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RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
11/27/13 1:35 a.m.

I went up to my friend's garage today. It's nice to work in an enclosed and well-lit garage (though it was freezing cold! No heat aside from a dinky space heater). He had already scoped the air intakes before I arrived and found nothing out of the ordinary. We also tried something a old mechanic he knows suggested. He put dowels in all six of the spark plug holes and we watched the highest two dowels. If the dowels stopped at approximately the same height either way we turned the crank, then there is likely some foreign object in the cylinder. The thing is, they did not stop at the same height. The two dowels were higher when stopped in one direction than when going in the other.

So instead we focused our attention on the oil pan. It took about 3 1/2 hours to get it separated from the engine, though we still can't get it all of the way out (the pan is stuck on the bottom of the oil pump). As far as I could see there were no bolts missing but then again I did not have a view from straight below. When we turned the crankshaft the sound of it stopping was louder with the pan off. We think we're going in the right direction but we need to get the oil pan out of the way first. That will have to wait until Thanksgiving is over.

If the engine is salvageable then I'm also going to need a new inner CV boot for the passenger side and a new engine mount. I assume this one was original.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi SuperDork
11/27/13 6:50 a.m.

Does your have those awesome first class leather buckets? I grabbed some at the JY the other day, incredible seats!

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
11/27/13 7:46 a.m.

I think its time for the motor to come out. Are you able to check all the cap bolts with the pan loose like that?

HappyAndy
HappyAndy SuperDork
11/27/13 8:35 a.m.

Have you pulled the starter yet? Does the bell housing have any type of inspection port? Does the noise you hear sound like it's coming from the back end of the engine? I'm wondering if you have a broken flywheel.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
11/27/13 6:24 p.m.

In reply to chandlerGTi:

Not my car but this is what my 164's front seats look like. They are quite comfortable, power adjusting, and everything except the seat heaters work.

Are you talking about the Recaros? I believe those were an option on the earlier 164S 12-valve (and maybe the AWD Quadrifoglio, but don't quote me on that). Very rare and desirable.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
11/27/13 6:25 p.m.
HappyAndy wrote: Have you pulled the starter yet? Does the bell housing have any type of inspection port? Does the noise you hear sound like it's coming from the back end of the engine? I'm wondering if you have a broken flywheel.

There is a flywheel inspection port and we did remove the cover and had a look, but we did not see anything that jumped out at us.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/4/13 12:26 a.m.

Well there's my problem.

No. 5 conrod bent. Yep, same cylinder that was missing a valve lifter. We took the front head off. The bent rod also caused interference between the bottom of the piston and the crankshaft counterweight because the piston stroke was suddenly too low, which was what prevented the crankshaft from rotating all the way around. Once the affected piston and conrod were out, the crankshaft turned freely. The piston bottom took the brunt of the damage. There's a little scratching on the counterweight but not enough to require replacement or machining.

So as I search for a new conrod and piston, the next questions are, what caused the conrod to bend like that, and how do I prevent it from happening again? If there was an object in the cylinder it must have been small and exited through the working exhaust valve because there was no damage to the dome, piston rings, piston skirt, cylinder head, cylinder liner, or valves. We will be removing the downpipes anyway so we can check in those and the catalytic converter for debris. However, I'm guessing this was due to detonation rather than foreign object damage.

This is the no. 5 cylinder head and valves. The grayish one is the working valve, the one with crud on the stem is the one that was missing the valve lifter. The crud was just old carbon deposits and wiped off easily. I've installed a replacement lifter which is why it's opening in the following photo.

And here is the no. 5 exhaust manifold port.

What do you guys think?

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltraDork
12/4/13 12:40 a.m.

Hydrolocked?

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/4/13 7:39 a.m.

wow... only seen that on dyno motors where things like that just happen.

hydrolock is most likely, but I have seen rods get bent due to pre-ignition- not harsh enough to break the piston, but early enough to way overload the rod.

I assume you are changing the piston AND liner, since they normally come as sets....

HappyAndy
HappyAndy SuperDork
12/4/13 12:07 p.m.

It can't possibly be a coincidence that that is the same cylinder that was missing a lifter. Very weird.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/4/13 6:47 p.m.

The head gasket crumbled when we removed it. So maybe water got in the cylinders. Or maybe one of the new Volvo injectors leaked fuel into the cylinder. Or one of my coil packs was bad and the fuel injector was fine, but fuel puddled in the cylinder because there was no spark. I may never know what happened.

