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Greetings. I have owned a wonderful '86 Spider for a few months which, until today, had been my only experience owning an Alfa. Then today I bought a clean, speedy '91 164L , but have some questions. After driving it a bit this evening (at a pretty good clip) l noticed the oil pressure gauge reading zero and the engine indicating 200deg F. Stopping and checking under the hood after a 10 minute cool-down, the dipstick was indicating clean oil at just under full, and the coolant was clean, translucent green, and topped up. There was no loss of power, no strange noises, no smoke of any kind or color, no warning lights, or any other indication of any kind of problem, nothing.

Are these common experiences for the 164 and its engine (3.0L, 12V)?
Is there an accepted engine operating temperature figure? For example, my Spider never gets over 180deg F even when I hammer it, so I expect the operating temp to be ~180deg F.

Regarding oil pressure,the Spider's oil pressure readings drop as it warms up but this appears normal and seems to have no effect on the operation of the car (no loss of power, no strange noises, no smoke of any kind or color, no warning lights, or any other indication of any kind of problem). Does this sound like a 164L, faulty oil pressure sensor/sender/gauge kind of problem?

Thanks for any help.
 

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The 164 for emissions reason runs much warmer than older Alfa's. The 3.0 12V runs around the 3/4 mark ( around 212). You might try and watch if your oil pressure drops as the engine warms up. It might be a faulty oil pressure sender. You will like the 164. It is a very different car from your Spider.
 

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Welcome to the 164 world. The oil pressure sending units are very unreliable. Years ago i use to worry about it, always wanting to read accurate oil pressure. I wants replaced a faulty sending unit with a brand new faulty sending unit. Once, when I was running with a bad sender, the oil light switch failed also, so the low oil light was on and the oil pressure was reading zero :) I'm now running a 164B with a bad pressure sender. I'll probably fix it some day.
 

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Greetings. I have owned a wonderful '86 Spider for a few months which, until today, had been my only experience owning an Alfa. Then today I bought a clean, speedy '91 164L , but have some questions. After driving it a bit this evening (at a pretty good clip) l noticed the oil pressure gauge reading zero and the engine indicating 200deg F. Stopping and checking under the hood after a 10 minute cool-down, the dipstick was indicating clean oil at just under full, and the coolant was clean, translucent green, and topped up. There was no loss of power, no strange noises, no smoke of any kind or color, no warning lights, or any other indication of any kind of problem, nothing.

Are these common experiences for the 164 and its engine (3.0L, 12V)?
Is there an accepted engine operating temperature figure? For example, my Spider never gets over 180deg F even when I hammer it, so I expect the operating temp to be ~180deg F.

Regarding oil pressure,the Spider's oil pressure readings drop as it warms up but this appears normal and seems to have no effect on the operation of the car (no loss of power, no strange noises, no smoke of any kind or color, no warning lights, or any other indication of any kind of problem). Does this sound like a 164L, faulty oil pressure sensor/sender/gauge kind of problem?

Thanks for any help.
Welcome. All have left good advise. Depending on location or climate the 164 12V usually runs between 212.5˚F -231.25˚F (18.75˚f between marks), this would be the 2nd mark after 175˚F to the 3rd mark after 175˚F.
Typical range. It looks a bit scary at the later half of the gauge but you can also probably add or subtract about 10-15˚ since it is an alfa. :)
As long as all your fans work properly, not by passed to high speed only, then you should be fine. No water over flowing after stop, your good.
Main reason why it runs this hot, radiator design! 2 speed fan with aux. low speed a must for properly cooling and long life of fan motor.

Oil pressure sender is bad. They are always bad on the L motors. I never had too many problems with the S motors though. Replace the sender, may work for a while and go weak again or be fine for years.
You are most likely just fine as mentioned.

Welcome to the 164. You are going to like it a lot, I am sure. You will forget about that spider very soon, lol!:D
Ciao!
Jason
 

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Remember, you can usually fix the pressure sender for nothing by drilling the little hole in the casing.
 

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Hello,

I had exactly the same pair of symptoms with my '92 164. I had replaced the thermostat and the gauge read 100 degrees (C). The scale of the gauge is deliberately skewed (as are the other gauges, if you look closely :)) and so 100 degrees appears to be 3/4 around the gauge when it is actually 2/3rds.

