159 - tired turbo and creaky bushes...... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Help 159 - tired turbo and creaky bushes......

Evening gents,

I've not posted for a while, having had a (relatively) ok time with my 159.........

Its currently at 144k miles, having had regular work by the superb Gareth at Northern Alfa. All that said, its starting to smoke and the power is down. Much reading here would suggest that the turbo is perhaps getting itred and would be sensible to consider a replacement before it expires - with all of the inconvenience and potential cost (if it craps its internals in the engine).

I've searched much and can see that the standard turbo is the Garrett GTB20V VNT (55208456) - and I also know that a few folks have swapped theirs for an upgraded one. So, to my questions;
1) what are my upgrade options (without having to fabricate parts to shoe-horn it in, or having to upgrade intercooler, etc.)
2) if I simply buy the standard replacement, wheres the best place for them price wise. I'm seeing prices around the £600 mark - give or take
3) Do all replacements require my original? I don't want to take this job on myself and Gareth is booked for a good few weeks....

Onto my challenging bush (phnarr, phnarr!) - I've had the polybushes fitted and they keep squeaking, despite best endeavours from Gareth to re-grease them. I've seen a thread or two referring to earlier versions not being a great fit, but mine were only bought last year. The noise is like water torture at times - and passers by look at me like I'm about to career into them and take them out!

Any pointers here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks chaps!!
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Also, FWIW I've got the Gus Alfatune map and DPF removal/delete to add context to my turbo question - and I also upgraded the springs/shocks to Eibach/Koni FSDs to give context for the creaky bushes...
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Evening gents,

I've not posted for a while, having had a (relatively) ok time with my 159.........

Its currently at 144k miles, having had regular work by the superb Gareth at Northern Alfa. All that said, its starting to smoke and the power is down. Much reading here would suggest that the turbo is perhaps getting itred and would be sensible to consider a replacement before it expires - with all of the inconvenience and potential cost (if it craps its internals in the engine).

I've searched much and can see that the standard turbo is the Garrett GTB20V VNT (55208456) - and I also know that a few folks have swapped theirs for an upgraded one. So, to my questions;
1) what are my upgrade options (without having to fabricate parts to shoe-horn it in, or having to upgrade intercooler, etc.)
2) if I simply buy the standard replacement, wheres the best place for them price wise. I'm seeing prices around the £600 mark - give or take
3) Do all replacements require my original? I don't want to take this job on myself and Gareth is booked for a good few weeks....

Onto my challenging bush (phnarr, phnarr!) - I've had the polybushes fitted and they keep squeaking, despite best endeavours from Gareth to re-grease them. I've seen a thread or two referring to earlier versions not being a great fit, but mine were only bought last year. The noise is like water torture at times - and passers by look at me like I'm about to career into them and take them out!

Any pointers here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks chaps!!
given that refurbing your turbo to standard spec and an upgrade are quite close in monetary terms it makes sense to upgrade...

I have just fitted a turbo dynamics hybrid and am very happy with the result, my GT is now pushing around 220 BHP as opposed to the standard 150 and is a hoot...I found an identical Garrett turbo as a donor allowing me to keep my car on the road whilst the work was being done.

to answer some of your questions..

if you upgrade your current turbo then it will be a ''straight fit'' as all of the externals will be the same..

FMIC not required IMO if you are planning anything less than big power or are wanting to track the car, stock is fine, I am NOT running an FMIC and figures suggest that its not required until you get past a certain point..given that it can also increase lag as you are adding length and volume to the intake system. if you run a hybrid turbo with a bigger compressor wheel it will already be a touch more laggy so adding an FMIC may not be the way to go, I have opted for drivability over peak power for my set up though, depends what you want...you can run higher boost to compensate but the mapping gets more complex and critical the more you do.


you will need a re-map and likely a new clutch, if you still have the DPF and EGR get rid at the same time as the re-map.

all in all as a guesstimate I would say £500-600 on the turbo upgrade (mine was £495) £300 for removal and refitting of turbo which will include an oil and filter service as well.

