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Discussion Starter #21
If I understand correctly, your mechanic said you have two swirls broken off and stuck in the inlet tracts in the head..I had one broken off and entered the engine, bending two valves. Another was stuck in the inlet tract. This is common, but whether the flap will stay there is unlikely. If he left it, it may well have gone through the port and into the engine - the airflow is extreme and it is a loose obstruction. It has to be removed. I could see it with a mirror and torch, but was unable to fish it out - though I didn't try very hard as I knew the head had to come off because one flap had entered the engine. The flaps are stainless so a magnet doesn't help, but a dollop of hot melt glue on the end of a piece of wire might work, especially if you have a borescope to see what you're doing. I didn't back then, but I do now - a perfectly OK Android phone plugin, for about £7 on eBay

My car was still starting and running OK, despite the damage.I went through the same hopeful stuff as you. I tried a load of Wynnes Hydraulic lifter treatment in the oil, and initially it seemed to make a difference. I was kidding myself. The rattle came and went, sometimes loud, at other times barely there. The injector correction factors were all over the place, so maybe I had a dud injector? I actually did - the injector on #3 had a nozzle damaged by swirl flap shrapnel. I also persuaded myself that maybe the crank pulley was knackered,but a new one made no difference.... the correction factors turned out to be mostly the system trying to compensate for low compression from 2 leaky valves on the damaged #3.

NB all the carbon on the stem, from the leaky seat. The previous owner had driven a few thousand miles with it like this.

View attachment 932018 View attachment 932019

I would get a compression test done if your mechanic left a loose flap in head :(
That's a really sad story... now, he specifically called me and told me they removed both flaps that were trapped in the inlet tracts! I triple checked and called him again to confirm that no swirl flaps were left in the tracts or anywhere and he confirmed that's not the case, all 4 were taken out of the car - 2 from the inlet manifold swirl regulator mambo jambo and two from somewhere in the tracts where they were stuck.


Now, I noticed lately a smell of gas, like burned diesel smell that would usually come out of the exhaust coming from the left side (my driver side of the car), during night time when I have my lights on, I can barely see a faint fog coming from the front part of the bonnet... I was youtubing exhaust manifold noise, ticks, etc. (Yeah I know it's dumb, but for now that's all I can do...), so I was thinking that maybe the exhaust manifold may need a bolt to be tightened or a new gasket or both?
 

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Aha! That sounds and smells like a leaking injector seal, which can sound just like a tappet. Look for an accumulation of oil and carbon around where the injectors enter the head. Any that are messy are a probable culprit. New seal and seat cleaned or recut if necessary. Getting them out can be a bit of a sod, if they've been leaking, because of carbon build up.

It could be a manifold leak, though. Either the gasket, or connection to the turbo. Again. the high gas pressures can sound metallic.Check bolts are tight. If they are, needs dismantling and new gasket.

Neither are particularly difficult or costly jobs (for once).
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
I've got a small update!

I just finished my round trip 666 km = 5liters per 100 km.. - awesome!

Good news: When I climbed to the top of the mountain ~ 1300meters above sea level the car sounded just right (it was parked a bit to the left on a small slope... it was also quite warmer up there ~ 10 degree Celsius up!

Now that I got home and parked it on a flat surface, the damn ticking sound came back...

I'll change the damn manifold seal either way as I ordered it (7 euro :D )

I don't think it's an injector seal as there would be some soot or carbon around it and I don't see anything on the tops.

I have my bet with the mani now..., but it's quite interesting with the higher altitude and the sound. The moment I parked it, I went outside, I could hear it and it just stopped after like 5 seconds and it didn't return for the next 5 times I drove the car in the mountains.

Does anyone know if a higher altitude might have an effect on the pressure of the manifold?
 

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well, in space no one can hear an Alfa scream......how high were you again? ;-)

I don't have a hypothesis, is interesting data though

5L/100km is literally double what I get, though I'm mostly in town currently (however, consumption may be higher because of faulty thermostat......sorting that tomorrow)
 

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Discussion Starter #25
So I found a place that you park at an angle, similar to the place where I was in the mountains...

I parked it there, I left it running for 30 seconds and the sound was gone... I took a friend, just to make sure I'm not imagining...


let me know what you think.
If not gone it's much less pronounced...
 
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