I'm very proud of my Deltas, if they are hurt by

substandard components, I'm hurt too.

I'm having the 16v engine pictured above professionally rebuilt, I want to build a well balanced, happy, standard engine that will be smooth and durable.

This engine is out of our red Evo1, the motor started knocking a few miles after its Spring start up and MOT. This Evo has driven to hard Italy, and given good service without serious complaint. I had posted pictures of this nice European Delta on our site, which led to us being contacted by a past owner of this car, who sent me

some great photos and some maintenance notes.

I was surprised to learn that in his ownership our Evo's engine had been rebuilt, this was done by a well known south of England Integrale specialist, not much more than 20k kms ago. As well as a knocking bottom end, the camshafts were worn out on some lobes. This may not just have been down to poor workmanship,

as you will read below.

Lancia Delta Evo1

Our Evo 1 in its youth,

this car has had plenty of love

and attention over the years,

which it continues to get!

To the right this car is featured in a classics magazine.

It's a great Delta, it still looks good,

and we've had lots of

adventures in her. 

This is one of the cams removed from our car's 16v engine.

It's worn in a way which indicates soft metal wear, meaning

that it hasn't been hardened properly.

engineers toolboxes
engineer in workshop
lancia delta engine in bits

Our Lancashire engine builder stripped down the engine and I started ordering parts for it. A new crank was bought from AECar, I asked Eddie about new cams, Eddie suggested I avoided the standard cams, which are not too durable, and buy a pair of Colombo & Bariani items.

More as a cost research I looked on the net, this turned up a post by

Guy Croft. Guy was a user of Colombo & Bariani cams, they are reputed

to be made in Italy, the box says Italy anyway.

However, on an engine Guy had recently rebuilt, the installed C&B cams wore out very quickly, shedding swarf into the engine. Guy complained to C&B, who denied responsibility but sent Guy another pair of the same cams. Guy had all four cams extensively tested for hardness, and it was reported that

 they were 'as soft as shit'.

The ensuing dispute is described on Guy's forum pages, I've spoken to Guy about this, he is rightly angry and very disappointed that a trusted friend and component supplier would let him down so badly.

Guy told me that 90% of Italian parts producers now source their items from Chinese suppliers. In Guy's words, just because it says Italy on the box, doesn't mean the contents are made in Italy.

click Guy's

logo to

read post


Here's the reason for our knocking, crankshaft main bearing wear. The thrust on this plain bearing is always in the same place, downwards as the fuel charge explodes.

It could be that some manufacured bearing may not be as durable at resisting this force, 

familiar brands of bearings may now be produced in a country with lower labour costs

and lower material standards, to increase that company and its shareholder's income.

I've always had a romantic idea that our Deltas, and Italian machinery

in general, was built by proud and kindly Italian artisans.

This is certainly not true now, and maybe it never was.

I am personally angry about the container loads of Chinese and Indian

rubbish being imported into the UK as auto parts, and everything else which ends up as landfill, this is reducing the quality of everything we buy, and reducing our expectations and our standards.

When the greed and laziness of well known manufacturers filters down to the components for our beloved Lancias, I worry for the future.


Right, back to business!

Guy Croft Bsc is a camshaft professional, he offered me a pair of standard 16v camshafts, designed by himself and produced by Piper under his supervision. These would be standard cams with a slightly longer open duration, heat treated and hardened to race spec. I know these camshafts would be a true work of art, but regrettably I was unable to afford them.


So I spoke to Tanc at Tanc Barratt, who told me component quality was his top priority. Tanc is cautious of importing 'Italian' products, and stopped using Colombo & Bariani products some time ago.

Tanc supplied me with a pair of good quality, UK made case hardened and treated cams at a reasonable price.

I also ordered a new oil pump and a set of four 0.4mm oversize pistons to fit the bored out block, these are complete with rings and a new gudgeon pin each. These are Nural pistons, the address on the box is reassuringly Belgium, but I have a feeling they may be made in Turkey.

lancia delta pistons

Box! Box! Box!

A lovely - and expensive - box of parts.

I did my best to obtain durable items.

lancia delta piston
lancia delta camshaft

The 0.4mm oversize Nural pistons

are beautifully finished 

These new cams aren't oily,

that's the treated surface

Fight against poor quality and demand to know where your parts have been made,

crap engine parts are annoying, but things like cheap brake pads are dangerous. 


I'll continue with this report as the engine build progresses...

with hopefully less complaining!