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(Post Link) post #1 of 12 Old 06-09-07 Thread Starter
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My Engine is dead - Help needed

Hi all, I have a problem.

My 2000 1.8 156 has lunched the big end and is officially dead.

I have pretty much decided to do a transplant and drop in a 2L. After a lot of looking I finally found an engine and, as luck would have it, it's in Autodelta in London.

Now, do I just buy the engine from Jano and fit it, or do I take advantage of the fact that the engine is in Autodelta and get the mods that I had planned for my now dead 1.8 done now? Bear in mind that I'm in Dublin so I can't just pop over to Jano.

Big question, I know. Here are my thoughts.

I don't mind spending the money (even though it will probably cost twice what my car is worth by the time she's rolling again) if the mods will not compromise the reliability of the engine.
Specifically, Will this potentially be a very fragile 2L TS? I don't want to have a dead, expensive engine in 6 months!

I would like to find some way to guard against big end failure if possible. Are there such things as forged race bearings or similar that I could use to toughen up the big end?

I know that there is no way to guarantee that the engine won't go but I just want to know percentage risks before I go ahead..

Thanks to anyone who can help..

Andy
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

its not a straight forward engine swap, the wiring loom has significant differences and you'll need to change the ecu, which means you also need to change the codebox and key chips. your 1.8 gearbox will fit (use the 2.0 clutch plate obivously) and the slightly different ratios are not a problem (actually a good thing imo) but if you do decide to use the 2.0 gearbox have no fear as your driveshafts will fit that box. the main headache is the wiring differences.

the labour required for this engine conversion will quickly increase the cost, compared to fitting another 1.8 twinspark it should cost more than double because it will take more than twice as long. for that reason its better to buy a 2.0 156 if that is what you want.

most mods will not significantly increase the forces on engine and transmission components, certainly not enough to take them outside the intended limits (unless you remap a TD, in which case your clutch wil usually suffer ) so reliablity is not an issue. it depends what mods you intend to do?
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

I'd at least have the engine stripped and check. New bearing shells and rings, with a crank grind get the bores glaze busted if necessary. New oil pump, water pump, and of course all belts and tensioners and the variator. And stick a new thermostat on the list.

Don't know about racing parts but Jano will. What about getting him to blueprint it .. rebuild it the way the designers meant it to be: balanced parts, correct tolerances, etc.

You might want to think about the rad. If it is getting old, replace it. Overheating will ruin the bottom end as will letting the oil levels drop too low.


How bad is the 1.8? Could you get it back on the road with a crank regrind and oversized bearings? When my 2.0 litre big-end went I had my engine rebuilt (pretty much as outlined above). It's better now that it was when it came out the factory and uses hardly any oil and I put that down to the rings and bores being done.

cheers, Gary

HIS: ex-1998 156 2.0 TSpark with Sport Pack 2, sunroof and hi-level spoiler in Alfa Rosso. V6 intake mod, clear side repeaters and Zeatek undertray. 10th Sep 1998 to 12th Jan 2017

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Last edited by gazza82; 06-09-07 at 13:28. Reason: Removed a bit about the ECU ... answered in Jug's post!
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

Thanks jug.

I was thinking of Stage 2 cams & remap, Lightened flywheel & clutch kit and possible the AD coilovers.
I'm aware of the basic differences between the engines (I think!) and my mechanic is a specialist who has done this before, thankfully.

I think I have the ECU issue under control as I may be able to get my hands on a clean ECU and keys etc.

It's not so much that I want a 2.0L 156 more that i want my own car back. I've done a decent bit of work to the handling etc and I like it a lot, ya know. Not the most logical reason but who said owning Alfa's was logical?

I mean, I could just buy a 2.5 V6.....
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
I'd at least have the engine stripped and check. New bearing shells and rings, with a crank grind get the bores glaze busted if necessary. New oil pump, water pump, and of course all belts and tensioners and the variator. And stick a new thermostat on the list.

Don't know about racing parts but Jano will. What about getting him to blueprint it .. rebuild it the way the designers meant it to be: balanced parts, correct tolerances, etc.

You might want to think about the rad. If it is getting old, replace it. Overheating will ruin the bottom end as will letting the oil levels drop too low.


How bad is the 1.8? Could you get it back on the road with a crank regrind and oversized bearings? When my 2.0 litre big-end went I had my engine rebuilt (pretty much as outlined above). It's better now that it was when it came out the factory and uses hardly any oil and I put that down to the rings and bores being done.
Pardon my ignorance but...... glaze busted? I'm a little out of my depth here!

