Fiat 126 Chat => Fiat 126 Mechanical Problem Solving => Topic started by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 05:01:44 PM

Title: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 05:01:44 PM
Quite sadly, something catastrophic happened to the car. I went for drive with my Bis this afternoon. Unfortunately, suddenly, the engine made a loud noise, and engine oil started spewing out. On inspection, I could see the chain gear from the top from a crack in the engine. The AA said the chain may have broken, and caused bits of it outward cracking the chain covering. This may have cause severe internal damage. The AA says I need a new engine.

Any advise?
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 05:03:03 PM
Another photo.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: 126blackbird on August 17, 2019, 05:49:39 PM
That's not looking good, I think you will need another engine
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 06:02:55 PM
Can it be overhauled? if so, approximately how much would it cost?
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: 126blackbird on August 17, 2019, 06:13:27 PM
It needs to be stripped down first to see what damage has been done
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Rusty's Uncle on August 17, 2019, 07:35:03 PM
Angelo that is so tragic , I know how much you love that car and the cash you have spent maintaining it. Not being familiar with the Bis engine it is hard for me to see exactly what has failed but as the Blackbird says it will need a strip down to fully assess the damage. Hard thing is to find someone competent in your area that is not going to rip you off.
Is it the crankcase as well as the timing chain cover that is busted?
I see that you have the feelers out for a replacement engine which could well be the way to go as long as you do not get a pup. Good luck mate  :)
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 08:36:42 PM
I am devastated. One thing for sure, I'll get it fixed. However, the cost of repairing it is a bit of a worry.

Now that the car is back home, I did a proper visual check, and crawled underneath to inspect the damage. It seems like it is just the timing chain cover (top of the cover) as per the photo, is damaged/cracked. The crankcase is, as far as I can see, is undamaged.

Proeitti Ltd is the only garage I know that is competent enough. Logistically, close to me (less than 10 mins. drive). Yep, alarmingly pricey, but they do a good job.

I shall take the route that is cost effective. I'd like to keep the original engine if possible. Hopefully, Piotross might have ideas re used or new watercooled engines.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 17, 2019, 08:42:30 PM
I am also baffled by what has just happened. The car has just done 21k miles. I think generally, timing chains are good to about 80k miles or so. I change oil regularly. It had an oil change in June this year. Bad luck I suppose.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Pete126 on August 18, 2019, 12:19:01 AM
Hi Angelo, it may not be as bad as you think but you will need to get the timing chain cover off to find out if it’s just the chain or the gears that have broken, You may get away with just replacing them but that’s the only way to find out. It would be ashamed to replace the engine when it might not be necessary and keep the car original, I’m sure that London has some Polish garages that you can check out also drop “sunriserpht” on eBay selling 126 parts  he may know someone who can help you in the London area
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: ChrisRLewis on August 18, 2019, 12:45:48 AM
Doesn't sound too good.  Where was the oil coming out from?
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: DEYAN IYI on August 18, 2019, 12:49:44 AM
Ugly picture... :( If the pistons and the valves have not kissed each other, gotta be an "easy" repair. It can be seen using an endoscope  through the spark plug holes or just remove the head and inspect. Do not buy another engine right away.


I hope that you will have it running sweet shortly.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 20, 2019, 09:01:23 PM
I managed to convince the AA to trailer my car to Proeitti Ltd for free. I'll let you know what they find. Watch this space.

Interestingly, the AA technician who arrived to take my car offered to buy my 126 Bis. He is from Poland. He had a good look at the car inside out including the engine, and he said he would buy it off me for £2,500 (my quoted selling price when asked how much I would sell it) as is. He said he could fix cheaply himself as he is a mechanic. He said the 126 engines are so simple to work with. In addition, the Bis, because of its rarity in Poland, is valued northwards of £7k. He has been looking for a nice RHD Bis for quite a while. Mmmmmmmm. It is tempting. I have all his contact details. He sent me an email the same day!

Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: DEYAN IYI on August 20, 2019, 10:31:07 PM
Them Polish plumbers...  :D

Are you sure you can't repair it yourself, if it is still repairable and with a little help from your friends?
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Xylaquin on August 21, 2019, 01:32:24 AM
If the pistons and the valves have not kissed each other, gotta be an "easy" repair.

Is the 126 an interference engine?

If it's not, then I gotta agree with Pete, could just need a new timing cover and new timing chain fitted.
If it is, and your valves/pistons are damaged, then I'd take the AA guy up on his offer (although his claim of £7k for a BIS I'm very sceptical on)
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 21, 2019, 06:04:55 AM
I do not know whether the 126 Bis has an interference engine. As you know, the Bis's engine is old tech based on the vintage 500 Giardinera. I think the new Fiat 500 has an interference engine.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Gordan on August 21, 2019, 08:26:39 AM
...the Bis's engine is old tech based on the vintage 500 Giardinera. ..

Holy sh...t I did not Know that! Hmmm… i Wonder if it would fit my bis  :P ;D
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: 1973/126 on August 21, 2019, 10:37:10 AM
 Shame about the timing chain failure. If you could fix it yourself it would probably be a fairly straight forward job. I can't imagine a quote from Proietti is going to be cheap.
 If it was me I would take the £2.5k offer and run with it.
 The other thing you have to consider is the new ULEZ rules. You would be better off with a TAX-exempt air cooled. Just saying ;D
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 21, 2019, 11:27:24 AM
I am still in two minds. We will see what Proeitti says.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 21, 2019, 02:58:57 PM
I found another Bis with just 18k miles for just £600. Unfortunately, the body is in good condition apart from a dented and badly painted front panel, a large dent on rear hatch and minor rust on front wheel arches. It has a MoT. All easy fixes.

