1965 Veloce Spider-trace of oil in coolant - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Angry 1965 Veloce Spider-trace of oil in coolant

I rebuilt my engine about 500 miles ago (perhaps a year ago) and find a trace of oil in the Evans coolant every time I drive about 10 - 20 miles. The oil is found on a paper towel inserted into the coolant filler neck and onto the coolant. The compression is excellent-about 190 PSI with the engine hot, all plugs out, full throttle and about 10 revolutions of the engine. A Reintz head gasket used and checking the torque of the head bolt nuts shows no further tightening of the head bolt nuts. Any thoughts on diagnosis?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 02:36 PM
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I rebuilt my engine about 500 miles ago (perhaps a year ago) and find a trace of oil in the Evans coolant every time I drive about 10 - 20 miles. The oil is found on a paper towel inserted into the coolant filler neck and onto the coolant. The compression is excellent-about 190 PSI with the engine hot, all plugs out, full throttle and about 10 revolutions of the engine. A Reintz head gasket used and checking the torque of the head bolt nuts shows no further tightening of the head bolt nuts. Any thoughts on diagnosis?

Ciao.
Did you put the o-rings in the head gasket?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, O rings in the head.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 04:59 PM
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I knew the answer but had to ask. Sorry.. no elixir here.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 05:04 PM
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I knew the answer but had to ask. Sorry.. no elixir here.
....which means.....blown head gasket?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 05:17 PM
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How true is the head are my thoughts... Got to find out where the two liquids can mix .. and look for issues. Seems off the top of the noggin like head gasket leakage is where it happens.. Might try pressurizing the coolant system to check for a leak down .. I'm just thinkin' out loud. If it is a way to do the check I would start there. I would do that in a warm state of the engine .. not hot but not cold. Don't know how many PSI to pump it up .. New territory for me... Only head leakage i ever had was a crack around a valve seat and a white plume came out of the exhaust pipe. I would think a local shop could diagnose it better than us grasping for straws. I wouldn't go by the internet on something this testy.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Divon; another possibility is that there are small metal tubes that are inserted in the block that project into the head and these tubes receive the O-rings. Perhaps I damaged one of these tubes.

How can I test if I have a blown head gasket?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 07:40 AM
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Uncle Rick is on to something. You need to find a pressure check device for the radiator. Pump it up to about 15 psi and see if it loses pressure. You may not see where it leaks if it is internal.

If there is oil/water mix, it is most likely Orings or a bad seal at the back of the block. The newer gaskets require you put sealant on the back of the block for the oil return passage.

Did you use a gasket sealer on the head gasket other than what it came with?

Christopher

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 09:50 AM
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thanks Divon; another possibility is that there are small metal tubes that are inserted in the block that project into the head and these tubes receive the O-rings. Perhaps I damaged one of these tubes.

How can I test if I have a blown head gasket?
Those are "roll pins'.. i never used them so can't say but they shouldn't have been a liability. Without going further.. what is a "trace' and how do you find it... what are you observing? I'm not sure how to envision an oil film on a paper towel . From what I am hearing, this isn't a rreal problem. It is worth monitoring but I wouldn't lose any sleep on it. the other question is . How were the block and head cleaned before assembly?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 02:18 PM
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Without going further.. what is a "trace' and how do you find it... what are you observing? I'm not sure how to envision an oil film on a paper towel.
Usually when we are talking about oil in the radiator, it has the consistency of whip cream and is brown in color. You can see it in the anti-freeze as well as a coating around the top of the radiator cap. Is your car showing any of this?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 03:18 PM
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I don't know if you get the same symptoms of a "chocolate milk" in the coolant results when oil is mixed with Evans. I do know it is true with a 50-50 mix of glycol antifreeze and DISTILLED water or premixed out-of- the-bottle antifreeze which is very popular on the shelves these days. Also, I don't know how much oil in it is required to give this result. Usually there are no small mixes when a head gasket isn't sealing. "Traces" by definition tells me it's just that and any real failure would rear it's head in a much more dire set of parameters no matter how small the leak is..
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 03:26 PM
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Hi 330.gtc,

So you didn’t find any traces of 'mayonaise' in the radiator or in the oil filler cap and the engine works perfectly normal and is not getting to hot? No compression failure so probably no air bubbles in the water too.

If all of this is normal, I guess the leak will be or very little or even not existing.
Did you start with an oil free radiator before the rebuilding of the engine as maybe the engine had yet an oil leak into the water circuit before and so maybe there was already oil in the radiator channels before the restoration? The same of course for the engine block and head like Divotandtralee mentioned before, if they contained already oil from before, the oil could come out now slowly each time the engine gets hot.

For further checking of the size of a leak, you could drain the water when the engine is warm into a clean basket and look for the presence of oil. I wouldn’t use the little tap on the radiator but instead take away the watertube at the underside of the radiator to obtain a better flush of the water resulting in more oil coming out too. if there is oil in the water it will finally come up at the surface in the basket after a certain time. It could give you an idea of the amount of oil that was in the water channel.

Now that you have access to the inner surface of that water tube and of the copper tube of the radiator, check them on the presence of oil and clean them perfectly. Clean also the filler neck of the radiator.
Then, refill with water, drive your car for a while and check again the water, the inside of the tubes and the radiator filler on the presence of new oil.
I would prefer doing this test a few times more than opening the engine.
Be sure to start each time again from cleaned tubes and clean water and have them checked.
The result of this tests could make the decision to open the engine easier for you.

If oil could come into the water, maybe water has come into the oil. So for eliminating, another test I would do is to drain the oil pan too and check it there on the presence of water or mayonaise.

Please note that this would be only my approach of the problem .


Rgds,
Thierry
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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OK; drained the radiator of coolant. Any one have a favorite to "clean" the radiator?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thierry, oil is clear.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:11 PM
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If you haven't done so, I suggest you try a "mouse milk" solution. There's a commonly available product called Alumaseal that Alfa's factory service reps use to recommend to dealers back in the day. As the name implies, Alumaseal consists of finely ground aluminum flakes. Alfa began using Alumaseal when customers began complaining about all-to-common evidence of oil-seepage in their new cars. When added to the cooling system the finely ground flakes can seek out small leaks and will used coolant pressure to stop small leaks. It won't hurt your new engine and, with a little luck, it just might solve your problem.
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