New bearing shells and rings, for sure, I hadn't thought of the Rad but I'll order a new OEM one along with a Thermostat.

I'll ring Jano now and ask him cost for blueprinting and race bearings, if possible.

I only know from my mechanic that the 1.8 is beyond repair, he's had a couple go before shortly after a crank re-grind so he's not advocating that approach. He's also the best around so I'm kind screwed for options. Interesting that your works so well though.
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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Originally Posted by Andy T View Post
I was thinking of Stage 2 cams & remap
the increased cylinder pressures will increase the rate of wear on many componets, but it will not be enough of an increase to cause sudden failure of anything, you will still be operating within the tolerances of the engine. even the standard clutch should cope fine. your right foot and service schedule will still be in charge of your engine's long term happiness.

having driven both the 1.8 and 2.0 numerous times i cant really say there is a big difference between them, certainly not enough to warrant an engine change. i wouldnt own a 1.8 if the 2.0 was enough of an improvement to warrant the extra cash for insurance and petrol.

your insurance will cost more compared to a standard 2.0, get quotes to compare, its often a big difference.
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
I'd at least have the engine stripped and check. New bearing shells and rings, with a crank grind get the bores glaze busted if necessary. New oil pump, water pump, and of course all belts and tensioners and the variator. And stick a new thermostat on the list.

Don't know about racing parts but Jano will. What about getting him to blueprint it .. rebuild it the way the designers meant it to be: balanced parts, correct tolerances, etc.

You might want to think about the rad. If it is getting old, replace it. Overheating will ruin the bottom end as will letting the oil levels drop too low.


How bad is the 1.8? Could you get it back on the road with a crank regrind and oversized bearings? When my 2.0 litre big-end went I had my engine rebuilt (pretty much as outlined above). It's better now that it was when it came out the factory and uses hardly any oil and I put that down to the rings and bores being done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jug View Post
the increased cylinder pressures will increase the rate of wear on many componets, but it will not be enough of an increase to cause sudden failure of anything, you will still be operating within the tolerances of the engine. even the standard clutch should cope fine. your right foot and service schedule will still be in charge of your engine's long term happiness.

having driven both the 1.8 and 2.0 numerous times i cant really say there is a big difference between them, certainly not enough to warrant an engine change. i wouldnt own a 1.8 if the 2.0 was enough of an improvement to warrant the extra cash for insurance and petrol.

your insurance will cost more compared to a standard 2.0, get quotes to compare, its often a big difference.

All good points, jug. Problem is, I can't find a 1.8 engine to put in. The only engine I've found that I can trust is the AD one. These engines are like hens teeth...
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

I've spoken to Jano and he stands over the engine 100%. Given his reputation, that's good enough for me.
Now it's just a question of how much do I want to spend on it!
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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Pardon my ignorance but...... glaze busted? I'm a little out of my depth here!
It's a trick they use in the engine rebuilding business to very lightly scratch the surface of the cylinders to take off the shine. It also polishes out small scratches. Helps new rings bed in quicker.

With my engine some of the rings had minute cracks and one bore had a very fine scratch (probably courtesy of a ring crack). This has to be part of the oil consumption problem that Alfa's suffer with.

Before the rebuild, I'd use a litre in 1000 to 1500 miles. Now it's less than 1/2 litre in the 1500 miles or so since the last oil change.
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

amazingly my twinspark doesnt seem to use any oil. it even has perfecly even compression.
i'd be happy, but its a bit hard to believe on any twinspark, especially one thats done 88k.
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
It's a trick they use in the engine rebuilding business to very lightly scratch the surface of the cylinders to take off the shine. It also polishes out small scratches. Helps new rings bed in quicker.

With my engine some of the rings had minute cracks and one bore had a very fine scratch (probably courtesy of a ring crack). This has to be part of the oil consumption problem that Alfa's suffer with.

Before the rebuild, I'd use a litre in 1000 to 1500 miles. Now it's less than 1/2 litre in the 1500 miles or so since the last oil change.
Thanks for that. That's the start of the stuff i'm going to learn in the next few weeks, I think!
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Re: My Engine is dead - Help needed

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amazingly my twinspark doesnt seem to use any oil. it even has perfecly even compression.
i'd be happy, but its a bit hard to believe on any twinspark, especially one thats done 88k.
Mine is exactly the same! It's great!

Re: the 1.8 engine, there is a guy up near sheffield that will supply and fit them. I have to route about for his details when I get home later. I'll let you know mate.

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