Rebuilding a 176k mile engine - condition, what to change and where to get it? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 45 Old 02-06-16 Thread Starter
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Rebuilding a 176k mile engine - condition, what to change and where to get it?

The engine for my Stratos project is finally in bits and has been checked over before the rebuild. Overall it's in amazing condition considering the mileage.

You can still see the honing marks on the bores!!

Crank and camshafts all fine too, no scoring or wear.

One of the heads is a darker colour (inside) than the other. Engine builder not sure why and never seen mismatching colours on twin head engine but perhaps one was replaced at some point?

One small issue. Whoever did work on the engine before (we think maybe the rocker covers and / or sump have been off before) used a *bit* too much sealant and the surplus found its way into the sump. About 70% of the pickup area of the pump was covered!

So - these engines seem very very strong and well made.

The guy building my engine then called a mate of his that builds Alfa race engnies and had a chat. He said the liners and pistons would be good for another 170k as they never wear out. So we've got a list of things we are thinking of replacing. On the list are a few things that seem like a good idea but when you add up the costs they get mad expensive - bloody 24 valves.

I'm only going to do this once and (like me) the engine builder is a stickler for doing stuff right and he's suggested changing just about everything. So this is a list above and beyond what I would have expected:

Valves - why not re-lap them? 360 a set

Valve springs - I can't seem to find a source for these - can anyone point me in the right direction?

Valve guides - 115 happy to change these.

Cam followers - 245 - worth changing?

Also want to replace the oil pump - where can I get one and what do they cost? Can't find anything online.

I'm going to have it balanced and also fit ITBs. Does anyone now if you can fit Jenvey's ETA2 electronic actuator to the Alfa V6 - is there room?

Cheers for any advice and info anyone can supply.
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The highest mileage one I've been into was 137k and the inlet valves were like new. I felt I was wasting my time lapping them, let alone replacing them. Exhausts needed lapping, but not replacement. Cams and followers were fine.

What do you plan on doing with the car?

If you're going for bonkers power and going racing, I'd be more picky about replacing stuff - but I'd probably be starting on the bottom end with new pistons and liners, I know they look fine, and would be fine on a road car....but racing is a bit tougher on stuff.

If you're not going racing, and leaving it standard, I'd just grind the valves, check to oil pump to spec and put it back together. You're not going to be using a Stratos as a daily driver (if you are, you've got bigger balls than me...), so it isn't exactly going to rack up huge mileage. I found zero slop in the valve guides at 137k, no point in changing them at all.
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if liners measure fine maybe just a hone to get the new rings to bed in..
again it depends on the useage

but me.. rings bearings etc.. if going bodies a set of reground cams and some head work.. otherwise not much.. not sure on oil pump i'm guessing it all alfa only.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lphuk View Post

One small issue. Whoever did work on the engine before (we think maybe the rocker covers and / or sump have been off before) used a *bit* too much sealant and the surplus found its way into the sump. About 70% of the pickup area of the pump was covered
Very easy to catch the pickup with the side of the sump when offering it up

I will be very interested in the answers. Sometime in the future my son and I will be rebuilding his 3.0 12v engine for his spider
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(Post Link) post #5 of 45 Old 07-06-16 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Just looking for a fast weekend road car. No racing, and it won't get lots and lots of use on the road either.

Builder has said we'll get the heads in bits and see if we need valves or not. Possible just lap them in as suggested. We plan to hone the bores and use a new set of rings.

He's adamant about an oil pump. Problem is trying to find one. List price is about 320 and not sure if they are available. The drive gear (2 cogs and a chain) that works off the crank is no longer available but would have been 400 if it was. Waiting to hear back from a parts place on the pump.

Springs are about 12 a pair (2 springs per valve).

Cams will be going to piper for a regrind.

Seems like skimming the heads is recommended too with the cams and ITBs. maybe a 1mm skim to raise the CR to about 11:1. What's the valve/piston clearance like once 1mm has been taken off?

Cheers
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might be worth trying catcams as they list cams and uprated springs though the springs are cheaper in the states
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So what do you think the total cost will be now based on your current thoughts Iphuk?
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So what do you think the total cost will be now based on your current thoughts Iphuk?
Erm......lots!

If I replace everything (except pistons and liners) and put ITBs on then it will be just over 6k with a clutch and solid flywheel. But that is just about everything including coils, alternator, starter motor, air con pump, water pump, all belts and idlers etc. and includes labour costs for the build as I'm not doing it myself.

Would be cheaper to buy this - take the engine out and sell the rest as parts

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2000-V-Alf...wAAOSwiylXCmwl

If we just lap in the valves and the cam followers are OK along with some other bits then it might be 1k cheaper.

This is my first experience with Alfa engines and so far it's looking like as expensive one!
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(Post Link) post #9 of 45 Old 08-06-17 Thread Starter
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It's been a while since I last posted.......just short of a year in fact!

Right! I finally have an engine!!!!!!

