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Discussion Starter #1
Please help folks - I am trying to get my Savali 164 3.5 24valve Q4 back on the road having had to pull the engine following a big end failure - initially tried replacing the bearing and cleaning out the crank oilway insitu but that lasted only a couple of weeks...... turned out the original crank had been reground and there was swarf inside the crank.......don't know if it was Sam Van Lingen or not but, whatever, I now have another crankshaft and am in process of tightening down the main bearings for the umpteenth time..... because whenever they are properly torqued I cannot turn the crank at all........

I'd started off with blue main bearings which are Alfa's nominal ones - no use. Now I have a set of the slightly thinner red ones but the problem is still the same - even with just one bearing torqued down the crank is tight as the proverbial....!! Now these bearings were supplied from Alfa in Worcester using their chassis number database but I'm now wondering if there are significant dimensional differences between cranks from different 24valve V6's.....? Could my replacement crank have just slightly larger main journals?? By the way the big ends are fine.......

The other clue though is that when setting one shell into the main bearing cap there is significant protrusion of about 2mm from the cap, but the half set into the block looks fine and flush. So I thought lets file the protrusion flush so that each half matches perfectly.....sounds logical and I really thought I'd cracked it, but guess what the crank still tightens up and I don't have a suitable micrometer to measure exactly what's going on. Can't figure out why the shell would stick out so far either......??

Beginning to think my sanity is cracking too so appreciate any comments or guidance from the vast knowledge base out there...... Did Alfa mess about with V6 24v crank dimensions on 164's or even 166's......? Are there other bearings I could try......or perhaps another 3.0 litre crank...?? All help gratefully received......

As a footnote I've seen Antman's Q4 on Ebay - dont understand why anyone would sell one - they are addictive and unbeatable cross-country - but I do like the dark grey wheels - was wondering what to do with my alloys and had considered this colour to match the side skirts and now I have to get mine painted dark grey too. If Antman reads this wonder if you could email me some of your Q4 pics for my library? My beast is the same colour, Proteo Red, number plate L273 ORS. Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should have said the base engine for this is a 3.0 litre and the replacement crank came from a 3.0 24 valve 164 engine. thanks
 

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I have had similar issues with dare I say it a 'cosworth crank and block' for my other car. Threw a bearing, stripped down and bearing destroyed and crank needed a regrind. Went off to have that done and got the righ size sheels and put back together and the same issue, the crank wouldn't turn over when tightened down properly.

It turned out that the block needed align boring as it was out of shape, according to the machine shop this was because we had used arp bolts and aligin bore should be done before there used, how true that is I don't know?!

Once this was done the bottom end went back together and all was fine, correct size bearings all fitted ptoperly and turned over on the stand lovely.

It could be that the crank you have is different to the block your using, maybe it is newer, not overly sure to be honest, just my 10p's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just thinking again - the response above is quite a good one but doesn't quite explain the bearing shell protrusion.....unless its intended to trim these flush as required but I've never come across that situation on any Alfa before.
 

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Is there any trace left of the paint marks on the crank or the old shell? That should confirm the size of the journals at least. A long shot I know :(

Funny enough, I had a similar problem during a rebuild with a stock 3l 12V. Crank was stock and original, bought new shells just for the sake of it really, as the old ones were in excellent order. Put it together - wouldn't turn once torqued up. Put the old ones back in, plastigauged just to make sure they were still in spec, running with them now. The new big-end shells I fitted were perfect though. Again, checked with plasticgauge and all good.

Wonder if they did indeed change something along the way??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Chris - no paint marks in sight...... Looks like I'm going to have to do the plastigauge thing too as well as look into the line boring, but none of this explains the bearing, er, overlap so to speak.....

Wish I'd kept the old shells from the other crank.......but not something I'd commonly do either - refit the old ones is regarded as poor practice, but why not if it works. I have this idea that in the factory there may be other colour codes for bearing shells, because regrinding this crank after heat treatment is a definite no-no. Which goes back tothe reason I'm doing this now - someone did a regrind on one big end only on the original crank....

All other input still gratefully received although I will post any data i get which leads to a solution.......
 

