Good news and bad news, I guess - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Good news and bad news, I guess

Pulled my transmission months ago for some repairs and changed all the seals on it before reinstalling. Started to develop puddles where the bellhousing meets the block a couple weeks after, and assumed that I installed the front seal improperly which resulted in leaking. I just pulled the transmission out of the car and the inside of the bellhousing is completely dry. If it's dry, I can assume that it is not leaking, correct? Now I'm assuming I have a leaking rear main seal or leaking cigarette seals, so I'm pulling off the clutch and flywheel assembly to take a look. Just so I understand correctly, I can change the rear main seal with the engine in the car, but the motor has to come out for the cigarette seals? Really really hoping I don't have to pull the motor to correct this. Lastly, I have an orange colored akron rear main seal that Centerline sent me. I just did some research on the board and it seems that people are not fans of this brand of seal. Have they gotten these corrected, or should I just return it and order a different brand from somewhere else?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Pics from bellhousing and rms. Any thoughts? Pretty wet back there on the block.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 05:52 PM
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Can you discern any difference in the smell? Gear oil (as used in the transmission) usually has a distinct odor. Motor oil does not.

As for the cigarette seals, I've read that one can use a product in a tube/caulking gun to fill then cavities then cover the ends (tape?) until it cures.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Can you discern any difference in the smell? Gear oil (as used in the transmission) usually has a distinct odor. Motor oil does not.

As for the cigarette seals, I've read that one can use a product in a tube/caulking gun to fill then cavities then cover the ends (tape?) until it cures.
I'm using Red Line in the gearbox, and it definitely has a smell to it. However, I am now thinking it is definitely motor oil that is seeping. The only gearbox fluid leaks I have are from the drain plug it seems. Like I said, the bellhousing is dry inside. You can't have a leaking front trans seal and a dry bellhousing, correct?

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 06:00 PM
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http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spid...tte-seals.html

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/engi...ite-510-a.html

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spid...ine-place.html
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 06:07 PM
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The orange seals are [email protected] Spruell sells the good ones, Corteco I think. In theory you can replace it from under the car but it is easy to screw up. I tried once and failed.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 06:17 PM
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The seal you want is the Corteco seal, dark brown.
If you look at your photo note the dark stains at 9:00 where the main cap meets the block. Many a rear main seal leak has been blamed when it's really the cig seal. It's not really the cig seal but that area where the two halves meet. The cig seal just doesn't get slid into the void far enough. I've started putting a daub of ultra grey on a toothpick or narrow popsicle stick and putting it in the void at the bottom of the channel the cig seal goes in. That will insure the cig seal fills and pushes the ultra grey into the joint. I suppose it can be done in the car but it's a pain since the oil pan has to come off among other things.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 07:16 PM
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It could be the cigarette seals. The rubber shrinks over time. Also in the late 80's Alfa was suppling seals that were the wrong size. There is a tech bulletin on them. I've always put a dab of sealant on the end of the cigarette seal that goes into the hole to help seal the space were the main cap meets the block.


But you also have the white rear main seal. That is the original seal or close to it. As Alfa quit using them and went to the brown corteco seals in 1988 or 1989. The white seals became NLA at that time. They were good seals at the time. But were the biggest pain in the *ss to put in. It usually took 2 or 3 seals because of the material they were made out of and they were 25.00 a piece back then.

Do not ever use an orange Akron seal in anything. It will pop out and the job will have to be done all over again. I've seen this happen with the Akron seals on many different European cars.

I have both the cigarette tool and the rear main seal install tool for sale. Send me a PM if interested.
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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 #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. So I guess I'm gambling on fixing this if I just change the rear main seal? Just did a bunch of research up here and seems it is foolish to try and do the cigarette seal job with the motor in the car. I'm assuming pulling the motor is easier since I have the trans off already but I really was hoping not to have to do this right now. Already have a BMW M3 engine on my engine stand waiting to go into another project of mine and I don't really want to deal with 2 motor pulls at the moment.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 01:53 AM
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Assuming you have the clearance to the flywheel, buy a 2 or 3mm aluminium plate and cut it so that it has a hole in it that is slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the rear main seal. Then cut the plate so that it fits well inside where the bellhousing connects to the block, and drill and tap a few small (M6?) holes in the rear of the block, and the rear of the rear main. Drill the same holes in the aluminium plate and counter sink them. Clean back/rear of block, apply Hondabond or equivalent quality sealant on rear of block and bolt on plate.

You have now reproduced what all (I believe) modern engines do to rid themselves of the stupidity of the concept of cigarette seals, plus you have also trapped the rear main seal so it can never work itself out. The plate does not have to be that big and no need to remove the engine. Of course in modern engines this plate actually holds the rear main seal ... I've recently replaced a Honda Odyssey one. The design is much superior to cigarette seals IMO.

Pete

Something like this. Not sure whether you could extend it down to the edge of the sump or not ... if you can you would have to file the surface flat and in line of course:
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Last edited by PSk; 08-07-2017 at 02:07 AM.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, installing the rear main seal and just want to make sure of one thing. It does not seem like the seal wants to go flush with the block, instead it sticks out a tiny amount. I don't want to force it, so I was wondering if these dark brown seals are not as shallow as the white ones? Here is a picture also for you to check out.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceMan View Post
Hey guys, installing the rear main seal and just want to make sure of one thing. It does not seem like the seal wants to go flush with the block, instead it sticks out a tiny amount. I don't want to force it, so I was wondering if these dark brown seals are not as shallow as the white ones? Here is a picture also for you to check out.

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Never mind, looks like I needed just a little bit more elbow grease. Just took my time going around the diameter and finally got it to go flush.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 03:27 AM
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Was the lip of the seal and the crank lubricated with engine oil prior to installing the seal? It looks pretty dry in the pic.

Jim

Series 2 USA 1750 GTV (in Series 1 European clothing)
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Was the lip of the seal and the crank lubricated with engine oil prior to installing the seal? It looks pretty dry in the pic.
I actually had used grease, based on the recommendation in another thread. The pics I posted are "post-clean up".

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 05:49 AM
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You also might as a precaution force some ultra grey into the small gap where the rear main block meets the block itself. Clean with brake cleaner and mash it in as far as possible with a putty blade. It can't hurt.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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