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Discussion Starter #1
Its all gone a bit Pete Tong round here with all the bits sorted for the return to the MOT test the final job was a new alternator, duly arrived and then fitted. The car started, no battery warning light on the dash but in under 1 minute smoke from under the bonnet followed by flames, cue fire extinguisher and a hose.

Removed the alternator today burnt out, plastic end cover melted, one wire from the alternator burnt through the insulation and even a hole in the oil filter had been burnt.

The loom is damaged and that brings to an end what was an awful lot of fun. Vendor has had a strongly worded letter requesting his business insurance details so I can claim for the car and the loss of the private plate on the vehicle that will never leave the wreck. I expect he will hide and try and duck the consumer rights act, trading standards will be informed and a claim via money claim on line will follow.

Somewhat grumpy as a result, question is do I bother with the one I bought for parts and try and sort that?

:rage::angry:
 

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Wow, having to scrap a fully working car just due a defective alternator is awful! :depressed:
It's the second 166 that I'm aware of that burns like that. What happens? Internal short on the windings?

If I had lots of free time I would try to repair it, you already have the donor car. Paying to get it done would be too expensive.
 

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I don't think you need to lose the cherished number plate - according to the DVLA website as long as it's registered with them and taxed or SORN'd in the last 5 years you can transfer the plate.

https://www.gov.uk/keep-registration-number

Sorry to hear it's fried, hopefully it's not beyond repair and you can prove that the new alternator was at fault and not the installation of it.

Guy
 

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Removed the alternator today burnt out, plastic end cover melted, one wire from the alternator burnt through the insulation and even a hole in the oil filter had been burnt.
Actually that sounds as if a live cable, presumably the charging circuit, was earthed out somewhere between the oil filter and the alternator? If it shorted out it would get hot enough to burn through the filter, especially if it was shorting on the filter?

If the car is beyond repair and only suitable for scrap then put a post on the Stratos forum as there will be people there looking for V6's especially manuals. Drop me a PM if you want something posting on your behalf and get the spares car up and running instead!

Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually that sounds as if a live cable, presumably the charging circuit, was earthed out somewhere between the oil filter and the alternator? If it shorted out it would get hot enough to burn through the filter, especially if it was shorting on the filter?

If the car is beyond repair and only suitable for scrap then put a post on the Stratos forum as there will be people there looking for V6's especially manuals. Drop me a PM if you want something posting on your behalf and get the spares car up and running instead!

Guy
That's appreciated, the feeds were checked on a multimeter before being connected so we eliminated that possibility, also the old alternator worked for a bit before expiring so the alternator is the culprit.

Will ponder about the sportronic one.
 

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This is a common problem as you described on the 166.

Well documented on here generally caused by fitting the alternator cable 180 deg out.

I personally couldnae see it as no movement in that area but that is one thick alternator cable. But due to the large amount of problems in this area there is something.

When I switched alts on Lucy and TIa I rerouted cable as far away from oil filter as I could but then was unable to change oil filter without removing alt first.

IIRC there are 3 different spec alts and I now always refit like for like.

Pomeo

Info
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-164-andamp-166/380294-sudden-loss-oil-and-oil-fire-alfa-166-3-0l.html?highlight=alternator+oil+filter

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-164-andamp-166/204933-alfa-166-v6-alternator-removal.html?highlight=alternator+oil+filter

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-164-andamp-166/197053-the-day-has-come-my-166-up-for-sale.html?highlight=alternator+oil+filter

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-164-andamp-166/73509-danger-will-robinson.html?highlight=alternator+oil+filter
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Appreciated Pomeo, it was a like for like Bosch alternator swap so it's one of those things to chalk up as a life experience
 

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Appreciated Pomeo, it was a like for like Bosch alternator swap so it's one of those things to chalk up as a life experience
Fantastic response Sir Thomas o/A Becket.:thumbup: However I had expected a more robust confrontational response. So glad like Lionel Richie and the Uncle in Mary Poppins that you are now down from the ceiling.

I suppose I would have been the same but it is thought that this is what took Pigfarmers, Stu the mansion (flat) and a few other oota the equation....Total losses they were.

I had wanted to amuse you by quoting the Witches scene in ,no no Macbeth, the Holy Grail......."Sue them anyway":jester:

How bad is the damage as I have been driving Lucy (2001 Super CF3 Full Bhoona) with everything crossed as the alt was retro fitted and serpently no room at all in there.Also timing belt desperately needed.cannae have a third go on me.


Pomeo
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So to cheer myself up a little I took the battery off the Fried 166 and fitted it to the red auto one bought for parts, it started and I took it for a spin (private roads "honest")

It stops in a straight line, doesn't pull to the right or left and all the lights and front windows work.

The downsides are:

Whilst the external indicators and hazard lights work neither the hazard button or the dash indicator lights work is this a fuse or a relay? The rear windows do not work a fuse?

The auto gearbox clunks into reverse and drive, there is no kickdown and it doesn't seem to change gear just gradually accelerates. When using sport mode the ability to shift up and down does nothing. Is this an ecu issue and lack of use or does it seem more terminal?

The satnav unit display does not work, a spare is in the boot but the fan controls do work save the heater which continues to run cold. The carpets are not damp/wet so I am assuming no heater matrix issues.

Would appreciate thoughts, does it go straight to parts as originally intended or is there some hope?
 

