DEMANDING V8 ENGINE

The Montreal V8 is a wonderful engine. Loosely based on the type 33 racing motor of the 1960s, all alloy and dry sumped, it has little in common with other Alfa engines of the time. Because it was built in small numbers, and because for many years the Montreal was a very cheap performance car, ignorance and neglect were normal in their maintenance. Fortunately, this car had been in good hands and had not been neglected, but as we went into the car, we uncovered a series of mis-understandings and short cuts carried out by previous “trusted” mechanics.

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

This was the first Alfa Montreal which we had worked on. One of only five cars originally imported into Spain, it was a very good-looking example, finished in ultra-desirable metallic green, only 3 owners and a low mileage from new. This Montreal was very rust free after a life spent in Southern Spain, with a well-preserved interior and factory aircon. Some mechanical engine issues were showing, however, the car misfiring and tending to run hot, which we had to investigate.

DEMANDING V8 ENGINE

The Montreal V8 is a wonderful engine. Loosely based on the type 33 racing motor of the 1960s, all alloy and dry sumped, it has little in common with other Alfa engines of the time. Because it was built in small numbers, and because for many years the Montreal was a very cheap performance car, ignorance and neglect were normal in their maintenance. Fortunately, this car had been in good hands and had not been neglected, but as we went into the car, we uncovered a series of mis-understandings and short cuts carried out by previous “trusted” mechanics.

The SPICA mechanical injection which is used on the Montreal is almost unknown in Europe (better understood in US, where 2 litre Alfas were fitted with the system to get through emissions controls). On investigating the problems, it became clear that the injection system had been compromised, so the whole system went to Switzerland, where it was rebuilt. The overheating was due to a blowing head gasket, so we took advantage of the need and removed the engine in order to detail the engine space whilst we fitted a new head gasket.

THE WORK DONE

At the same time, the Montreal notorious water pump problem (an inadequate bearing seizes, usually destroying the engine) was eliminated by fitting an upgraded bearing. A new exhaust system was fitted, and when the car went back together it was a different animal. The car needed no welding, and only minor paint, the owner wanting to preserve the original as far as possible. Some trim pieces were missing, and these were eventually traced through contacts in Italy.

  • Replacement of the head gasket.
  • Fixing of Spica injection in Switzerland.
  • Detailing of engine and engine space.
  • Replacement of waterpump bearing.
  • New exhaust system.

The result: A fine original and well-preserved Alfa Montreal which now runs like it should and that went for a new owner in Germany.

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