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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. Wondering if anyone has an idea. When started from cold, it sounds like one of my tappets/lifters is draining of oil, so it rattles a lot for a few minutes. Once it's warmed up the noise goes completely. It's a 2.0 twin spark. It's not a variator noise, which I sometimes/rarely get for second when I start it from hot, but is definitely a rattle. Is getting worse too. Sounds like it's coming from the top end nearer the front, but it's hard to tell. Is this common? Is it easy to change the lifters? Can i remove the camshafts and lift them out with a magnet? (I did the ones on my smart car like that). Its done only 65k miles.Will an oil flush help it? Can't imagine it's the variator as all of it would be rattling rather than just one valve.... �� Makes the noise at idle and when revving it.
 

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Timing belt off, Cam out, pull lifters with magnet, refit in reverse.
Could try some lifter additive first but it rarely fixes the problem permanently.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok thanks. I'll have a better look at it tomorrow, as there seem to be a lot on YouTube with big end bearing knock so will try to make sure the noise is the top and not the bottom! If the latter then I'm not going to be fixing that!
 

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Might be worth taking the cam cover off and having a look at the condition of the cam lobes.

It isn't uncommon for them to wear quite badly, the two under the oil filler seem to be the worst and you can usually check those two by peering into the oil filler hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I had the cover off in January to do the belts and it's all clean in there with no noticeable wear to anything. I'll have a listen to try and get a better clue where the noise is coming from ?. I'm using 10/40 mobil1 semi synthetic. Might try a flush and a thinner oil maybe?
 

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If you've left the car overnight Pop the valve cover off turn the engine over once by hand and measure valve clearances with feeler gauges, any gaps that are larger then the rest will be a sign of a tappet losing pressure.
Big ends are more of an issue on JTS rather than TS engines, whats your mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
If you've left the car overnight Pop the valve cover off turn the engine over once by hand and measure valve clearances with feeler gauges, any gaps that are larger then the rest will be a sign of a tappet losing pressure.
Big ends are more of an issue on JTS rather than TS engines, whats your mileage?
That's a very good idea! It's just turned 65k.
Would I measure the gap between camshaft and tappet with each valve closed? That's a great idea though, will let me confirm it's the top end and not the bottom.
 

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That's a very good idea! It's just turned 65k.
Would I measure the gap between camshaft and tappet with each valve closed? That's a great idea though, will let me confirm it's the top end and not the bottom.
Yes measure clearance with valve closed on the heel of the cam, it should narrow down your search, taking the sump off to inspect big ends is a PITA as you've got to split and pull O/S driveshaft and drop the down pipe which has probably got rusted away nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I've had a look at the tappets but they seem ok. I've taken the timing cover off as well in case something was amiss but all looks ok. Was surprised that the alternator belt idler was noisy, seeing it's only been on there since Jan so put a spare one on. Ran it with the fan belt off but the noise was still there. It's most noticeable if I hold it at about 2k rpm. I get a clattering knock type noise. Think it's a big end bearing going to be honest as it seems lower down than the top. I know my dmf makes a noise when it's hot, but that tends to go quiet if I depress the clutch pedal but this noise continues. It could be the dmf and have a new one sitting here but don't want to go to the hassle of changing it if the engine is only gonna last another few thousand miles. I also get a noise like pinking under load when I come back on the throttle so wondering now if that's actually piston slap from a failing bearing. I don't think the pinking is that bracket people keep going on about as it feels like it's in one piece still. I'll go easy on it and just keep plodding on till it goes I think as I haven't got the time or money to rebuild it. Thanks all!
 

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If you have a big end problem it will get worse very quickly.

Like within the space of a mile or two...

I wouldn't expect piston slap on a car with only 65k on it either.

I still reckon you have a sticking tappet, or failing variator.

Was the engine clean under the cam cover or was there lots of black deposits?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's spotless under the cover. Looks like new. It doesn't sound like the totally knackered variator sound you hear on YouTube... Can the variator be half way between ok and knackered, giving me rattles?

Something does sound vaguely like a diesel, but more like a rumbly bottom end. The top is quiet. On occasion I get that variator noise when I first start it up, but it goes within a second. I can say it's the original variator in it. I didn't change it when I did the belts as it seemed fine but changed all the pulleys etc.

Maybe it's a half dead variator then, but it hardly ever makes that dying diesel noise when I start it up.

I change the oil regularly in it. I'm doing five hundred miles a week at the moment, but have been looking after it the best I can.
 

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Sometimes when the variator is really worn they rattle all of the time and not just when the engine is started.

When you drive it is there a notceable power step at the top of the rev range?

The variator is meant to give the engine a linear power delivery, but when it has failed you can loose torque in the midrange, which means that there is a pronounced step at higher RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I haven't noticed any step in the acceleration. I don't cane it though so maybe I wouldn't have noticed. It seems to run ok. However, it seems very sluggish considering it's meant to have 150 bhp, but I've driven it for a year now and it's never been any faster or slower so I'm assuming this is just as fast as they are.

I did notice some oil around the variator solenoid when I had it apart earlier but not much. When I did the belts in January the exhaust camshaft was about half a tooth out so had to turn it round a small amount to get the locking tools on the lobes. Can't imagine that's relevant though unless it suggest free play in the variator on the other camshaft. Just assumed the last person who did it got it wrong. The timing looked bang on when I'd finished though.
 

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It is quite normal for them to feel a bit sluggish, unless you drive them hard. The engine isn't especially powerful or torquey compared to modern engines and the car is quite heavy.

Under 3000rpm they can feel very inert.

But if your variator is failed, you could be missing out on even more midrange torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok thanks. I'll see how it goes then. I'll change the variator at the next timing belt if it lasts till then. Good, I'm glad they're all sluggish and not just mine!
 

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To be honest I found the 2.0 156 a bit underpowered. The 166 being heavier is going to be worse again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
To be honest I found the 2.0 156 a bit underpowered. The 166 being heavier is going to be worse again.
Yeah, it is a bit disappointing. But hey, I can get 46 mpg if I concentrate, which the V6 guys will surely never manage!
 

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That is pretty good, the best I have ever had out of a 2.0 TS was about 34mpg (145 Cloverleaf)
 

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Have you pulled the plugs out? i've had experience of an electrode tip disintegrating and rattling round in the cylinder, that sounded like a tappet noise but from lower down.
There is a reason the smaller plugs are only virtually hand tight, which i found out!
 

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Big end knocks I've met can't be confused with a tappet rattle - the knock is much heftier, tends to reduce under load but get worse on the overrun.

Have you tried using a long screwdriver or metal rod as a stethoscope to try and localise the source of the noise?

Piston slap is really rare nowadays, I think you'd have major ring/compression problems as well and you don't seem to.
 
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