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Discussion Starter #1
Our 916 2.0 TS had a loss of power on the motorway after a long weekend around Wales.

We have done about 700 miles since the head gasket and cambelt was changed. Most of that this weekend (550). That work was done June last year approx. Two weeks ago I had the oil changed and replaced and the brake fluid (no relevance for the latter).

On Friday before the weekend I changed the plugs and air filter. The car seemed as good as it ever was.

So driving at around 4k rpm and the power drops. Not electrical, just as if the ignition was turned off. My first thoughts were the belt. I coast onto the hard shoulder and by this time the battery and oil pressure light are on which you'd expect with the engine not running.

I turned the starter and it was as if the starter motor was not engaging the flywheel. I assumed for certain the belt had gone. I pushed my finger under the belt cover but the belt was there and under what I considered good tension. At this point I called the RAC. 20 minutes later he arrives. I explain to him it's as if the motor is not engaging the flywheel etc.. Whilst I turn the key he checked under the bonnet. Auxiliary belt turning, hard to tell if the cam belt was at that point. His description was loss of compression which actually seems to be the case. The starter spins the engine too quickly IMHO. I can't be too sure because this car has always started on the first turn.

We get towed home. Yesterday evening I checked the plugs had not come loose, far fetched I know but an idea. They weren't. I had someone turn the engine over and the cam belt is turning as are the two cam sprockets. Is the balance shaft at the top? There is something turning there I'm sure.

I know little about injection systems as my engine building hours were all with carburetors. There seems to be two pipes on the injection 'distribution bar', one with an arrow in and the other an arrow out. The arrow in clip seems a bit loose as I can move the pipe up and down the metal nozzle connector which I can't do on the out arrow pipe. If I hold it in a certain way the pressure built up (starter off) causes fuel to squirt out. So I can assume there is fuel coming through? I am not sure the connection is tight enough. I will clip it properly when I am next working on the car.

I have checked on cylinder 1 that there is a spark, not checked any others. So I seem to be getting a spark and reasonably sure there is fuel though is that connection causing a starvation of fuel?

My next move is to remove the cam cover and check there is no large valve gap as I've read that can be a sign of the valves meeting and greeting the pistons. I assume they are stuck/bent open and therefore do not return. I have no experience of a belt failure or belt slip.

I will also get hold of a compression tester and test each cylinder. As the belt is most certainly in place and the tension feels good if it is the belts then they have slipped a tooth or so. There is no banging knocking now or when the engine lost power.

The starter does seem to turn the engine over too quickly. Any ideas? Crank sensor? I think the phase one pre-dates OBDII. I'm sure there is an ODB connection (I) on the car? Is that the case?

Eventually it will most likely go into a garage for repairs. I do not have the time or space to repair it at home. I'm just trying to get an idea of the fault.

I'll keep the thread updated as I do or learn more. I'll also post this thread in the Engines section of the forum.
 

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First port of call would be diagnostics. There is a connector in the passenger foot well on phase 1 cars. You need a laptop and a paid for copy of MES ( multiecuscan). If engine turns over its unlikely that cam timing has altered as it's an interference engine and valves hit the pistons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thankyou. I knew it was an interference engine but don't know the symptoms. Sounding better :)
 

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First cheq if your timing is still ok If the timing is not ok the cambelt has slipped a couple of theets and your valve are bent = no compression = no starting. If timing is ok there could be a valve burnt, so cheq the compression of each cylinder. The one that has no compression has one or more burnt valves.
When you remove the belt cover you wil see 2 belts, the lower one ( if mounted )is the balance belt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Afco,
Thanks great advice. I assume the only way to properly check the [valve] timing is to of course remove the timing belt cover and check the sprocket marks?
 

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Afco,
Thanks great advice. I assume the only way to properly check the [valve] timing is to of course remove the timing belt cover and check the sprocket marks?
Yes,the one s on the camshafts and on the cranckshaft sprocket
 

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There aren't any timing marks on TS unless they are tippex ones put on by a cowboy garage. Only way to check timing is with a dial gauge and cam locks.
 

