Cigarette seal variations - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Cigarette seal variations

Has anyone noticed that the seals coming in kits from various suppliers vary in size and hardness? I have noted differences in both length and diameter. Some are molded (mold parting lines and rounded ends) while others appear simply to be cut from rubber hose. Also, the modern ones all seem to be hollow, whereas the original were solid. What works best? Are the solid ones available anymore? Should I have visited an Alfa dealer on my last trip to Italy?

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 04:42 AM
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It may be a bit too early in the day but I can not envision how one would even install a hollow cig seal. First time I've heard of one, actually.

I'd contact an Alfa vendor for the correct seals.

Please click below for some cig seal info.
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File Type: pdf TSB 89.05, Cig Seal Size.pdf (168.6 KB, 180 views)
File Type: pdf TSB 89.04, Cig Seal Install.pdf (380.5 KB, 206 views)

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 05:00 AM
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There were some original ones that had a small hole up the center of them. It was about an 1/8 inch or a hair more in diameter.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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^^^^ Yes, what Jim said. But the originals in my original 1959 engine were solid.

The factory bulletins are very helpful. Thank you for posting them. Is there an online resource for these bulletins, one with an index?

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:11 AM
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The ones with the holes date from the 80's on.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:13 AM
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I replaced a bunch of those under warranty in the late 80's and early 90's. Which is why the tech bulletin ended up getting issued. As the supplier to Alfa was making them to short which caused them to leak very nicely.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:44 AM
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The official factory seal install hardware is not going to be available to most people who are building their own motor. This might be a good time to discuss how to install the cigarette seals when you don't have the factory tools. The last time I did it involved a process of jiggery-pokery which involved sliding the main cap down at just the right time. This actually worked and the seals didn't leak, but the method involved as much luck as practice.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:45 AM
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Here is the story guys: Late factory installation tool had a dimple in the punch center. The idea was that dry or coated with a sealant, the seal with the tiny hole through it would RELEASE TRAPPED AIR. Solid ones often did not seat completely. This was the "upgrade" to simplify installation.
Over the years, these were made of material varying in hardness, outside diameter, and hole through them or not. Preferred are those with the hole. Current thought is to install them after they sit in the freezer overnight. The main/block hole is LIGHTLY coated inside with Permetex Ultra Grey, and the factory tool (or a made up version) used to install. If you did it right, the Ultra Grey will be forced into the crack between main and block, and very little Ultra Grey will be squeezed back up through the hole. The seal WILL be proud of the surface, and final compression is completed with the sump gasket.
Here's a note. At AUSCA years ago, we installed solid ones using the same method, but used GASGACINCH, a rubber cement like sealant on both the hole and seal. (It made a mess, but worked) the Gasgacinch lubricated the seal and hole to ease installation. Gasgacinch was originally developed in, I believe, the late 1930's for assembly of gasket-less Offenhauser engines. It's an oldie, still available.
(From your source of useless Alfa information :-) )
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:59 AM
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We forgot to mention reading the chicken entrails followed by the obligatory blood sacrifice . . .
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
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(From your source of useless Alfa information :-) )
Well this is all very useful info - I've read posts with the hole filled up with Ultra Grey like you're using a caulk gun, and the use of a tube off a carb cleaner spray can to vent the hole.....

I've been dreading this dark magic task for a long time!

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 06:01 PM
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It's not hard, just a PITA. U CAN DO IT!


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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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The factory tool makes all the difference. I received mine from Mt. Olympus - Oskar (sp?) and Hans at Gaston Andrey, 45 years ago.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 07:27 PM
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I have used an old Porsche/Benz valve guide and matching valve to install them. A little silicon sealant works good as a lube.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Raymond View Post
At AUSCA years ago, we installed solid ones using the same method, but used GASGACINCH, a rubber cement like sealant on both the hole and seal. (It made a mess, but worked) the Gasgacinch lubricated the seal and hole to ease installation. Gasgacinch was originally developed in, I believe, the late 1930's for assembly of gasket-less Offenhauser engines. It's an oldie, still available.
I had never heard of Gasgacinch, but did a little web searching on it. Heck, even Walmart sells it: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Gasgacinc...&wl13=&veh=sem

It's got to be worth $9.99 just for the politically-incorrect drawing on the can! Plus it's both a gasket sealant and a belt dressing (all these years I've been cluttering up my workbench with separate cans of belt dressings).
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 06:47 AM
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Good discussion. I never considered a failure of the seals as being something to expect over time which Tom has considered in his original post. I do believe his specific leak is more related to a rear main seal which does and will fail over time. As for installation, I have always had success with them by bottoming them out BEFORE torqueing down the main cap and making sure there is enough of the seal proud at the top. Seems to save the business of a special tool and worked for me. I am sure my engine builder who did many different types performance engines, especially Porsches followed a similar route not having special tools specific to Alfa on hand. Just my take.
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