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Just talked with a guy in London who suggested I check out the bearings one at a time to see if they all lock up the engine and/or establish which one(s) are guilty so to speak. His theory is that only one is the problem and it may have overheated and distorted as a result of the previous problem. Only solution is another bearing cap and possible line boring as mentioned earlier.......

I'm currently checking out the ones which lock up....more to follow
 

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The shell protruding that far beyond the cap does sound fundamentally wrong though, doesn't it. Top tip re doing one at a time to find the culprit. On my rebuild, I found any of them did it, so at least it was consistent!


If you are using Worcester Alfa...we probably aren't too far away from one another....I've got a few 12V bits & bobs kicking about (cranks for example).....and a lot of parts are common.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Chris. I'm actually in Upton Upon Severn / Tewkesbury area normally but as I write I'm in Northampton house-sitting for a friend. May take you up on your parts hoard as required....
 

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Well guys - thanks to all the input in and around the forum. Turns out the only main bearing causing the problem was number 3. Processof elimination sorted that out. Then following on from some helpful input I spotted that No. 3 bearing cap had burnt on oil around it showing at least a degree of overheating. So with almost any main bearing shells, even used ones, this bearing was locking the crank solid. And I mean solid.... my 3/4 drive bar with a scaffold pole on it could not budge it......

So having established the offender I compared the cap diamter with the others to discover it had apparently shrunk by around a millimetre in diameter......yes really. So two possible solutions after this: line boring the whole block with respect to the crank or plastigauge the bearing to find out where it needed relief. I chose the latter method as I noticed the main bearing caps have lateral ledges to keep the shells from moving sideways. I thought line boring would remove this feature - never seen it before but given this is a Savali engine I thought I should try and keep it if possible. Anyway I have spent the weekend with a manual scraper enlarging the bearing cap the minimum necessary until it was perfect fit over the crank and bearing shell. This involved a lot of dismantling and tedious re-assembly/torqueing down but the result is a very slick and smooth turning crank now.....at long last..... I spent about an hour scraping each time - using a narrow square file as the tool and finishing off with some wet'n'dry where necessary. I did not touch the shell and actually used this with the plastigauge and the bearing cap to keep checking where to scrape off material from the cap. A bit nerve-racking and definitely tedious but as I write the engine is completely re-assembled and will be fitted back in my 164 Q4 tomorrow........ Total scraping time was probably about 8 or 9 hours in all.....and no I was not wearing an anorak at the time...... :)

Looking forward to having that running again........By the way anyone know for certain what the power output of the Savali 24valve 3.5 V6 is? I've been told around 350 bhp but never checked it out - suffice to say that the car absolutely flies although occasionally the rear wheel drive has an off day which can be exciting in the wet......... I used to have an old Ferrari 400 GT and the Q4 Savali would leave it for dead.......:)

Anyway hope this experience has been of use to some of you if you're faced with a V6 crank replacement......

ETA for turning the starter is tomorrow evening....... :)
 

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Oooh should have repeated - the theory is that the failed big end cause massive oil pressure loss and subsequent potential bearing overheating throughout the engine - main bearing no.3 being the first to die..... Its amazing that such a large piece of alloy, securely bolted in place, should suffer such a big dimensional change , just through excess heat but I saw it with my own eyes. I actually tried heating up the cap in an oven to 200 C and when bolted back at that temperature it should signs of relief, but not enough to turn the engine over from cold. Once I realised that the diameter had changed so much - some form of machining or scraping is the only way ....
 

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Spannerman - can you tell us all a bit more about this 3.5 V6 engine? I take it it is a forced induction engine of some sort? Sounds a real beast with 350bhp! :cool:

Best of luck once you get it back in your Q4 :)
 

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I can't help you with this question but Dawie De Villers from Glenwood Motors in Pretoria in South Africa has built a couple of 3.7 v6 engines and i understand they are good for 400hp, and driveable.

I spoke to a chap some time ago who has a similar engine fitted in his 156 race car and he says the biggest challenge is wheelspin accelerating through 100mph.

Do a google search and you should find results for this.
 

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I can't help you with this question but Dawie De Villers from Glenwood Motors in Pretoria in South Africa has built a couple of 3.7 v6 engines and i understand they are good for 400hp, and driveable.
The beauty of the Q4, of course, is that it's 4 wheel drive.
 

