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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got a free hour today to play "hunt the horrible noise" under the car, only to find that it's not under it - but in it :depressed:

Sounds like the tappets have been set to a gap of 5mm - it's awful.

Car used to be really quiet but then, overnight - horrible.

I'm thinking that she's either swallowed a swirl flap, or broken a rocker. Starts easy enough and once you get over 2,000rpm she's as right as rain.

Could it be a rocker? Is this as common a failure as Google would have me believe?

Ned - you about mate !?!?

Cheers.
 

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A broken rocker isn't going to stop making horrid noises at higher rpm.

Like this? https://youtu.be/zcSmfYthrqk

There are numerous possible causes:
  • Crankshaft pulley rubber insert deteriorated, or alternator one-way pulley clutch slipping (remove the aux belt and see if the noise persists).
  • Sticky hydraulic lifter (try some lifter treatment additive)
  • Faulty injector causing diesel knock (disconnect the wire whilst running, see whether knock disappears)
Mine was partly the last two, but mainly 2 bent valves and head damage due to an ingested metal swirl flap. A compression test would show this.

The car started and ran OK, I thought, though MPG was down noticeably. I bought it in that condition to DIY repair, knowing that a swirl flap was a possible worst-case cause. However once I'd repaired it I realised it had really been quite unwell. With deleted flaps and a blanked and mapped-out EGR, and rust removed from the sticky VGT mechanism in the turbo it's vastly better and averaging 46mpg instead of ~30. I still have a little diesel knock when cold on #3, which I've traced to the injector - quite possibly damaged by the swirl flap ingestion. My next job.
 

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Finally got a free hour today to play "hunt the horrible noise" under the car, only to find that it's not under it - but in it :depressed:

Sounds like the tappets have been set to a gap of 5mm - it's awful.

Car used to be really quiet but then, overnight - horrible.

I'm thinking that she's either swallowed a swirl flap, or broken a rocker. Starts easy enough and once you get over 2,000rpm she's as right as rain.

Could it be a rocker? Is this as common a failure as Google would have me believe?

Ned - you about mate !?!?

Cheers.
If it is a 1.9 it is most likely a swirl flap, worth taking the manifold off anyway as it they are intact you can remove them to stop them getting swallowed in the future

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your insights - it's all useful!

Have ordered the parts (inc new set of lifters) so will get cracking once everything has arrived.

The more I learn about the 159, the more there is to go wrong! Now I'm worried about the variator too :-/

Any recommendations on the best way to remove and blank the swirl flaps?

Again - many thanks to you all :)
 

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Thank you all for your insights - it's all useful!

Have ordered the parts (inc new set of lifters) so will get cracking once everything has arrived.

The more I learn about the 159, the more there is to go wrong! Now I'm worried about the variator too :-/

Any recommendations on the best way to remove and blank the swirl flaps?

Again - many thanks to you all :)
Yes, the variator would be a problem, as the diesels don't have them :)

I tapped the spindle holes in my inlet manifold and used cap-head bolts and Loctite to blank them. This worked fine and was an easy DIY solution. A specialist/pro would probably plug the holes by welding. However my (MIG) alloy welding attempts have never gone well ;-/

There's a mega-thread from earlier this year where another user, Resolution (159) and I (147) blundered our way through swirl flap hell. We each had missing flaps and head damage. Worth a read I hope, with some photos that show the fun. Anyone with a 1.9 CF4 should take the hint and get rid of the swirl flaps immediately. It's a fairly simple job to remove the inlet and de-flap it, compared with having to replace the head because you didn't do that.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...s-how-and-maf-clean-how-anywhere-159-1-a.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hah! Glad my ignorance paid off for once - no more variator to worry about!

Thanks for the link to your mega-thread, tons of really useful info in there. On page 4 and I'll finish it tomorrow.

I'm both excited and terrified to pull my car to bits now!

Cheers,

Roy.
 

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Roy, you didn't say what engine size your 159 was. Is it a 1.9, 2.0 or 2.4 JTDM?
 

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There's a mega-thread from earlier this year where another user, Resolution (159) and I (147) blundered our way through swirl flap hell. We each had missing flaps and head damage. Worth a read
Definitly worth a read, one of the best threads I've read :thumbup:
 
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