147 2.0 TS knocking sound - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 29 Old 06-10-15 Thread Starter
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147 2.0 TS knocking sound

Hi all,

I know there are plenty of threads about TS knocking sounds, and I should expect the worst.

We've had our '01 147 for only a year now, it's been looked after and oil topped up regularly in our ownership but I suspect the previous owner did neglect it slightly.

The engine has always run well, but starting to get a bit thirsty now and has always produced steam/smoke when pushed on. It's up to 97k miles which I guess is a bit low for 14 years old.

Last week it started making a tapping sound which only appeared above idle speed in time with engine revs. Not too loud, thought it might be a tappet. On closer investigation and after reading the advice on this forum I suspect the noise is lower down the engine and has gone from a tapping to more of a knocking noise in a short space of time.

More useful info: I knew there had been head work done in the past, so I checked the history in a bit more detail and found the receipt for the complete head rebuild (all new valves, stem seals, gaskets, belts, tensioners, big end bearings). This was 4 years and 30k miles ago so could this rule out big end bearings even if the oil level was neglected for the previous owner's 2yr stint?

I put her up on the ramps and have the oil, exhaust and sump off. Now, what am I looking for? Play in big end bearings? I will go ahead and try to remove them tonight if I get time.

cheers for the advice! :-D
Keith
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(Post Link) post #2 of 29 Old 06-10-15 Thread Starter
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Photos of the shells and the exposed crank big ends.

Shells are from cylinders 1-4 left to right. No.3 is the worst with what looks like peeling or some kind of damage to the shells and some marks on the journal. I hope it's not too bad...

Sadly I don't have the tools to measure the journal thicknesses, but might be able to borrow verniers from work tomorrow.

All comments welcome... :-/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Big ends.jpg (59.9 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Big end shells.jpg (124.1 KB, 33 views)

Last edited by keeperlit; 06-10-15 at 23:54. Reason: new info
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The big end failiure IMO is likely to be connected to the previous snapped cambelt.

It can take thousands of miles for any damage to show up.

You will need a set of shells, and if the scoring on the carnk isn't toio bad you might get away with a very light grind.

Of you could try and buy a good used crank.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 29 Old 07-10-15 Thread Starter
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Thanks Symon,

I'll have another look at the scoring tonight on the No3 journal and try to measure its diameter against the others.

Crank work sounds like a big job and I'd like to avoid it if possible. Is it completely false economy to reassemble with new shells to get a few miles out of it? Also while the sump is off should I check any of the other bearings?

Cheers
Keith
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I don't think it wouldn't last long if you reassembled it with scored journals.

If the shells have just picked up, and not scored as such you may get away with cleaning them up by wrapping fine wet and dry paper around them to remove it. If you use oil on the paper that would be better as well.

I think the best long term bet is another crank and new bearings though.
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Thanks for the pm.

hmm does seem to look like big end failure.

Two choices.

new set of bearings and hope that the additional wear on the crank is taken up by the new shells.
This might work. But you might find it'll last another 30k only for it to happen again.

Personally I think it might me better given the cost to find another engine. If you like the car.

Given you dont mind getting your hands dirty it's a similar task difficulty and time consuming as the sump off job.

Its rubbish getting a worn crank because it leaves little option generally other than scrapong the engine.

Replacing the crank would take the same time as removibg the engine.

On the plus side if you go for new engine route you'll have plenty of emgine spares or sell them on ebay to recoup money for the transplant.

All you really need is an engine hoist and you can hire them for a few weeks for 50 pound anyway.

Sorry to hear about your miss fortune though.

Any help required let me know

Regards
Scott
Alfa 166 2.0 Twinnie - LPG and a few trick performance parts
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(Post Link) post #7 of 29 Old 07-10-15 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

The car is already 14 years old with 97k on the clock. Another 30k on a new set of shells sounds reasonable to me, certainly worth more than the cost of the shells. If the mileage is less than that then no biggie.

The car is a daily driver for the next 1-2 years, not a long term keeper. I'd like a working car while I keep an eye out for a good 2.0 CF3 replacement engine.

I've got access to an engine crane owned by a friend nearby to do the engine swap when required.

Would a crank regrind/rebuild be an option with that kind of journal scoring?
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Its always an option. But it tends to cost more than a complete engine. Which is why its rarely done.

Unless for high spec competition engines.

You'll need to find out what size bearings you need. Think you can get like a special material that squashes against the bearings against the crank to find the size. I forget the name of it. But it basically gives you in thou the size tolerance differences. Then you can order those bearings.

Thing is the 30k is a guess. The engine crank might be fubared in which case you might get 3k. Its unknown.

So don't get your hopes up too much. As others have said you can wet and dry the shells and that might work. But its never a long term gain.

Esp is the journels are worn.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyf View Post
You'll need to find out what size bearings you need. Think you can get like a special material that squashes against the bearings against the crank to find the size. I forget the name of it. But it basically gives you in thou the size tolerance differences. Then you can order those bearings.
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Thing is the 30k is a guess. The engine crank might be fubared in which case you might get 3k. Its unknown.
Ours lasted less then 10K after a cam belt failed. 30K might be pushing it.

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So don't get your hopes up too much. As others have said you can wet and dry the shells and that might work. But its never a long term gain.

Esp is the journels are worn.
I wouldn't even bother looking at that idea. They need to be replaced. I think some have tried to wet and dry the journals before (not the shells!) but that was either a very short-term fix or not at all.

Last edited by gazza82; 08-10-15 at 12:03.
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Just looked again and you might find no 3 (2nd from right) have also spun in the rod ... the fixing tabs are flattened ... that's not going to do the crank or rod any good ...
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(Post Link) post #11 of 29 Old 08-10-15 Thread Starter
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Good spot Gazza, the tabs are flattened on No.3, the others are all fine. More reason for a regrind which it isn't going to get just yet.

