Technical 2009 MultiJet engine out cam chain repair

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Technical 2009 MultiJet engine out cam chain repair

Do you definitely have compression in all cylinders (given all the work that's been done and the damage before you started)

Bare in mind the 1.3 multijet runs freakishly cold, I drove mine with no coolant for 20 miles in cold weather with no ill effects, And one year in snow, I tried to warm some water on the engine to defrost the frozen wipers only to find there was no hear coming off anything I could access under the bonnet.

You could likely get away with more than 30 seconds of run time.

Congrats on the rebuild looks like you've done a lot of work to get it to this stage.
The engine sounds like one injector is not doing anything at all. Maybe it's electrical. I will get the coolant sorted and swap the solenoid tops around. I should still have the one from the ruined injector.
You could likely get away with more than 30 seconds of run time.

Congrats on the rebuild looks like you've done a lot of work to get it to this stage.
Thanks it's been a long one but I've not needed to rush. (y)

It's possible that I have a valve issue, but I would expect some white smoke and a paraffin smell. It just smells like normal diesel exhaust before the cat gets hot enough to remove any smell. Thanks for the hint about running time. I'll pop off the manifold heat shield and see which cylinder is staying cold.

The rebuild has been a big job, but I've not been rushed and costs were (mostly) reasonable. One injector was all but welded into the engine by hard carbon. Fitting the special puller damaged the butterfly thingy inside the top. The head was clogged with soot so I stripped in down to clean it properly. Inlet manifold got dumped into a bucket of caustic soda. Removing the head made it worthwhile deglazing the bores and fitting new rings. The rebuild went ok. Bores are good and bearings are pristine. It's had new rings, rockers, lifters and cam chain kit, gasket set, etc. Gearbox input seal was replaced. It's interesting how Fiat have evolved the input bearing. This one is a huge roller affair. Then despite taking great care to align the clutch I could not get the box to fit onto the engine. It was all off the car so should have been as easy as it gets. I pulled the clutch apart (to align it again) and noticed the friction plate centre was rattlingly loose. No wonder it wouldn't fit. The correct M-Jet clutch was ordered from S4P and it all fitted nicely. I reckon it was a 1.4 petrol clutch that's not up to the abuse it gets from a diesel.

Oh, it's also had a new turbo core. At just £60 it was daft not to.
Hi Mike.

I have stripped and cleaned the bottom end of all four injectors but one is not from this engine.

One injector was virtually welded into the engine. I damaged it getting it out and bought a replacement injector - used.

The HP fuel lines have been bled and exhaust smells like any cold clean running diesel. I have not done a compression test (dont have the correct tool), but there is no unburnt paraffin smell so I think it's simply not spraying into all four cylinders. MES should give me a clue. I will have to get the WIndows laptop fired up.
Hi Dave, when you called around before I mentioned having a basic injector tester, though it is pretty gummed up and hasn't been used for around 7 years, so probably wants stripping and cleaning out all the old diesel etc. However that cheap Indian version is on eBay for about £70 and I do see they do a more fancy version that tests using an electrical unit for around £150. They are only for the electromagnet injectors and not the later "piezo" type. They both only go to around 600 Bar I think.
Using my cheap one I was able to test at approx 600Bar which I know is below modern operating pressures, but was able to give a clear spray pattern using a power source of 24 volts (from my jumppack) I didn't hold the connection on merely "splashed the wire across the terminal to prevent any possible damage, this voltage was enough to trigger the electromagnetic valve allowing the 600Bar pumped by my cheap Diesel tester to open showing a good spray pattern.
I fully admit it is a rough and ready way of doing what should be a specialist operation, however it worked on several injectors from a Ford Focus 1.6 diesel to the last one which was on my daughters 06 Grande Punto 1.3 multijet and they all went on to pass Mot emission tests and have no further issues.
Apart from the usual pathetic clamping arrangement of holding down two injectors with one tiny nut and clamping bar, so even with seats reamed and new copper washers after a year or so you get the gummed in injector issues.
I do have a Diesel compression tester, though I am not sure what adaptors ( injector or heater plug) I used.
This morning, I removed the exhaust manifold top heat shield and ran the engine. One stub pipe was cold. I pulled the electrical connector off that one and the engine sounded no different. All of the others were even rougher.

I pulled out the injector pair and stripped the nozzle end of the troublesome one. The plan was to use parts from the injector I damaged when extracting it from the engine. However it all looked good and a squirt of brake cleaner gives a nice spray pattern so I put it back together.

It's all gone back into the engine and I now have four cylinders firing. RESULT !!! Exact cause of the trouble I don't know.

The tick-over is still a little uneven but one injector is a used replacement that will need setting with MES. All four exhaust stubs warmed up. 1 gets warm quickly followed by 2. 3 and 4 were a bit slower. Basically 1 and 2 warmed faster than 3 and 4. When revved, it's smooths out so a road test is next.