Proeitti will dissect my Fiat this week. So the above, could be an option.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 27, 2019, 02:43:02 PM
An update:

Fortunately, internal damage is limited to the valves. Apart from a small scratch, the pistons are undamaged. Everything else is intact.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 27, 2019, 02:44:51 PM
No damage found. There was a small amount of debri in the sump.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on August 27, 2019, 02:49:55 PM
Only two valves were damage. All four valves to be replaced.

I was surprised to be told that they have all the parts needed except the valves.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Rusty's Uncle on August 27, 2019, 03:46:10 PM
Only two valves were damage. All four valves to be replaced.

I was surprised to be told that they have all the parts needed except the valves.

I think I have a new set of valves here if you get stuck 😀
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: michaelodonnell500 on August 28, 2019, 10:22:47 AM
I think I have a bis timing chain cover if you need one
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: 1973/126 on August 28, 2019, 08:43:20 PM
 Glad to hear there was no serious damage to the engine. Just make sure they fit a decent head gasket as there have been guys on here with failures after very little mileage. Also make sure you get it re-torqued.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 06, 2019, 08:00:46 PM
Amazingly, the car is done. They managed to put the engine together Thursday evening. It starts and drives. I have seen it. They will keep it, so that they can run it for a day or two to iron out any teething issues that may arise (e.g. timing, overheating, etc?). The engine sounded quieter (probably all in the mind). They didn't waste any time. I took the car in Tuesday last week. If not for slight delay obtaining the valves, it would have been finished Friday last week.

I am soooooo excited!
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: DEYAN IYI on September 07, 2019, 09:56:26 AM
 :) Great news!!!

Did they found why the chain have failed?
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 07, 2019, 12:02:04 PM
They are baffled by what happened to the car. They said the culprit was the small sprocket (gear?). It lost some teeth. He reckons it could be due to metallic fatigue, but he is not sure.

As far as I am concerned, the car underwent regular oil changes. The AA was stunned when he saw clear oil spewed out on the road.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 10, 2019, 08:13:52 AM
Collecting the car this morning :). I can't wait.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: 126blackbird on September 10, 2019, 01:34:27 PM
Great to hear it's been repaired, you must be please to have it up and running again
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 10, 2019, 06:03:06 PM
I had to bring it back twice the same day. It didn't overheat, but the needle went two thirds of the way. Normally, the needle sits at the center of the gauge. You could hear a "steaming" sound coming out of the cap where you pour antifreeze. Also the the new idling solenoid does not appear to work. The idling drops too low when the fan switches on. I can't increase the idling as the choke is malfunctioning. Move the lever up, the idling doesn't change much. You can see choke mechanism/cable move maximum/minimum, but the idling level does not respond. Apparently, there is a pin in the carb that control the choke/idling solenoid, and this bit need fixing - it was explained to me, but not sure. Hopefully, they can fix it.

They kept the car of for a day or two previously to iron out the above. I looks like they didn't do much with it in the the two days they kept it.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Pete126 on September 10, 2019, 08:14:10 PM
Apparently, there is a pin in the carb that control the choke/idling solenoid, and this bit need fixing - it was explained to me, but not sure. Hopefully, they can fix it.

I don't understand what they mean by a pin in the carb? I'm sure mine doesn't have one :headscratch:

Check that they have bled the cooling system the nut on top of the radiator and the pipe on top of the heater box in the front luggage compartment

Make sure all the vacuum pipes are connected the right way round (below)

The choke won't work properly unless it's clipped into the bracket that is bolted on with the exhaust nuts, check they've put the bracket on? (below)
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Xylaquin on September 10, 2019, 11:45:44 PM
perhaps by "pin in the carb" they mean the mixture screw.

However it's the fast idle screw they need to be adjusting if the new solenoid isn't work. Could just be that it's not set correctly and so when the fan kicks in the revs aren't raising enough. Adjust the screw, which adjusts the vacuum, which adjusts the revs when the solenoid is active and boom- sorted.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Gadge on September 11, 2019, 06:27:54 AM
Also check the vacuum lever on the side of the carb above the front spark plug (nearest the front of car) . It could be that the solenoid is working perfectly but the mechanism that pulls the throttle open slightly is not connected properly so the revs are not rising. Make sure the the little white clip is on at the vacuum end and that the lever is still connected to the carb - I have came across some carbs that just don’t have them almost like they’ve fell off!.

 They could also have simply knocked a connector off the solenoid so worth just having a look there too.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 13, 2019, 12:33:18 PM
They nailed it. I drove the car home this morning without any issues. I think it runs better than before. The throttle solenoid works well. The idling does not change when the fan switches on. The choke now works as it should. The temp gauge rises to the middle (or just under), and stays there. The engine has been decoked, so acceleration seem better.

So far, it is running extremely well. I will drive it again later.
Title: Re: Engine failure
Post by: Amateb8 on September 15, 2019, 09:05:15 PM
Many thanks everyone for your assistance. Drove it for an hour or two. Love it.