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Old 15-02-2018   #1
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Evil whine from front end.

Help!! My dads 500 has started really whining under load, I thought it was the brakes as the drivers side was really pitted and had an evil groove through the disk.
Just changed the brakes, took it for a test drive and its still there. The car is an automatic with flappy paddle gears. 60 plate. with about 50,000 on the clock. Water pump was changed by Abarth specialist two months ago.



Any help will be much appreciated.
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Old 15-02-2018   #2
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Could be a number of things, and it is really difficult to diagnose problems 'on-line' so need to narrow it down to a location ie
does it do it when you depress the clutch and dis-engage the gearbox? ( eliminates the gearbox )
Does it do it in a straight line or only on turning?
Really need to be able to say 'it only happens when....."
Could be something as simple as an Aux belt!

Cheers Paul m.
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Old 15-02-2018   #3
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Sounds like it's related to Engine speed and not road speed so it's not a driveshaft or final drive noise.
I don't know much about the Auto boxes on these.
Has it got air con, I know an air con pump can make this type of noise when it's on it's way out.
Or it could be a bearing on the Auxillary belt system.
Just a few ideas......
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Old 15-02-2018   #4
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Not sure if I can put it in neutral while driving as itís an auto box. It seems to follow it when accelerating and decelerating basically all the time lol, but not when idle, I can rev the tits off it and nothing.
Im going to get the aux belt off this weekend and check the tensioner pullies and alternator.
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Old 15-02-2018   #5
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Check the gearbox has oil in it.

Sounds like a bearing noise.
Clutch release bearing. It does have one as the gearbox is an automated manual. If it is this, the noise will change as the gearbox changes gear.
Cambelt tensioner, or water pump.
Aux belt tensioner, or aircon pump. Turn aircon off and see if noise changes.
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Old 16-02-2018   #6
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

If you only hear when moving and not revving the engine in neutral if be looking at the wheel bearings
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Old 17-02-2018   #7
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

So found the problem. When the car was in last month for the water pump and belt change the garage must have over tightened the bolts holding the engine mount in place. The engine had dropped and the mount was rubbing against cam!
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Old 17-02-2018   #8
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Iím going to give the garage a call on Monday. Would they have needed to take the mount off to do the water pump and cam belt?
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Old 17-02-2018   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by BarnabyAbarth View Post
Iím going to give the garage a call on Monday. Would they have needed to take the mount off to do the water pump and cam belt?
Yes
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Old 17-02-2018   #10
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Yes, mount has to come off to do the belt.

You say it dropped. Does that mean the bolts came out?

Whatever has been rubbing needs careful inspection, and replacement if necessary. Do not be fobbed off with "it'll be all right".
The mount bolts to the engine block, if any of those threads are damaged in the block casting, you'll be needing a replacement engine.
Keep your temper, but be firm and persistent.
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Old 17-02-2018   #11
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

When I say dropped I meant the engine was tilting to the drivers side. The mount was only being held in by one bolt, and that was bent with a crack in it.

The threads on all the bolts are damaged. It looks like they over tightened and stripped the thread inside the block.
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Old 17-02-2018   #12
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Too tight, or not tight enough.
Either way, damage to threads in block is critical.
It may be possible to use thread inserts, but the engine will need to come out to ensure proper alignment, and the amount of material around the thread needs to be considered before drilling a larger hole for each insert. These need to be strong enough and all aligned.

You may need an independent engineer to assist, as the garage may try to take the cheapest solution, which long-term might become worse. If you are a member of the AA or RAC, they may be able to help here.

My advice is don't drive it to the garage. If you reassemble it now, some evidence is lost. Invite the garage to visit the car and look at it there.
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Old 18-02-2018   #13
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
My advice is don't drive it to the garage. If you reassemble it now, some evidence is lost. Invite the garage to visit the car and look at it there.
Good advice from PB. If one or more of the bolts are misaligned when reinserted, stripping the threads becomes a certainty.

Who did the belt change? There is a special tool for supporting the engine to hold it in the correct position when the mount is removed during a belt change; I'd expect all fiat dealers and service specialists would use this. Home mechanics and independent garages will likely improvise an alternative method of support, which is fine if you're careful and have some mechanical competence. If you're not, or you don't, and you don't use the factory supporting tool, then this is exactly the kind of thing which happens.

If the threads in the block have stripped, then on a '60 plate car it's the mechanical equivalent of a Cat N writeoff; repairing this properly will likely cost more than the value of the car.

Whilst I'm not for a minute advocating not replacing timing belts/chains at the recommended intervals, I'd just observe that I've seen more posts on the forum from damage caused as a result of belt/chain replacement than I've seen about actual belt/chain failure.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 18-02-2018 at 09:38.
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Old 18-02-2018   #14
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

The garage is Meridien Milano in Portsmouth. They have had it in a couple of times as the water pump failed last year luckily it was still under warranty, but it went in again a couple of months ago as the pump was leaking. So the mount has been removed by them a couple of times now.
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Old 18-02-2018   #15
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Re: Evil whine from front end.

Quote Originally Posted by BarnabyAbarth View Post
The garage is Meridien Milano in Portsmouth.
They're a franchised Abarth dealer and I would not expect them to mess up on something as straightforward as a belt change.

The good news is that you're not dealing with some small independent garage. I'd expect them to take responsibility for this and do what is necessary to get it sorted properly, and you will also have recourse to Fiat in the unlikely event that they don't.

Please keep us informed as this progresses and we'll do our best to help.
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