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Discussion Starter #1
I've come accross a potential issue on Busso and TS engines which results in camshaft wear: The zinc content in oils.

I was talking to the camshaft specialist that rebuilt my cams to find out about the profile (who was more interested inshowing me his Datsun 2.8 Laurel complete with 3 sets of side draughts and really wild cams, gasflowed and ported heads and otherwise stock, but went like the proverbial sh*t off a shovel). They see an Alfa driver and they all think we have the same side draught engines in our cars from the 80's :cheese: but I digress.

An interesting fact that he pointed out as to why camshafts tend to wear on Alfa engines (he sees a lot. Has various cam profiles for his profiler for Alfas from 300 degree 11.8mm lift racing down to stock 1.6 TS cams). He mentioned that even though today's oils have advanced by a huge margin, even the old staple oils have been forced to change due to changing regulations and they now are much lower in zinc content. Zinc used to act as a lubricant between cams and followers. Newer generation oils tend to not have zinc in them because they are bad for catalysts, emissions and a whole host of other factors.

He says it seems that certain engines, particularly engines from the 90's and of european origin, suffer from camshaft wear because of this. Older engines run well because they usually get a good dose of "high milage" oil which contains 4 times the normal amount of zinc where more modern oils contain as little as 10% of the original zinc content.

Whether this is true or not, needs to be proven. But what I can say is that seeing all his cam profiles for Alfa engines, he sure is doing a LOT of cams. He has not seen any return for rebuilding and regrinding though, which says that his repair process is working.

My question: Has anyone else experienced camshaft wear in their engines with stock cams?

He was also really impressed with my GTV engine's sound and the dyno performance I told him about. His exact words to one of his assistants: "Gerrie lyk my ek moet vir my so 'n Alfatjie koop en daai Datsun in sy moer stuur"... :cheese:
 

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My question: Has anyone else experienced camshaft wear in their engines with stock cams?
The Alfa TS known for eating their cams, it is occasionally seen on Bussos(mine) as well.

What we found is the tappet clearance is never checked, because it has hydraulic lifters. It still need 0.4mm min. clearance once the lifter is stripped and collapsed.

This is seldom a problem for cut cams, that is properly hardened(we had problems as well), as the clearance are normally larger.
 

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With due respect to your expert not sure I entirely agree.

I'd be surprised if Busso engines which are serviced at regular intervals would suffer prematurely worn cams. My Capri Perana had a 302 W V8 in it and I used Shell Rotella because yes that engine can suffer cam wear with modern oils, understandable because its a period 70's engine.

I'd be surprised if AR used soft cam material for the upgraded 24V Busso motor.

Pulled my Saab 93 Aero motor apart at 330k km's, an engine which has its roots in the 90's and there was no cam wear at all.

I think maintenance and oil choice plays a huge role here, use cheap rubbish oil and you will land up with massive wear, likewise irregular servicing.
 

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The Nords definitely face this risk with modern oils. Look for threads on ZDDP content on alfabb.com. I have heard of complaints from Busso owners about cam wear more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With due respect to your expert not sure I entirely agree.

I'd be surprised if Busso engines which are serviced at regular intervals would suffer prematurely worn cams. My Capri Perana had a 302 W V8 in it and I used Shell Rotella because yes that engine can suffer cam wear with modern oils, understandable because its a period 70's engine.

I'd be surprised if AR used soft cam material for the upgraded 24V Busso motor.

Pulled my Saab 93 Aero motor apart at 330k km's, an engine which has its roots in the 90's and there was no cam wear at all.

I think maintenance and oil choice plays a huge role here, use cheap rubbish oil and you will land up with massive wear, likewise irregular servicing.
My engine suffered premature wear on the cams at 130000km. Maybe it's because I put rubbish oil in then. Or maybe I didn't maintain it correctly. Maybe the camshaft specialist with over 30 years experience was wrong to note that in fact the cams were made of a soft material because they machined in a lot shorter time than other cams. Maybe the Merc, Renault, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen cams that he is rebuilding are actually Japanese... :paperbag:

...maybe one shouldn't take advice from specialists, but rather from your buddy down the street who once saw his uncle replace points and now is an expert on engine rebuilds...
 