Collected it today. Crap photos as I've just bunged in on the floor in the garage in front of the chassis (Stratos). Will take some proper ones once I get it moved.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4258/3...c10c7424_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4254/3...c3c79fdb_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4279/3...7791ab83_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4225/3...fa291d3f_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4220/3...02a532c5_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4245/35142815516_e5afbf2853_c.jpg[

Here's what's been done:

Complete strip down
Degrease, clean, wash vapour blast block, heads, sump cam covers etc etc. Clean and decrease all internals and check for wear.

Hone bores (no wear so no need to re-bore)

New mains, thrusts and big ends
New piston rings
Full new engine gasket set
Full new cambelt kit with all new pullies, idlers and tensioner
New water pump (metal impeller)
Re-manufactured replacement starter motor
Re-manufactured replacement aircon pump
Re-manufactured replacement alternator
Re-manufactured replacement oil pump
New thermostat and housing
New crank pulley
New aux drive belt

New Alfa GTA clutch kit
New 6.5 kg lightweight solid flywheel custom made by TTV

Mill heads 1.2mm to raise compression to 11.2:1
Valves reground
Piper reground cams (slightly more list and more duration than standard)
New hydraulic tappets
New uprated valve springs
Custom made valve spring caps (as OE ones wouldn't fit the uprated springs even though they should have!)

All bolted back together once the whole bottom end was dynamically balanced by Andrews Precision.

Uprated on-plug coils (Audi units) and required connectors

New sensors:
Cam
Crank
Knock (x2)
Bosch LSU 4.9 Lambda and LSU 4.9 connector
Water Temp
Reverse switch
Oil pressure switch

New OE Lower Cam belt covers
New OE Upper cam belt covers
New OE Cambelt cover
m7 stainless cap heads (x22) plus washers

Fumoto Drain Valve
New oil filter
New platinum spark plugs

Just waiting to take delivery of the custom CNC machined ITB manifolds form and the gearbox back from rebuild and I can dry fit in the chassis and run the oil cooler and fuel lines etc.

Dry fit will also check the exhaust fit and once happy the manifolds will go for performance white Zircotec ceramic coating.

Total cost?

Erm...............let's just say fu**ing mad. Parts alone for the engine (forget the gearbox, ITBs, balancing etc.) was about 3300.
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Looking forward to see how that engine runs

You're keeping the AC?
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(Post Link) post #11 of 45 Old 10-07-17 Thread Starter
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Yep the AC pump is being kept as the Stratos Kit it's going into has an option for AC.

Just got the air trumpets for the ITBs. They need a little work to make them fit (as they overlap) but a bit of trimming will sort it all out.


Last edited by lphuk; 10-07-17 at 09:02.
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That looks lovely! What is different about the Audi coil packs compared to the Alfa ones?
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That looks lovely! What is different about the Audi coil packs compared to the Alfa ones?
Stronger spark apparently. Also cheaper than the Bosch OE Alfa coil. Loads of OEM and aftermarket versions of the Audi coils. Some super cheap ones that I wouldn't use myself. I think these cost me about 45 each. They have been used in Alfa V6s with good results.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 45 Old 17-09-17 Thread Starter
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Been a while but finally ready to drop in the chassis. Have removed the new inlet manifolds for anodising. Will refit them once the engine is in. Also have to remove the alternator and A/C compressor before dropping it in - makes it easier due to limited space.



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In the chassis finally!

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/...674c2e2c_c.jpg

Test fit of trimmed and anodised air horns (I know the ITBs are missing but was just checking alignment).

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/...8886458f_c.jpg

CNC coil adapter plates

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4421/...2bfed2a0_c.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4383/...5365e12e_c.jpg
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Originally Posted by lphuk View Post
The engine for my Stratos project is finally in bits and has been checked over before the rebuild. Overall it's in amazing condition considering the mileage.

You can still see the honing marks on the bores!!

Crank and camshafts all fine too, no scoring or wear.

One of the heads is a darker colour (inside) than the other. Engine builder not sure why and never seen mismatching colours on twin head engine but perhaps one was replaced at some point?

One small issue. Whoever did work on the engine before (we think maybe the rocker covers and / or sump have been off before) used a *bit* too much sealant and the surplus found its way into the sump. About 70% of the pickup area of the pump was covered!

So - these engines seem very very strong and well made.

The guy building my engine then called a mate of his that builds Alfa race engnies and had a chat. He said the liners and pistons would be good for another 170k as they never wear out. So we've got a list of things we are thinking of replacing. On the list are a few things that seem like a good idea but when you add up the costs they get mad expensive - bloody 24 valves.

I'm only going to do this once and (like me) the engine builder is a stickler for doing stuff right and he's suggested changing just about everything. So this is a list above and beyond what I would have expected:

Valves - why not re-lap them? 360 a set

Valve springs - I can't seem to find a source for these - can anyone point me in the right direction?

Valve guides - 115 happy to change these.

Cam followers - 245 - worth changing?

