oil in water/water in oil - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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oil in water/water in oil

Nuts! I have about four (4) hours on our 1985 spider engine rebuild, oil in the coolant showed up first, I dumped the engine oil earlier and probably a cup of water came out with the dreaded "milk shake" mess. I have read several threads on the subject, it seems a few sources: liners, front cover, o rings/roll pins and head gasket. I have re torqued the cylinder head and found many could twist maybe 1/16 of a turn (maybe less). I was just getting her running decent including a run on the highway for a few miles.

Is there any simple way to isolate the source? PLEASE

as always thanks
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post #2 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 05:42 PM
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A coolant pressure tester would probably reveal the weak area(s). The one I have replaces the radiator cap and the cooling system can then be pressurized. If you drain the coolant first you could then listen for the hiss of air leaking.

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post #3 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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A coolant pressure tester would probably reveal the weak area(s). The one I have replaces the radiator cap and the cooling system can then be pressurized. If you drain the coolant first you could then listen for the hiss of air leaking.
Exactly my first thought and action. I have an old NAPA tester that works perfect. Could not hear anything. Pressure did decrease but no noises.
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post #4 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 06:57 PM
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Did you apply Permatex ultra grey to the rear of the head gasket around the oil drain holes?

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post #5 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 10:21 PM
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Cylinder liners have very small diameter rubber sealing o-rings at the base of them. Did you remove liners and replace those seals? If not and one of the liners lifted during rebuild chances are o-ring broke.
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post #6 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Did you apply Permatex ultra grey to the rear of the head gasket around the oil drain holes?
I missed that memo. From what I could tell the factory manual instructs "no sealant".

Can I simply remove the cylinder head, clean surfaces, set new gasket with sealant and go? or will the liners lift when the head is removed? I am concerned if the liners/o-rings will be disturbed?
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post #7 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:33 AM
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Can I simply remove the cylinder head, clean surfaces, set new gasket with sealant and go?
Yes, but use liner hold downs if you are to rotate the crankshaft with the head off. You can use large plain washers, pieces of PVC tube and head nuts to keep the liners in place.

The head gaskets now are for later cars and there were changes in the oil drain holes. The manual was probably written earlier.

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post #8 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle View Post
Did you apply Permatex ultra grey to the rear of the head gasket around the oil drain holes?
Like this:
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- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #9 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 06:14 AM
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Holes in Head Gaskets

My last batch of Reintz gaskets had the drain back holes in them.

Why would they make gaskets without them? The holes would just be covered above & below on later heads?

I don`t use Ultra Grey anymore at the rear, as the oil is only draining through under no pressure and new Reintz gaskets have sealant around the area.
Just something else to clean away when changing gaskets...

Oil/water issues are a factor of the original inadequate torque specifications. On 1750/2 liter/Montreal/V6 head studs (12mm) I use 70 lbft.

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post #10 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfar7 View Post
My last batch of Reintz gaskets had the drain back holes in them.

Why would they make gaskets without them? The holes would just be covered above & below on later heads?

I don`t use Ultra Grey anymore at the rear, as the oil is only draining through under no pressure and new Reintz gaskets have sealant around the area.
Just something else to clean away when changing gaskets...

Oil/water issues are a factor of the original inadequate torque specifications. On 1750/2 liter/Montreal/V6 head studs (12mm) I use 70 lbft.
70 ft/lb is a slight increase over the 65 recommended. Has anyone seen or heard of an issue with an additional 5 ft/lbs?

Over in the Porsche world broken head studs have been almost across the board for many years.

I did not use sealant at the rear portion of the head gasket per factory instructions. Is the rear portion of the head gasket one of the more common areas of leakage? I would sure be very thankful if I could leave the cylinders in place and pray the liner o-rings are sealed.

thanks to all for the helpful information.
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post #11 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 06:48 AM
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So, your engine was a fresh rebuild? Not just a valve job, or ring/valve job?

Given the small amount of looseness (1/16 turn) that you found, and only four hours of operation, I’m guessing you left something out, or did something wrong, during the rebuild.

You could just try a fresh head gasket, making sure you get it right. If you get the same results, you’ll want to pull the engine and go looking for the problem.

It’s likely NOT the drainback holes. That’s mostly an issue of external oil leaks. You’ve probably got a pressurized transfer somewhere. That could be head gasket, cylinder o-rings, head gasket o-rings, cracked head (or block).

Remember, your engine makes more oil pressure than water pressure. Oil in the water only is one thing. Two-way transfer changes the likely sources.
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post #12 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 08:06 AM
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My recollection is that John Norman came up with the Ulta Grey fix for coolant in oil problems.

Ed Prytherch
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post #13 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 08:17 AM
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The tech bulletin says no RTV. It recommends non hardening sealants.
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File Type: pdf bulletin_adhesives-sealants_gasket-1.pdf (180.0 KB, 56 views)

Ed Prytherch
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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #14 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:43 PM
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Did you have the front cover off? The liner O ring would put water in the oil but it would be hard to get oil in the water. If one of the 6 headgasket O rings got crimped that would put oil in the water right away. You'll know when you pull the head. If everything looks good there then the front cover would do both as well. There is a square O ring on the front cover as well as the side gaskets.

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post #15 of 96 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I did not use any sealants on any gasket during assembly. It was a total rebuild and my first one since the early 80's. Thanks for the Alfa factory tech bulletin, they request a "Hylomar" is this similar to Permatex liquid? as silicone may clog oil passages (the way I read it). I guess my weekend coming up will be removing the cylinder head to further assess. How will I know if the lack of sealant at the rear portion of the head gasket is the culprit?

Or maybe I should increase the torque of the head nuts to 70 ft/lbs and try this first?

Last edited by 930cabman; 11-13-2018 at 04:51 PM.
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