Broken exhaust stud - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 05:00 PM
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..... I don't know which 105 series it is but if it has any value...I would take the head off..

The older I get.. the faster I was....
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Gents, this story is getting more complicated and alarming.

While that wicked pothole definitely broke an exhaust stud, I wasnít convinced that that was all that was wrong...

Last night I ran the car in my garage to try to diagnose. Hereís what I observed/heard:

1. Car starts easily and idles fine

2. Loud noise (like exhaust leak) and PRONOUNCED vibration of the whole engine above 1500 RPM; these symptoms showed themselves IMMEDIATELY after hitting the pothole; they didnít appear to get any worse as I drove the 3 miles home or during startup last night.

3. Quarter-sized patch of oily residue on the block adjacent to the broken-off stud

4. The oily residue bubbles slightly above 1500 RPM; canít tell if thatís because the (brand new Reinz) head gasket is blown or if exhaust gas is just making it look that way by blowing on the residue

5. Small amount of white creamy substance visible in my clear breather hose

6. Nothing unusual on the dipstick or under the oil or coolant caps

7. All head studs are properly torqued; I checked

Iíll take any insight you may have. For right now I have these specific questions:

A) Is the vibration I describe in ď2Ē a normal result of a broken exhaust stud and leaking exhaust? Or of a head gasket failure? Or does it suggest serious internal damage?

B) This all coincided with hitting a big pothole. Iíve never heard of a pothole causing a head gasket failure or internal engine damage. Have you?

When I get home from work Iíll remove the cam cover to see if the substance in the breather hose is indeed oil mixed with coolant or if there is any obvious damage there. I will report back. Until then, I welcome any advice!

1976 Spider
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:00 PM
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On a Spica car you might see traces of "milky" residue on the oil by-pass... nothing to set off alarms. I would not go looking for trouble until you fix the exhaust leak. It's better to address one thing at a time rather than try to go down different paths simultaneously.. it just adds to confusion in the end. My neighbor changed the plugs on a vehicle and it misfired. He was prepared to reset the timimg and change points and god knows what ... the problem was he didn't connect the ignition wires properly to two spark plugs out of 8.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:03 PM
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basically I can't see a pothole breaking a manifold stud, but there you go, and something obviously broke it (unless it was cracked thru the various heat cycles and stress)...the manifold would smash first, imo.

a leaking exhaust manifold normally sounds like a bad spitting, but can sound like a rattle can, depending what's going on.

you checked the exhaust manifold for damage?
have your engine mounts split?
Have you a sump guard fitted?

first is first though, remove the manifold, it has to come off in any case.

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:08 PM
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I'm kinda stuck on the pothole thing. So do you have a pan guard? Did you bottom out on the pan? Exhaust maybe? I think you would have had to hit either engine or exhaust to break the stud and if so could have possibly hairline cracked the head in the process. I'm trying to tie together the impact of the pothole and the symptoms you are describing. The vibration is curious and worrisome....
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your efforts to help me. I’ll try to answer your questions.

- The exhaust stud in question was not the correct part, but a lookalike from a fastener distributor. Shame on me.

- The manifold doesn’t seem to be damaged. I’ll remove it as you suggest and take a closer look.

- My engine mounts are new, so I did not think to look at them. I will now.

- Sump guard is fitted. I’m fairly sure the car didn’t bottom out.

- Yes, the vibration is curious and worrisome. Has me worried for sure. I can’t even imagine what it could be. If I didn’t know better, I’d guess bearing damage, but a) I can’t fathom what a pothole would have to do with that and b) I’d have expected the engine to have seized by now if that was the case.

I’ll pop the cam cover and take a look later. It occurs to me to start the engine again and post a video of the vibration, but I wonder if I’m just inviting more damage by running the engine without knowing what’s wrong.

