Lancia Beta Forum

Technical stuff => Engine => Topic started by: The_Matrix_Master on August 27, 2010, 12:30:54 PM

Title: Sick Monte
Post by: The_Matrix_Master on August 27, 2010, 12:30:54 PM
My series 1 has been become very hard to start and runs a rough as a bag of spanners.When it does start it apears to stay at 3000 rpm even though the throttle appears closed and there is a "ferrocious" heat from the rear exhaust so much so you would burn your hand if you put your hand in front of it.
I took it to my local garage who has a fair amount of knowledge on older cars and after doing compression and leakage tests identified a cylinder down 3 @ 150 and 1 @110 and recokens there is probably a sticking valve.On the assumption that the valve is not bent,before I go the whole hog and have to pay to have the head removed,replace valves, gaskets etc.Is there any additive that can be bought that might free up a sticking valve.
Furthermore I have also been informed that montes run OK on unleaded fuel in any case so it would not be worth paying for hardened valve seats should the head be required to be removed and valves replaced.

Any thoughts / advice greatly appreciated ?

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: thecolonel on August 28, 2010, 08:50:04 PM
There are a couple one that goes in the fuel tank and one that goes into the carb

Here's a couple of links and I think accessory shops keep Wynns,  Forte is used by the trade ( ( (

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: LanciaNut69 on August 28, 2010, 09:03:36 PM
Are there any mechanical noises that indicate problems?  Have you had a look through the spark plug holes?  The Monte engine is an interference engine - if you've got a sticking valve, it's almost certainly bent.  That sort of heat points to lean burn maybe?  What's the history of the car? Has it been laid up for a while and maybe sludged up/varneished up the carb?  The comp test sounds a little low on all bores - sounds as though you're going to have to take that head off for more clues.  Good news is that you don't need to have new valve seats - I'm running unleaded in my Monte without any probs.  If you're getting valves seats cut (3 angle) then maybe get them changed for hard items, but not otherwise.

Good luck and keep us posted.



Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: The_Matrix_Master on August 30, 2010, 04:59:52 PM
The monte has been lying up for 9 months was fine prior to that.It appears to be running on only one cylinder take of leads\to 2,3,4 and the car still runs any other combination taking of cylnder 1 and the engine dies.
compression cyl 1 180psi,cyl 2 110psi,cyl 3 190 psi,cyl 4 180 psi
Leakage cyl 1 10%, cyl 2 10 %, cyl 3 15% cyl 4 !0 %
I am assuming that if it were a bent valve then the leakage would be fairly high as the valve would be open ? so presuming a sticking valve.
The haydro carbons are off the scale at 9999 ppm as I guess it is not buning the feul in cyls 2,3,4.
When you take the aitr filters off you can see it spitting back into the carbs ,spark plugs are black not grey in cyls 2,3,and 4.

Sticking or bent ? :-\

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: LanciaNut69 on August 31, 2010, 08:07:11 AM
Certainly looks that way.  I take it you have sparks to all?  Removing the head is a pretty straightforward job - you just need to be methodical.  I think that given what you've said, you do need to get the head off to see what the problem is.  Keep us posted.

Where are you based btw?



Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: The_Matrix_Master on September 02, 2010, 01:33:17 PM
Yes Sparks to all plugs and even tried with a different set of plug leads.
My Local garage will do the work but generally leaves the sourcing of parts to myself,so I have started looking at pricing in Monte Hospital, Ebay etc.
As I also have a 2001 Beta Spyder which shares the same engine (Not literally thank goodness !) and therefore I assume I can source those parts listed as suitable for a 1995 cc beta,so am checking the ads,head gasket,cam gasket and exhaust gaskets together with valves should be the same.
One thing that has "Foxed" me that I cannot quite get my head round is on the cam belt front ,since the head is off I may as well change it,but I have now seen 3 adverts for belts declared suitable for the Montecarlo all with different teeth namley 48,52 and 104 teeth ?
I am not quite sure how this works ?
I am located in Southport on the North West coast

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: LanciaNut69 on September 02, 2010, 02:17:38 PM
Hmm, well it certainly looks like it's an issue with the head.  You can substitute Beta heads (2001 though, really?), but I would use the Monte cams and carriers are they're designed to work with the engine at an incline as opposed to the Beta upright position.  Get the gaskets from Guy Croft - a good head gasket and proper sealing cam carrier gaskets are a boon, trust me.

The monte has 148 teeth on the belt, this is critical!  Again Guy Croft or TMH can help here.

If you haven't got it already, the Haynes book of lies for the Beta does detail rebuilding in the absence of the Guy Croft book.  Overhauling a head is more than possible to do in most home garages assuming you have the correct tools (not expensive).  Getting a garage to do it will take time and pounds!  Shame you're not closer or I'd gove you a hand. 



Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: MattNoVAT on September 02, 2010, 06:44:34 PM
Whats the P/N of the head?

(it's cast in between the holes for the spark plugs)

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: WestonE on September 04, 2010, 09:33:14 AM
This sound like corrosion of the valve seats from not being used. I have a selection of Montecarlo heads without the cam carriers sitting in a box you could use with a light re-furb if you fear a bent valve. One of them may be good enough to bolt on and use so I will check.

In practice on a standard budget car it ammounts to choosing a low mileage head with minimal guide wear, checking it for flatness and having it skimmed if required, cleaning the valves and head of carbon and lapping (hand grinding) the valves in before fitting new valve guides and re-assembling.. Getting it all de carbonised by a man with the equipment to do it will save hours!

Do NOT re-use the head bolts and use a top quality head gasket. You can of course buy all new stainless bolts and new studs from Guy so the finished job is smart.

