Car in bits again...
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Re: 16v Boxer Engine Health Check
I guess if this is a scrapyard special you could replace the cam belts and time them up, take the plugs out, put some oil down the holes to lube the upper cylinders and g.e.n.t.l.y turn the engine over by hand feeling for any sign of stiction or resistance. If all is well you could infer no dropped valves. If no resistance to turning over by hand, pop the plugs back in and c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y turn over by hand again - this time you should get resistance from each cylinder and there ought to be the sounds of compression pressure leaking past the piston rings. Success here would suggest no burnt, bent or sticking valvegear. Still OK? Maybe its sound.
I once made one reasonable engine out of three scrap ones for some friends that asked for an engine that would last them 6 months before they bought a new car. Despite carefully matching the mis-matched parts and rebuilding "by the book" the old banger still keeled over 5 months and three weeks later. You get out of these things what you put in - if you decide to do the above you won't know if the engine is about to grenade or not. If that bothers you, follow Sixnut's sound advice and spend the money!
Alfanauts are GO!!!