation. Near enough for cleaning, this just means that the piston surface is at the top of the bore. BDC is the opposite, the bottom.

The turbo bearings. Any significant trace of sideways rock or play, or end float, or roughness, or oil running from the bearing, or signs that the turbine or compressor are scraping on the housing is bad.

In theory, either of those turbos would do, but eBay refurbed turbos have a generally terrible reputation for featuring crap Chinese or E.European components that just don't have the precision or durability of OE. They're often just too cheap to be true.

If I believe what I've read Garrett do not make OE parts available for VNT refurb.

I've seen it said several times that the only UK company with the ability to rebuild turbos properly is Turbotechnics. Dunno if that is true. I've also seen people recommend
Turbo Developments - Turbo Remanufacture - Reconditioned Turbochargers - Turbo Repairs
There's life in the old dog yet - Rebuilding Turbochargers
Turbo Sales, Spares & Repairs

But this is all beyond my personal experience, so hopefully you can get more reliable advice or a good s/h unit hereabouts, if necessary.

Yes, the catalyst is the large lump hung off the turbo en route to the exhaust pipe. If you look inside you'll see a ceramic honeycomb. Bits of swirl flap may have got that far. Unless loose and rattling around, I think probably leaving them there is wiser than trying to fish them out and risking damage to the fragile ceramic. There are no bits of stainless in my catalyst, the flap has just evaporated. Or they're jamming up the VNT actuator.
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Top Dead Centre.

Does that mean for each piston while i clean each one, then rotate the crank to TDC for the next one?
Yes.
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A couple more bookmarks for turbo remanufacture. I don't now know why I bookmarked them but there will have been a positive reason at the time
Insist On Genuine Garrett VNT Turbochargers
GAP Turbos - Turbo repairs, turbo reconditioning and turbo rebuilds
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Resolution, have you bought the cam & crank locking tool set yet? You will need it to correctly set the camshaft timing when it comes to putting your head back on. Fitting the crank locking tool gives you TDC on cylinder 1 (and 4).
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Resolution, have you bought the cam & crank locking tool set yet? You will need it to correctly set the camshaft timing when it comes to putting your head back on. Fitting the crank locking tool gives you TDC on cylinder 1 (and 4).
Yes, iv installed the cam locking tools to both sides of the cam cover. Not too sure about the crank locking tool. Iv an idea on what the bracket in the box does but not too sure about the three other bits (black bolt, silver pin, and another metal part). Can anyone explain or show a picture of it installed.thanks
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The hole on the left hand side of the part of the crank tool that engages with the crank itself will line up with the tapped hole in the crank pulley when no.1 is at TDC.
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I left the head in. Something I noticed lastnight while cleaning it. When the head is sitting on its side as you look into the air track for one side or the exhaust track if you flip it around. I filled the holes with brake cleaner and noticed after 5 minutes it would leak out from where the valves are seated. At that point I didn't know if this was normal or not.
The refurbishing place did this with a fluid while I was their, after I explained it happened lastnight. I know now it's not normal and they will investigate the cause. Either slightly bend valves or they are not seated correctly.
I couldn't get the glow plugs out, due to inadequate tools, but they told me they can sometimes snap on removal. Is this common?
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I've spoken to Ned@Autolusso to arrange a reconditioned head + gaskets, and ask his opinion about my piston. His advice: 'it's not a beauty contest' and superficial pitting just doesn't matter, but position the crank so all pistons are at mid-stroke and fill all 4 bores with brake cleaner and check that equal amounts leak away over a period of hours. My one-minute test is not adequate. That will show up any trapped ring/compression issues. Of course the engine oil and filter must then be changed, as it'll have a ton of brake cleaner in it.
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Dropping the oil once everything is checked, once everything is back together, is the new oil going in sufficient as an oil change once the motor is running again? I'm asking as I had engine flush to use to clean all the parts I can't get at, even though everything I have off at the moment is now spotless. Plus don't wana run £50 of oil through and it'll need changed again some time soon.

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I left the head in. Something I noticed lastnight while cleaning it. When the head is sitting on its side as you look into the air track for one side or the exhaust track if you flip it around. I filled the holes with brake cleaner and noticed after 5 minutes it would leak out from where the valves are seated. At that point I didn't know if this was normal or not.
The refurbishing place did this with a fluid while I was their, after I explained it happened lastnight. I know now it's not normal and they will investigate the cause. Either slightly bend valves or they are not seated correctly.
I couldn't get the glow plugs out, due to inadequate tools, but they told me they can sometimes snap on removal. Is this common?
Mine came out easily but I believe it is common for glowplugs to seize and break. Removing the remains from the head is then a PITA. They won't be able to skim the head without removing them first, but having the head on the bench minimises the risk as carbon can be removed from the tips and PlusGas soaked from both ends. Nonsense like this would never happen if a small smear of Copaslip had been applied on assembly.

