How to change oil on Giulietta Spider? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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How to change oil on Giulietta Spider?

2 parts to this post:

First, would someone please be so kind as to educate me on how to change the oil on my '58 Spider Veloce? Pics would be VERY helpful. I am not too mechanically inclined and part of the reason of me purchasing a vintage automobile is to learn about cars (or at least that's how I justify it to my wife). I don't have a lift or access to a lift, so can I use a modern jack to access the underside better?

Second, what type of motor oil is preferred? Real vs. synthetic? One specific brand over another?

Much appreciated. Thank you.

Len Jacko (Cleveland, OH): '58 Spider Normale, Spider Veloce (Done!) and Sprint Veloce (In Progress), '60 Spider 2000 Touring (my favorite) and '61 Spider Normale.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 08:19 AM
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Len,

First youīll have to put your car on stands both forth and back so itīll stand as horizontal as possible. You can also warm up the old engine oil a little before that so itīll run out easier. Then you loosen the oil plug/screw on the bottom of the sump, be ready there with enough big container to scoop up the old oil. Have also a big rag ready as some of the old oil is probably going to end up on your hands and floors.
When the engine is emptied on oil, screw back the oil plug to the sump again (DO NOT FORGET THIS MOMENT) and loosen now and empty the oil filter can. Install new oil filter and do not forget to lubricate the oil filter can rubber gasket with som oil before screwing it back to place again.

When all this done, top up new oil, the motor takes about, or not full 4 liter, aprox. a gallon.
I personally donīt think thereīs any need for some sofisticated synthetic oils in these old motors and use the recomended Helix mineral oil, think its 10-40.....

Unfortunately donīt have any pics, but maybe someone else does and can help.....

Good luck

Dennis
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 04:25 AM
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Len, we know how much you have invested in your precious jewel so proceed with caution. I recommend you take it to an independent shop with a lift and ask the guy to walk you through the procedure...Learn by watching him and asking questions..Things like "how tight is tight", how to line up the filter canister.. although a filter change isn't really something that is necessary with only a few hundred miles. The shop guy will walk you through it and love to work on something so precious he wished he owned..Ask him to lift the car on the suspension points not the body jack points.

The usual newbe problem is -- over (or under)-tightening the filter or the plug or cross threading something; putting the canister on cocked crooked resulting in a pool of puked oil on start up; using the wrong o-ring...puke again; using the improper sockets. A 9/16" or 14 mm bolt head works on the gearbox and the R.E. plugs if the correct Allen wrench is still on the parts store shelf.

Now that it is up in the air have him check the level of the gear box and the rear-end.. he can show you that ...but the rear end is standard gear oil and the gearbox is straight 90 which he WON"T have. no substitutes..

Then grease the fittings for the front suspension and u-joints. Their locations are in the owner's manual.

On the issue of filter, I don't change the o-ring for the canister unless it leaks..they can be reused for a number of oil changes if undisturbed and the canister is true on the lip. It rides in a groove in the top portion of the filter housing and requires a dental pick to pull it out... and it must be the correct one which most new filters don't provide. The old one eventually gets hard and need to be changed.The ring supplied in most filters is for another car although you might get lucky ( I haven't) and get the correct one.

Lastly, oil... The Mercedes in my drive way takes Mobil 1 synthetic. That is because it has tighter tolerances than were used in 1956. DO NOT USE synthetic. Shell Rotella or Castrol GTX 20-50 (10-40 winter) will keep you out of trouble. Quaker State and Pennzoil will work too.

After you have seen it done, you won't forget.. like riding a bicycle.


Happy motoring, Uncle

PS; I doubt you learned dentistry from a manual or pictures... that's reserved for battlefields and jungle prisons.

Last edited by divotandtralee; 04-30-2014 at 04:37 AM.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 08:27 AM
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AS always, Uncle above has the best advice. He has spent a few years learning this and suffers first timers very well. Heed his advice.
From my OWN experience.


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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 08:29 AM
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I'm using the Brad Penn 20W-50, which is like the old-school Kendall, with old-school additives. The subject of appropriate additives for older engines has been beat to death on the Internet, so I will leave it to you to do your own Google search. I'm not sure whether the additives package matters as much in our Alfas as in some other flat tappet engines, e.g., American V8's. If you are using the correct valve springs (not the Jaguar ones that are often used) then the low pressure on the cam lobes might make this a non-issue. Also, the metallurgy on the 750 cams seems to be different from later camshafts, which may be a factor. (Steel on 750, cast iron on later cars.)

At least the Brad Penn makes me feel good.

I'm no tribologist, I just read too much stuff on the Internet.

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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 08:39 AM
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Gordo, thanks for the vote of confidence. Hers's some of your work which is exceptional. Gordon , did yellow hosing installation for me and it is a perfect as can be. More a PITA for him for what he charges but welcomed by me. Thanks.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 08:46 AM
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I knew you would like it... and it will WORK without FIRES as an extra bonus!


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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom F2 View Post
I'm using the Brad Penn 20W-50, which is like the old-school Kendall, with old-school additives. The subject of appropriate additives for older engines has been beat to death on the Internet, so I will leave it to you to do your own Google search. I'm not sure whether the additives package matters as much in our Alfas as in some other flat tappet engines, e.g., American V8's. If you are using the correct valve springs (not the Jaguar ones that are often used) then the low pressure on the cam lobes might make this a non-issue. Also, the metallurgy on the 750 cams seems to be different from later camshafts, which may be a factor. (Steel on 750, cast iron on later cars.)

At least the Brad Penn makes me feel good.

