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'79 Spider - Gasket Blow Out?

846 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  rogerspeed
Hello, I just bought my first Alfa, a 1979 Spider 2000. I know a little about these cars, but figured I would learn more about them along the way. It's a nice driver, however, while driving the oil decided to vacate the car. Getting underneath it, I had to wipe away a lot of oil to figure where it could have been coming from and found this on what I'm thinking would be the oil pan (or a sump pan?), and appear to be a blown gasket. Lot of oil from this area, and the dripping seemed to be from this area (see the photo). I did wipe some oil away to find this.

But I'm wondering then is this likely the place, and is that a gasket, or just sealant? Also the screw in the picture doesn't have a collar/washer on it like most of the other ones holding this pan in place (you can also see it pooling a little oil). Between doing this and having to leave for the weekend I didn't have time to check the screws for tightness. A couple random loose bolts on the grate over this area makes me wonder if the previous owner or a previous mechanic may have not done so well on whatever the previously did under here. Of course, there didn't appear to be anything wrong like this before I paid for the car, but there's always something you overlook. If this in the picture is the source and its what I'm thinking it is, what would I be looking for as for a fix? I ended up on Alfaholics and found sump gaskets, so maybe me calling it the oil pan is inaccurate. I may not be thinking of or using the right terminology. Am I looking for a gasket? Could I take this pan off, clean it up, and close it up with an off the shelf sealant? I do know of a nearby mechanic who specializes in Alfas, but I'm curious how difficult it would be to handle myself.

Thanks for any help/suggestions. This is my first post. Please be gentle. 馃槍

Yah I'm guessing that's not supposed to look like that. This was much oilier before I wiped it down looking for pooling, although by this point the oil was pretty much depleted from what I could tell. Oil pressure was about 0. At least the gauge seemed to work.
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That might be best, really. Given what I've found already there could be more surprises of past, er, let's say sloppiness. I would like to try some repairs myself,but having just bought it, a full inspection might be better.
Might cost you a few hundred bucks, but then you will know what it needs. Did you get maintenance records with the car? I would have him top up (or change) the rear and gearbox oil, top up steering oil, check suspension bushings, change fuel filters. If the 79 has a Spica system, the injection timing belt should be checked. Since he specializes in Alfas, he will know what to look for.
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Rear ends are often neglected.
Rear diff seals fail as they age, the oil gets slung on the underside of the car as it is being driven and dirt will stick to it.
Next thing you know, you have "Gear Wine" . :rolleyes:
There are some records, I scanned through them but haven't had the chance to look at them closely. I think maybe I'll pick them up after work today and take a closer look, and try to get the car on there schedule. It sounded like the car was in storage for a while and the last thing done too it was the oil change from some random lube place last July, although they said there was some engine service done recently, but didn't extrapolate. Should be in the service records, depending on how complete they actually are.
Be advised that there is a small oil filter on your SPICA injection pump.
3 small bolts holding a circular plate to the side of the pump.
Don't forget to change it periodically.
...the cover that holds the SPICA injection pump filter takes a contour three hole paper gasket
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