I'm going to test my coil packs on one of my friend's other 164s. The original injectors are going to be blueprinted before reinstallation. I don't know if the Volvo injectors were the problem but I'm not going to chance it.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
12/4/13 10:06 p.m.

As long as one exhaust valve worked, fuel puddling is probably not the cause. The only way it could be is if the cams jumped time. Might want to check cam timing.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/4/13 10:28 p.m.

I would know if the car had jumped timing because all of the valves would be trashed! The 24v 164 can tolerate jumping 1 tooth, maybe, before the valves crash into the pistons.

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
12/5/13 9:27 a.m.

Man, what a job! Glad you found the problem, I hope you can salvage the motor and get this thing back on the road! Good luck!

mazdeuce
mazdeuce SuperDork
12/5/13 10:15 a.m.

My mom had a similar (or exactly the same) situation when an injector stuck open. It would run, badly, but when the ignition was left on for some trouble shooting the injector filled the cylinder with fuel and an attempt to start it bent the rod.
Brought it into the shop with a bad injector, left the shop with a new motor, that she had to pay for.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/5/13 6:58 p.m.

My friend and I are investigating what's left of the old head gasket to see if it would have allowed coolant into the cylinder(s). It would not surprise me, given the missing valve lifter, that the hamfist who took this head off just decided to reuse the old gasket. It crumbled as I removed it! It might even be original!

My friend is also testing the coil packs on one of his 164s to check for any failures. The engine did run (poorly) before the rod bent and I could hear some random arcing.

I am also going to reinstall the old injectors and have the Volvo injectors sent out for testing. I wanted to send the originals out for blueprinting too, but the injector companies I contacted are headed to PRI, so they won't be back soon enough.

EDIT: He just got back to me. He said the gasket's rings around the cylinders look OK. I'm thinking it's the Volvo injectors.

dbgrubbs
dbgrubbs New Reader
12/6/13 5:52 a.m.

Try sending the injectors out to Greg Gordon of www.hiperformancestore.com. He's mostly an Alfa guy. Can service your injectors or sell you new ones. Really good guy.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/12/13 6:48 p.m.

Quick update: My friend was able to source a conrod in Maine that he will pick up tomorrow. He also measured the #5 piston himself and had it checked by a machine shop, and it's to be in good enough shape to reuse. I may replace it later anyways (maybe even all of them with with custom pistons), but with nasty weather on the way I'd like my Alfa back soon! It's remarkable the only serious damage was to the conrod.

We hope to have the 164 back on the road by the middle of next week, provided the other parts come in on time. They are arriving daily, it seems like.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
12/13/13 9:42 a.m.

I will second the comment about Gregg. I remember him from GTV6.com.

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/13/13 7:59 p.m.

Intersting article from a former AR test driver, including his impressions of the Milano/75 and photos of 164 winter testing in Finland.

http://www.petrolicious.com/giorgio-langella-heart-of-an-alfista

RexSeven
RexSeven UltraDork
12/15/13 5:09 a.m.

The new (used) rod has been installed with new big end bearings.

A new head gasket installed.

And the front cylinder head is back in place.

Tuesday night is the big push for my friend and I to finish up the car.

t25torx
t25torx Reader
12/17/13 6:40 p.m.
RexSeven wrote: The new (used) rod has been installed with new big end bearings. A new head gasket installed. And the front cylinder head is back in place. Tuesday night is the big push for my friend and I to finish up the car.

Good luck man, I hope it fires right up for you. I find that writing a checklist out of stuff to reconnect helped me a lot when I swapped the engine in my friends RSX, might not hurt to do one for the rest of the install.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce SuperDork
12/17/13 6:52 p.m.

Good luck tonight. We're pulling for you.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/17/13 7:14 p.m.
t25torx wrote:
RexSeven wrote: The new (used) rod has been installed with new big end bearings. A new head gasket installed. And the front cylinder head is back in place. Tuesday night is the big push for my friend and I to finish up the car.
Good luck man, I hope it fires right up for you. I find that writing a checklist out of stuff to reconnect helped me a lot when I swapped the engine in my friends RSX, might not hurt to do one for the rest of the install.

But before you do that, please 1) turn it over by hand, and 2) turn it over without fuel. Just to make sure. You've been through enough already- I don't think I could take it failing on the first try.

I've done that, too- we were working on an experimental V12, and we had to rewire the whole thing. We missed a bolt. It broke off an intake valve, and, well, you can see where that went.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Dork
12/17/13 7:55 p.m.
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