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Author Topic: Cam Belt Failure  (Read 4208 times)
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« on: November 30, 2008, 07:37:11 PM »

Last night the cam belt went on my 78 Beta Coupe 2ltr. I've been quoted 600 for rebuild but not sure whether I want to take on the expense or whether to go for a more "sensible" form of transport. Is anyone interested in aquiring this car. Prior to the cam belt failure this has been a very reliable everyday runner, that started easily and ran well. The body is in good nick and the interior is complete with no tears in the upholstery. Anyone interested can call me on 07734 888658

From: StuartHF1   Sent: 26/09/2007 23:33
I thought that in European high compression spec the valves will hit the pistons, depending on how and when the belt went the valves can certainly hit each other.
It's not going anywhere anyway so I'd suggest you get the garage to whip the head off to check for damage (no more than two hours work now you've thoughfully removed the cambelt for them...) and then make your decision.

From: rossocorsa   Sent: 26/09/2007 23:45
seems to me there are plenty of good cheap beta engines kicking around maybe not so bad to repair?

From: allenlofland   Sent: 27/09/2007 00:46
Maybe this will sort out that so called Euro High Compression tale Smiley

From: hutch6610   Sent: 27/09/2007 01:53
All - repeat - all Fiat derived twin cams in the Beta will smash valves.
Even unmodified ones.
Whether it happened at speed or snapped while cranking over, You will hear what sounds like noisy tappets until your car comes to a complete halt.
There is no high compression European spec - 8.9:1 is hardly high.
Read the Guy Croft book as regards to valves hitting pistons.
Also at the present exchange rate 600.00 is $1200 US dollars.

From: allenlofland   Sent: 27/09/2007 03:08
Are you saying that the Fiat/Lancia 2 liter twin cam engine's pistons will
hit valves if the cam belt breaks.
Or are you saying the valves will clash Huh? Not likely if the belt is
broken, so you must be thinking the 2 liter is a interference engine.

The 8.9 CR may not be high by tody's standards but it's higher than the 8.0 - 8.2 engines found in many US spec cars. It's just possible that at 8.0 the valves might not hit the pistons (though I suspect they will), as has been said Guy Croft would be able to advise in more detail. I still say the best option is to pull the head and have a look. How else can you be realy confident that all is OK. I storngly suspect that Guy would say just the same.
Why not post the question on ?


From: allenlofland   Sent: 27/09/2007 15:42
There seems to be this tendencies to believe that the Euro cars have
different pistons than the North American cars. Every time this comes up
over on this side of the pond, it just doesn't pan out. Fiat made a great
step forward with the 2 liter over the 1800 in the interference design of
the engine. Now we are being told it is a interference design...I don't
believe it.
I know that the 2 liter can have the dreaded auxiliary cam smash the # 2 rod
and go right thru the block, had it happen , but that is only IF the fuel
pump lobe is still in place. BUT the valves hitting the 2 liter pistons is
very questionable. I will research this some more but I still think tearing
down a 2 liter with out knowing this, is a real waste of time. Roll that
engine over with a socket on the crank, take the plugs out and look inside.
Be a little inventive before pulling a perfectly good engine apart Smiley

Allen & Lynette Lofland

I seem to have stirred up a hornets nest here, so I'll toss in a few more titbits for you guys to mull over. The belt didn't completely snap but the RAC man suspected it had stripped the teeth around the bottom end, when I turned it on the starter motor there was no movement on the belt. Also (and I'm not sure if this is related) but there was a lot of oil in the air box, in fact when I looked under the bonnet it was dripping out.

From: allenlofland   Sent: 27/09/2007 23:10
NO hornets nest,,:) just some discussion, I have done some more research and
I am convinced the 2 liter stock engines are NON-interference.
So I would suggest it should be determined FIRST that you have valve damage
and that oil in the box may not mean piston damage. AS a mattter of fact I
would suggest just the opposite.
If the belt stripped, broke what ever, the engine continued for a while at
least under roll to try and pump, compress, but the valves did not move,
allowing oil, fuel ect to go all sorts of places it did not belong.
Find a friend that is a good wrencher and replace the belt, turn her over by
hand, check everything, out, look down the holes carefully, listen for
damage while turning by hand. If you find none, re-belt and run a
compression test. BUT first after the new belt turn over by hand again to
make sure of no interference.
I must say that even the 1800 has been KNOWN to strip, brake a belt and not
damage valves but I did not believe that till I saw it Smiley Miracles do
Depending on milage you might have a badly worn lower crank gear/cog, they
re notorious to wear at about 60,000 miles.
And being the smallest in the set they are the most stressed.
I might mention, over here, we look for fiats/lancias with broke belts owned
by people that think their engines are toasted. Buy the car cheap , throw on
a belt and go Smiley

Why not take Allens advice and throw a new belt on the thing.The only other suggestion I would have is instaed of a compression test,do a cylinder leak down test.If the thing has a problem this will confim it without futher damage.

From: StuartHF1   Sent: 28/09/2007 13:15
See response below from Guy Croft:

. As designed, did the US and Euro Betas have different compression ratio ?

Never seen a USA spec one but if it's anything like the 124 2 liter Spider, yes, probably 8/1 or so compared with (OE spec 9/1 - or so) achieved by HUGE valve reliefs and lower compression height.

2. Will the valves on the Euro spec engine hit the pistons with the cambelt missing ?
3. What is the next step for the bloke with the stripped belt ?
Reach for his credit card.

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