GT Timing Belt Ruins Engine - Alfa Romeo Forum
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GT Timing Belt Ruins Engine

Hi,

This is one of my first posts and I don't like to be negative but I do have a problem with my GT. It is a July 2008 Cloverleaf edition 1.9 JTD and it has only done 29000 miles. Yesterday it suddenly cut-out on me, luckily I was only turning a corner at 5 miles per hour.

I had it recovered to a garage and subsequently found out that the timing belt had snapped and effectively destroyed the engine

I love the car but this was a shock and a disappointment that something relatively new could have such a problem. I'm looking at quite a lot of money to replace the engine now.

The garage is trying to source a used engine as a new one is £4000 apparently

Just wondering if GT's have a history of this sort of issue?

Do I have a case for going to Alfa with a complaint given the low mileage? It is out of warranty though.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Lowman
(P.S. I live in Scotland)
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Need to find out why the belt snapped in the first instance.
But yes that is very unusual for that mileage.

How long has the belt been on the car?!?
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4 yrs I imagine?
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scottyf,

I've had the car about 21 months and haven't changed it so it was probably the original one. Maybe that was the problem? I thoguht they should last 60 months or more?
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Why do you need a replacement engine? Can't the existing one be repaired?
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Roswell,

If that picture is your car it looks identical to mine.

The garage told me that my engine needs replacing due to the damage caused by the belt breaking.
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Roswell,

If that picture is your car it looks identical to mine.

The garage told me that my engine needs replacing due to the damage caused by the belt breaking.
It is my car yes. I think you need to seek further advice before you commit to replacing the engine. I'm no mechanical expert but I THINK you should be able to get away with a top end rebuild.
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I thought the jtdm 16v is a non-interference engine. Meaning there will be no internal damage caused by belt failure, just needs a new belt and rockers.

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The top end of a diesels is designed to break the sacrifical rockers rather than hitting the valves - Autolusso rebuild these for about £800.

You should not need a replacement engine just someone who knows what they are doing
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Unfortunatly you won't know untill it's opened up.
Bent valves will be the start.

Then there's the possibility of pistons that will be gouged. Or worse knocking the bottom end out of balance. This requires quite a large rebuild on the shells if it has knocked them out of kilter.

Least with a new engine you chop and change over. Put a new belt on and away you go again.
Once the engines out you can recondition the broken one and sell it on making some of the cash back.


Anyway sounds like the op had an issue on age of belt rather than mileage.
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lowman, pop across to the Scotish section of this forum and ask for a trusted independent specialist in your area. I fear your garage might be going in blind!

Good luck!
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[QUOTE=lowman;5052699]Hi,

This is one of my first posts and I don't like to be negative but I do have a problem with my GT. It is a July 2008 Cloverleaf edition 1.9 JTD and it has only done 29000 miles. Yesterday it suddenly cut-out on me, luckily I was only turning a corner at 5 miles per hour.

I had it recovered to a garage and subsequently found out that the timing belt had snapped and effectively destroyed the engine

I love the car but this was a shock and a disappointment that something relatively new could have such a problem. I'm looking at quite a lot of money to replace the engine now.

The garage is trying to source a used engine as a new one is £4000 apparently

Just wondering if GT's have a history of this sort of issue?

Do I have a case for going to Alfa with a complaint given the low mileage? It is out of warranty though.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Lowman
(P.S. I live in Scotland)[/QUOTE

Sorry to hear this, but it should have been changed by now (handbook says 4 or 5 years), but the engine should be easily fixed, why not search on here for a specialist and speak to them. (check out the scottish section)
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Quote:
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Roswell,

If that picture is your car it looks identical to mine.

The garage told me that my engine needs replacing due to the damage caused by the belt breaking.
As others have said this doesn't sound right! If the belt has broken and you were only doing 5/10mph then:

1) The top end is designed to be sacrificial i.e.only the rockers take the impact, the rest should be fine.

2) A specialist or good garage with knowledge should be able to repair for under £1,000.

3) Also, it is highly likely the waterpump bearings have seized, stripping the belt. Waterpump on this engine is fragile, and needs to be replaced with the timing belt every 48,000 miles or 4 years, whichever occurs first.