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My engine suffered premature wear on the cams at 130000km. Maybe it's because I put rubbish oil in then. Or maybe I didn't maintain it correctly. Maybe the camshaft specialist with over 30 years experience was wrong to note that in fact the cams were made of a soft material because they machined in a lot shorter time than other cams. Maybe the Merc, Renault, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen cams that he is rebuilding are actually Japanese... :paperbag:

...maybe one shouldn't take advice from specialists, but rather from your buddy down the street who once saw his uncle replace points and now is an expert on engine rebuilds...
Ian. I don't really think such a snotty reply was called for.

As you will, modern oils are crap, modern machining is crap, modern cams are crap. Lets all sit around the camp fire and lament the demise of mineral oil as the staple engine oil.

Lets all go back to the 1960s and 70s when most motors needed a full rebuild at 60k miles. Yeh sure those cams were excellent. Oh and lets not forget how many needed to be reground at low mileage.

Oh while we are about it lets also remember high lift cams, well they wear more rapidly to begin with.

Lastly don't you find it odd in this era of durability testing, which was present in the 1990's that cams are wearing out at low mileage.

I don't dispute the some engines may suffer cam wear but without knowing the maintenance history, oil used, you cannot just blame the oil. The emphasis being on SOME engines.
 

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Ian. I don't really think such a snotty reply was called for.

Lastly don't you find it odd in this era of durability testing, which was present in the 1990's that cams are wearing out at low mileage.

I don't dispute the some engines may suffer cam wear but without knowing the maintenance history, oil used, you cannot just blame the oil. The emphasis being on SOME engines.
You did the calling, didn't you.

It is a known fact that Twin cam Fiats, all Fords already in the '70s ate their cams. Later the TSs were strange in that only some had premature cam wear. And I imagined that the vernier showed 1mm less lift on my Buso cams. A TS engine will use oil between services with Castrol GTX, but use no oil with different oils.

And while we are on the era of durability testing, that worked well for Alfa engines with cam belts. And we loved everybody calling our favourite engines c**p. And before that era, I never had a high lift cam on a Nord engine that showed any wear.

You surely understand the Alfas.
 

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You did the calling, didn't you.

It is a known fact that Twin cam Fiats, all Fords already in the '70s ate their cams. Later the TSs were strange in that only some had premature cam wear. And I imagined that the vernier showed 1mm less lift on my Buso cams. A TS engine will use oil between services with Castrol GTX, but use no oil with different oils.

And while we are on the era of durability testing, that worked well for Alfa engines with cam belts. And we loved everybody calling our favourite engines c**p. And before that era, I never had a high lift cam on a Nord engine that showed any wear.

You surely understand the Alfas.
Exactly my point, what Ian did was label EVERY 1990/2000's engine as a potential premature cam wear engine which simply is not true. If you take the engine which did suffer premature wear as a % of total engines made you would find that % is very low.

I agree the 60s and 70's engines did suffer cam wear, how much of that was oil related though rather than manufacturing? Surely you concede that oil technology has moved on dramatically in the last 30 - 40 years.

I'd hazard a guess the cams in the 12V Busso circa the late 1970s were manufactured differently to the ones used in the 916 GTV's. I don't dispute engines can suffer cam wear, I do dispute its an issue with EVERY engine as Ian implied it is. Back in the 1980's Opel's 1600 motor was renowned for wearing its cam quickly.

If you go back to the twin cam fiats of the 1970's, most of those engines died because of cambelt failure rather than cam wear, likewise the OHC motor fitted to the Viva GT.

Another question worth noting, at what mileages are these 1990/2000 cars suffering cam wear, most will be around 200k-300k by now if not more, that's certainly not premature cam wear by any stretch. What is the % wear on OE cams versus aftermarket? Would be interesting to chart that particular statistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Exactly my point, what Ian did was label EVERY 1990/2000's engine as a potential premature cam wear engine which simply is not true.
I've come accross a potential issue on Busso and TS engines...

He says it seems that certain engines, particularly engines from the 90's and of european origin, suffer from camshaft wear because of this.
Really now. "Potential issue" and "certain engines" and of these certain engines, "particularly engines from the 90's and of European origin" suddenly mean "EVERY engine"... I did not even mention anything about 2000's.

I leave it at that... once again, paper bag smiley: :paperbag:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The aim of this thread was to highlight a possible issue so that thise who are experiencing the same may be warned of the dangers beforehand. Not to argue with anyone on the forum whobis of a different meaning.

I agree my response may have been snotty but to disregard valid info and blame it on poor maintenance certainly sucks ass.

As Corrie mentioned, you did the calling...

Another paper bag: :paperbag:
 
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