Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi There,

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction or give me some advice. I've just had a compression check on my 1989 S3 Spider which showed that cylinder 3 was miles lower than the other 3 (170, 190, 55, 190). The suggestion was that a valve had burnt out.

I'd like to know if there are any "how to" guides anywhere which give a step by step instruction to solving the problem. Also, what damage would I be doing to carry on driving?

Hope someone can help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,811 Posts
solving the problem means head off, if it is a valve burnt or chipped, a holed piston, shattered rings, or even a crack in the head.
Did they do a second compression test on the bad cylinder also by squirting oil in the cylinder? Usually if the compression gets better this way, it points to rings. But that reading looks a pretty darn low to be a minor job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,646 Posts
There's a reasonable chance you'll be OK carrying on. I drove with duff valve guides for ages. But you'll be putting more oil out of the exhaust.

Try going along an open stretch of road and accelerating hard in a low gear to get up near the redline. Then come off the gas, then go on it again. If you see a puff of smoke when you go back on the gas you'll just be sucking up a bit of oil into the cylinders through the valve guide.

Not short term dangerous, I saw a race winner at Goodwood doing this all race long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,646 Posts
I'm afraid my 'how to' guide involves taking it to a specialist and paying them. But a competent DIY mechanic should be able to do this. Try buying a haynes manual, they come up on ebay or you can just buy one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice and help. I've searched high and low for a haynes manual covering the series 3 but haven't seen any, even on ebay. I'm tempted to keep it on the road over the summer then add this to the list of "winter jobs". Trouble is that list keeps on growing!!

Thanks again

Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
There's a Brooklands manual that covers the oily bits of the Spider and Coupe which you can get through specialists. There's no Haynes manual for the 105 series BUT the Alfetta one will give you enough information to sort out any engine problems (engines are the same!).

Removing a cylinder head from one of these things is easy/difficult depending on whether the head actually wants to come off! Sometimes they stick on the studs and just don't want to know. Aside from that, there are no difficult bits to undo, everything's accessible, two possible pitfalls,

1. You WILL drop the camchain link into the sump when you're splitting the chain!

2. You'll need a fairly specialist valve spring compressor to remove the valve because of the shape of the head (but you can always get a machine shop to fit the new valve for you once you've got the head off).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,811 Posts
two possible pitfalls,

1. You WILL drop the camchain link into the sump when you're splitting the chain!
I always stuff a towel or thick rag under the link to be split...have never lost a link this way!:) ok maybe the circlip flings off into the air somewhere, but at least not down the engine!

You can buy the valve compressor adaptor that fits on a normal "C" compressor.
http://www.international-auto.com/valve-spring-compressor-adapter-for-alfa.cfm

I remember the old times I used to replace valve springs without taking off the head, by stuffing household electric wire down the plug, filling up the cylinder so to speak, until I could feel it holding the valve, then used one of these adaptors and hit it with a hammer!...the collets usually sprang out. Then replaced the springs and pulled out the wire very carefully back out through the sparkplug hole! Worked every time on my 101 sprint, and saved a hell of a lot of time! But try this at your own risk!
Nowadays the professionals use compressed air gadget through the sparkholes to hold the valves shut! But i would be more scared to use this method than my old fashioned invention!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all these tips!

It definitely sounds like the old fashioned approach might be fun to try, especially if the bits don't want to release on the cylinder head. Failing that at least I'm prepared for catching the chain links!

First step is look up a manual.

Thanks again

Jon:thumbs:
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top