Did I get completely ripped off. . . ? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Help Help with cam 'issue' . . .

Hi there, I posted this in the Engine section as well, but I'm pretty new to this so not quite sure where it should go.
Iím in desperate need of some help / advice from you Alfa experts.
I have a 2000 916 Spider 12V 3.0 V6 with ~125k kms on the clock.
There was a ticking sound coming from the under the cam covers when I bought the car, but it wasnít too loud so I lived with it for a few months. I assumed that it was tappet adjustment that was required. Once it started getting louder, I had my local Dutch Alfa Specialist take a look at it and he confirmed that it was indeed the valve clearances that needed adjusting. He quoted me Ä400 for the work and I agreed that it was worth it to be rid of the noise.
He then called me and said that the wear on the cam lobes was bad enough that he couldnít adjust the clearances enough to get rid of the ticking sound, and at that point he recommended replacing the cams at a total cost of ~Ä2,000 for parts and labor.
He replaced the cams and the buckets and I picked up the car. When I drove away, the ticking sound was every bit as loud as when I had dropped the car off 3 weeks earlier. Of course I called him right away and we booked another appointment so that he could fix it.
After another week with my car in his shop I picked it up. He said that he had to adjust the clearances to be much tighter than the Alfa specs to quiet the ticking sound. It worked, as the engine is now very quiet, but the performance is now crap. It idols very rough, the low-end power is awful, and the engine only smooths out when the RPMs get above ~3,500.
He told me that noisy tappets in the 12V V6 are Ďnormalí. So I assume now that the cams didnít need replacing and that I just blew the additional Ä1,600 for nothing.
Any advice on what the actual problem might be would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Woodyholland; 18-06-13 at 09:29.
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the cams do wear so probably needed replacement.
set the clearances to the smallest specks and live with a bit of noise before it damage valves
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Does sound a little suspect - I'd have wanted to see the cam(s) that he replaced - and I'd certainly be taking it back to him to insist that he do the job that he'd been paid for.
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I agree that the 12V V6's are far from silent on the tappets, even when properly adjusted. Mine is due an "adjustment" this year and I cant wait, but my expectations aren't that it will tickover quietly like a prius.

However, I do agree with the above, if he has made you replace a part that he cant actually prove was really worn, its a bit naughty.
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Its not hard to tell if a cam is worn, you just measure the lobe. If its just one lobe worn you can see it with the bare eye, it will look low and rounded compared to the other lobes on the same cam.
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Here's a closeup from a 12V camshaft, left one is new, on the right the old one. Look at how rounded the old lobes are. This was the moment my mechanic told me he could no longer adjust Old camshaft had 150.000km (about 93000 miles).
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