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Yet another cam belt failure which brings the total this year up to 3.Latest was on 166 3.0 TI which wasnt due a belt for 20k.Love Alfas but this could be the last one they are made out of ****
 

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How old was the belt & what caused it (& the others) to go?
 

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05 plate had belt/tensioner change 27000 miles ago (2 years ago).car has been religiously maintained.Broke at fairly low speed with no warning at all.Other two were a 156 jts and a 2.0 ts and 156 V6 last year.Loosing faith
 

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I dont get why you posted two threads about this :confused: also in the other one you said a JTD snapped recently and now you say a JTS - could be a simple mistake but still....
 
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Where was the belt done? I do very little mileage, and had mine changed this year 4 years since the last change and only probably less than 20k. I hadn't realised just how shocking a job had been done, and Ned was fairly surprised it hadn't gone as it was slack with the timing out as a bonus.
 

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:( That's no good, I was paranoid about mine and had it changed straight away.
 

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sorry to here of your problems

who is doing the belt changes? if its the same guy I would go somewhere else, he either does not know what he is doing or using inferior parts or incorrect tools IMO
 

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Plus dont think it's the engine at fault here.

The Busso it built with pride and actually very well made, def not crap engine.
 

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I think you have been very unlucky.
I've had 3 alfas over the last 17 years 230,000 miles and only ever done one belt change last year.
Three in one year does sound like fitting mistakes.
 

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That said, I definitely think the Alfa engine is a "marginal" design in this respect. The original 12V Busso was, indeed, bullet proof. I have it on good authority that it was the V6 that TVR wanted for their "S" in the 1980s, but it was just too expensive so they got stuck with that old "boat anchor" of a Ford V6 instead! My last 12V 164 did a quarter of a million miles, and the engine in that was out of an earlier car that had been scrapped after being immersed in seawater!

However, I've heard too many tales of cam belt woe relating to the 24 valve cars now, to believe that it's a coincidence. I think it's probably one of those examples of trying to psh an excellent design just that bit too far! It's part of the reason I've stuck with 12-valvers. My wife also had an unfortunate cam belt incident in a 1.8 156 some years ago (when Alfa still specified a 72,000 mile replacement interval!) and we got two fingers from them when we approached them for a contribution - which left rather a nasty taste (she has a Nissan now). I don't mind too much because I do all my own work and I'll probably keep buying Alfas because this sort of reputation keeps the prices down. Much as I like the marque, I certainly wouldn't be buying them if they were BMW-money second hand!
 

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05 plate had belt/tensioner change 27000 miles ago (2 years ago).car has been religiously maintained.Broke at fairly low speed with no warning at all.Other two were a 156 jts and a 2.0 ts and 156 V6 last year.Loosing faith
What make was the tensioner? My tensioner let go just 30 miles after being fitted. I suspect a batch of faulty tensioners may be out there. Incidently the old belt and tensioner were perfect.
 

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I keep hearing bad tales of cambelt failure on here. I'm surprised to hear of so many failures. My question would be were original parts or at the very least original spec parts used, and was just the belt changed or all the tensioners and idlers as well as belts? There are a lot of alternative replacement parts out there from motor factors, with vastly differing prices, and mechanics just changing belts rather than everything. Just my thoughts.
 

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05 plate had belt/tensioner change 27000 miles ago (2 years ago).
Done by a dealer presumably, and the idlers were not replaced? Bearing in an idler has started to go, idler gets a wobble on, and the belt slips away from the engine, rubbing away at the inside of the belt casing until it gets so thin it snaps - is this what has happened? I've seen this so many times, which is why I always say change idlers as well as the tensioner. The only design fault I can see here is the person who designed the service schedule and left the idler pulleys off.
 

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I keep hearing bad tales of cambelt failure on here. I'm surprised to hear of so many failures. My question would be were original parts or at the very least original spec parts used, and was just the belt changed or all the tensioners and idlers as well as belts? There are a lot of alternative replacement parts out there from motor factors, with vastly differing prices, and mechanics just changing belts rather than everything. Just my thoughts.
But how would you know they were "original spec"? Most of these aftermarket parts people won't have aceess to the original design data, so they just have to "reverse-engineer" as best they can, whilst still providing a cost saving. I think the public still perceive "OE" as beeing the best quality, it's just that the stuff is so darned expensive that they go for aftermarket replacements instead. Most of the time, the aftermarket stuff does the job quite acceptably, but not always. It really depends on the original manufacturer's profit margins and the pattern part manufacturer's scruples!
 

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Don't care what the schedule says - change a belt, change everything it touches. Cam or otherwise - a failed accessory belt can take out a cambelt if you are particularly unlucky.

...and hope that the parts you bought in good faith aren't nasty knock-off copies. Getting harder and harder to tell them apart these days too.

The Busso is a pretty good motor in all it's variants really...but it's far from bomb-proof or perfect. The 12V had serious issues with cam wear and quite a few 12 & 24V motors had big ends let go. Poor maintenance perhaps, but who can say. The early 24V motors had a frankly appalling design for the cambelt wrap - what were they thinking....

The thermo-mechanical tensioners can be fragile, so when fitted by monkeys, often fail. Bad design or bad practice?? Easy to argue the design should be better, but you can’t legislate for idiots no matter how hard you try – idiots only have to succeed once, you have to succeed every time as a designer.

All the manufacturers have issues. Don’t think Alfa are particularly better or worse than most.
 
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