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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alfa Spider 2.4 jtdm, when it is cold it smokes & runs lumpy, 1 minute later it runs fine, a touch lumpy on tick over but nothing much and when fully warm its fine. I am thinking injectors needs replacing or could it be swirl flaps ? how do i tell ? its been to the moon and back but doesnt use any oil or water. All advice appreciated
 

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95% positive it's a swirl flap issue. Only way to tell for sure it to remove the actuator arm from the bottom of the far right swirl flap then lock them in the open position (move the metal bar on the intake manifold to the far left)
Then attempt a cold start and see if it's any better. Mine made a huge difference and I'm now waiting until I get the timing belt done to get the intake manifold De-Swirled :)
 

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Could be swirl flaps but could also be a build up of soot from the EGR mixed with recirculated oil vapour from the crankcase ventilation system resulting in black gunk in inlet manifold.
Mine suffered from rough cold starts. After EGR blank/remap and 10k miles to gradually clear the worst of the gunk it starts much better. Also had a problem with uneven idle as soon as the engine reached normal temperature, but fine when cold. Even though it shouldn't make any difference, that was solved by cleaning the accumulated gunk out of the throttle body.
If it hasn't already been done, I would recommend starting with EGR blank/remap and clean as much gunk out of inlet manifold/EGR/throttle body interface before de-swirling (unless they just aren't working - easy visual check).

Sent from my E2105 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forgot to say - it has been remapped & egr blanked off & I recently cleaned all the inlet and throttle body ( as good as you can when in situ ) and it has run much better since ( issue is gradually getting worse )

thanks

for responses
 

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95% positive it's a swirl flap issue. Only way to tell for sure it to remove the actuator arm from the bottom of the far right swirl flap then lock them in the open position (move the metal bar on the intake manifold to the far left)
Then attempt a cold start and see if it's any better. Mine made a huge difference and I'm now waiting until I get the timing belt done to get the intake manifold De-Swirled :)


I tried this and my car ran like a bag of crap, but reading what you've just said I think I may have cable tided them closed lol. When you say far left are you coming in from the front of the car?
 

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This sounds exactly identical to mine, wish i had come on this forum first to seek adhice before i got the injectors serviced, when i got my reconned injectors refitted it made no difference at all and the car continues to produce loas of smoke on start up and have an extremely rough idle. Did as suggested and disconnedted the swirl flap arm off the accuator with a bit of silicone to hold in the fully open position (to the left) and rough idle has almost gone with no cloud of smoke either on cold start up!!!! Will try making a more secure way of holding the swirl flaps in the open position until i can get the car in the garage to remove the inlet manifold, clean out and remove the swirl flaps. Was hesitant at disconnecting the arm from the accuator at first but is certainly worth a go......
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the responses - its been to the garage & had the injectors & swirl flaps tested = swirl flaps ok
injectors 1 & 5 bad , 2 & 4 not good , but no3 is good

recondition or new ?

where do people get them done if reconditioning ? what cost ?


thanks
 

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Out of curiosity do you know how the flaps and injectors wre tested. A true test needs injectors removing and swirls sealing which are quite big jobs in their own right
 

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When did they test the injectors? Was the engine fully warm when they did it?

Clogged up swirl flaps will cause the car to run lumpy even if the injectors are okay as there is a lack of air being drawn into the cylinder to ignite the fuel with. The car will them attempt to correct the lumpyness on each cylinder by injecting more or less fuel which can make the injectors seem terrible!

I was informed by a specialist in alfa's that the number 5 injector will often have been replaced incorrectly at some point during these cars lives as the swirl flaps on cylinder 5 are more likely to cause issues and it causes injector 5 to compensate a lot more for the lack of air flow into that cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my injectors were tested by my local garage in situ - is it fairly easy to lock the swirl flaps open ( it is open ? ) then i can see if that improves things ( before i buy any injectors )
 

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If they tested the injectors by just looking at the injector correction values then that can be misleading, the values dont just relate to how well the injectors are working or not but the cylinder as a whole, there is no feedback to the ecu fom the injectors, the ecu works out the correction values by seeing how much each firing stroke effects the desired engine speed.
ie a 100% good injector will show an out of limits correction value if its in a cylinder that isnt mechanically good due to poorly seating valve, inlet coked up etc.
 

