2001 twinnie overheating - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 30 Old 02-06-19 Thread Starter
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2001 twinnie overheating

Driving home today noticed the guage was off the scale.

Was close to home and made it back. Checking it as soon as I stopped the expansion tank was up to level but using my laser thermometer the radiator was cold, the expansion tank was essentially cold but the thermostat housing was at 111 degrees.

Do the twin spark thermostats often fail closed and restrict the flow of water around the system?

I checked and I can get a new thermostat by Tuesday but is there only one model for this engine?

If it were the water pump that was causing the issue I would have expected the water to circulate by convection if nothing else. At no point did the fancs come on, even though the guage was hitting the stops to the right.

Any experience of this?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverthorn2151 View Post
Driving home today noticed the guage was off the scale.

Was close to home and made it back. Checking it as soon as I stopped the expansion tank was up to level but using my laser thermometer the radiator was cold, the expansion tank was essentially cold but the thermostat housing was at 111 degrees.

Do the twin spark thermostats often fail closed and restrict the flow of water around the system?

I checked and I can get a new thermostat by Tuesday but is there only one model for this engine?

If it were the water pump that was causing the issue I would have expected the water to circulate by convection if nothing else. At no point did the fancs come on, even though the guage was hitting the stops to the right.

Any experience of this?
My mechanic's told me it's quite common for the thermostats to jam up, either jam closed or jam open. I'm on the other side of the fence where the thermostat is jammed partially open when it should be closed, so the engine runs cooler than usual.

Considering summer temps reach 40C in Malta I'm not complaining, but it's a common failure point. He believes it's common with some FIAT models, but check with a specialist.
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The thermostat normally fail open but can in rare occasion fail closed.
If it was the water pump failing I would assume the thermostat would open and the top hose of the radiator slightly warm.

If the water pump is working and the thermostat is failed closed there should be some water flow in the small hose that goes from the thermostat housing to the expansion tank.

Beware that there are two type of thermostat for the 2.0 TS engine. It is related to the engine type (plastic or aluminum rocker cover)

You can see the different here: https://www.alfaworkshop.co.uk/parts...ermostat.shtml
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Ive only ever had thermostats fail open so the engine ran cold. Relatively easy to replace. I would recommend getting a genuine Alfa part. Cheap eBay replacements have a reputation for premature failure. The Alfa ones last for years.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 30 Old 03-06-19 Thread Starter
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I have ordered a new stat and temperature sender.

Just topped up the water level and ran the engine while watching what happens.

The fan kicks in when the stat housing reaches about 65 degrees. At that stage the hoses are all cool with any heat in them being from proximity to the block and exhaust. After a few mins the temp guage was well about normal. I'll get the new stat fitted and see what happens. Thought I might have a water leak as there is a hint of water around one of the pipe conections to the stat housing, but cant be sure.
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Changed the stat and sender. There is a slight improvement, but not much.

I just ran the car up to temperature, the fans kick in and the temp is sitting over 90 on the gauge. I had the heater control turned right over to max heat, the fans run but there is no heat whatsoever coming from the heater. Could there be an air lock of some sort in the system which is reducing the water flow all the way round and leading to the overheating?? All suggestions gratefully received.

If it were something like a blown head gasket I would expect the heater to keep on working.
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Do the top hose on the radiator get warm when the engine temperature increases?
And can the cooling fan keep the engine temperature below 100C?

Check also the two hoses running towards the heater if they are getting warm?
At least one of them should get warm
If not you have an airlock or the waterpump don't work
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Do the top hose on the radiator get warm when the engine temperature increases?
And can the cooling fan keep the engine temperature below 100C?

Check also the two hoses running towards the heater if they are getting warm?
At least one of them should get warm
If not you have an airlock or the waterpump don't work
The hose running towards the rad gets hot, where it didn't before I changed the rad, or at least not as hot as when I tried it this afternoon.

I will check the hoses to the heater, should have thought to do that anyway. Is there a way to bleed the system?

How big a job is a new water pump on the twinspark?
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The cooling system should be self-bleeding.
In a PH2 ther is no valve to the heater so it should have a constant water flow.
The regulation of the cabin temperature is done by mixing warm and cold air.

The water pump is normally changed when you change the cam belt so it is not a trivial task
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I think thermostat failures are inevitable. Its just luck whether it fails closed or open. I was lucky. My thermostat failed in the open position and took forever to warm the engine.
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Could it also be a clogged up heater matrix? Not sure how youd check without removing.