What you do depends on your budget and ambition/standards. I have a 200BHP Monte engine, but that requires a huge investment of time and money. Start reading Guy Crofts website and perhaps buy his book which will tell you how it is done properley.   


Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: The_Matrix_Master on September 05, 2010, 01:22:34 PM
First and foremost Many thanks for everyone's help and advice.
Secondly yes should have been 1981 beta Spyder in my earlier post not 2001,my lack of typing skills are only second only to my lack of mechanical prowess and knowledge.
I guess the jist of what everyone is saying is that I wont really know what's up with the car until the head is off,which is understandable.
From the diagnostics so far it looks like a sticking valve/valves but most of the people I speak to say this is rare for montes and is more likely to be a bent valve,but bent or sticking is immaterial as its the head off in any case.
As you can appreciate since the head is off (or will be) I may as well tackle the leaded or unleaded issues i.e hardend valve seats.
It's here where I still cannot get a definite answer .The Monte Hospital appears to advocate or at least refers to harden valve seats in its parts listings in its valve listings.Another very respected source in Omicron I have spoken to is Chris who tells me that the Monte was sold in a number of European destinations which only supplied and run these cars on unleaded fuel and obviously the Scorpion in the States is also an example,and therefore there is no need to convert ?
Both points of view cannot be right or can they ?
I have to say I have run my beta Spyder for 11 years on unleaded without so much as an additive and never had an ounce of trouble, all be it on very limited mileage.(one full tank of fuel per year).
As mentioned previously my local garage will be carrying out the work so I will be sourcing the parts.
I acquired a 148 tooth 19mm Monte cam belt and am trying to source a top end gasket set,which either seems few and far between or I am looking in the wrong place as most of the gasket sets seem to be for a full rebuild at 90 upwards.
Am I right in assuming that I could buy a standard 1995 cc beta head gasket set so long as it was 84 mm bore ?Would this fit/be suitable for a Monte ?
Betaboyz had a very competive full gasket set at 50 but is sold out and the only and in the absence of Head set anywhere else the only other place I can see them is the Monte Hospital.
Presumably buying them seperately I need the following gaskets.
Cam box
Cam Cover
Also the car is set up on twin 40's on an Alquati manifold so is the gasket for this any different from the standard inlet gasket I would get within a gasket set or individually from the Monte Hospital ?
In summary I am not looking for anything "fancy" I just want to get my Monte back on the road within a reasonable budget in that I don't want to spend a small "Kings Ransom"  on what may be described as preventative upgrades i.e unleaded conversion If I don't need it, but on the other hand I would complete the works if it made economical sense i.e in that that head was\already off so why not !
Hope this makes sense ?
Once again there are a few questions contained within this post and if anyone can answer a few of then it would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers  :)

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: LanciaNut69 on September 05, 2010, 07:28:13 PM
Hi chap,

In short, get the head off and see what the issue is.  Do not bother with hardened valve seats unless you have to change them due to being damaged or severely corroded.  Get the best gaskets you can.  I bought cheap and it blew.  I replaced with a proper Guy Croft item and it doesn't.  Ditto the cambox and cam cover gaskets - you get what you pay for and whilst it ain't cheap, you'll only have to do it once.

If you're only using one take of fuel a year, then I would also look at a proper winter routine, such as draining down fuel out of the carb, etc.  90 quid for a gasket is a fair bit, but if you have to pay a garage to do the job twice, then is it really cost effective?  Inlet/Exhaust gaskets are fine as standard units.



Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on September 06, 2010, 07:21:38 AM
Just to echo the unleaded point. My Beta has covered 10,000 miles in three years with no problems on unleaded. Redex additive has been used now and then. Ditto gaskets, definately a false economy getting the cheap sets as some are really bad.

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: WestonE on September 08, 2010, 04:08:30 PM
Well Matrix Master I can confirm I am running a high powered engine with no unleaded conversion and no valve seat recession issues. If you fit super hard seats at considerable expense you will gain nothing but povety. Look up Guy Croft Racing Engines on google and you will find a world of information on how to build these engines to the highest standards. I suggest ringing Guy Croft (he does not bite, but does have strong well informed views) and asking for a head gasket set including valve stem seals with new head bolts and cam carrier bolts. You will get detailed information and unique cam box base gaskets that do not leak and head bolts that do not stretch and snap with a gasket that will not leave you paying to have the job done again!

As you have an Alquati manifold you might want to seal it to the head with a THIN bead of high temperature Loctite RTV silicon if the inlet gasket masks the ports. If it helps you I have a used low mileage head with good valves and guides but without cam carriers you can have for 50. It will still need stripping down cleaning  and valve lapping and new guide seals but at least you will have straight valves and the end result will give years of reliable service.

If you cannot run to the expense of new head bolts I have a set of Ribe (Fiat spline drive stretch bolts used on Integrales) that will do for 2 more builds for 20.

You will of course be buying a new belt AND tensioner bearing for the re-fit.

If you want the bits let me know I do not mind either way . PS read up on cutting the fuel pump lobe off the Aux Drive Shaft as you have the belt off this is the time to change this risky item.


Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: HFStuart on September 09, 2010, 09:17:33 AM
Look up Guy Croft Racing Engines....(he does not bite, but does have strong well informed views)


He knows his own mind certainly.

I can vouch for the fact that his headbolt set is worth the money - should you need to take the head off more than once (and lets face it you could well do) they'll pay for themselves.

Title: Re: Sick Monte
Post by: The_Matrix_Master on September 10, 2010, 09:06:55 PM
Just an update.
Monte into garage on Monday to remove head, so I should know by then what is the cause of the problem and what is required to fix.