Swirl Flaps - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 14 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Swirl Flaps

Being an ex BMW nut I was appalled to read that my car is also fitted with swirl flaps - I'd have thought that Alfa/GM would have learned from BM's failings which began much earlier.

I'll not be happy as long as I know these nasty little things are in place and could severely damage my engine so I plan to remove them. I haven't taken any notice of the type of manifold I have - plastic or alloy but according to the Autolusso website my car (56 plate) could be either - I'll look next time I take the engine cover off. They also state that the cambelt has to come off to remove the manifold - is that correct?
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(Post Link) post #2 of 14 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Either the whole manifold has to come off, or if can be split in-situ and just the plenum removed leaving the swirl-flap assembly bolted to the head.

Cambelt can be left in place, but you need to immobilize the pulley for the HP fuel pump as the pump needs to be removed to allow clearance for the manifold to come out. Although if it's a new car to you, I'd be tempted to just do the belt kit + water pump at the same time...

There may or may-no be some grinding too... Can't remember exactly...

Plenty of threads here (Fruity and Pub have done a few good ones), and don't be afraid of checking out the 159/Brera lounge too, as they've also got the same flap-problems...

First step is to find out what you've got under the bonnet though.


Last edited by _The_Editor_; 4 Weeks Ago at 18:31.
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I haven't been much help for the dreaded swirl flaps. Perhaps rxe has made a post about this. The image lounge should contain something;
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/motoring-images/

Plenty cars have swirl flaps. The craziest example is a 1.8 chain driven Focus- which has a petrol engine!
What were they thinking?
Terrible engine which makes it slower than a 1.6 156.

I think any JTD with swirl flaps should have them removed ASAP as they should be treated like tonsils. Clean out the manifold and have the EGR function mapped out. That would return it to the economical and reliable motoring a diesel is meant to provide.
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Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
I haven't been much help for the dreaded swirl flaps. Perhaps rxe has made a post about this.
It was Halftone I was thinking of, sorry! He ended up elbows deep in his 147 engine bay... My mistake!
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Cambelt can be left in place, but you need to immobilize the pulley for the HP fuel pump as the pump needs to be removed to allow clearance for the manifold to come out. Although if it's a new car to you, I'd be tempted to just do the belt kit + water pump at the same time...
I changed the belt and water pump 4000 miles ago so I don't want to go to that expense again. By 'immoblize the pulley for the HP pump' do you mean by locking the other pulleys in place with bolts? I've done that in the past - some engines have this facility for cam timing purposes but I can't remember this one - its nearly 2 years since I changed the belt and it was the first of this type I've done.

Or is there another method of 'immobilizing the pump'?
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Originally Posted by Phil_ View Post
I changed the belt and water pump 4000 miles ago so I don't want to go to that expense again. By 'immoblize the pulley for the HP pump' do you mean by locking the other pulleys in place with bolts? I've done that in the past - some engines have this facility for cam timing purposes but I can't remember this one - its nearly 2 years since I changed the belt and it was the first of this type I've done.

Or is there another method of 'immobilizing the pump'?
You bolt the fuel pump pulley to the side of the engine which has some threads in it for this purpose. Then you can remove the centre nut which holds the pulley onto the fuel pump, allowing the fuel pump to be pulled out from behind. Some have a loose woodruff key so stick some rags under the pump first so it doesn't end up falling into the abyss.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 14 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _The_Editor_ View Post
It was Halftone I was thinking of, sorry! He ended up elbows deep in his 147 engine bay... My mistake!
Not just me! Two for the price of one, my 147 and Resolutions's 159, parallel blundering DIY journeys into the joys of swirl flap repairs in the resulting illustrated megathread at
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...e-159-1-a.html

Well worth doing, though.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 14 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Sorry to hijack the thread, I did the whole swirl remove job last week. So far I can feel the car a bit more sluggish in the low end (below 2000 rpm).

Should I do a ECU Swirlf Flaps delete? Nothing lights on dash?

Thanks!
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(Post Link) post #9 of 14 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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That will happen unless you blank off and map out the EGR valve, which feeds spent exhaust gas into the inlet manifold.

https://newalfaparts.co.uk/147-1-9-m...gr-delete.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgi Uzunov View Post
Should I do a ECU Swirlf Flaps delete? Nothing lights on dash?

Thanks!
There is no such thing. Was this a DIY removal of the swirl flaps? Are you confident that everything has been put back together correctly?

Blanking the EGR is always a good idea, which will require deleting in the ECU, but it's unlikely to be the cause if all was OK previously.

All the best, Pub.
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There is no such thing. Was this a DIY removal of the swirl flaps? Are you confident that everything has been put back together correctly?

Blanking the EGR is always a good idea, which will require deleting in the ECU, but it's unlikely to be the cause if all was OK previously.

All the best, Pub.
Ok, well, the swirl flap removal was done by a local mechanic. My GT had ingested two flaps, but they didn't reach the engine, so everything was fine... they pulled them out, took the rest off, put blanks in (I have the CF4 plastic mani). I'll do an EGR blank - software + blanking plate.

To be honest I've been driving around for the last two weeks and I think it was just me, the car is doing great and I'm happy I won't kill it with the swirl flaps!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgi Uzunov View Post

Ok, well, the swirl flap removal was done by a local mechanic. My GT had ingested two flaps, but they didn't reach the engine, so everything was fine... they pulled them out, took the rest off, put blanks in (I have the CF4 plastic mani). I'll do an EGR blank - software + blanking plate.
Time to buy a lottery ticket... You got lucky!! Two off without making it to the engine!!!
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Time to buy a lottery ticket... You got lucky!! Two off without making it to the engine!!!
That's exactly what the mechanic said!

They spend a few hours trying to get them out of the pipes (not entirely sure where they were stuck, but definitely not ingested!).

Either way, I'll have to take care of an injector going bad and a master clutch cylinder before I schedule an EGR + remap.

I'll leave a comment, but it will be a while, thank you all for the help ^^
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If you are really lucky, they get stuck in the inlet tract in the head, by the valve guide, where the tract turns downward. I had one stuck. I could see it with a mirror and torch or £5 borescope Android camera that I bought from eBay, but couldn't get it out. It might be possible using a flexible grabber or hot met glue on wire, but I had to take the head off anyway because I'd not been so lucky with another flap. There is no way a stuck flap is going to stay there long.
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