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(Post Link) post #1 of 38 Old 19-02-08 Thread Starter
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GM/Alfa engines

Just a query really. People always say that GM only provides the block for the current Alfa engines and that Alfa does the head.

My question is, who does all the internals, like the pistons, crankshaft, etc? Is it Alfa and people don't bother to say it, or does Alfa literally only do the head? I only ask as all that's got to make a difference to how an engine behaves as much as anything else.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

I am led to believe it is just the block and maybe the crankshaft(I am not sure),pistons, and the top end are all Alfa.The perceived problem is it looks ugly compared to the previous Aresi engine and doesn't sound or respond the same,however that is due to the stringent emission laws,if Alfa could have used the old engine they would have.The Aresi engine would not have been as good as the GM based engine if it had to abide by the latest Euro emission laws.A few mods with the cats and the exhaust system and the GM based engine is a beauty.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

I understand it just to be the block with Alfa working on the rest. Who knows for sure though

The 2.2 is a good engine but the 2.0 JTS in my late 156 Veloce was a great one
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

Also all of the people who rave about the wonder of cam chains on the new engines have obviously never had to change one or had one snap.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
Also all of the people who rave about the wonder of cam chains on the new engines have obviously never had to change one or had one snap.
Maybe, but I've never had a cam chain snap and I've had a cam belt snap.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

My son had his cam chain snap on his 2.2 VX220 engine... and guess where that particular type of GM engine ended up?
 
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

so does the gm units include the v6?
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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so does the gm units include the v6?

Sadly yes (the Arese V6 was last used in the GT) although 159 / Brera unit actually a pretty good engine (even if it looks dull).
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

The VX220 fans look to the alfa unit with great zeal, quoting short runners (thats inlet pipe length) 4 2 1 exhaust manifold and a sky high compression ratio as technology to die for!

The head is a bosch casting so I don't think that it is very different.
To look at the cam cover has exactly the same shut line against the head on the GM and Alfa units. Interestingly the 2.4 ecotec has direct fuel injection (JTS to you and me) too so to make it more unique alfa could use the 2.2 block, crank, 2.4 head and call it an alfa engine. GM USA say that they supply the ecotec engine to Alfa Romeo!

The 1.9 JTS engine has a unique capacity, hence a bespoke crank. The 2.2 JTS is exactly the same capacity in GM or Alfa mode.

However Alfa have definitely done some work on it as the power outputs are massively different - Alfa 1.9 is more powerful than GM 2.2
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

I'm not sure that in three years as a warranty claims controller on used car warranties we ever had more than a handful of cam chains snap.

Lada chains stretched like rubber bands, Saab chains had dodgy tensioners and just got too much slap, we did the occasional Jag V12 timing chain (no other damage).

The only car know where chains actually snap on a regular basis is undermaintained Mk1 Nissan Micras where sludgy oil starves them of lube.

It was never the gravy train that cam belts have become. Imagine how many wonderful Alfa v6s would still be around if they had cam chains. Just the cost of replacing the cam belt has condemned many a lovely car to the scrapper.

Symon..how many people do you actually know who have had a camchain snap? not many, if any, I'd guess.

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Re: GM/Alfa engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaLincs View Post
I'm not sure that in three years as a warranty claims controller on used car warranties we ever had more than a handful of cam chains snap.

Lada chains stretched like rubber bands, Saab chains had dodgy tensioners and just got too much slap, we did the occasional Jag V12 timing chain (no other damage).

The only car know where chains actually snap on a regular basis is undermaintained Mk1 Nissan Micras where sludgy oil starves them of lube.

It was never the gravy train that cam belts have become. Imagine how many wonderful Alfa v6s would still be around if they had cam chains. Just the cost of replacing the cam belt has condemned many a lovely car to the scrapper.

Symon..how many people do you actually know who have had a camchain snap? not many, if any, I'd guess.

