Author Topic: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!  (Read 8852 times)

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$5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« on: October 16, 2010, 09:51:29 PM »
Here's my story, bought a 156 JTS with 40K on the dial, 2nd day on the road selespeed goes, can't shift, car stops on the highway, all the selespeed oil in tank is gone and leaked ... towed it home then to shop, fixed .... cool, so all good I hope! No.
1 month later, very poor performance in second gear, holds back then speeds up, lots of engine rattling, the left suspension bear points also go, so it's rattling even more, hard to tell if it's the engine or suspension. Anyway, I check the oil once a week, every week I give it a little, like 200ml, then it started to drink 1 litre every week, then once week I checked and there was NO OIL. no leaks, just no oil, the car went through 8 litres of oil after 5000KM, WFT!!!!
I took it to the alfa specialist, I told him about the poor performance, the white smoke blowing from exhaust in idle, and the white smoke blowing out at gear shifts. 

This is my bill items, the car is performing better on second gear, also sounds cleaner, but there's still smoke blowing.  Is this right, after a total engine overhaul (list below), should it still blow smoke?   Please look at the quote below.
The car is still rattling like mad, didn't have enough money to fix the suspension, so it's hard to notice any change in rattling due to engine fix.

* Camshafts,piston rings
Customer intermittently noticed oil pressure warning message & Also noticed some white smoke from exhaust system. Customer topped up engine oil with 5>litres since last service.
Engine Displays loud audible sound from upper cylinder head. Inspected engine oil level & found no oil mark on dip stick. Advised customer engine would require new camshafts and valve lift lashes. Advised customer we would source second hand camshafts & valve lashes. Customer agreed to replace required components with good second hand parts.

Remove engine cylinder head from vehicle. On removing cylinder head we found excessive piston ring slap. Remove required engine components to access engine piston removal. Remove engine pistons from engine assembly. Sublet to L.W.Parry Engineering to modify lower piston groove. Advised by L.W Parry to remove engine assembly from vehicle & carry out crankshaft linish and hone engine cylinders. Note:Supplied two second hand pistons,due to excessive wear to the originals N/C. Fit engine crankshaft with new main bearing set. Fit pistons with new piston ring set & con rod bearings to engine assembly. Strip & Inspect engine oil pump [satisfactory]. Reverse assemble lower engine components. Fit engine cylinder head and required components. Replace engine oil and filter element. Flush cooling system and Replace engine coolant. Start vehicle normalise engine running & bleed cooling system. Interrogate motronic med 7.3.1 for error codes. Carry out engine calibration and factory parameters. Bleed system & Carry out selespeed clutch plunger operation.
Carry out selespeed clutch self calibration.
Carry out selespeed end of line calibration and road test.
Road test vehicle to ensure customer satisfaction.

Technician Labour 119884   
Castrol Edge Sport Synthetic 0055189961   
Alfa JTS Oil Filter Element TBS   
Throttle Body Service Decarbon/12mo 053951220   
Wurth Zebra Hose Clamp 9mm 12/20 15081616   
Selespeed CS Tutela Oil 1lt WDOC   
Coolant/ Summer & Winter 2year Prog 0060677853   
Alfa 156 Jts Exhaust Camshaft S/Han 0055186235   
Alfa 156 Jts Inlet Camshaft S/Hand 6010   
Alfa Romeo Cylinder Bolts 6010   
Alfa Romeo Dw712 Gasket Kit 6010   
Engine Valve Lifters S/Hand   16.00
Engineering,Cylinder Head 6010   
Piston Ring Set 6010   
Modify Engine Pistons 6010   
Con Rod Bearing Set 6010   
Main Bearing Set Std 6010   
Linish Crankshaft 6010   
Hone Engine Block Cylinders
Machine Flywheel Assembly
Alfa 156 Jts Selespeed Clutch Kit
Syntrax 75w90 Castrol Fluid

All work is covered by our 12month/10,000km whichever occurs first,workmanship guarantee. If you encounter any difficulties at all please contact us immediately.

Total Cost $6100 (5,500 after discount)


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Re: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 10:46:11 PM »
Hi, I heard of JTS's using oil so I checked it once a week (which some say is excessive), but 8 litres after an oil change? that's like 3 oil changes in under 10K.

When I turn the car on and go look at the exhaust, there's white smoke coming out ... got someone to rev the car, it was white for a while, high revs a heap of brown smoke came out ... I don't get it, with an engine overhaul I would assume no smoke.
Stuck it in the garage so I could focus on the smoke, same, and smells like burning oil? or burning fuel? ... quite a strong smell!

Got no money for anything else :( maybe $100 for fuel! not happy, but had to get the car back.


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Re: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 10:48:04 PM »
It's a fresh rebuld, check oil daily until the rings bed in properly. Smoke is far from uncommon on a fresh rebuild. I hope you were given running in instructions for the rings and fresh hone, and I also hope you've been following them.
 I personally think the price is a bit high, I would've specified new pistons, all the rest of the work was done, the cost would've been a drop in the ocean on that bill. If it still uses oil after 5000 kms,  you have to worry about loose piston clearances and oil consumption, I don't know how you can hone bores and reuse old pistons/ second hand pistons and not have clearances that are the loose side of satisfactory. I also don't see how an engine that's damaged it's bores can have unscuffed pistons, but that's just me I suppose. I also hope  "modify pistons" doesn't mean knurl pistons....

Regards, Andrew.


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Re: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 10:57:50 PM »
Hi,  now, wasn't given any running in instructions ... don't I just drive!
Do you have any instructions? what do you recommendation?
I was told 'Car is all good, performing better, give it a couple of weeks it'll run even better' ...
so I assumed just drive as normal, check oil, and good luck to you!


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Re: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 02:06:36 PM »
It's too late to run in now  >:(  avoid lugging the engine, keep the revs up and try to avoid droning along at a constant engine speed for very long. Avoid hig rpm/full throttle but don't be afraid to use  a fair bit of throttle occasionaly

 Regards, Andrew.


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Re: $5.500 fix, still blowing smoke!
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 05:47:17 PM »
lots of things in this doesn't add up/make sense... maybe thats just me...

I don't understand or know what they did to the pistons.. The only way to rebuild is to refinish the bores and source oversize pistons and rings. It is almost implied that there was piston damage requiring 2 alternatives to be sourced. IDK what piston ring slap is - but piston slap infers excessive gap b/w piston its rings and the bore... This would explain the problem, but refitting standard pistons is not sufficient- you must rebore and fit the appropriate oversize replacement piston on all 4 cyl.

first things first tho, ought to have inspected bottom end if worried about oil starvation... if bottom end needed work along with cams and piston damage... i'm sorry but that engine is scrap. time to source a good replacement, stripping head and sump for inspection and refitting new head gasket set... A rebuild due to failure would require complete and utter rebuilding - hot tanking everything and full disassemble to get it spotless... mulched metals gets EVERYWHERE and will destroy bearings and other working internals...

also are you sure the car had 40k? how has it done 40k and requires a new clutch plate? unless u meant to say 140k...

anyway if the car is rough consuming oil and blowing smoke you would be under the implied warranty of the garage that did the work.
1) who did it and
2) what have they said/return it to them for comment...

A lot of this, at least how its been described does not add up... I would say its not normal 1) what has been done and 2) a proper rebuild would not smoke excessively.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 02:25:37 PM by wankski »