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@ spankdanny,
you should be spanked :biglaugh: as you see in the picture on 9 there is a mark ................not by a cowboy butt by original Alfa romeo spaghetti
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is the engine mgt light on in the dashbord at all?
No I don't recall it being on. I will have to double check.

I only think there is a lack of compression purely because the starter motor appears to turn the engine over effortlessly as if the plugs were out.
If the belt slipped and the valves bent then it's a big job, one I'm not prepared to do because I don't have the garage space (something else in there, that has to be there). I'm not doing it on my drive because it will **** the neighbours off :D.

I just want to check and get an idea so I know what kind of bill to expect :)

I've ordered an endoscope and a compression tester. Not sure if the former will be of any use but the latter hopefully. My other option (not sure if I mentioned it) is to remove the cam cover and check any large clearances on the valves which might suggest a bent one.

However it seems that once you've had a piston/valve meeting then probably sometime after you will most likely get a bottom end failure due to the stresses created at bash time. It may well be worth just considering a complete replacement or reconditioned motor. I know I want to keep the car despite it being worth very little.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is the engine mgt light on in the dashbord at all?
Comes on with ignition then as you crank the engine it goes out.
Also noticed a wisp of smoke or vapour from the oil filler cap as you attempt to start it. Might just be crankcase gasses.
I'm really beginning to think its slipped some teeth.
 

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Not something silly like Crank position sensor gone south ? Could be worth checking it with a multimeter while turning the engine over.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Not something silly like Crank position sensor gone south ? Could be worth checking it with a multimeter while turning the engine over.
You're not the first to suggest that. However cranking it earlier I thought I heard a clunk.
 

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If its spinning over "easily" - with a sort of "whirring" rather than any attempt at firing, its 90% likely that you've had a belt jump some teeth, and as you say, valves will be bent. Cheapest option almost certainly a replacement engine, though I've got good second-hand heads, and its not too big a job to drop the sump and replace the big-end shells.

If you're north side of Manchester I'm often down that way and happy to have a listen to it ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #15
If its spinning over "easily" - with a sort of "whirring" rather than any attempt at firing, its 90% likely that you've had a belt jump some teeth, and as you say, valves will be bent. Cheapest option almost certainly a replacement engine, though I've got good second-hand heads, and its not too big a job to drop the sump and replace the big-end shells.

If you're north side of Manchester I'm often down that way and happy to have a listen to it ;)
Thanks for the offer. I'm pretty confident that after this evening I'll know for sure.
I keep thinking about how I could do the work at home without my front drive looking like a scrapyard.
I've done full engine rebuilds in the past (1980's). I've done a couple of belt changes, one on an old 50p Renault and once on my newish Accord. The latter I got the timing out by one tooth myself but got away with it.
So my confidence is not great to do it properly myself. The garage that changed the belt July/August last year struggled with it (car needed a new head gasket and head skimming) and it seems they probably ****ed up. I should have taken it to AlfaTune but this garage the family and myself have used for decades, it was just easy and convenient as it is a 2 minute walk from my mum's.
I have no issue doing the head work, replacing valves etc but the timing belt scares the crap out of me :lol:
If I did what you said I could then move the car to my mum's under it's own steam and do the shell bearings as she has a big drive and car port. However I have a stack of jobs that need doing at home. One way or the other I need professional help for work that needs doing! :D

I'll have to decide what is a good balance :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)

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I bought this one to break so don't know. My guess is cam timing went, piston hit valve and knocked the valve head off then havok ensued.. I would of imagined clouds of blue smoke at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Same thing happened to the GTV I'm breaking at the moment and it also looks like it recently had a cambelt done. Who did the work on yours?
It was a local (iPad said apocalypse:lol: that's twice today it really does know) garage I and some of my family have used in the town I was born. They've been there almost as long as I've been driving. A family run garage. Unfortunately the owner did not do the belt change it was one of his employees. Anyway he's offered to help in a manner and it would be cheaper than the specialist. However I'm turning his offer down. Car is washed and back under cover until I decide what's best.

Ouagh, was nt there a big bang?
Not with ours, just like the ignition was turned off.
 
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