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Old 15-03-03
evanbottcher's Avatar
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cam belt kaput...

About 2 miles out of Thaxted heading towards Saffron Walden on a B road today having a lovely time when a gentle POP! occurred then the 33 only ran on one bank of cylinders. No rattles or bangs, and it would actually restart but definitely only on one bank and then it would die. Levering open the left hand cam belt cover I can see the loose belt.

Just home in the tow truck

So... my question is - if a belt goes on a 16V boxer, will valves be bent??? Other than a sudden inability to propel me forward there were no other untoward signs i.e. metallic banging and explosions like when our old Sud dropped a valve.

any thoughts?

thanks,
Evan.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 15-03-03
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Oh *****

Bad news dude...
Valves bent for sure. Same thing happened to me August 2001 on "my" 33 16V. Not only valves, the valveguides were shot aswell.
Remember, don't kill the messenger (unless it's Microsoft messenger)

Sorry mate, it's a real bummer

--Hoygaard
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Old 15-03-03
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This happened to our 146 bent just 2 valve's, cost €900 to get fixed.
The cams are different on the 14x 16v's so I'd guess you have 4 gone. Sorry
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Old 15-03-03
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Wah!!! Thanks guys...
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Old 15-03-03
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frown
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  #6 (Post Link)  
Old 16-03-03
Sav_33
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Hi Evan,

Sorry to hear about your misfortune

The same thing happened with my 33 16v in 1999, (it belonged to my friend at the time)

I still have all the receipts for the work carried out, parts needed were as follows;

1 spark plug
8 hydraulic lifters
4 exhaust valves
4 inlet valves
1 exhaust camshaft
They also replaced both cambelts and the power steering drive belt.

The bill was a frightening £1075.45
The labour accounted for £400 of this.

Mega bummer

Sav
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Old 16-03-03
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So camblets failure is that common??!!

My car has been off the road for the last few months. Just after I changed the belts.

When I get it back on the road this summer, I'll change the belts again, after 3 miles on them.

Then I think I'll change them evry 3 weeks, just to be safe.

No, seriously. Why have your belts been failing? Were they old? Should I have changed the tensioners as well?

My car has done only 35,000 miles.
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  #8 (Post Link)  
Old 16-03-03
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Hi Evan,

Bad news indeed! as far as I know all Alfa engines are "inteference" type- i.e valves will definately bend if the belt breaks- how many miles did yours do?

16V 33's seem to be a lot harder on cambelts than the 8 Valve engines- I always change my belts every 40,000km and tensioners at 80,000km. It also pays to check the waterpump as well as this is a good time to replace it.

Even on the current twinspark cars it is advisable to replace the belts at 60,000km- Factory instructions state that belts must be replaced if there are any traces of black rubber dust inside the belt covers.

Cambelts are a silent killer- they give the driver no warning of their sudden demise. I err on the side of caution having rebuilt many otherwise sound engines due to cambelt failure (not just Alfas either!)

"Checking" cambelts is also a waste of time, I have seen engines that have dropped valves within 10,000km of a "check". The only way to check a belt properly is to pull it off and inspect its entire length- at which time you would replace it anyway!

In any case belt manufacturers advise that belts should not be re-used after tension is released off them- it is difficult to correctly reset belt tension after the belt has stretched.

It also goes without saying that if you buy a car and you don't know when the belts were replaced last- DO IT NOW! I still remember the grief of a Lancia Thema owner who had to replace 16 bent valves and broken guides within a week of purchase!

Unless you see in writing that belts have been replaced by a reputable repairer, don't assume anything. I have seen two cases (Saab V6's)where the car was serviced regularly and books stamped- but the repairers had not replaced the belts- with predictable results. One case ended up in court and the car was off the road for 6 months.

Don't be scared of cambelts- they are quiet, accurate and reliable...when replaced at correct intervals. wink
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  #9 (Post Link)  
Old 16-03-03
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the cam belt tensioners are plastic and break easily get them re machined in cats or alloy and you'll be ok
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  #10 (Post Link)  
Old 16-03-03
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Well I've calmed down a bit today with a visit to the london classic car show. The stupid thing with the 33 is that we've had the car for about 18 months and I was pretty sure the belts were well overdue. I was trying to decide how long we were going to stay in the UK before investing cash in the car. Had just decided to get them done in the next couple of months with it's next MOT...

MORAL: If you buy a car with an uncertain history (in this case a part-time speedo/odo) then GET the belts changed!
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  #11 (Post Link)  
Old 16-03-03
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yeah i agree, but in my 75 the belts were 5k old and they slipped a tooth, didn't mash anything but made it run like crap.
2 teeth mashes for sure,

16v's use the same tensioners as the 8v and there just seems to be more stress on them,

my mechanic got some cast iron ones dones and gets some really schmik bearings pressed into them and he reckons he's never had a belt go since still changes them at 60k but he reckons it solves a lot of problems.

in my 4x4 theyre to be chnaged every 100k and tensioners at 300k but apparently they start to squeal at about 240k, landcruiser prados under normal conditions are meant to never have them changed (scarey but true)

the question i ask is can't alfa make a decent cam belt, dunno
but they sure can make a good car


Goats, A Robust solution for a high tech world!
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  #12 (Post Link)  
Old 17-03-03
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Evan,

Sounds like it might even be cheaper to pick up another engine than have yours rebuilt. Alternatively, it might be cheaper still to simply buy another 33! Whatever you have to do, you have my sympathy.

Philip
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  #13 (Post Link)  
Old 17-03-03
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been there done that, my 146TI died at the early age of 8 months and 6000 km. Tensioner busted , all valves , pistons knackered.
Later I read the official letter from Alfa to all dealers mentioning the tensioner (Candadian made !) was faulty, could not cope with the heat (sic) So it is usually crap parts from other manufacturers that give Alfa bad reports.
Typically, other makes like Opel (Vauxhall) follow the same stupid road, penny wise pound foolish, because parts from outside are 5 cents cheaper they go for it. When you see the guarantee claims, one wonders what beancounters the Fiat group have on their payroll. No wonder they are almost bankrupt.


Rarebear 'fastest piston engine airplane in the world' 4000 hp twinspark (!) radial engine.
Thta's what we call an ENGINE>>>>
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  #14 (Post Link)  
Old 19-03-03
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generally but they should has re-engineedered it for the 16v engines, they have the same plastic pulleys as the 8v and the belt puts more stress on the pulley wheel on the 16v, hence my mechanic has had cast iron ones machined which he presses a bigger bearing into, thus eliminating the weakness really cheaply, i intend to fit them in my 8v engine,

i am also going to get some modified twin sprak bearings for the bottom end of my engine,

(i like cheap insurance policies tis like oil is cheaper than engines)
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  #15 (Post Link)  
Old 20-03-03
Diego Guerrero
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Changing the belts was the first thing I did when I bought the car. By the way, what brand do you guys use?

I replaced mine with Gate, made in Spain.
The old one were Alfa/Lancia.

Southern 75: Got an e-mail address, I'd like to ask you a question off the board.
Mine is god_diego@yahoo.com
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