Brakes need bleeding and back brakes need a thorough check so it all be a little while..
Good result sofar. Maybe the electrical connector wasn't on properly?

gr J
I unplugged and replacing the connector a couple of times with no effect at all. I had already stripped and cleaned all four at the injector tips nd one was a used replacement. I took the "faulty" injector out to look again at the tip.

The tip contains a washer, spring, spring seat and needle all located by two pin dowels. There's also a tiny "bead" that slides inside the spring seat. My guess is that I got the sequence wrong or even fitted it to the dowels 180 degs out of phase (if that's possible). Thankfully no harm was done.

A leak-off test is worth doing when I when I have coolant in the engine.
The new coolant expansion bottle arrived so it's been running for a while as I bled the system. It cranks a few times but sounds really smooth. That uneven tick over is gone. It was running about 5 minutes yet coolant is just warm so I can see how they could survive on no coolant.

The engine warning light is showing. Maybe from the injector issue but could be the EGR as I have fitted a blank plate into the exhaust manifold. It's not a total block but EGRs are sensitive to such dodges.
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Nice one!
I got a 57 plate MJ with a busted gearbox a while ago. Couldn't test it before buying because the gearbox was out.
Put in a spare gearbox with a new clutch, mostly to make it mobile. Good job it was cheap though... it's really full of carbon, and badly needs decoking, much like yours did.
I think the EGR has been screwed for a long time, as some previous butcher... (mechanic) has nobbled the MIL lamp. Shouldn't have been surprised as the front struts were assembled wrong, and they lost some fixings when they removed the gearbox.
Passed the MOT with no problems, but feels wheezy at low revs.
It's too good to break, which was the original intention, so I guess it's engine out time over the summer for chain, EGR, decoke and anything else needed. I suspect I'll be referring back to this thread when that happens.
The new coolant expansion bottle arrived so it's been running for a while as I bled the system. It cranks a few times but sounds really smooth. That uneven tick over is gone. It was running about 5 minutes yet coolant is just warm so I can see how they could survive on no coolant.

The engine warning light is showing. Maybe from the injector issue but could be the EGR as I have fitted a blank plate into the exhaust manifold. It's not a total block but EGRs are sensitive to such dodges.
Hi Dave, I got away with a total blank on a 05 Doblo 1.9, but the 06 Grande Punto !.3 MJ wouldn't wear it, so I ended up having to put ever increasing holes in plate to keep light out for at least a couple of months at a time.
Hi Mike, I remember you mentioned about the 10mm hole in the EGR blanking plate. You can buy them on eBay and the hole looks to be about 10mm.

I don't like the way the manifold directs gasses more easily into the EGR than it does to the turbo. The EGR even has its own 5th leg on the mails and a pass-through port in the cylinder head. I put a steel "bracket" in the exhaust manifold bent to about 110 degrees so it helps to divert gasses from No 4 cylinder away from the EGR. It's deliberately a loose fit into the manifold bore but it's probably too good at it's job.

I'll get the MES fired up and see what it has to say about the fault codes. I had a 20 second video of it running but the loose clip on the MAF inlet hose was just too distracting. I'll film another one and post it.
It's too good to break, which was the original intention, so I guess it's engine out time over the summer for chain, EGR, decoke and anything else needed. I suspect I'll be referring back to this thread when that happens.
If you are not in a rush, getting the engine out is the best way. I made some 4 x 2 timber beams from the strut tops to posts bolted to the front bumper mounts. I already had front bumper and radiator frame removed from the car.

These carry a 2 x 1 box section steel tube cross the top of the engine. Ordinary lever ratchet straps and a trolley jack did the lifting. Basically set one strap around gearbox adjacent to bell-housing and the other around engine behind the cam chain cover. Take the weight on jack, with the strap loose by an inch and remove engine mount. Lower jack until the strap takes the weight then repeat at the other end. Go back, take the weight, loosing strap and lower until it's done.

I got mine onto a furniture moving skate board. I also made a plywood cradle that holds the engine off the sump pan. The gearbox just need a couple of of wedges. You can now roll the engine out and into a place for doing the work.

I opted to remove the head and was glad I did as loads of carbon had dropped into the piston bowls from removing injectors. Having gone that far, it was work checking piston rings. The oil rings were coked up but I got a set of new rings for £50. Expect to pay about £80.

Putting the engine back into the car is the same in reverse but it is a struggle to keep it vertical as the straps don't slide as they loosen. I got there though.
The car has just had its first outing around the bock and running well with NO warning lights. The turbo comes in late so probably the waste gate linkage needs fettling. It's also "lost" first and second gears so I'll have to take off the selector cover and work out what I've done wrong. Really annoying, but no serious issue.
The exhaust is straight out of the catalyst yet there's surprisingly little noise. I'm planning on a stainless system with mid box and back box.

Here's its first run before the bumper and wheels went back on (and that rusty battery clamp sorted out). You'll have to ignore the rattling hose clip.


    39.8 MB
Time for another update.

I have had the turbo off and adjusted the waste-gate to give a little more pull against the actuator return spring. It's impossible to access from the top/front. A 10mm AF spanner gets in there but there's no room to move it even 1/12 of a turn. I have no idea how it's to be adjusted if (when) the boost settings are out.