As for the oil pressure, I was convinced that my sender unit wasn't faulty because it would read 4 bar (i.e. good) oil pressure when the engine cold. It would drop to 0 with the engine hot and idling. I tried using a more expensive full-synthetic oil, 20W60 (especially thick). That gave me almost 1 bar with the engine hot and idling (14.2psi).

At this point I hooked up a mechanical oil pressure gauge (on Alfisto Steve's advice, as I recall), the type with the plastic tube and the frustrating brass fitting. After the pipe popped out several times (jets of oil everywhere), I realised why. The pressure (engine hot and idling) was 41psi, climbing to 58psi as the revs increased.

I tried to measure the pressure cold, but couldn't get the pipe to stay in (cold and idling was at least 50psi).

So the reality is that the pressure gauge sender was LIES! :mad:

I think that while it read 4 bar correctly, it was hopelessly inaccurate at other times. I drilled a hole in the casing, but in my case that made no difference. I think it had a resistance element fault rather than a buildup of oil. If the gauge reads low all the time, then that would be more likely to be cured by drilling a hole.

I think that the gauge sender for an X1/9 will fit as well. After all, they're usually just as bad - but possibly cheaper to buy new.

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the swift replies. I am new to posting on a BB so bear with me if I do something stupid trying to reply.

Andrewg, Richard2, Jason, Del and Alex, your collective sense of humor as well as your practical experience are very evident in your notes, and you have put my mind at ease. I will get the Oil Pressure sender replaced to see what happens.

I live in Raleigh NC, USA, and it is very hot and humid here this time of year. I drove the car more today, and it never got above an indicated 225deg F on the gauge no matter how I drove it, so armed with your advice I will just keep an eye on it for now. I also topped the oil completely thinking that would also aid cooling a bit.

Not quite 24 hours into the relationship yet, but I can tell you I already love driving this 164L.

Thanks again all.

Sincerely,
JD
 

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The love afair will only deepen.

Since the car is this new to you, I have to ask...do you know its history? Particuarly, when was the timing belt last changed. If its been a while, or you don't know, the love afair my end rather abruptly.
 

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Every 164 I've owned 1 L and 2 LS's have run hot and had zero oil pressure on the gauge at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The love afair will only deepen.

Since the car is this new to you, I have to ask...do you know its history? Particuarly, when was the timing belt last changed. If its been a while, or you don't know, the love afair my end rather abruptly.
Richard2,
According to the title, one owner since it was bought new in '91; mtc. records indicate regular coupon service through 60K miles, then nothing further. So I have no clue about a timing belt changeout. The original owner appears to have sold/traded in early 2007, but the car appears to me well maintained, and the timing belt appears to be in good shape. Although I have a pretty good sense about its condition, this car, Alfa Due, will soon be getting a qualified local mechanic's assessment to prevent any nasty and sudden surprises later. Of course I am hopeful there are no nasty and sudden surprises sooner, either.
But first, tomorrow, the Spider (Alfa Uno) gets its checkup.

JD
 

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My advice is, if you don't know when and who changed it last, do it sooner rather than later.

I know you'll enjoy the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alfisto Steve,

I know this will be one of those "doh" moments as soon as you tell me...what is a PM?

Thanks,


JD,

Sounds like you are on your way to becoming an Alfaholic like many of us.

Join us if you haven't already see this link: http://mid-atlantic-aroc.com/

Send me a PM and I can hook you up with Bruce in Raleigh for newsletter.

Our web site up here is: http://hr.mid-atlantic-aroc.com/
__________________
Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor
[email protected]
http://www.aroc-usa.org/tech/index.asp
http://www.aroc-usa.org/

Daily drivers: USA models 91 Bianco 164B 5-speed ALFA 4ME, 91 Argento aka "Quik Silver" 164B ALFA 4US w/AT, 93 Rosso 164L 5-speed - semi-daily driver with issues.
164L Rescue projects: 91 Argento aka Non-QS, and organ donor 91 Nero 164L
"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
 

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PM is a Private Message on the bulletin board. Look at the controls above in the "Quick Links" Miscellaneous group, or go to the "User CP" (Control Panel) and look for Private Messages. It's pretty self-explanatory.
 

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PM is a Private Message on the bulletin board. Look at the controls above in the "Quick Links" Miscellaneous group, or go to the "User CP" (Control Panel) and look for Private Messages. It's pretty self-explanatory.
Easier way is just click on user's name such as Alfisto Steve on screen and click on Private message from drop down menu to send one to poster.
 
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