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I had a bad experience with a sportronic that had been standing too long (I thought for a year, but it turned out to be 5 years).


Cost me a grand down the tubes....

At least yours runs though!

personally, I wouldn't bother with any 166 that has been neglected/left standing....
There are a couple of really nice ones on pistonheads at the mo, superino's sportronic and Lak's super.
If it was me looking for a project it would be one of them....and I'd see them both (even a nice 166 is a project now they are well over 10 years old)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I followed the advice on the gearbox ecu reset and it worked, gear changes are smooth thank you.

The green relay box is a concern, one of the spade connectors has melted away which would explain why the dashboard indicators don't work. Trouble is the plug into which it fits has also melted, I am considering if we can replace it with the undamaged one from the other car and it's with our usual garage for a pre mot check and checking if it can be done as that's way above my limited abilities. The ECU's seem dry and if we can fix the green relay situation I will try to wrap them. The lack of heat in the cabin concerns me but as I can't see the temperature with ICS the display not working that may have to wait.

A closer look of the car shows a full service history including a recent cambelt and much work done on the suspension.

We shall see what develops
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had a bad experience with a sportronic that had been standing too long (I thought for a year, but it turned out to be 5 years).


Cost me a grand down the tubes....

At least yours runs though!

personally, I wouldn't bother with any 166 that has been neglected/left standing....
There are a couple of really nice ones on pistonheads at the mo, superino's sportronic and Lak's super.
If it was me looking for a project it would be one of them....and I'd see them both (even a nice 166 is a project now they are well over 10 years old)
I know what you are saying makes sense but i'm enjoying learning a bit with minimal expenditure.
 

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Rear windows are supplied from a fuse in the boot, right hand side. They have their own control unit, also in the boot, black plastic box attached to the metal bracket carrying all the rest of the fuses, alarm unit etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The spares car came back from its MOT with just a couple of minor bits to do and.... sorting the green relay box under the central console. The heater matrix was checked and it is not leaking so that is one thing to be grateful for but the relay and plug have a burnt out spade connector resulting in the hazard and green dash indicator lights not working. It looks as if the plug and relay from the fried 166 can be salvaged to fit but the MOT showed up one more thing namely that the orange abs light does not come on when the ignition is turned on. Would that light be managed by that relay or are we looking at a more serious problem or could it just be a bulb?

Any insight and advice most welcome.

Thanks
 

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ABS warning lamp is driven directly from the ABS controller and doesn't go near the indicators circuit. It's an LED, so unlikely to be faulty. The ASR lamp is a bulb though, but that's a 'I'm working now' indicator rather than a fault status indicator. Could be the connection from the ABS controller to the dash. It follows this route....ABS controller in pump ( under bonnet) , pin 20, blue/black wire to pin 5 of connector D5A (right side of car under dash/column area) then to dash, connector C pin 8. D5 is a 12 pin 'multilock, white plastic, fully populated usually.

You could test end to end by removing the instrument cluster, identify connector C (it's the black plastic shell), find pin 8, poke a wire in and connect one end of your test meter, under the bonnet, unplug the ABS, find pin 20 and again, poke a wire in and check continuity end to end. You can confirm you have the right wire as it will be dark blue/black all the way. If that's OK, find D5, unplug it then try grounding pin 5 with ignition on, this should light the ABS warning lamp on the dash. Or, a bit more awkward, get access to the blue/black wire near dash connector C, maybe strip back the insulation a wee bit carefully, connect a test wire and ground it, with the instruments connected but not refitted, switch on ignition. ABS lamp should light and stay lit. If yo like, you can have your test wire free and dab it to ground to confirm the ABS warning lamp goes on & off in sympathy.

If you have good continuity from ABS controller connector to instruments, and the warning lamp works when you test it as above, the fault is in the ABS controller. If the lamp fails the test, then obviously you have a fault in the instrument cluster. BUT, my best is some monkey cut the wire to mask a fault.

If it turns out there is a cut wire and after restoring it, the ABS fault lamp is permanently lit, a common cause for an apparent ABS fault is nothing more sinister than a maladjusted brake pedal switch which is trivial to put right. Press pedal down, grab end of switch with pliers and pull it out/down towards pedal. It should extend, making a nasty ratchety noise. Release brake pedal, switch will self-adjust - done.

Another good way to diagnose this....connect to the diagnostic port and ask the ABS how it's feeling. You'll need a full copy of MulitECU scan and an appropriate set of leads. About £60 all in, plus a laptop to run it on of course.

I've written loads...but it's not a big deal to test really. Instrument cluster comes out easy enough - lower steering wheel, remove the upper plastic shroud to give yourself some space, two screws holding instrument cluster in place, ease out the assembly until you can get your hand round the back and unplug the connectors. I find a steel rule handy to help ease the cluster bottom edge helps as there are a couple of rubber locating buffers under there that tend to catch on the bottom lip of the aperture as you remove it. Manual has 3 connectors, sporto has 4. All have a release lever on them that you will need to press in pretty firmly. I've not messed with the ABS other than to remove the entire thing from the one I parted out but it's easy enough to get at.

I'm sure you'll crack it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ChrisS that is comprehensive,thanks so much, will commence investigations with a little help
 

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Having spent some time recently deconstructing a 166 loom for my project, I am now probably more familiar with it than I'd care to admit!
 
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