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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah, so at 37,000 miles since last cam belt change and about a week before I put it in to get done again my engine clatters and cuts out.

Cambelt has lost it's teeth and engine won't turn over.

Obviously the valves will be knackered, what I'm wondering is if just replacing the cylinder head (one on eBay comes complete with valves) will be enough?

So it's just be a case of a new cylinder head, head gasket, timing belt kit and water pump? Or am I likely to have piston damage too?


Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Should add, I haven' had a change to strip it yet to see the damage. Just wondering if it's actually going to be worth time stripping it
 

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It would be easier, cheaper and faster to change the engine for a good one.

You need to change the bottom end bearings too when the cambelt goes. As a few thousand miles driving you'll get big end failure. Once the pistons hit valves and create flat spots on the bearings.

Where as a new engine and a weekend you'll have it done and working.


Else its:-
New Head
Skimmed
Head gasket set
Take sump off
New bottom end bearings
Sealant
New Cambelt kit
new water pump

All that on its own is a few hundred
 

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Nightmare. Sorry for your loss. What length of time has it been that this belt was on there? Had it been donkeys' years or? I'd have a go at rebuilding it yourself if you've got half tidy skills with a socket set. Whip the head off and have a look first. Surely you can just change the valves that got hit rather than changing the whole head. New valves can't be more than a tenner each and you might only need a couple. Seems a bit pointless getting a used head as you'd normally want to remove the valves in a second hand one to see if they are pitted etc and need changing. Change the big end bearings, head gasket kit with a light skim. Will be fine, get stuck in now the weather is tidy ��
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your replies.

About 2.5 years since belt was done?

Was using a 150,000 mile 166 for work and doing 400-500 miles a week so suppose something was going to go sooner or later.

What about big end bearings? How hard are they?

I've done head gaskets n timing belts before on a few cars I've owned and I'm usually fairly handy with stuff. The reason I'm wanting to rebuild rather than change the engine is because I could probably do it myself outside- I have it in a parking bay in a quiet cul-de-sac where I can work on it, but don't think I could do an engine change there even although I've an engine hoist in my shed. I've no garage to work in
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've changed valve stem oil seals before, maybe as well changing them too?
It was burning a bit of oil when cold
 

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Make no mistake its a lot of work with it in situ. Hence why I was saying to find an engine would be a quicker and cheaper project.

If you have an engine hoist you're good to go. Just find another ts block. Change over ancillaries and sump as the 166 has a different drive shaft carrier. Pop on the gearbox and back in the car.

Then start selling bits from you old engine to recoup cash.
I did this on my 147 twice. And other than labour from me I didn't end up losing much money if any. And I still had a working car.

Both engines through a bearing.
 

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I'm doing 500 miles a week in mine now. It doesn't like it at all.

I've done big end bearings on about five smart cars, but not on an Alfa. You will need to remove sump, undo each pistons bearing cap, and push piston out after the head is off. And if you're gonna do that and it was burning oil, you might wanna do the piston rings as well. I'd price rings, big end bearing shells, head gasket kit, exhaust manifold gasket and whatever other seals are up the top end, and say four valves. If that's gonna be like 500 quid then you need to think how attached you are to the car �� If you've spent a fortune on the rest of it then maybe it's worth doing. If mine went, I doubt I'd bother tbh.
 

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Where as an engine and cambelt you can get for about £300 and save yourself the hassle.
That's what I'd look at. Esp if I had an engine crane just sat there.

Then I have a spare engine with loads of parts I can rebuild in my own time or just keep for spares.
 

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Yeah but you don't know what the second hand engine you're buying is like. You could go to the hassle of dropping it in and find it smokes like a chimney, and then you've got two knackered engines. I don't know what I'd do in dark's situation. There can't be many genuinely good 2.0 second hand engines out there to choose from. It's either risk it and swap it for one of unknown quantity, or take the one in it out, and give a home rebuild a go. Tough decision!
 

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That's why you buy a half decent engine second hand.
heck you can even buy an auto lusso refurbished one with belts etc all done for £400 ish and then you know it's had the work done. All you need to do is fit it.

Twinsparks are still plentiful and cheap though just need to find out with half decent history. Generally apart from using a little oil there are plenty of good ones about.

Not like buying a V6 which are not so readily available.

Which ever route you go good luck and I hope you get it done. Save another 166.

Can't be that many on the road. I've never seen another on the road in my whole 5 years of Alfa ownership.
 

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You do wonder with this timing belt issue. Some people are saying 36k is too soon. Then you get stories like this. Possible something else seized, stripping the teeth, so not the timing belt as the root cause?
 

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It is a horrible little engine in my opinion. Mine gives various tapping noises when cold, pinks when hot, idles less than perfectly and it's only got 63k miles on it. Can't imagine what one with 100k on it sounds like. I'm almost at the end of my tether with it. Coupled with timing belts, flywheels and variatiors that eat themselves I've almost had enough.
 

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It is a horrible little engine in my opinion. Mine gives various tapping noises when cold, pinks when hot, idles less than perfectly and it's only got 63k miles on it. Can't imagine what one with 100k on it sounds like. I'm almost at the end of my tether with it. Coupled with timing belts, flywheels and variatiors that eat themselves I've almost had enough.
They do need a bit more TLC than your normal modern engine, but when running well, they are sweet. Often it's the tensioner that goes which then damages the belt. They are also very sensitive to oil level and type. I'm running one at 130k with a rebuild at 110k. Uses oil, but other than that running great........... but there is a bit of a Russian roulette feeling, particularly when I'm in the middle of Europe on the summer holiday with the family !
 

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It is a horrible little engine in my opinion. Mine gives various tapping noises when cold, pinks when hot, idles less than perfectly and it's only got 63k miles on it. Can't imagine what one with 100k on it sounds like. I'm almost at the end of my tether with it. Coupled with timing belts, flywheels and variatiors that eat themselves I've almost had enough.
Yours might be horrible but it general it's lovely engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Up until it went bang the engine ran sweet, pulled well and sounded great.

Could even manage 45mpg on a long motorway journey and has only let me down once before when the gasket in the oil cooler went and pumped the oil into the coolant system and the high pressure also burst the heater matrix.
 

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They do need a bit more TLC than your normal modern engine, but when running well, they are sweet. Often it's the tensioner that goes which then damages the belt. They are also very sensitive to oil level and type. I'm running one at 130k with a rebuild at 110k. Uses oil, but other than that running great........... but there is a bit of a Russian roulette feeling, particularly when I'm in the middle of Europe on the summer holiday with the family !
I get the same feeling every day on my commute! Feels like its going to stop at any time. I've never been paranoid like that before. I'm using 10/40 Mobil1 semi-synthetic, and it doesn't use any of it. I've changed all the pulleys that the timing and balance belt uses but the noises mine makes when cold sound like a tappet that's sticking or camshaft bearing noise maybe. It's not the variator noise. I dunno. It's gonna be on eBay unless changing the flywheel next month makes it smooth and a bit more bearable.
 
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