£300 for re-map and DPF EGR removal


and around £600 for a new clutch.

also worth considering what else you may want to do whilst the sub frame is off to do the clutch, bushes etc.

budget £1500 for the lot basically. even a new stock turbo may find your clutch wanting as if you have been slowly losing power for a while which at 144k is likely a new turbo will undoubtedly improve things even just a straight refurb.

cheers


Joe

GT blackline,Bilstien B12's and Eibach Anti roll bar kit,Quaife Diff,Autolusso performance pads, de-cat downpipe,hybrid turbo,stage one clutch,autolusso re-map, swirl flap and egr delete, leon cupra front splitter,novitec light covers,simone racing gear knob.
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Are you sure its not your injectors getting worn & needs refurb or your VNT that sticks (like mine)....A lot of times people blame or replace the turbo, just to realise it wasnt that anyway.

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Originally Posted by paul_o View Post
Evening gents,

I've not posted for a while, having had a (relatively) ok time with my 159.........

Its currently at 144k miles, having had regular work by the superb Gareth at Northern Alfa. All that said, its starting to smoke and the power is down. Much reading here would suggest that the turbo is perhaps getting itred and would be sensible to consider a replacement before it expires - with all of the inconvenience and potential cost (if it craps its internals in the engine).

I've searched much and can see that the standard turbo is the Garrett GTB20V VNT (55208456) - and I also know that a few folks have swapped theirs for an upgraded one. So, to my questions;
1) what are my upgrade options (without having to fabricate parts to shoe-horn it in, or having to upgrade intercooler, etc.)
2) if I simply buy the standard replacement, wheres the best place for them price wise. I'm seeing prices around the £600 mark - give or take
3) Do all replacements require my original? I don't want to take this job on myself and Gareth is booked for a good few weeks....

Onto my challenging bush (phnarr, phnarr!) - I've had the polybushes fitted and they keep squeaking, despite best endeavours from Gareth to re-grease them. I've seen a thread or two referring to earlier versions not being a great fit, but mine were only bought last year. The noise is like water torture at times - and passers by look at me like I'm about to career into them and take them out!

Any pointers here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks chaps!!
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you will need a re-map and likely a new clutch, if you still have the DPF and EGR get rid at the same time as the re-map.
They have been done already - sorry, i added a 2nd post to clarify that. Appreciate the comments regarding the standard vs. upgraded - will investigate that. Unless.........

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Are you sure its not your injectors getting worn & needs refurb or your VNT that sticks (like mine)....A lot of times people blame or replace the turbo, just to realise it wasnt that anyway.
........good call - I think I might have that looked at. The symptoms are a drop in power and black soot when I press the loud pedal hard after 3k revs......
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I would find the cause of the loss of power before you think about an upgrade, turbos tend to either work or not so the problem probably lays elswhere, injectors as mentioned, MAF not working correctly or also the inlet manifold, the 2.4 suffers the same leaking swirl valve issue as the early 1.9 jtdm's.
If you decide to replace the turbo for a standard spec unit it worth concidering just changing the center of it if the vnt is ok, a chra is a lot less expensive than a complete turbo.
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injectors as mentioned, MAF not working correctly or also the inlet manifold, the 2.4 suffers the same leaking swirl valve issue as the early 1.9 jtdm's.
I have had the swirl flaps flagged as leaking a bit already. For the injectors, can a cleaner fix this - or is it simply a case of replacing? In other words, is there a non-mechanical fix for this I can try first??
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I would find the cause of the loss of power before you think about an upgrade, turbos tend to either work or not so the problem probably lays elswhere, injectors as mentioned, MAF not working correctly or also the inlet manifold, the 2.4 suffers the same leaking swirl valve issue as the early 1.9 jtdm's.
If you decide to replace the turbo for a standard spec unit it worth concidering just changing the center of it if the vnt is ok, a chra is a lot less expensive than a complete turbo.
couldn't agree more,

I assumed you had established it was the turbo and TBH at 144k miles I would even expect it...


black smoke on acceleration can only really be one thing , unburnt fuel, so it is down to a number of usual suspects.

