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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks!

I know this is a 2017+ forum, and my car is a 1980. I’m posting here because I have posted in other more appropriate forums and found no help. I’m hoping someone might chime in here.

I’m bringing a 1980 124 back from “junkyard death”, and just got the engine running again. It’s making a odd noise that I cannot identify. If anyone feels like they might know please help thank you!

 

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Guesses, both, of course:

Trashed pulley bearing. Couldn't tell you which one, but judging from the directional sound as the camera shifts, I'm going with the alternator pulley on the lower right side.

Alternative? Since someone evidently pulled the radiator and you are running the water pump dry, it could be the pump bearings and you're hearing them through the disconnected upper radiator hose.
 

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Make sure all your timing marks are spot-on for the timing belt. The large pulley drives the oil pump, and was used for the mechanical fuel pump in days of old. It still retains a lobe which can interfere with other internal mechanicals if not "timed" right. That pulley has marks, which may be hard to see. Good luck.
 

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Additionally, remove the alternator belt and run the engine. If the noise remains that would eliminate the water pump/alternator bearings as Gear Poet suggested.

As a rule brings don't click when they fail, they tend to rumble.
 

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I think I would suspect The water pump. Did you change it? I would guess you didn’t since the crankshaft pulley has to come off, and that’s a b*****. The water pump and timing belt are relatively cheap parts that it’s not worth not changing them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All valid points here thank you. All guesses allowed :)

By the way, here's another vid of the day I got it running again.


I didn't know it at the time, but the noise shows up there too at about 5:37 and 7:30.

The water pump is going to be changed. I didn't know the crank pulley had to come off for that, I didn't look at it that closely. Had I known, I would have done that when I replaced the timing belt. Ugh. Does a chain wrench actually work well enough to hold the pulley? I don't like the "starter bump" technique, but I may not have a choice. Again.. ugh.

I'll take the v belt off, and do it again. You guys have me thinking it's a valve timing issue though, and we are listening to piston interference! I have checked the timing marks again and again, and they seem fine. I think I'm going to make sure the timing marks actually mean #1 cylinder is at TDC. I'm going to remove the plug, put in a slug, and physically determine where #1 TDC actually is.

I shall report back my findings.
 

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The crank pulley doesn't need to come off to remove the water pump. Workshop manual says drain coolant, loosen alternator bolts and remove drive belt (crank - alternator - water pump), remove 3 water pump pulley bolts, remove pulley, remove coolant inlet hose and smaller hose at end of coolant return pipe, remove 4 bolts holding pump in place, remove pump/coolant rail, then remove 2 nuts holding coolant rail.
 

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The crank pulley doesn't need to come off to remove the water pump. Workshop manual says drain coolant, loosen alternator bolts and remove drive belt (crank - alternator - water pump), remove 3 water pump pulley bolts, remove pulley, remove coolant inlet hose and smaller hose at end of coolant return pipe, remove 4 bolts holding pump in place, remove pump/coolant rail, then remove 2 nuts holding coolant rail.
I just rewatched the video, and you are correct in this case: specifically, the timing belt cover is missing. You can’t remove the timing belt cover to get at the pump bolts without removing the crankshaft pulley.

Typically, the cover can be modified to allow access to the pump. But there are also 2 types of cover - I had both a yellow plastic one and a metal one. The (installed) plastic one would not come off without crank pulley removal or breaking the cover. The metal one, while similar, appeared to have a different design which supposedly allows it to be removed with the pulley still in place (Don’t know if that is actually true because I never fitted it).

regardless, it looks like the issue is moot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I double checked the timing. The mark on the engine does correlate with #1 TDC, so that’s right. I checked the remaining marks, they seem right. I tried one tooth advanced and one tooth retarded on the crank and no change. I did take off the v belt, no change. Valve covers too, no change (except a big mess). I thiought I found a crack, but it was just a loose plug. Stumped I am.

 

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From your video it looks like you are 10 degrees off on the crank. The LONGEST pointer is TDC. Crank rotates clockwise as viewed from the front. The other 2 marks are 5 and 10 degrees after TDC. You may have a valve kissing a piston. Take out # 1 plug..put a really long screw driver in the plug hole ..rotate crank by hand..CLOCKWISE. till screw driver reaches max. height...ensure you are lined up with LONGEST pointer on the timing cover...reset everything...let me know what you find.
 

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Addition: You can reach TDC in 2 ways...top of compression stroke (which is what you want) or top of exhaust stroke...if the marks are WAY off, keep turning engine till marks are in the neighborhood. Then realign cams and auxiliary shaft sprocket.
 

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If memory serves these engines are set to #4 TDC compression stroke...in any event...your are in the neighborhood...you can probably make sure all pulleys are aligned, then just reset the crank and retention the belt. After all, it is running!!!
 

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Ster1: I must apologize. I watched your video again, and YES your marks are right. It would have helped if I had my reading glasses on. Sorry for any confusion. Just an old man using faded memory. Again, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hefbadr- no worries! I need specs myself or I can’t see $hit. Which fits well with my Can’t Remember $hit. Hah.

So, nothing yet. I have played with timing, done everything I can there. It all seems correct. Tomorrow I’m going to stick an endoscope down the plug holes to see if I can see anything. I probably won’t be able to. Something is hitting something, and I can’t find it. If (when) the scope yields nothing, the head is coming off. Maybe it’s a wrist pin, or ... sheesh I have no idea. Why only on deceleration !?!? That’s frustrating the hell out of me. I’m tempted to rev the hell out of it intil whatever it is breaks. That’s one sure way to tell ;)
 

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Ster1:

Just a shot in the dark, but years ago working on a 124 I dropped a tiny nut down a spark plug hole...one of the tiny ones that hold the air filter on the carb..uses an 8mm wrench... did not realize it at the time...sounded just like your situation, and seemed to do it more on engine decel...???? Any chance you introduced a foreign object in one of the cyls???
 

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Can you use a stethoscope to locate the actual location of the rattle? The next thing might be something in the distributor, but it seems too loud for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, it would seem I have valve interference after all. I took my scope out there again, and spent a bit more time looking at the valve recesses.


Cylinders 1 and 3. If this were timing related, I think I would see more marks on more pistons, but it’s isolated to just 2 valves. Looking at the amount of carbon on the pistons makes me think I just have 2 valves that have enough carbon built up to make them move slowly. That doesn’t jive with the fact that it seems to happen only on deceleration, but there is definitely contact there.
 
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