Information about all things automotive ― cars, people, motorsport & maintenance. Knowledge is power!

Explained Timing belts

Explained Timing belts

A cam belt is a part of an internal combustion engine that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft(s) so that the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times during each cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes. In an interference engine like Alfa’s 16v Twin Spark and Busso V6s, the timing belt or chain is also critical to preventing the piston from striking the valves.

Timing belts must be replaced at the manufacturer’s recommended kms and/or time periods. Failure to replace the belt can result in complete breakdown or catastrophic engine failure in cars such as the Alfetta GTV6, Alfa 75 V6, 147, 156, GTV 916 and GT.

Timing belts commonly fail because they have stripped teeth (which leaves a smooth section of belt where the drive cog will slip) or suffered delamination and unraveling of the fiber cores. Complete breakage of the belt, because of the nature of the high tensile fibers, is relatively uncommon.

The interval between timing belt replacement has on a number of occasions been revised from the intervals in Alfa Romeo owners manuals, talk to us if you are unsure.

If your car is due for a new timing belt, call us to book an appointment – 9386 9650.

Buyers guide Alfa 147

Buyers guide Alfa 147

The Alfa 147 won the European Car of the Year award in 2001 because it provided an enjoyable driving experience, but was practical for everyday use. Over the years it was offered in a variety of 4 cylinder engines as well as the mighty 3.2 Busso V6 in the GTA.

Overall, the 147 range has proved to be comparitively reliable, but there are a number of ‘watch outs’ when buying any car over 3 or 4 years of age.

So what are the top 6 things to look out for if you are going to buy a 147?

1. Selespeed

The Selespeed gearbox fitted to 4 cylinder cars has to be scrupulously maintained, failure to do so can result in costly repairs. Look for evidence of thorough maintenence in service records.

2. Cam belt

The cam belt on all 4 and 6 cylinder engines must be replaced at prescribed intervals. Failure to do so can result in serious damage to the engine. Factor the cost of this into the price of car you are considering.

3. Suspension

Knocks and clunks from the suspension can mean worn out upper front wishbone bushes, sway bar mounts or radius arm bushes.

4. Dashboard warning lights

Warning lights for the engine, air bag or braking system might be something quite minor like a sensor, or they might mean something more serious. This is one for a specialist, the best way to diagnose these problems is to connect the car to an Alfa/Fiat Examiner tool.

5. Keys

Replacement keys can be very expensive, look for a car that comes with 2 factory keys.

6. GTA differential

If you are looking for a GTA, look for a car that has a limited slip differential – either a Q2 or a Quaiffe. The factory differential is a common failure which can result in gearbox damage. If the car you are looking at doesn’t have an LSD, try to factor that into the price of the car.

If you are looking for a 147 and you would like a second opinion, book one of our pre purchase inspections – 9386 9650.

Things we like…LeMans the film

Things we like…LeMans the film

A film made by a racer about one of the world’s greatest motorsport events featuring the mighty Porsche 917, Ferrari 512, Alfa T33, Matras and Lolas – what is there not to like? 🙂

You don’t just watch this film, you listen to it as well – how good is the sound of those old school flat 12s, V12s and V8s? Even the race team livery is great, arguably the best of them all, the Gulf Racing powder blue and orange.

The Alfa Romeo Owners Club 12 hour

The Alfa Romeo Owners Club 12 hour

Every year the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia runs a program of very popular sprint events, but the jewel in the crown is the relay event held at Winton Raceway in October. Attracting 30 or so 3-6 car teams, the 2017 12 hour event will be run over 2 days.

We will of course be entering our own team headed up by the MPS 105 GTV – who knows, maybe this year we will get to claim the trophy!
If you make it up to Winton for the 12 hour track me down and say hello!