The gearbox shifter fault is sorted. Shop-4-Parts have ordered a new bush from their next Italian order. Meantime, I stole the part out of the 100HP shifter mechanism. It's sorted the diesel and the 100 hasn't even noticed. The new part will arrive eventually.

The diesel manifold inlet air pipe is of course right in the way. The M6 bolts at the manifold end are a nightmare to access. Thankfully, I had used hex socket screws so a little easier to get out. The compressed air pipe has support at both ends, so I've chopped out the middle section and replaced it with silicone turbo hose. To keep the hose in place, I soldered some stranded copper wire around the cut (and deburred) ends to make rolled edges. It's all back in place and still looks standard. The clutch slave and gearbox top now have easy access.

The exhaust now needs doing and get it in for MOT. But I've just had a minor operation so won't be doing much for a couple of weeks. It's all gone well. Just needs time to settle down.
Bloody great job. I've just done one of these jobs, over the last 18months! Got a 1.3mjet 2006 doblo with broken timing chain.
Now its starting and running nicely and waiting for MOT next wednesday. Only problem now is code

P0236 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance​

which kicks in as soon as you give it any kind of welly. Could be a split turbo pipe or waste gate actuator.

I had same thing with replacing an injector with one from a Corsa on ebay. The car runs but for some reason I cant get the ECU to accept the code on Multiecuscan. Annoying.

Anyway good luck and glad to hear the saga is reaching the end
Check your turbo waste gate moves when you load up the engine. You'll need a manifold pressure gauge to see that.

The inlet manifold boost sensor is on the top at the driver's side end. Mine looks a bit battered but it's not thrown up any errors (yet). ECU controls boost pressure by cutting fuel flow. The turbo waste gate actuator is 100% mechanical but has to be within ranges the ECU map can cope with. I had a VW TDI-90 that ran flat as a fart. The turbo was over-boosting so ECU was cutting fuel. Adjusting the waste-gate made a huge difference. I'm expecting this issue with my Multijet but we will have to see how it goes.

Apart from the engine work, the car has also had a minor restoration. I've fitted 100HP front discs (as I already had the calipers) and the Multijet discs had been butchered with an angle grinder. It's got braided hoses on the front brakes all the way from ABS to calipers. It's getting 15 inch steel wheels so no clearance issues. The original 13s were leaking air.

The broken clutch hub was not the previous owner's fault but checking that stuff was part of why I took the engine out. The mechanic had used the wrong clutch - probably a 100HP or Fiat 500 1.4 version. The centre was falling apart and close to separating itself. I also replaced ALL of the gearbox seals especially the input shaft as it always gets ignored.
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Congratulations on an excellent job. Any idea how many hours you spent on this Dave? I suspect it would never be worth getting a garage to change a cam chain on one of these?
There is absolutely no point in seeing my car as a viable commercial job. But I wasn't in a rush for £100, well worth the punt. I have not kept tabs on the hours used. It's a lot but I'm not working to s schedule. It gets done when it's done.

If it's just the cam chain, parts costs are pretty reasonable -
£120 for top end and head gasket set and cam chain kit. More like £90 for cam chain kit.
£140 for a set of 16 valve rockers and lifters. Mine had broken rockers (obviously), but there were needle rollers in the sump so some were already falling apart. I would expect a ticking Multijet to have this problem.

Mine had a badly sooted inlet manifold and a seized injector, so I decided to do a total strip down.
£80 for piston rings
£30 for gearbox seals
£100 for other stuff oils, filters, sealants, etc.
£30 injector (used)
£80 injector puller
£20 serpentine belt

But there's always other stuff. The diesel pump had a slight fuel dribble so I tried a seal kit. Result was an even bigger leak so that needed a £160 rebuilt pump. One injector had welded itself into the cylinder head. I damaged it trying to attach the extractor tool but was able to get it out. £30 for a used replacement is working fine. The clutch had been replaced, but when I came to refit the gearbox, it simply would not align. On a closer look, the friction plate splined centre was loose. So that's another £80. Turbo was worn but no surprise as it's done 130,000. A new core was just £60.

I have sorted out some rust on the front mud trap but that's par for the course and can be kept on top of. It needs new shocks but to be expected.
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I would like to add a 2 micron oil bypass filter. Unfortunately, it's looking difficult. The oil filter/cooler is a zinc alloy casting with rounded shapes so attaching AN fittings for a remote filter is not looking easy. Then I have to find a suitable filter.

An ongoing project but well worth doing methinks
Thanks for the lowdown on costs. I currently have the 1.1 Eco Active but was thinking the 1.3 diesel sounded an attractive proposition with the excellent fuel economy. Having seen the amount of work you had to do on yours I am now thinking that the diesel would not be worth the risk for me as a camchain replacement would probably be prohibitively expensive carried out by my local garage. As you say it is never just the camchain. I fully agree that the project makes great sense in your case as you have no labour costs and the replacement parts you have fitted will give you confidence that it will remain reliable for a long period.