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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys - First time poster here.

I have a '06 2.2JTS Brera owned from new. It is my 2nd car and only use it w/e and evenings and has never been on a really big run. It has 16K on the clock.

I only changed the oil and filter after noticing it was getting a bit darker in colour at about 14K noting Alfa's interval is 18K and uses fully sync oil.

However recently she has been throwing up the code P0016 crankshaft-Camshaft MIL.

After researching this forum(and elsewhere) ive found the problem is pointing at a stretched timing chain although the engine is quiet - even took the rocker cover off to have a look at it.

It appears the tolerances of the sensor are very tight so produce this MIL.

Ive realised this engine is a GM engine (when taking the rocker cover off 'GM' is stamped all over it) and bought a GM oil filter for half the price alfa was wanting. The original i took out (from new)had GM on it.

The chain was a known issue with earlier GM Z22SE engines, although this was supposed to have been rectified with better tensioner, larger oil jet and better manufactured chain.

Ive been to the local alfa dealer and talked to one of the mechanics (donnelly's Northern Ireland) who was pretty helpful in telling me that he has changed chains on the 2.2 alfa engine. He also mentioned that a remap would probably dial this code out from appearing and recognised this fault appears on start up. He said to just change the chain and no more fault. This indicates to me that the chain is ok and not about to fail.

Ive turned the MIL off about 6 times now but is becoming a nuiscance.

So ive been looking at changing this timing chain. Ive seen the alfa kits for sale at around 275-300 quid. The chain by itself from alfa is 150plus vat. I'll also need timing cover gasket and maybe crank pulley seal replaced when doing this job.

Motor mechanic is not my primary job, but have tackled a lot of fairly big engine jobs and changed a few belts and so have built up a good range of tools enough to rival some garages.

I also do alot of research before i start and have the elearn disk for this engine and so have a procedure to change this chain.

However, im thinking of taking a punt and buying the z22se timing chain kit readily available off ebay. I see afull kit with gaskets/seals/tensioner/oil jet/runners/cam sprockets for £114.
My local motor parts store quoted me this price for a chain kit for an alfa but it doesnt include gaskets(which i will need). The only parts in the vauxhall kit which are no use are camshaft sprokets.

Has anybody out there used a vauxhall z22se or z22yh timing chain kit in their alfa brera/159??

Vauxhall parts are about half price for this engine from alfa's prices. Ive already prooved the oil filter is the same. The only parts i can see are alfa are the phasers(variable valve timing) and probably the direct injection. (although the later vauxhall z22yh engine is direct injection also, z22se indirect)

Would appreciate experiences as i dont intend doing this job for a while, but when i do i'll post results.

thanks all
ds
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is a timing chain kit bought from ebay for £114.

It is for a vauxhall z22se 2.2 engine(astra, zafira, vx220 etc).

The only unusable items are the cam sprockets and the 2 large black cam bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is the balancer shaft(s) chain(timing chain removed).

In my opinion it is stretched also as the tensioner was at full reach.
(tensioner and oil jet are removed in this photo)

No point building this engine back up without replacing this also.
Back to ebay £80 vauxhall z22se balancer chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update- timing chain and balancer chain all done-by meself.

timing chain, all guides (apart from top one at the cams), oil jet new M6 bolts.
Balancer chain, all guides, tensioner, new bolts.
new timing cover gasket, crankshaft oil seal.

2 kits - just short of £200 brand new
probably could have got away with the chain alone but you strip all that down may as well replace the lot as they come in the kit.

car running great!!

anyone in Belfast or East antrim with an early Brera or 159 with the nuiscance EML p0016 then i could do another in half the time.
 

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Hi David, thanks for the information, good to know that there's now alternative source for the timing chain.
One question about the cam sprocket, it could have been worn with the old stretched chain, wouldn't it make the new chain wear faster?

Do you know if the sprockets are replaceable or its attached to the cam variator as a unit?

Thanks.
 

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I talked to my father in law, who lives in Sydney. We were discussing the chain issue with 2.2 GM engine and in Australia Astra 2.2 has no such issue, they do 300-400k and no problem at all. I was wondering if they use different materials, is it really the same engine and timing chain kit would fit our alfas? Anyone knows anything about it?
 

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Interesting post. I knew my old 3.2 was GM based but not the 2.2.

I was considering a 2.2 prior to getting the 2.4 derv, and had talked to Jonny Cargo about common issues. He did mention that he had replaced a number of timing chains on Breras and 159s.

Good to know that it's not a major issue or big job/cost to replace them.

Whereabouts in Antrim are you? I see quite a few Breras around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To answer your questin first colins - the camsprockets are the vairyators or 'phasers' apper to be one unit when i had them off. Probably a dealer only part. The teeth were fine on mine. I replaced the crank balancer chain and crank timing chain sprocket only cause they were in the kit and identical. The old ones were good. When i talked to the dealer mechanic he intimated that all they replace is the chain itself as this cures the problem.

Lucasino- They early vauxhalls ie: pre '05 suffered timing chains snapping causing major damage to this as an interference engine. The problem was largely blamed on the oil jet getting blocked '1mm hole' and a poor tensioner.
This modifiaction was known to vaux and was supposidly solving the problem. see Z22SE.co.uk • Portal
The alfa's detect the chain stretching early with the p0016 EML as it sees the crank and cams being slightly out of syncronisation on start up. IMO poorly manufactured chain, as my 06 Brera has the updated tensioner and the new design oil jet were the hole points downwards onto the chain. The balance and timing tensioners are sprung and oil fed and the chains are lubricated by this oil jet. If you own a 2.2 petrol, the oil needs to be changed a lot more often than alfa's 18k miles.