1) boost leak either from top or bottom hose, sometimes it can be the intercooler itself.

2) Vac leak, really common that the little vac hose to the VNT actuator rod has a split meaning the VNT is not fully actuating.

3) sticky vanes in the turbo, there are cleaners such as innotec in tank and actual turbo cleaners that you can try but IMO its a stay of execution, it depends on how long you intend to keep the car but I would just refurb the turbo.

4) MAF,MAP, or vnt actuator solenoid is faulty or on the way out.

5) sticky/stuck EGR



Re replacing the Chra in the turbo, well the turbo has to come off and go back on, there is £300 right there. then the chra will cost you £150-200 to buy and then if you are sensible you will want to get the VNT actuator re-calibrated as there is no guarantee it will work as it should with the new chra...

all things considered you are better off just taking the turbo off and having a full refurb somewhere reputable (I can highly recommend turbo dynamics) who will do all of the work in house for around £400..you will have a guaranteed result and the turbo will come with a full warranty.

good you have had the clutch done so no other expense..

but as stated by Jon156veloce track the current problem down first.


I would start with Vac hose myself on this as it sounds very much like those symptoms plus the hose itself is pennies to buy, I think its 3mm internal vac hose.


go with turbo hoses next and then start looking at EGR then sensors and actuator solenoid if no joy.

good luck.
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Fantastic - much appreciated. I'll be going through these as suggested, although in the knowledge that I may still be looking at a turbo.....
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Forget stuff you put in the fuel...VGT acts on outlet-side

this is where you wanna go; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTPRXa7askM ...Or remove exhaust & pump ovencleaner into turbo, let it rest for an hour & then take her for the italian tuneup :-)
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Fantastic - much appreciated. I'll be going through these as suggested, although in the knowledge that I may still be looking at a turbo.....
look at 144k you have had a good run!


maf is a service item on some diesels at 50k and there is no reason to expect it to last any longer than around 100k iits a delicate sensor. engine management will compensate for the degradation of sensors but eventually they will fall outside the parameters that the ECU can compensate for and no amount of cleaning will change that.

you can clean the turbo and there are plenty of stories of guys doing this but it will only work for a while,it takes a few hours each time and unless you do yourself with mr muscle will cost around £100 to get done. as with all things you can go the route of remove,clean put back and this will help but eventually they will need replacing..

power train items have a shelf life.

I just replaced my turbo with a hybrid at 100k and at the same time I did MAF, MAP and VNT actuator rod solenoid and all vac and turbo hoses. 100k is early but I wanted more power and now I have another 100k on those items and they are all working well with the new turbo.

IF you have the funds available it does make a lot of sense at that mileage to just replace the lot as sometimes diagnosing a problem can, not always but can cost more than just replacing the usual suspects.

it can all be done for around£1000 all in including parts and labour. and turbo refurb, bit cheaper if you shop around parts wise.

more money up front I admit but much less aggro in the long run and a clean slate with all the turbo related crap.

best way for an easy life.

p.s i would not be giving the same advice if you were on 80k or even 100k but at 144k..

go for it
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Couldnt disagree more.....

Just the statement that you replaced VNT when you changed for a hybrid turbo makes me.....Think...

Why should a pressure/temperature-sensor in the inlet be changed if its working? MAF i can to some point agree, but if its working & showing correct amount of air going through it...No reasen whatsoever to replace...& it was a WV issue, but never really Alfa-problem...People just think their MAF is at fault when disconnecting it & car seems to run better ;-)

Why should a turbo need cleaning shortly after beeing cleaned? it cant feel that its old, neither can the soot that was there before the cleaning?