I'm no tribologist, I just read too much stuff on the Internet.
You are correct on the debate on oils.. I think the Brad Penn thing is way over the top. I think the green color has people going ga-ga for no other reason other than it must be better. I don't observe any wear using the oils I mentioned. Also, I don't think the cams are cast iron... forged is more like it.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 02:56 PM
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I use Castrol 20-50W motor oil in all of my Alfas. The most difficult thing about changing oil in a 750/101 is the cartridge oil filter. I always use a new gasket for the cartridge oil filter and once in a while would have big oil leaks. I even bent the cartridge oil filter bolt and had to replace it. I would probably tell you to have your oil changed by an Alfa mechanic or someone who knows about Alfas. I always change the oil when the engine is cold because I have been burned by hot oil or a hot oil filter more than once. The oil drains slowly, but I always wait until the oil slowly drips from the oil pan. I have driven and worked on Alfas since 1968. I have rebuilt twelve engines and ten of those were Alfa engines. I like to change oil every 3,000 miles.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuni123456 View Post
I use Castrol 20-50W motor oil in all of my Alfas. The most difficult thing about changing oil in a 750/101 is the cartridge oil filter. I always use a new gasket for the cartridge oil filter and once in a while would have big oil leaks. I even bent the cartridge oil filter bolt and had to replace it. I would probably tell you to have your oil changed by an Alfa mechanic or someone who knows about Alfas. I always change the oil when the engine is cold because I have been burned by hot oil or a hot oil filter more than once. The oil drains slowly, but I always wait until the oil slowly drips from the oil pan. I have driven and worked on Alfas since 1968. I have rebuilt twelve engines and ten of those were Alfa engines. I like to change oil every 3,000 miles.
Personally, I don't like rebuilding engines... FWIW, I think it is better to change the oil when it is at least warm before all the particulates settle in the engine and swirl around in your fresh oil you put in to replace the old.....but if it works for you, have fun..... try not to burn yourself.
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 07:37 PM
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how to change oil on giulietta spider

Hello Group.


The drain plug is a 14 mm hex. must have one of these to change the oil.

I also add zinc to the oil - can be purchased at most auto parts stores.

like uncle Rick - I too wait to change the o-ring gasket for the filter. I believe the NAPA filter has the correct o-ring. once the filter is replaced and engine started - make sure there are no leaks - if a leak occurs - most likely the canister is not fully in place. this is an easy mistake to make.

use a new copper gasket for the drain plug - or use hylomar to seal the oil copper gasket.

Reed
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
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Hello Group.


The drain plug is a 14 mm hex. must have one of these to change the oil.

I also add zinc to the oil - can be purchased at most auto parts stores.

like uncle Rick - I too wait to change the o-ring gasket for the filter. I believe the NAPA filter has the correct o-ring. once the filter is replaced and engine started - make sure there are no leaks - if a leak occurs - most likely the canister is not fully in place. this is an easy mistake to make.

use a new copper gasket for the drain plug - or use hylomar to seal the oil copper gasket.

Reed
Reed, quit lurking and lend your support. I haven't needed a councilor yet like the other banishment.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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It's been too cold and rainy to drive the Alfa anywhere. Sometimes, I do manage to drive it to my parents (they live 2 streets over from me). When the weather gets nicer, I will drive the Alfa to Pete's Custom Coachbuilding and have him change the oil and show me how to do it. He has all of the appropriate tools, filters, o-rings, oil, lift, etc. needed for this task. My Alfa has just over 300 miles on it and it was recommended to get a quick oil change just in case any sediment or metal filings settled in the oil. So, after this oil change I can wait until I hit 3000 miles? Someone told me I should have the oil changed at the beginning of each driving season (once a year). What's recommended?

Len Jacko (Cleveland, OH): '58 Spider Normale, Spider Veloce (Done!) and Sprint Veloce (In Progress), '60 Spider 2000 Touring (my favorite) and '61 Spider Normale.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:27 AM
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Len, you should drive your car more! My old Alfa buddy and I drove my 59 nearly 200 miles in one day, last summer, reliving our younger days. Yikes, I had forgotten what an aggressive driver my friend could be, once we got on some open roads in Worcester County!

Personally, I think that the first oil change on a fresh engine is crucial, and I would probably change it sooner that 300 miles, in the case of a restored antique engine. Do you think that the people who put your car together might have done an oil change after a brief operation of the engine? Given the care and skill that they put into your car, I wouldn't be surprise to learn that they did. - Tom

The perfect is the enemy of the good. Voltaire

Last edited by Tom F2; 05-06-2014 at 05:42 AM.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatfishblu View Post
It's been too cold and rainy to drive the Alfa anywhere. Sometimes, I do manage to drive it to my parents (they live 2 streets over from me). When the weather gets nicer, I will drive the Alfa to Pete's Custom Coachbuilding and have him change the oil and show me how to do it. He has all of the appropriate tools, filters, o-rings, oil, lift, etc. needed for this task. My Alfa has just over 300 miles on it and it was recommended to get a quick oil change just in case any sediment or metal filings settled in the oil. So, after this oil change I can wait until I hit 3000 miles? Someone told me I should have the oil changed at the beginning of each driving season (once a year). What's recommended?
Ditto on the weather..I agree with your plan. All machines benefit from use.. but short trips like two blocks probably aren't enough to charge the battery and are harder on moving parts, i.e engines. Try to drive it about 10 miles once warmed up to maximize the benefit to the moving parts. You won't wear out this engine in your lifetime but longer trips will make it happier in the long run.
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