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Well, seems better today when I ran it up. Is there a guide anywhere on filling the system or more particularly bleeding it. I read somewhere there is a vent on the fuel injection somewhere. A quick look didn't find it!
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Nope still running up the shop on the gauge. Still no heat from the heater and to cap 8t all its struggling to start! Head gasket?
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Ive got two phase 2 cars and have changed both thermostats and changed the coolant on both. Neither needed any bleeding, just fill up to the max level, run until hot, allow to cool and top up if necessary.

If you suspect a blown head gasket look for mayo like gunge inside the oil filler cap and/or in the coolant reservoir. Also might be worth checking that your gauge isnt U/S. You can pick up spares for a tenner on eBay. Ive had my car stop getting up to temp twice. Once was the thermostat failed open so it never warmed up unless stationary and the second time was the gauge itself. 10 min job to swap gauges.

2001 GTV Twin Spark - Aerokit, teledials, Ragazzon quads, MTEC discs, DS Performance pads
2000 Spider Twin Spark - 17 multispokes, colour matched mirrors, OEM luggage rack, Ultra Racing strut brace, Fox quads, Zender fuel flap cover
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Thanks for that. I'll give the gauge a go as there is non of the traditional head gasket failure symptoms. Still puzzled by the heater. Will check if the valve is playing up.
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As I have writen earlier then a 2001 (Ph2) don't have at valve in the water flow to the heater.
There should be a constant flow through the heater
I you do not have a contant flow it could be caused by collasped hoses or clocked heater

I assume your heater control is like shown in the photo below.
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It is indeed. Attention turning back to the Spider after fixing the 159.......more or less.

Not only is it overheating, its started becoming reluctant to start. Turns over ok but coughs and splutters into life where previously it would start with a brush of the key. Clearly water isn't getting round the system as evidenced by the lack of heat from the heater.

If the head gasket had failed, could that explain my spluttering start? Possibly, could it explain overheating, yes, could it cause the heater symptom, not sure. Dont see how it can but.....

Next job is a compression test to see what that tells me. Does anyone have a schematic of the cooling and heater system? I need to find and check the pipes to and from the heater core. I see a stiff back and grazed knuckles in my futur
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This is the engine cooling system.
Perhaps you need at copy of the workshop manual
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That's very useful, thanks. A workshop manual would be handy. I'll try an track one down.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverthorn2151 View Post
That's very useful, thanks. A workshop manual would be handy. I'll try an track one down.
You can download it here..

TotallyAlfa: specialising in 916 Alfa's parts
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Brilliant, thanks.
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You need to have a 'sniff test' done on the coolant to see if exhaust gases are present. On my 33 when the heater ran cold that was the first sign of a head gasket failure, well before the emulsion appearing anywhere. The heater circuit for the TS may well be different hence the need for the gas test.
The reason for the cold heater is that even with hot gas in it the specific heat capacity of the gas is far less than that for coolant. Possibly in the region of 4 times less and of course the mass of gas will be far less than the mass of coolant that it has displaced. Specific heat capacity is measured in kIlojoules per kilogram kelvin. Therefore the mass has a considerable effect on the heat energy of the fluid (gas or liguid).

A overheated engine is liable to head gasket failure.

If you have access to an endoscope use it to look though a spark plug hole in each of the cylinders, one effect of a coolant leak into a cylinder is that the steam produced has a cleaning effect on the piston crown. This is noticeable if compared to its neighbours even if the engine is running clean.

Last edited by armoore; 4 Weeks Ago at 13:15. Reason: Trouble with my worms!
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Interesting. I do have an endesope as it hapens and hadn't thought about having a look.

Jobs for this weekend are
  1. Flush out the heater core
  2. check compression in each cylinder
  3. Have a peep with my endoscope

I've looked with horror at what this might cost to have he head gasket replaced. Not sure I have the time these days to do it myself. Anyone had it done recently?
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I dont have to look further for the source of my overheating. Any guesses on the cost of a head gasket replacement?
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I've costed out the parts, not including any discount I can get from shop4parts and my list is:

Head gasket set
Timing belt kit incl water pump
Balance belt kit
cam locks
variator
variator tool

Thats coming to about 500 incl VAT.

I don't really have the time to do this myself but adding labour costs to that, assumming the are happy for me to supply parts is going to add at least 500 to the cost.

Those sort of numbers mean its probably going to have to be sold as spares or repair and that breaks my heart.
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