But its a nice story if you wanna sell some parts ;-) Ill stick with Mr. Ovencleaner & enjoy all the money i left in the bank...After cleaning my T-MAP & MAF sensors with brakecleaner, so they will be just as good as new again :-)

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Originally Posted by joeymannero View Post
look at 144k you have had a good run!


maf is a service item on some diesels at 50k and there is no reason to expect it to last any longer than around 100k iits a delicate sensor. engine management will compensate for the degradation of sensors but eventually they will fall outside the parameters that the ECU can compensate for and no amount of cleaning will change that.

you can clean the turbo and there are plenty of stories of guys doing this but it will only work for a while,it takes a few hours each time and unless you do yourself with mr muscle will cost around £100 to get done. as with all things you can go the route of remove,clean put back and this will help but eventually they will need replacing..

power train items have a shelf life.

I just replaced my turbo with a hybrid at 100k and at the same time I did MAF, MAP and VNT actuator rod solenoid and all vac and turbo hoses. 100k is early but I wanted more power and now I have another 100k on those items and they are all working well with the new turbo.

IF you have the funds available it does make a lot of sense at that mileage to just replace the lot as sometimes diagnosing a problem can, not always but can cost more than just replacing the usual suspects.

it can all be done for around£1000 all in including parts and labour. and turbo refurb, bit cheaper if you shop around parts wise.

more money up front I admit but much less aggro in the long run and a clean slate with all the turbo related crap.

best way for an easy life.

p.s i would not be giving the same advice if you were on 80k or even 100k but at 144k..

go for it
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Couldnt disagree more.....

Just the statement that you replaced VNT when you changed for a hybrid turbo makes me.....Think...

Why should a pressure/temperature-sensor in the inlet be changed if its working? MAF i can to some point agree, but if its working & showing correct amount of air going through it...No reasen whatsoever to replace...& it was a WV issue, but never really Alfa-problem...People just think their MAF is at fault when disconnecting it & car seems to run better ;-)

Why should a turbo need cleaning shortly after beeing cleaned? it cant feel that its old, neither can the soot that was there before the cleaning?

But its a nice story if you wanna sell some parts ;-) Ill stick with Mr. Ovencleaner & enjoy all the money i left in the bank...After cleaning my T-MAP & MAF sensors with brakecleaner, so they will be just as good as new again :-)
OK

firstly you can't replace the VNT, its part of the turbo...but you can replace the VNT actuator solenoid which at 100k is probably on its way out, at 144k the OP's mileage even more so...

my MAF was in fact confirmed banjaxed by codes, rough running when plugged in and better when not, new Maf cleared codes and rough running/limp mode.

secondly it all depends on the situation, the labour involved in replacing a turbo means most of this stuff, MAF and actuator solenoid will be much easier to replace whilst you are in there. buying all the parts together and combining the labour will save you considerably on both time and money vs doing things separately.

hoses are rubber and get brittle ,split and crack,also replace.

I was due to have a re-map after the new turbo was fitted so in terms of the best possible result replacing 9 year old 100k old sensors is not a bad thing to do. spoke to my mapper and he agreed stating its amazing how many guys show up with cars where faulty sensors ruin the map and make things difficult for him.

and why would I want to sell parts? I'm a guitarist

re the turbo needing re-cleaning, well it doesn't always work the mr muscle trick, its hit and miss and sometimes needs more than one go, and it won't cure play in the shaft or the worn seals that are very likely on a a 144k old turbo.

clean all you like ...it won't bring it back to new.

I get your approach to car maintenance but I would rather spend the money on my car being tip top and save the time which I will spend doing something I enjoy rather than cleaning old car parts.

I am lucky enough that money is less of an issue for me than time so if it ever come down to deciding on saving one at the expense of the other I always choose to save the time and spend the money..

there is room in the world for us both
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OK

firstly you can't replace the VNT, its part of the turbo...but you can replace the VNT actuator solenoid which at 100k is probably on its way out, at 144k the OP's mileage even more so...

my MAF was in fact confirmed banjaxed by codes, rough running when plugged in and better when not, new Maf cleared codes and rough running/limp mode.

secondly it all depends on the situation, the labour involved in replacing a turbo means most of this stuff, MAF and actuator solenoid will be much easier to replace whilst you are in there. buying all the parts together and combining the labour will save you considerably on both time and money vs doing things separately.

hoses are rubber and get brittle ,split and crack,also replace.

