Noisy Variator.... Oi!! Shut it!! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 28 Old 19-01-10 Thread Starter
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Noisy Variator.... Oi!! Shut it!!

My new 1.8 Teeny-Spark 145 was trying it on, making a bit of a diesel rattle when I started it. Not much.. but letting me know the variator wants to quit at the next cam-belt change (another 12,000 miles time).

Anyway, I changed the oil on the beast, since the old stuff it came with was slightly overfilled but also rather black and tired-looking, though still rather slippery and oily under finger.

While I was in the Big H. I noticed some Wynn's stuff for freeing up and silencing sticky valve gear and solenoids... so, despite being normally dubious about oil additives, I decided to give it a punt.

It's a 370ml yellow liquid... you just add it to the oil and then leave it in there, so after I put some new oil in, I tipped the potion in and then completed the oil fill as normal.

It could be the new oil of course... but the variator rattle has completely disappeared. I've driven it about a few hundred miles and started the beast at zero degrees .. but so far not a hint of rattle. It may be worth a punt if you have a slightly grumpy variator.

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I'll give a go to shut mine up. I'll get it changed on my next belt change due in Spring.
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No additive will fix the wear inside the variator.
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Normally the variator will rattle because of the O ring seal beginning to fail.

The oil will leak past it when the engine is stopped and you will get a rattle until it refills with oil. Then after a while the O ring deteriorates further and the variator can no longer hold enough pressure to operate and it rattles all of the time..

The Wynns stuff has probably made the O ring swell up so it now seals.
Hopefully it will hang on until you can change it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Normally the variator will rattle because of the O ring seal beginning to fail.

The oil will leak past it when the engine is stopped and you will get a rattle until it refills with oil. Then after a while the O ring deteriorates further and the variator can no longer hold enough pressure to operate and it rattles all of the time..

The Wynns stuff has probably made the O ring swell up so it now seals.
Hopefully it will hang on until you can change it.
I have seen this about O rings before on the forum,so i would like to let people know that variators have NO O rings or seals.
The clattering is due to the spring (inside the variator)going weak and the elliptical gears heating the body.
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I have seen this about O rings before on the forum,so i would like to let people know that variators have NO O rings or seals.
The clattering is due to the spring (inside the variator)going weak and the elliptical gears heating the body.
Thanks for putting me straight on that.

I have a variator in my dads shed but have never bothered to pull it apart.
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We all know what you are going to be doing this weekend then don't we !! go on take it apart you know you want to.
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I'll save him the bother


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I'll save him the bother



You haven't removed the gears!
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Cool!

Without knowing what a variator actually looked like inside, I imagined the rattle could be being caused by something getting sloppy (through wear) or not moving smoothly because of stiction/friction... so the combination of new oil (better viscosity) and this Wynn's stuff to clear any gunge-ery could (in Ralf S. logic) have a chance to sort it.

I have to say my variator wasn't rattling tooo much at all (so not too worn) and probably yes, the new oil on its own might have also silenced it... but it may be worth a punt to try the additive anyway, if it's designed to work inside solenoids and similar components.

It's no substitute for a new variator..... but that diesel rattle.......

Ralf S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Thanks for putting me straight on that.

I have a variator in my dads shed but have never bothered to pull it apart.
Pull it apart and see where the rattle comes from.

If it's just a weak spring.. then in theory a new spring should fix it. It'd be cheaper than a £90 new variator.. so it's maybe worth a poke around.


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The trouble is if you try and fix it and fail, you will have to pull the car apart again to fit a new one.

I suppose the idal way would be to pull apart a new variator and take measurements of both of them.
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Yes.. test the beast first. If it's a bit sloppy (rattly) then you should be able to detect it.

It would be a chore to try it then have to change it if it didn't work on a daily driver.. the guinea pig has to be someone who is tinkering with it just to see if there's another way to fix it.

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I've taken two variators apart, used new variators so had the used items surplus to requirements. Neither had "O" rings but tucked right inside was a flat washer. On both the flat washer had worn noticeably. Putting them back together (with all the old parts), just to see if I could, was harder than taking them apart!
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Not surprised they're so dear then!

I was wondering how a variator wears out... the spring losing some tension would do it.. if it allowed stuff to move about that should be under tension.. but that washer sounds like it's getting battered from something and that, I imagine, would make a rattling (hammering?) sound. I wonder if just a new washer would fix it?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf S. View Post
Not surprised they're so dear then!

I was wondering how a variator wears out... the spring losing some tension would do it.. if it allowed stuff to move about that should be under tension.. but that washer sounds like it's getting battered from something and that, I imagine, would make a rattling (hammering?) sound. I wonder if just a new washer would fix it?

Ralf S.
The centre part of the variator moves relative to the outer, the washer is at the end and from my observations I think that as it wears it fails to seal correctly and therefore to maintain oil levels within the variator. Then again, I might be talking nonsense!
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Aye! We'll all be experts at variators before long!

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Ok chaps i have just come across these variator repair kits totally new on me but they are available. I can't really believe that all dealers would use these when you weigh up the labour costs and the time it would take, or do some dealers just repair them and then charge you for a new variator MMmmmmm Any how i though you may find it interesting.

Part number: 0071715450

Included in the kit are spring and plastic washer.

All dealers use this kit for repair noisy variators so You don't need to spend money for a new variator.
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Splendid! Now all we need is for someone to try it.. only if it doesn't work, it'll need a new variator (including the cam-belt off job that goes with it.. )


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I know of a guy who used a repair kit on a 156 (my old car). It worked perfectly and was easy to do. Would I use a kit rather than buy a new one?? Not sure
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Aye! That would be my dilemma.. what if it doesn't work as good. Mind you, it only has to last 36,000m as after that you'll be changing the cam-belt again anyway. I might give the "kit" beast a punt next time.


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Does anyone know the variator for all twin spark engines are all the same?
My idea is to make variator repair kit. And if somebody knows to tell me the variator repair kit is same for all ts engines or not?
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My car had variator rattle when i bought it.

I never trust the previous owner(s) so therefore immediatley change the oil, drive it for 500 miles, change the oil, drive it for another thousand, change it again drive for three thousand and then every six thousand after that..

My variator no longer rattles!!
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My variator is causing a noise on startup but not sure if the 1.6 has a different variator from the 1.8/2.0, anyone know?
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Quote:
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My variator is causing a noise on startup but not sure if the 1.6 has a different variator from the 1.8/2.0, anyone know?
All the TS variators are the same fitment. It is also the same variator fitted to the Barchetta and Punto HGT.

There was a design change around 1998/1999 to help cure premature failures IIRC.
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