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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer: This is a rough draft due to popular demand. The procedure is correct and was done on my own car and the fix has held good for 2500 miles and counting. I have not used any computer based diagnostics as I had found a number of technical bullitens via google stating this is no longer required. I can not be held responisble for any damage to your vehicle, you follow this at your own risk. If you have any doubts, please consult a qualified Alfa/Fiat Mechanic (I am not one).

This applies to all variants of the gen 1 Fiat/Alfa Multiair engine so will suit the following vehicles:

Fiat Punto Evo 105, 135
Abarth Punto Evo
Alfa Mito and Giulietta 105, 135, 170

This guide does not apply to any Twinair engines.

Parts required:

Multiair unit
Multiair unit to Cylinder head gasket
Cam cover gasket.

Tools required:

Clik-r pliers (Highly recomended)
10mm + 8mm hex socket + medium extention bar and ratchet socket
10mm open ended spanner
Torx T45 key

Strong finger tips, healthy knees and a strong back (the angle at which you are working will put a lot of strain on your back and knees).

Multiair Unit Replacement:

Remove the engine cover with a short, sharp tug at each corner.

Remove the metal breather pipe Using a set of Clik Pliers, and a 10mm Hex socket.

Remove the oil separator – 3x bolts with 10mm hex socket.

Disconnect the electrical connections to the 4x coils and 4x MA unit solenoids by sliding the yellow tabs outwards, then pressing the black tabs down and pulling the connector.

Unbolt the wiring distrubition unit by removing the 3x hex bolts (10mm socket) and swing it out of the way. Note: 1 bolt is the earth strap to the cam cover, take care with this one as it will be delicate.

Remove all 4 coils by removing the hex bolts (10mm socket).

Remove the cable/breather support bracket supported by 3x hex bolts (10mm socket) + 3x cable clips.

Loosen the vacuum pump by removing the 2x hex bolts at the top (you may wish to remove the turbo heatsheild at this point for access) but I didn’t. Loosen the 2x hex bolts at the bottom of the pump bracket. I seem to recall that I couldn’t get the access to remove these completely.

Remove the Cam cover retaining bolts – 12 of these (8mm hex socket) and some will need an extension piece to access.

Remove the cam cover by prying it gently with your fingernails to break the seal. Don’t use any metal implements to do this or you will scratch the aluminium. Wiggle the cam cover away from the Vacuum pump bracket. Discard the cam cover gasket.

Remove the MA unit by first disconnecting the Oil temp sensor then removing the 9x T45 Torx headed bolts.

Grip the MA unit by the solenoid bank at the rear and gently rock it to break the seal. When the seal breaks, gently withdraw it. Some of the valve actuators may fall out of the bottom at this point. Don’t forget to recover these. The unit may “pop” out as the spring action of the piston pushes it over the cam lobe.

Important: as soon as the MA unit is out, turn it upside down as the oil feed and drains are on the bottom.

Remove the pressed metal gasket from the cylinder head where the old MA unit made contact.

Insert the new gasket ensuring you have the correct orientation.

Place the new MA unit into place. Hold it so that the unit is completely parallel to the cylinder head face and insert just 2 of the bolts into the front of the unit (doesn’t matter which, aslong as 1 on each side).

TAKE CARE AT THIS STAGE. While holding the MA unit at the correct angle, slowly do up the 2 front bolts a ¼ of a turn each at a time. What you are trying to do here is slowly winch the MA unit down and past the cam lobes. The springs of the pistons are trying to stop the MA unit from seating properly (Alfa/Fiat use their own special tool to avoid this). The MA unit gasket will also try to unseat if you touch it.

Once the bolts are hand tight, check the position of the unit and the gasket, if everything is in place then insert the other bolts to hand tightness only.

Using a torque wrench only, torque the bolts from the center out. I do not have the exact torque values to hand but I used tspark cam bearing caps as a guide. I recall I used just 10nm for the final torque.

Once you are happy, fit a new gasket to the cam cover and re-assemble by reversing the disassembly. Torque the Cam cover bolts to 8nm

Now, the fun bit. Starting the engine. If you changed the oil during this procedure (like me) then this may take a while:

Crank the ignition and the engine will spin over at a low speed over and over again. Keep the key held until the ECU cuts the ignition and errors out (approx30 secons), then power off and try again. If after the 3rd attempt it hasn’t started, disconnect the quick release connector from the battery, turn the ignition key to discharge the circuit then reconnect and try again.

My Engine started on the 5th attempt, i cant say if disconnecting the battery helped any. It will be rough at first but will settle into a smooth idle shortly after. Give it a little throttle to overcome this.

Leave it to idle for a minute. If you disconnected the battery, use this time to re-calibrate the windows and the steering – go from lock to lock until the steering light goes out and hold each window switch down for 10 seconds, then up for 10 seconds in turn.