I wonder how hard it is to squeeze in a V6? ;-)

I've ordered a set of Mahle standard size shells from a local company, they arrive tomorrow and I'll get them on tomorrow night. I just need to sort the other issues like sheared exhaust bolts and wrung sump plug. I'd like to helicoil the sump hole or perhaps get it widened and use a bigger plug. Whatever I can get locally tomorrow/Sat I guess...

Thanks for all the help, very much appreciated! :-D
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The V6 goes in easy enough. It's getting it to work with the computers and Canbus system that's the pain in the bum.

Good luck with the repair. But honestly I'd be looking for another engine.

I've had two TS engines do this. Cylinder 1 and Cylinder 3.


No.3 normally goes. This is because of the way the sump is shaped for the exhaust. Doesn't get as much oil sloshing about generally if run a bit low.
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Ours went on no 1 (closest to belts) and damaged the rod too.

good luck but like scottyf, you may want to look at a new engine. They weren't as plentiful when ours went so it was a four figure rebuild .. almost exactly a year after the four figure rebuild when the belts went.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 29 Old 12-10-15 Thread Starter
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Sounds like you've had a terrible time of it Gazza! And somehow you've stuck with Alfa...

I still love the 147, but only because I can fix it myself.

I fitted the new big end shells after wet and drying the visible marks on No3's crank journal which feel very light indeed (I'm being hopeful here, aren't I?!). The car is on ramps in our driveway awaiting the sump which a local machine shop is drilling and pressing in a new threaded insert. I've got sump gasket and I've drilled out the broken bolts on the exhaust downpipes-cats-flexi-cat section.

Fingers crossed, but thanks to your experience I'm not holding my breath too long! Time will tell after I get the sump on and oil in sometime later this week. :-/

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Well hopefully it will work. But as you sort of said your expectation is quite low.
Honestly I hope it works out for you.
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Sounds like you've had a terrible time of it Gazza! And somehow you've stuck with Alfa...
Yup! Cambelt failed at 73K, big-end at 82K, head gasket at 205K ... No you're not misreading!

Given the belt failed around 2003, we decided to have the engine rebuilt, but then the issue wit the big-ends wasn't common knowledge ... so a 2nd rebuild in 2004 meant I had a perfect engine .. and until this hg problem it's been ultra reliable with just wear and tear items to sort. The engine is sweet and uses hardly any oil between changes ..

Alfa-nut? Definite petrol-head!
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Well 120k out the rebuild isn't to be sniffed at. Nightmare at the time sure. But if you said to yourself you'll get pretty much another 100k out of that engine. Its worth the cost.

I've had two engines go. Both bottom ends. This last engine a 1.8 CF3 is huming along nicely so far and doesn't burn any oil.

Seems like not all engines are created equally....
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Garage
There is a firm on ebay if you search 147/156 crank shaft.
They offer a pick up and return and a regrind polish for about 120 allin .they can also tell you which over size you shells youneed and will supply if asked.
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Thanks guys, yesterday the engine was finally together again and running sweet which means the wife's not commuting to work in my 205 GTi any more :-D

It's been a real learning experience, and I can see the real value in a full rebuild of these TS engines. For us, I can see a head gasket replacement on the horizon in the next wee while as the mayonnaise has started to appear on the filler cap and the exhaust gases are quite 'steamy'. I know to expect this thanks to the experience of ScottyF and other Alfa-heads here.

Last week when I was waiting for the sump to come back from the machine shop I did an aircon delete and also removed the balance belt. I'm not sure there's much of a difference but it made me feel better removing that much weight from the car and both belts were due replacement anyway.

Gazza, I'm really impressed at the mileage you are getting from your engine after the rebuild. Was it done professionally and was it an Alfa specialist? I think I'd drop in a v6 though....... ;-)

Happy Monday Folks!
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Before rushing into the headgasket change, check the oil to water heat exchanger hasn't failed, as it will allow oil and water to mix.

It is the silver block which the oil filter screws into and it has been known to fail.

The steam could just be down to the colder weather...
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My rebuild were done at L&M ... An Italian Car Specialist .. lots of experience of Alfa, Fiat (esp 20V), Lancia and the odd Ferrari!

They were really good and understanding when an AA flat-bed arrived with a broken 156!
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Just to keep you relaxed about a rebuild.

Out of the three engines I've put in my car. All in the winter months have smoked a little. White ish no smell to it bar normal exhaust fumes.
Even when I changed to LPG and also had a new exhaust. All engines i've had do it from Alfa's. Well petrols anyway.

I just put it down to the crappy oil seals and piston rings. Even the good 1.8 that burns very little oil still does it. I think its mainly down to the exhaust systems not getting to temp. When they do I'm on the motorway anyway.

Might be the breathers. But if so then all three engines have had bunged up breathers.


I'[m glad you've managed to fix it. Hope it continues to work and give you no issues going forward.
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Most of the TS cars I have owned have suffered from stuck open thermostats at some stage.

If the engine isn't getting up to temperature then you will end up with mayonaise in the cam cover, poor fuel economy and white smoke.

Especially when used for shorter trips.
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Nope none of those things. Think its just a characteristic of the the TS engine in CF3 format.
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Nope none of those things. Think its just a characteristic of the the TS engine in CF3 format.
Tempted to agree with Scotty on this one, it doesn't lose any coolant.

Previous owner ran it lots of short journeys with duff thermostat so the mayo could be a hangover from that. Since then it's had new thermostat, belts and water pump. Still, wasn't confident enough to use the 'long life' coolant... ;-)

Still very poor economy (and worsening), down to 24mpg combined. Furred up spark plugs too which are currently unexplained.
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