Lebowski - im in carrickfergus. Wouldnt like to pay a dealer or even a garage to do this fix. Took me all day. Also i would assume most people would buy alfa parts which the timing chain onits own is £150+vat from the dealer.
Top tip - exact same oil filter from vauxhall is half the price than buying from alfa.
 

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Yes mine is 2.2. What oil you suggest using and how often to change? Any other advice on how to take care of it in order not to have the chain issue soon again (`I'm changing the whole thing next couple of days)?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lucasino - the recommend is 5w 40 fully syhthentic oil or if you live in colder climates maybe 0w40.
From what ive found i'd do an oil change at 8k or 9k miles.(half what alfa recommends).
I know some vag diesels put their oil change intervals to 20k provided fully synthetic oil was used. Diesel engine oil tends to have more detergent in it but i still think they are being over reliant on the longevity of non-mineral oils.

When you say ur cahnging the whole thing - are you doing this chain fix??
 

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If you own a 2.2 petrol, the oil needs to be changed a lot more often than alfa's 18k miles.
I've been saying this for years now, glad someone else agrees with me. Oil is cheap, changing chains and tensioners isn't. Even if you do an oil change without the filter by sucking it out of the dipstick hole with an oil extractor halfway between each proper service then its going to do a lot to help stop this being an issue.

In the 156/147/GT where the service schedule is every 12k, even this is deemed to be a bit excessive. I do the oil on my JTD and V6 every 6k without fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi PUD237 - not sure if i totally agree in full with ur view. The 156 etc has a belt which isnt lubricated.
Decent fully sync oil, here in Norn Iron is £40 per 5litre. If u run that thru a used filter u will pick up the particulate into ur 40 quid oil. The filter is the cheap part - not the oil - the oil the expensive part.
There is a gr8 youtube vid when a guy dissects cannister/cartridge type filters of brand names and OEm parts.
He's quite funny as he curses a lot when he finds the differences in brands mean not a lot.
If i find the link i'll post it here.
Even if you dont want to change the oil - change the filter as it is a 2 minute job every 5k and oil+filter at 9k The filters in the 2.2 petrol are an insert type which dont have non return valves like cartridge type(any make will do from a motor factors). Filters are essentially only made of paper and are absorbed by the oil and lower oil pressure in the engine the older they get and in doing so block up(just like a vaccumm cleaner dyson filter/air filter etc). This lowers the amount of lubrication getting to ur jets and oil ways.
The insert type filter are found a lot, in my experience, on german makes(merc,bmw,vag) and have been for ages.

Ur right of course oil/filter changing prolongs all moving parts in ur engine, if youve got an oil extractor - change ur filter.

Thanks for posting - everyones experience is worthwhile
david
 

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One question I have is whether the stretch is caused by oil quality (lubrication) or material quality of the chain. If its the later then it (the link plates) will still stretch even with good lubrication.

From what I know, chain and sprocket wear together, and its ideal to replace both. If the chain is stretched then it will wear the sprocket unless the sprocket material is super hard.

And is there such thing as "special formulated oil for engine with timing chain" ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In my opinion it is the material qulity of the chain in this case.
Regarding the sprockets a worn chain will indeed start wearing the teeth. Im happy that mine were ok as i didnt leave it long enough for this to start happening. If you have experience with chains on motorbikes especially scramblers, the teeth go pointy and even get pulled in the direction of travel. If this occurs the chain will jump a tooth throwing the timing off especially if the chain is stretched and the tensioner is at full reach.
Im saying about frequent oil changes as the lubrication and tensioners are oil fed with small holes.
The lubrication jet on the Brera/159 have a 1mm hole. If the oil gets thick it wont pass through the holes.
This will of course affect the life of the chain.
 

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About the lubrication jet, did you noticed yours has 1mm jet? I read from the vauxhall forum that new jet with larger opening was introduced back in 2006, did you replaced yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thats true colins, vaux changed their 1mm hole to a 4mm hole simply by the dealer doing a modification by taking out a brass insert that made it 1mm.
The new design jet is back to 1mm but points downwards onto the chains.
The previous holes were looking straight at you if you took the timing cover off.

So back to 1mm holes - change that oil + filter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
2008 could well be affected WADEY.
The issue seems to be with early Brera's , ie:06-07.
However, unless theve changed the chain supplier (as the chain hasnt changed any), then it affect all breras(petrols).

If anyone thats interested im offering new chain,guides, tensioner, gasket, crank seal renewal for £250 inc partsand inc vat fitted.
All inc balancer chain, guides, tensioner £380
As well as oil + filter change £450
All torquedup to alfa romeo specification.
Any engine diagnostics also included if reqd.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry- just read my own post-

Timing chain etc -£250
With Balancer chain etc- £330
All this with oil+filter - £380

Dont know were that £450 came from. All including vat, fitting and stamp your FSH book.

I'm totally independant and has owned and driven alfa's since '00.

Im in Carrickfergus, Northern ireland, just off the Cairynryan or Liverpool boats- make a w/e out of it.
For guys ROI, 10miles north of Belfast.
 
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