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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 14-12-07 Thread Starter
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Help Ominous clicking noise...

Hey everyone
A clicking noise seems to have started from my engine bay.
It doesn't sound like it is an internal problem but does quicken with a push of the throttle...
Any ideas on what this could be?
Cheers,
William
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

leaking gasket, intake or exhaust or fraid belt perhaps? - see if you hear where its coming from.

dan
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(Post Link) post #3 of 13 Old 15-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

Hey Dan.

Well, nothing is leaking, and there isnt anything that I can tell in terms of intake or exhaust (as note and performance haven't changed.) There seems to be no fraying on the belt that I can see on the left (I'm taking it that's the cambelt...)

Another clues that may help:
- it stopped after driving for about 3 minutes.

I spoke with a friend and he thought it may be something to do with the valves?

So, any further ideas?
Cheers,
William
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

If it stopped after driving for a few minutes it could be the variator that has gone. Does it sound like an old diesel on startup?
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

Check your oil level. Would also suspect a leaking exhaust manifold gasket even though you think not. Can you feel any slight leak around the flanges meeting the head? (careful, it'll get hot !)
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

If its only on start up it could well be the variator,- variable valve timing mechanism- do you know when the cam belt was last changed (its usual to change the variator at the same time). They should be done every 36k

Dan
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(Post Link) post #7 of 13 Old 17-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

Ok, well the time it takes to go away varies.
The other day it took about 45 seconds. Then later that day didnt happen at all. And yes, it does sound slightly like a diesel engine.
Today it went away after about 1 second. Though, there is a 'whirring' sound that starts as you accelerate a little in first-gear... (Didn't drive long enough to find if that goes away after a short-period or not. Probably just oil for the gearbox not flowing fully after its been sitting a few days.)
Checked oil, the level is where it should be.
There still appears to be no leak anywhere.
The cambelt was changed very recently so I doubt that it is that.

So, possibly variator huh?
Anyone know what type of tappets(spelling?) it has? An engineering friend thinks it may be to do with the valves and their tappets...

I plan on taking it in to speak to a mechanic, I just wanna be armed with some possible things.

PS, if it is the variator, is it going to be expensive to replace?
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

I would agree with your mechanic and say its related to the valves, or more speccifically the little rubber buckets that sit between the valve and the cam.
When these buckets perish they no longer hold oil so when you start the car (after sitting over night) you can hear a clicking noise until the bucket is filled again.

This would cause a very distinctive single repeated clicking sound.

It could also be the variator but that would normally be a rattle type of sound, more like a bag of nails being shaken rather than a single clicking sound, if you know what I mean......
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(Post Link) post #9 of 13 Old 17-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

Cool.
Thanks guys for all the help.
All my pre-ownership plans for this car are now shot, haha; thank you repairs and crazy insurance for under-25-male-drivers...
Well, I'll go visit the mechanic on thursday and keep you guys posted...
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

Rubber Buckets?: New one on me!: Explanation please. Need to be on that Alfa learning curve, now she has one?
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

I didn't know much about it until I stripped down my cylinder head. There are little rubber buckets/boots/lifters, whatever they're called (I think hydraulic lifters) between the shim and the valve. As the cam rotates and opens and closes the valves these little rubbers get compressed, which squeezes out oil, and then un-compressed which then causes them to fill back up with oil.

They act like a cushion and this means that you dont get tappet rattles like older engines and no need to set the rocker clearance, because the lifters are filling the gap (when they work ok)

Sometimes these lifters get filled with crud which can cause them to remain collapsed and therefore cause a clicking sound as the valve is operated.
On my 155 head (same engine) two of these lifters had cracked meaning that all the oil drained out overnight resulting in a clicking noise until the oil pressure filled up the bucket again. Sometimes this could take 15 mins if the oil is thick due to cold weather.
AFAIK engines can run a long time with these clicking noises and no damage is done, and in the past engines had solid lifters that clicked anyway.

I dont think there's any other reason for the rubber lifters other than quiet operation, and maybe some kind of valve stem lubrication but not sure tbh.........
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(Post Link) post #12 of 13 Old 19-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

So if I keep running until I can truly afford the repairs there won't be any damage? I will get it fixed asap, but due to xmas season I have to choose my money expenditure wisely... haha.
I'm gonna go to an Alfa workshop tomorrow and see what they think and get some quotes; hopefully it'll be a cheap job...
Anyway, I'll post tomorrow with what their verdict is... hopefully they take pity on poor students who are silly enough to own an Alfa :P
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(Post Link) post #13 of 13 Old 19-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Ominous clicking noise...

And DevonDan is the winner on the day!
I went to the Alfa workshop (though I'll try some others) and they said that most likely it will be the variator.
Because of the age (1996) it doesn't have the new type (which apparently is un-serviceable) so I'll be looking at buying a new one.
The new variator will be NZ$472 (about 180 quid) and the labour will be around NZ$433 (6 hours)
I just wanted to know if this all sounds correct to you or not?
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