I think it'd be better to save your flushing oil for future use. Good lubrication of (especially) the cams and turbo are critical after a rebuild. The cams must go back coated with fresh oil, ditto rockers and lifters. and the turbo bearing has to be primed and the oil feed purged so it contains fresh new oil (another Ned tip: discard the plastic gauze oil filter at the banjo connection on the block where the turbo oil feed attaches - it blocks so is more trouble than it prevents). It's best to spin a rebuilt engine over to build up oil pressure with ignition disabled - and I think the same has to be done to clean out the turbo oil supply pipe before the turbo is reconnected. On our diesels I imagine that means pulling the fuse for the lift pump and not connecting the fuel feed to the high-pressure pump - but that might be very bad for the HP pump as it'll run 'dry', so maybe that's not the way to do it... expert advice required on this. Though no great hurry, it's going to be a while before either of us get that far...
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Mine came out easily but I believe it is common for glowplugs to seize and break. Removing the remains from the head is then a PITA. They won't be able to skim the head without removing them first, but having the head on the bench minimises the risk as carbon can be removed from the tips and PlusGas soaked from both ends. Nonsense like this would never happen if a small smear of Copaslip had been applied on assembly.

I think it'd be better to save your flushing oil for future use. Good lubrication of (especially) the cams and turbo are critical after a rebuild. The cams must go back coated with fresh oil, ditto rockers and lifters. and the turbo bearing has to be primed and the oil feed purged so it contains fresh new oil (another Ned tip: discard the plastic gauze oil filter at the banjo connection on the block where the turbo oil feed attaches - it blocks so is more trouble than it prevents). It's best to spin a rebuilt engine over to build up oil pressure with ignition disabled - and I think the same has to be done to clean out the turbo oil supply pipe before the turbo is reconnected. On our diesels I imagine that means pulling the fuse for the lift pump and not connecting the fuel feed to the high-pressure pump - but that might be very bad for the HP pump as it'll run 'dry', so maybe that's not the way to do it... expert advice required on this. Though no great hurry, it's going to be a while before either of us get that far...
You can unplug the crank sensor if you want to spin the engine on the starter but not have the injectors fire. Or unplug the fuel injectors.
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Starting to talk rebuild stage now. I hope I get that far.
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Thanks Pud! Yes, either makes far more sense

Resolution: I don't see why you won't. The only unresolved question for both of us now seems to be turbo condition, everything else is probably OK. I'll do the brake cleaner leak test, but I think it's mostly a formality here. I'm also wondering if I can test for crank rotation being free of tight spots, using a torque wrench to establish the torque necessary to get the crank to just move in different positions, say every 30 degrees. By hand it feels fine but it's something I feel I have to pay special attention to because of the intermittent rattle this engine had, although it appeared to be the aux belt area, not the block.

The only thing I am really worried about now is that running out of money (already happened) will delay me screwing it all back together long enough for me to forget HTF it came apart.
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It's not the first, and it won't be the last, but I've got to thank all off you for this. I'm a complete novice at this and the workings of all these things and all of your technical know how is much more advanced than mine. All I have is some of the tools and the the grit n attitude that I'll give it a shot (for various reasons).

I should find out the fate of the head and what needs done to it tomorrow. I will do Neds recommended leak test on the Pistons. Need to clean them first. I also need to completely remove the exhaust manifolds and turbo, there's a few things still connected to them.

Then hopefully it's just a service that's needed on the turbo. Wishful thinking again.

I know exactly what u mean about knowing and remembering what goes where Halftone. I'm starting to think that myself. I just hope the system I put in place to remember and catalog everything works.
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To be uncharacteristically positive.... This is a complicated engine, plastered in ancillaries and electronics, no proper workshop manual, with quite a lot of fairly awkward access issues and some of the worst hose clips devised by mankind. It is a hell of a place to start for someone who has no prior convictions for intimacy with simpler engines. Lots and lots of things could have gone horribly wrong - broken or corroded bolts, stripped threads, bits of engine dropped into bottomless cavities. And at the end of it, there was no knowing whether there would just be a heap of catastrophic damage that would require the engine out for a rebuild or swap for a different one. All because of poxy, stupid swirl flaps.

Your cylinder head almost certainly won't need more than a skim and maybe a valve or two, and the seats re-cut, a damn good clean and and new stem seals, all of which is routine for a competent re-conditioner. Your pistons look not bad at all and I'd be astonished if there is any damage beyond the cosmetic. If the turbo is cattled, finding out now is a bonus: turbos can eventually fail in engine-wrecking way. Google 'diesel runaway' to see what happens when enough sump oil starts getting into the induction side Plenty of s/h around and they're fairly easy to check for condition. Autolusso probably have a shelf of them, if necessary.

OK, it's all money and time and grazed knuckles but putting it back together will be the enjoyable bit because at the end of all this you'll have an engine that should now have a long, long life, and you'll know why and what was done. You'll have earned a whole heap of zen wisdom that someone who'd taken it to a garage could never achieve. Later, maybe use some of the £hundreds you saved on labour to pay for a remap and you'll have almost as much power as the 2.4 without the nose-heaviness and even more difficult access
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Later, maybe use some of the £hundreds you saved on labour to pay for a remap and you'll have almost as much power as the 2.4 without the nose-heaviness and even more difficult access
And then next year, he can learn how to rebuild an M32 gearbox
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And then next year, he can learn how to rebuild an M32 gearbox http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/lol.gif
Had that done 2k miles ago. So I hope I'm not learning that one any time soon Pud. I only do 6k-8k miles a year.

What's your background Halftone, do u work in the vehicle industry?
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