It is VERY UNLIKELY you need a completely new engine. Seek a second opinion.

Last edited by Spider95; 06-11-12 at 21:20.
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Rockers and valve oil seals should be enough to sort it. Whoever said a replacement engine is required is not qualified to work on the car as they don't know enough about them.

I only know the above from reading this forum incidentally. I also know that age related failure of timing belts is as much an issue as mileage related, which is why I changed mine recently along with all tensioners and the water pump (@34,000 miles/6 years).
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All,

Thanks for all the replies in such a short space of time. Looks like this is a good, interactive forum.

If they can get me a replacement engine for £1000 is it worth going for this or will the extra cost of new belts, etc make it still expensive?

They definitely aren't an Alfa specialist so I could look for alternatives. I'll certainly discuss the fact that the engine shouldn't be destroyed. I don't think they have opened it up but the manager I spoke to said he did used to work for Alfa and seemed to think this problem would have damaged the engine beyond repair.
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Get a second opinion ....think you will be pleasantly surprised ...!
 
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You are highly unlikely to need a new engine. Where in West Lothian are you? Mc Lennans in Loanhead are reputed to be excellent and my favoured indy is CM garage in East Kilbride.

Going by anecdotal tales on here it is likely the water pump that has siezed. However I would certainly seek a second opinion. I suspect someone is trying to pull a fast one, and will charge an engine when only a top end rebuild is needed. Where is the car out of curiosity?? Hopefully not at Arnold Shark . . . . . .
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I'm in Livingston so Loanhead not too far. And Yes, it is Arnold Shark...
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And Yes, it is Arnold Shark...
And, LO!!! All is revealed. Enough said . . .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowman View Post
Hi,

This is one of my first posts and I don't like to be negative but I do have a problem with my GT. It is a July 2008 Cloverleaf edition 1.9 JTD and it has only done 29000 miles. Yesterday it suddenly cut-out on me, luckily I was only turning a corner at 5 miles per hour.

I had it recovered to a garage and subsequently found out that the timing belt had snapped and effectively destroyed the engine

I love the car but this was a shock and a disappointment that something relatively new could have such a problem. I'm looking at quite a lot of money to replace the engine now.

The garage is trying to source a used engine as a new one is £4000 apparently

Just wondering if GT's have a history of this sort of issue?

Do I have a case for going to Alfa with a complaint given the low mileage? It is out of warranty though.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Lowman
(P.S. I live in Scotland)
Call me tomorrow and be very carefull about advise given with the best of intention on here as you engine is slightly different to earlier engines

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Ok, new engine?? not likely, i had the same issue but doing 160kph (sorry you have to convert that) and the car had 96.000km. To repair it it was €1000 more or less, parts and labour, so i cant see why you need a new engine, mainly i changed:

Timing Belt
Belt Tensors
Water Pump
Valve Hammers
Head Gasket
Carter Gasket
Injector bushes
Oil and Filter
Labour

All for €970

As for the engine is runing with no issues for 40.000kms now, according to the mechanique it seems the diesel engines from Fiat have a safe system in case of the timing belt break they dont turn any more and just stop in some cases the hammers dont even break in my case 4 of them broke and i swaped the 16 of them just in case. They are the expenssive ones so if you are lucky you can shave off like €200 from the bill.

To be honest i could get a even better price but i wanted a proper and fast service at the time, riding my bike to work every day with pooring rain was doing my head in.

Oh, the belt needs to be replaced on 100.000kms or 5 years whatever comes first in my case it was 5 years old i should have been more carefull was due to change in 4.000km on my next service.

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Call me tomorrow and be very carefull about advise given with the best of intention on here as you engine is slightly different to earlier engines

Ned
In what way are the 'later' engines different? I did read somewhere that CF4 engines have stronger rockers and may not be so 'sacrificial'? Is this true?
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In what way are the 'later' engines different? I did read somewhere that CF4 engines have stronger rockers and may not be so 'sacrificial'? Is this true?
The later CF4 have stronger rockers and thinner valve stems so it is much easier for the valves damage to occur, why Alfa would do that I don't know

So yes not so "sacrificial"

Ned
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