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is it fairly easy to lock the swirl flaps open ( it is open ? )
The swirl flaps wear out in their sleeves and air leaks in past them so locking them open or closed will make no difference. If they move about laterally as well as rotating freely then they are probably leaking and the source of your problems and need plugging (or a new manifold).
Injectors cost ££££'s compared to swirl flap plugs although both are hard jobs to do.
 

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The swirl flaps wear out in their sleeves and air leaks in past them so locking them open or closed will make no difference. If they move about laterally as well as rotating freely then they are probably leaking and the source of your problems and need plugging (or a new manifold).
Injectors cost ££££'s compared to swirl flap plugs although both are hard jobs to do.
This isn't totally true. Although the leaks will not be helping they won't cause issues that bad when it comes to starting and running. Just locking mine in the open position changed the car hugely! From barely being able to start with huge clouds of smoke and vapor to starting perfectly and running lovely and smooth :D
 

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This isn't totally true. Although the leaks will not be helping they won't cause issues that bad when it comes to starting and running. Just locking mine in the open position changed the car hugely! From barely being able to start with huge clouds of smoke and vapor to starting perfectly and running lovely and smooth :D
Totally agree - locking the swirl flaps open makes a massive difference.
Mine were leaking like a sieve and losing turbo boost, short term I locked them open & the car ran almost perfect until the work was done a few weeks later.
Costs nothing but your time to lock these open and possibly save you on buying injectors that you don't require?
I landed up buying glow plugs, various sensors etc, it was only locking the swirl flaps open that made the difference - open is towards the cam pulleys and away from the battery by the way!!
The manifold will need cleaning properly, as will the EGR and MAP sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
before i start paying for injectors - i want to lock the swirl flaps open - is there a guide ? is it easier if you remove the egr valve ? i have a roll bar on my car & there is not much room round there

cheers Mike
 

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If they tested the injectors by just looking at the injector correction values then that can be misleading, the values dont just relate to how well the injectors are working or not but the cylinder as a whole, there is no feedback to the ecu fom the injectors, the ecu works out the correction values by seeing how much each firing stroke effects the desired engine speed.
ie a 100% good injector will show an out of limits correction value if its in a cylinder that isnt mechanically good due to poorly seating valve, inlet coked up etc.
Correct.

This would be my solution to this one given the symptoms as described: First step, compression test, to prove the cylinders themselves are all good. Quick job with glowplugs out and crank sensor unplugged. Assuming all OK here, remove the inlet manifold and replace with either a new one or preferably clean it out, re-seal it, delete swirl flaps and weld up the ports. Blank EGR valve while in there. Renew inlet manifold gasket, throttlebody gasket etc. This will then mean you have a good inlet system, and it is essential work on a 2.4 JTDM, sooner or later every one of them will have had this work done. If the car continues to run badly afterwards then look at the alternatives like injectors, but from what you describe it sounds like typical swirl flap leakage running issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
This is one of the swirl flaps ? When I syringed a bit of redex round them 3 of them bubbled , how do I lock them ? there appears to be a bar between the 5 of them but nothing on either end ? They move between 10 to and 10 past
 

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This is one of the swirl flaps ? When I syringed a bit of redex round them 3 of them bubbled , how do I lock them ? there appears to be a bar between the 5 of them but nothing on either end ? They move between 10 to and 10 past
Lol :biglaugh:
Normal issue, many threads.
First you need to disconnect the actuating arm from the drive motor (left of the EGR about centre) between the bulkhead and the engine block, a square box. You will, with the use of a torch see the arm between this box and the engine block, get a large flat bladed screwdriver and hoof it off the ball joint to the motor, working from the cam pulley side.
Move the top bar towards the cam pulley, away from the battery and lock off with whatever ingenious device you can think of - cable ties, a good sealant, 2 pack resin, wire etc etc.
 
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