AlfaLincs


Out of interest, is there no way to convert belt to chain?
Wondered about it.
If there was, obviously, we would all be doing it...
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

I know of one person who had a camchain snap on a Saab, although he did drive around with it rattling for a while first. His reasoning was the car was worth £600, and to get the chain done would cost £400, so he just ran the car until it stopped.

Cam chains used to stretch as well, although I take it this is no longer much of an issue?
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

"Alfa Romeo uses the High Feature engine design, though with many modifications, as the JTS V6. AR only acquires the core designs and productions of the HFV6. It is then taken to their factory and modified for their performance, fuel economy and soundtrack." GM High Feature engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



my escort had a chain. ford's recommended replacement interval was. . . . never! at 120k it still looked good as new.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

As AL says. Replaced top and bottom Duplexes on loads of XK engines in the past. Top was adjustable, but once the bottom started to rattle, it was time to replace them both. Never recall one that had snapped, just made that annoying tinkly tin can rattle, mainly on the over-run, which was just B irritating:
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

As with lots of "belt" failures it's usually the tensioners that let go on chain driven cams,hence the death rattle before it happens on both types.

Owners really should open their bonnet and listen to the engine occasionally. No car engines rattle and whine when they are OK, so if they do,why ignore it?
 
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

The Alfa 3.2 engine Block is made in Melbourne Australia.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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The Alfa 3.2 engine Block is made in Melbourne Australia.
where did you get that info from?
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

Yes.. I think the v6 block is cast in Australia (for Holden) and North America (Cadillac). The Alfa blocks are made in Melbourne.

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"The Alfa 3.2 engine Block is made in Melbourne Australia."

Does that account for its accent then.......

Symon, if your mate drove his old Saab round with a rattly chain then he had loads of warning before the actual chain failure, and fair enough, he made the economic decision to leave it. Cam belts don't give you that choice, they lunch your engine first.

As it happens Saab recognised the problem and quite often contributed to the upgrade. My dad's Saab 900 had its chain replaced FOC by Saab when it was four years old and done over 60,000 miles. It just got a bit rattly.

I've personally never had a timing chain problem ever with a car. Renault , Peugeot 204 x2, 304, 305, 404, 104. Skoda x4, Alfa x3, ford Escort 1.3 x2, Dutton Kit Car (1.6 pushrod ford)..and some of these cars were ancient when I got them. It just wasn't an issue to worry about frankly.

What a car the 156 would be without cambelt problems.

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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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Originally Posted by AlfaLincs View Post
What a car the 156 would be without cambelt problems.
might as well sort out the oil consumption while you're on, then it would be ready for sale to the general public.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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might as well sort out the oil consumption while you're on, then it would be ready for sale to the general public.

If they didn't have any problems they would be a lot more expensive to buy secondhand for the likes of me..
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

yeah true and then i wouldnt be able to own one, and i'd probably have a mondeo instead!

i'd rather take my chances with the cambelt thanks.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

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yeah true and then i wouldnt be able to own one, and i'd probably have a mondeo instead!

i'd rather take my chances with the cambelt thanks.
I don't see it as taking a chance if it is changed at 36,000 miles... Alfa are not the only ones that have underestimated the time a cambelt should last either. Vauxhall springs to mind, as they reduced their intervals to 40,000 for the ecotek engines due to breakages.
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

The 'new' 3.2V6 does indeed have an aussie accent, is then shipped to USA, dismantled, shipped to Italy where Alfa take the bits, pick which ones they like, replace the ones they don't and rebuild it there!
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Re: GM/Alfa engines

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the GM based 3.2 Alfa engine,it is only the block ,the rest is all Alfa.This engine does after all produce10hp and20nm more torque than the famous GTA Arese engine,it is just that it has to lug 250kgs more weight around and has approx 10 to say 15% extra transmission losses and has to comply with more stringent emission laws but yes it is ugly.However it does sound great and in my opinion a lot better than my 164Q 3.0 Arese engine.
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