I was due to have a re-map after the new turbo was fitted so in terms of the best possible result replacing 9 year old 100k old sensors is not a bad thing to do. spoke to my mapper and he agreed stating its amazing how many guys show up with cars where faulty sensors ruin the map and make things difficult for him.

and why would I want to sell parts? I'm a guitarist

re the turbo needing re-cleaning, well it doesn't always work the mr muscle trick, its hit and miss and sometimes needs more than one go, and it won't cure play in the shaft or the worn seals that are very likely on a a 144k old turbo.

clean all you like ...it won't bring it back to new.

I get your approach to car maintenance but I would rather spend the money on my car being tip top and save the time which I will spend doing something I enjoy rather than cleaning old car parts.

I am lucky enough that money is less of an issue for me than time so if it ever come down to deciding on saving one at the expense of the other I always choose to save the time and spend the money..

there is room in the world for us both
VNT is not just actuator...I would say that its VERY seldom the actuator gives up...It´s a lot more likely the assembly around the guidevanes in the turbo that has a bit of rust and a lot of soot...Thats why theres good results with an acid like owencleaners are :-) Surely it wont help on play in shaft, but if hes a poor fella like me, or simply like to play with mechanical stuff & successfactor is very high...Ill go for it any day :-)

Sure theres room for us both :-) ..Forums are for help, to agree but also sometimes to disagree...Hopefully always in a positive way, so as many aspects as possible can be lifted to fellow users :-) Love from Denmark <3 :-D
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VNT is not just actuator...I would say that its VERY seldom the actuator gives up...It´s a lot more likely the assembly around the guidevanes in the turbo that has a bit of rust and a lot of soot...Thats why theres good results with an acid like owencleaners are :-) Surely it wont help on play in shaft, but if hes a poor fella like me, or simply like to play with mechanical stuff & successfactor is very high...Ill go for it any day :-)

Sure theres room for us both :-) ..Forums are for help, to agree but also sometimes to disagree...Hopefully always in a positive way, so as many aspects as possible can be lifted to fellow users :-) Love from Denmark <3 :-D

vive la difference ! and warm regards from England


there is moe than one way to skin a cat.

I do in fact enjoy mucking around with cars and mechanical stuff in general, and agree its very satisfying..the mate I work with on cars has very much a clean and replace attitude to things and between the two of us we tend to strike a good balance.. we have both been right on occasion and also both wrong..

I have two Fiat coupe's a BMW e 36 and my Alfa GT , The Alfa is the only one that gets the garage treatment as its a daily drive and I need it to be 100% reliable, my mileage is high at 30k a year so things that for some may be OK for a month or two come round in a matter of weeks for me...by the time you factor in the cost of even one breakdown recovery it makes sense for me to have a ''preventative maintenance attitude to the Alfa.

it really does save on both time and money where this particular car is concerned.

both methods work and it depends on your situation, bank balance and yearly mileage...
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They have been done already - sorry, i added a 2nd post to clarify that. Appreciate the comments regarding the standard vs. upgraded - will investigate that. Unless.........



........good call - I think I might have that looked at. The symptoms are a drop in power and black soot when I press the loud pedal hard after 3k revs......
did you take it to Alfatune for the remap and DPF removal if so maybe give him a ring as he knows his stuff ?
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I did thanks, although I think from speaking to folks it is looking very likely to be the swirl flaps

I'll see how it is post repair and go from there....
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Out of interest, if you used oven cleaner, how easily does it get lubed up again after?


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I remember when I couldn't get the heater to work in my Lancia Fulvia. I tried loads of things then thought I'd throw a bottle of Cillit Bang in. Didn't leave it to long because it's not good on aluminium, but it ended up a brilliant heater.

Tried to whiten my teeth one time too, knowing it wasn't a particularly good idea, I found out it's a really bad idea
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Happy Ending: Swirl flaps removed, MIG welded the holes, manifold cleaned, normal service resumed! back to a full-fat 250bhp
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