Kill the engine, leave for 15 minutes and check the oil. Ensure the engine starts correctly and then job done :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Additional note:

This is a rough draft, an improved version with pictures will follow in what i will be calling "The ultimate guide to the Multiair unit"

If i have made any mistakes, or you have any questions, please post here :) I haven't proof read this as it was speed typed in my lunch hour so please be nice about spelling/grammer :p
 

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Many thanks Ransoman. An extremely helpful post. I hope this never happens to me but nice to know you can change the unit yourself. Looking forward to the final draft. Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments folks.

A few more bits of content here to help out anyone else in need. The photo's will make it into the final version of the guide.

Videos for diagnostics:

Engine during initial stages. Just a judder at idle, no noises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24QzNpvSSxw

10 miles later, looses power at idle and engine becomes difficult to drive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9aUXu4Ig7I

20 miles later, no power up to 1500rpm. Sounds really poorly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2oo19Wnj0M

Finally, just before the unit is replaced, i am warming the oil and it is sounding at its worst:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPeulWR3UIg

This video shows what the engine sounds like with a brand new Multiair unit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTuO56xugYc

And these videos (Not mine) show what actually happens to the unit when it fails:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpzdtqhLOYg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV2vZGGC8Bs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np1BQyX4Epw

And some photos:
 

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Top man - your how to *may* have just saved me some serious money. Wish I lived nearer to you as I would definitely buy you a pint (or two)! Cheers for all your help. The italian videos of the problem are superb.:cool:
 

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Just read through this and I am in awe of you knowledge and skills! Dead impressed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for the comments folks,

Would recommend changing the uniair module filter at same time of doing this.
I did this at the same time and can add it to the guide if wanted. I only changed mine for peace of mind so that I had covered all bases.

It is as simple as remove the upper Cambelt cover (2x 10mm Hex bolts), watch for cables routed inside the cover. remove the old filter with a 10mm allen key and screw the new one in.

Alfa/fiat say they aren't reusable as the new part is pre-coated in threadlock and it has a rubber o ring to seal. If you replace both of those then i don't see why you can't clean and reuse the filter.

If you have the 105 multiair (non turbo) then you need to remove the engine mount to access the filter as a casting blocks the access.
 

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Awesome! One thing I would ask, not sure if you did this. Alfa indicate you need to pre-fill the MA unit with oil through a filler point that is visible through the oil filler cap (it has a small ball-valve at the top).
Also the torque for the MA unit bolts is apparently 20-25Nm.

Edit note: This applies to 170HP MA unit on Mito, I presume it's the same for the Giulietta setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Awesome! One thing I would ask, not sure if you did this. Alfa indicate you need to pre-fill the MA unit with oil through a filler point that is visible through the oil filler cap (it has a small ball-valve at the top).
Also the torque for the MA unit bolts is apparently 20-25Nm.

Edit note: This applies to 170HP MA unit on Mito, I presume it's the same for the Giulietta setup.
Thanks for posting this. I will check out my old unit for this valve and update the guide accordingly :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Mito no3. I must admit i did see that valve and pressed it with a screwdriver and it didn't move??

I will drain and fill one of my scrap units, the procedure will then be added to ver2 of the guide :) Thanks and I will be sure to credit both of you in the final version.
 

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Ransoman, how many miles on theengine in the pictures? that looks very poor or is it the camera adding contrast making it look more dirty? MA failures occur very early in an engines life though, so I suspect you'd have less than 30k on that engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ransoman, how many miles on theengine in the pictures? that looks very poor or is it the camera adding contrast making it look more dirty? MA failures occur very early in an engines life though, so I suspect you'd have less than 30k on that engine?
40'712 miles exactly.

First service at 19'800 though (way too late), 2nd at 33'000 miles and then a 3rd by my own hand at 35'000 miles because i didn't know what oil was in it and wanted to make sure it was proper selenia.

The contrast of the camera doesn't help but there was a "varnish" build up around the sparkplug tubes
 

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Many thanks for the tip about pre filing the MA unit rathkennades. Really wish I knew this a week ago and could have told my garage to do this... For anyone following my dilemma on the failure database thread - my car is still in the garage (that will be 2 weeks on Monday!) I waiting to hear if my engine head is damaged (leaking?) and then will look at further steps. Have discussed the 5 min timeframe to run the new MA unit for - for it to get oil supply and no longer run rough and the garage tells me they did run the engine for around 5 mins... This was last Friday. Really just want my Cloverleaf back - 2 weeks seems a heck of a long time without it...:(
 

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I had a look at a faulty one today. The piston runs in a cylinder that screws into the block of the Multiair unit, the threads in the alloy block were mostly stripped allowing the the cylinder to slop around. Anyone know how that could happen in use? Piston /cylinder fit was fine. Took photos that I'll post.
 
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