Also want to replace the oil pump - where can I get one and what do they cost? Can't find anything online.

I'm going to have it balanced and also fit ITBs. Does anyone now if you can fit Jenvey's ETA2 electronic actuator to the Alfa V6 - is there room?

Cheers for any advice and info anyone can supply.
My 2.5 at 70k, had bores that looked like new - you could see the cross - hatch (If that is the expression) Don't forget to de-glaze the bores, they may not be bad but it helps lubricating oil stick and when bedding in your new rings, any glaze is harder than you rings are. Definitely do the guides, but re-lap the valves - if they aren't bad. Thus, neither will the seats. Oil Pump - Talk to E.B. Spares. Cam followers - if slightly scuffed, why bother. The important thing is the condition of your cam lobes.

Springs - get them tested, but then again talk to E.B.

Disparity of head colour - A sign of heat disparity between heads. Try to improve the temperature balance between banks - you'll gain a couple of brake horse.

But if you are serious - do as your mechanic suggests - the lot. Slow down and spread the cost.
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Sorry for the silence - bit of an update.

Trumpet tray made



ITB levers all done (3D printed metal)



DBW actuator fitted and Linkages setup



Trumpet tray powder coated



Then I made an airfilter housing to fit a K&N off the shelf unit

Base (need t add 2 more spacer posts):



Add filter



Put lid on



Fit to car!



A bit of zircotec ceramic bling!



Oil catch tank for breathers on each cam cover



ECU



Just got the oil cooler to finish off and then it's away for a custom engine loom and starting it for the first time!
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Quick update.

Custom loom being made at the moment and plan is for commissioning and first start first week in Aug. I'll video it and post it up so you can all see what happens - good or bad!
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Just beautiful. Some great work.

Do you know the part numbers of the coils? I have been looking at upgrading my coils too. Thanks,
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Just beautiful. Some great work.

Do you know the part numbers of the coils? I have been looking at upgrading my coils too. Thanks,
Sorry for the delay in replying.

There are lots of places you can buy the coils from. NGK do one which is the U5014. About 25 each.

They will only work with an aftermarket ECU as far as I know.
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Sorry for the delay in replying.

There are lots of places you can buy the coils from. NGK do one which is the U5014. About 25 each.

They will only work with an aftermarket ECU as far as I know.
Can i ask have you drawing for the coil holders or does the guy who made yours sell them.. thanks
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Can i ask have you drawing for the coil holders or does the guy who made yours sell them.. thanks
He's too busy to make anymore but I'm trying to get the drawings / CAD files from him. If I get them I'll let people know. Happy to share them.
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He's too busy to make anymore but I'm trying to get the drawings / CAD files from him. If I get them I'll let people know. Happy to share them.
That would be amazing thanks
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Right....it lives. Sort of I would welcome some views on this

This was the first start, completely from scratch without a base map. So it was never going to be a super smooth start. However....


As you can hear there is a very load ticking noise. It's not from the tappets, oil pressure is spot on - well over 5 bar cold. Engine itself sounds sweet otherwise. Sounded like it was coming from the crank pulley. So removed the aux belt to eliminate the Alternator, water pump and AC compressor.


Now, this sort of sounds like a spun bearing but doesn't sound like it's coming form 'inside' the engine. It's a totally rebuilt engine and has never been started before. The noise was there from the moment it started. So (although not completely impossible) is very, very unlikely. It's not catching on the cam belt covers.

It doesn't make the noise at turnover.


I've not broken down in tears yet.....

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what this might be? I really, really don't want to have to remove the engine and pull it to bits if I really don't have to
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Right....it lives. Sort of I would welcome some views on this

This was the first start, completely from scratch without a base map. So it was never going to be a super smooth start. However....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYFhzfQ98u4

As you can hear there is a very load ticking noise. It's not from the tappets, oil pressure is spot on - well over 5 bar cold. Engine itself sounds sweet otherwise. Sounded like it was coming from the crank pulley. So removed the aux belt to eliminate the Alternator, water pump and AC compressor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJz6XgVzrSQ

Now, this sort of sounds like a spun bearing but doesn't sound like it's coming form 'inside' the engine. It's a totally rebuilt engine and has never been started before. The noise was there from the moment it started. So (although not completely impossible) is very, very unlikely. It's not catching on the cam belt covers.

It doesn't make the noise at turnover.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaJg5YtLqQw

I've not broken down in tears yet.....

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what this might be? I really, really don't want to have to remove the engine and pull it to bits if I really don't have to
It sounds constant, so it is not rev related, so it's not mechanical - I don't think. To me, it sounds electrical. Fuel pump?

I've always had a similar "Tick" on my 3.0 GTV, slightly lower level. Never been a problem. I often wondered may be a fuel pressure relief valve or something. But has never caused any problems. If it was mechanical, it wouldn't be constant so I think you can rule out the engine.

Last edited by sizewell; 13-09-18 at 06:19.
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