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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:22 PM
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Just a hypothesis, of course, but if you bottomed out on the exhaust, you would have put tremendous strain on the exhaust manifold and studs. Possibly enough pressure to affect stud integrity in the soft aluminum head, compromising the gasket seal and worst case scenario, damaging the head. I am not meaning to sound doom and gloom but just spitting out possibilities. A bottom out causing all these issues just makes me think there is something unseen up to this point....
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:26 PM
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There's a lot to be said for having a good look.
Like others, I struggle to see a link between a pothole and engine damage. Breaking or moving a fitting or mount or the exhaust is another matter.
Do you have car ramps?
Since you say it starts and idles fine, you probably aren't risking anything by crawling underneath and having a look/feel/listen for a short while while an accomplice revs the car a little. Start with the last thing you touched...the engine mounts.
If it's a structural failure, my guess is that something should appear obvious, and will lead to a relatively simple solution. Fingers crossed...
The only other thing that springs to mind is that something in the fuel delivery system (or even spark) may have been moved/jolted/broken, upsetting fuel supply or spark above idle...you never know, but this still seems more likely than an internal engine failure.
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Amazingly well informed and cogent hypotheses, gentleman. Iím on it.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:54 AM
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I'll add my 0.02 Lira's worth here, agree with the others, it sounds like you bottomed the exhaust somewhere, probably the big rolled flange on the middle silencer - hard enough to break that mild stud and most likely touch the body somewhere else due to deforming the pipe - that'll give you a noticible vibration & a sonic boom into the cabin if you did a *decent* job of walloping it.... Guess how I know...

Be aware that if you jack the body up to see underneath you might jack the pipe off an axle etc - the best would be sitting square on all 4 wheels with weight in the driver's seat on the 4 poster at your local exhaust shop, after all they are going to be repairing it right ??

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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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A bit of an update here for you guys:

  1. The sump guard definitely took an impact. It is slightly concave. Still lots of clearance between it and the sump (thank you, new motor mounts!). Sump is definitely undamaged.
  2. No visible evidence as far as I can tell that the exhaust impacted the road, but that doesnít mean it didnít happen.
  3. No evidence of oil/coolant mixing under the cam cover or anywhere else. Whitish frothy substance (approx 1 tablespoon) in the breather tube evidently due to normal operation.
  4. Broken exhaust stud is replaced. Exhaust manifold is bolted back on. No apparent damage to the manifold or head.
  5. Started the engine, but it seems I have reused my cam cover gasket too many times, and it is leaking now. No doubt I overtightened the cam cover and crushed the $h!t out of the gasket. Wonít do that again.
  6. New valve cover gasket ordered from Classic Alfa. Since the shipping to Toronto comes to about $50 USD, I figured Iíd order their 123 electronic distributor and a new blue coil to go with it so I wonít have to pay shipping a second time when I inevitably go for electronic ignition. Gonna need the forum search tool to figure out installation there, for sure (not to mention curve selection).
  7. Could only run the car for a few moments due to the leaking cam cover, but it seems some part of the exhaust underneath the car is rubbing the chassis, causing an awful noise, but no longer causing a serious engine shake. I will do as Ranz suggests and explore under the car with a helper at the gas pedal to find the source, after the new cam cover gasket is in. Below 1500RPM everything seems completely normal, which leads me to believe thereís nothing more happening here than some rubbing.
  8. I still canít completely rule out a head gasket failure. The area of a head gasket that I thought might be leaking is directly beneath one of the cam cover leaks, so I must first replace the cam cover gasket. If oil residue then stops appearing around the exhaust manifold Iíll know Iím good.


Gasket to arrive in two days. Will let you know!

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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Spider View Post
A bit of an update here for you guys...
Gasket to arrive in two days. Will let you know!
Thanks for the update!
Good to know the broken stud is out and a proper one is back in place; can you tell us how you got the broken one out in the end?

When you remove the cam cover to replace the gasket, check it on a level surface for warpage...those cover bolts take very little torque, 10.3 - 14.8 ft-lb, and overtightening can warp it or worst case strip the cam studs.

stick to around 10-12, and then after a few hundred kms, check by hand that they haven't worked loose....the ones on the 4 red paper gaskets can do (hopefully you got those 4 new, as well as the 1/2 moon rubbers at the back?)

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 10:48 AM
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spider,, if you use these, you will be very happy.. they engage the block better, more thread in the block about 3 times as much..
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip on measuring cam cover warpage. I’ll do that.

There was no broken stud fragment to remove. It was simply AWOL. I cannot explain. User error seems probable.

Red paper gaskets and half-moon seals have 300 miles on them. I hope they are okay to reuse. I didn’t reorder them.

Bianchi, what do you call those? I’m not sure what to Google.

Thanks!

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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 03:46 PM
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set screws? I think. or grub screws.. I just typed in m6 x 40 mm set screws, try that
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