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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys

About 2 months ago I bought a bargain Alfa 156 1.8 on a 2001 Y plate for £360!! It was sold as having a misfire which I quickly sourced to the air flow sensor and some gunk on the terminals.

This only left a blowing and popping from (I thought) the manifold outlet. Being a voluntary worker finances are often a problem so I only got round to ordering a gasket for the exhaust last week.

Anyway, yesterday I was driving the car home (gasket still not fitted btw) I began to hear a rattling around 3000 rpm on the right side of the engine. I pulled over immediately because it sounded like either the exhaust was wobbling loose or something that was spinning was making the noise such as the cam belt. I couldn't see anything obvious so I limped home the last 4 miles.

When I got home I checked the oil (it had had oil in in the morning) to find that there was no oil in there. Got a neighbour to rush me up the garage to buy some oil. Came back, got the filler cap off and....

Yup, the dreaded mayonnaise signalling it wasn't the exhaust gasket but the head gasket all along.

I'm now stuck with no car to drive, I can't afford to replace the car and I don't want to!!! Full leather spec (including door cards), CF centre console etc, this is a helluva lot of car for the money I paid and I love it.

Obviously then I have to try and get the gasket done for as low a cost as practical so can you help by giving me a shopping and check list please.

And what are the dangers from that rattling? Have I done the cylinder completely by the sound of it?

Any help for this here n00b greatly appreciated!!
 
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You will get some mayo , if you drive relatively short journeys - how is the coolant level?
Are there signs of oil under the car?
A garage can sniff test, to check for HG blowing - worth having that done if you suspect it's that
 

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does it cost much to get the test done?

I'm on a very low budget so I'm having to try and find out all for myself. Coolant level has dropped right down in the space of a day and the oil also went. We put some new oil in the reservoir and now that looks like it has metal in it indicating pistons or rings.

With the belt rattling like mad I also can't drive it anywhere :(
 

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does it cost much to get the test done?

I'm on a very low budget so I'm having to try and find out all for myself. Coolant level has dropped right down in the space of a day and the oil also went. We put some new oil in the reservoir and now that looks like it has metal in it indicating pistons or rings.

With the belt rattling like mad I also can't drive it anywhere :(
A DIY kit is under £30, so it shouldn't cost much (if anything).

Which oil 'reservoir' are you talking about?
 

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Sounds like it is the head gasket then. Head gaskets aren't expensive but paying someone to replace it is. Plus you'll want to replace the cambelt, accessory bellt and variator whilst your at it.

I had to take the head off my 156 T/S a few years back and it was a bit tricky. But so long as you do your homework it's not that bad. The cost of all the parts will probrably be around £150 vs about £400-500 if you pay someone to do the work.

If I remember there are a few special tools you need to get the head bolts out. It's like a star drive but a liitle different and I found I needed a very long straight (not offset) spanner to get the lower belt cover off. Then there is the cam locks to stop the cams moving once you've removed the belt.
 

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the main filler so when you check the dipstick there appears to be metal in it. Not much mind.
These engines don't tolerate being run low on oil for very long at all. Probably best to check the camshafts for wear and the big-end bearings to see if the disintegration of one of those is where the metal is coming from...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been doing quite a lot of looking around and as ever instructions from places like Alfa Workshop make it all look so easy!!

I'm definitely going to attempt a self repair but under supervision I think!! Once I find someone to supervise ha ha :)

Looking around on ebay and places I see cambelt kit for £80 and gasket set for £50, Is the variator in this kit?? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....02607&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_2451wt_1031
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When oit comes to the variator I'm finding whole variators and also repair kits - what would you advise guys?

And thanks for all help so far!! :)
 

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replace it new as a whole. you would not want to open up again cause of a dodgy repair
 

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well you wanna have a repair bill or be tractor bill cause thas what they sound like. there is a saying in in afrikaans that says goed koop is duur koop. roughly translated... you buy cheap.. your gonna pay allot more.
 

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does not have to but if your doing the one then do the other.. why open twice and dont think you can set it by eye.... get cam locks borrow cam locks.. steal cam locks. sell your left nut for cam locks.. i think you get the picture
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I do yes... cam locks!!!

Hmmm, Think I need to get the top off first and have a look at what's what and then take off the sump to look at the ends :( Worst case I have found a place that will refurbish and fit an engine for £800 with a warranty. Will just take some saving if it gets that far!
 

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Going back to the bit about getting mayo at this time of year anyway if it's cold.,... none of the coolant had gone it appears... I was wrong, I'd looked in from the cap and not at the reservoir itself, the water was still near maximum mark.

Can this possibly indicate the good news that the HG has not gone?
 

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Why would you get the mayo effect anyway. I don't like the sound of that. If its not your head gasket though then you need to look where else the oils going. If there are no exterior leeks then it is burning all the oil off, which means the piston rings are letting too much oil past the pistons in to the combustion chamber.
 
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