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I can't help you with this question but Dawie De Villers from Glenwood Motors in Pretoria in South Africa has built a couple of 3.7 v6 engines and i understand they are good for 400hp, and driveable.

I spoke to a chap some time ago who has a similar engine fitted in his 156 race car and he says the biggest challenge is wheelspin accelerating through 100mph.

Do a google search and you should find results for this.
I've seen a load of Glenwood stuff, and Autodelta of course, few bits n pieces from Novitec etc but not heard of Savali, only Dutch tuning firm I know is Squadra.. Sounds very interesting :)
 

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Well thanks for all the input and feedback. Let's see if I can add some value to the debate...

But first a little news: the beast is now running again and will be given a few hundred miles running in. Yes some good Scottish malt was downed to celebrate.......Some minor teething problems to iron out, like the precise location of the TPS connector, the cam sensor connector, and the flywheel end knock sensor - all interchangeable on the Q4 or any other 164 3 litre but the wiring colour codes are different on the Q4........ Anybody know the Q4 colours? I did mark them at engine out point but the labels fell off.....I think I've worked it out by logic and elimination but appreciate the correct ones if anyone knows.... Other issues are a slightly noisy valve train on the rear bank - one tappet in particular sounds like it needs attention.....and the coil pack on no.6 is either failing or not properly connected - need to check for Bosch connector corrosion first. And finally the cold start valve is not operational so no extra rpm from cold..... So she's a bit lumpy when cold but soon clears her throat....Ah well she still goes like a rocket again.......with the 4wd being a boon in wet and slippy Gloucestershire.....

1) For Smaky, there was indeed a new rod put in when the big end failure was diagnosed so no worries there I hope. Now new crank and new bearings all round - running fine now by the sound of things = just a few top-end foibles.....

2) Savali is short for Sam Van Lingen which is a Dutch dealership in Holland. Known for 3.5 conversions on the 24valve and 12 valve engines. I'm unsure of the true bhp but am trying to find out from Savali, particularly if non-standard cams are part of my package - mine have been timed with standard cam blocks but that may not be 100% correct...... Is it really 350bhp? - dunno but there is some evidence of port matching on the heads and a little fettling of the ECU as well as the possibility of slightly warmer cams..... Basic proportional arithmetic would suggest a minimum of 295 bhp - which is pretty good of its own volition - all supporting data gratefully received. But the proof is on the road and I can tell you the torque curve is much flatter (earlier and stronger than a 3.0 by miles) and the power really starts to come in at 3500 all the way to 7000 and beyond..... 6 speeds make it very useable indeed too. And as for the sound........:) :) Who needs music....... The 4wd is an absolute necessity but being Alfa occasionally the rwd part does not operate - makes wet roundabouts interesting at low speed........terminal understeer is the inevitable result.....

3) The capacity is gained purely by overboring the block with liners to accommodate 101mm pistons from Cosworth.. Savali have some connections with Autodelta in London these days - I 'm sure they represent Autodelta in Holland , or something similar..... This overboring makes decent head gaskets a compulsory requirement, and during this rebuild I had to order mine from Holland - a gentleman called Ivo Van Hees was my contact there....very helpful indeed..... Still running standard exhaust and air filter but I think some gains could be made here when the system corrodes through......... I liked Antmats's stainless system - could probably use a similar setup....

4) My car came from Holland around 4 years ago, from a business called Automobili Superleggara in Apeldoorn, west of Amsterdam. I imported it myself with some invaluable help from Louis Van Der Chijs who runs this outlet. You can find him online at Automobili - specialist in klassieke en sportieve automobielen . He arranged the Dutch end and all I had to do was re-register the car here when it came off the ferry......... Always got a few interesting Italian cars for sale....

5) No forced induction on this motor, but I have been tempted to fit the turbos from a 2.0 V6 or even one of the superchargers found on other cars......... But quite frankly this thing has more grunt than I can ever need........ Its just that power becomes addictive - better fix the brakes first eh....... Never a 164 strong point but I think a set of Tarox oversized aftermarket calipers and discs would be fine, especially since I have 17" wheels anyway. You can never have brakes that are too good.......... :)

So that's all for now - please let me know what you think folks.....
 
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