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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone:
On my way this weekend from the Bay Area to Portland, OR and back. Changed oil this evening for first time, (very easy to access and do...pleasantly surprised). However, NO washer at drainplug! Anyway, no choice but to tighten up and refill with fresh oil. Drove car, revved it high, and no sign of leaks, but surely this cannot be right.....
Thoughts? Experiences?
Cheers
Andy
 

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I don't know what Alfa uses normally, but autoparts stores generally have a selection of copper gasket washers. The price is not more than $.25 each, so I would suggest estimating the size of the drain plug and then buy one yo think is the right size and a couple of sizes up and down. 5 or 6 different size washers would cost less than $2.00, then next time you do an oil change, see which washer fits best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
great idea, thanks VERY much.
In other words, yes, this should have a washer at the drainplug, right?
Cheers
Andy
 

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I think so. I've never seen a drain plug that did not require some sort of gasket to seal, except on diesel engines used in transport refrigeration. They used pipe plugs with a tapered thread. If you have a machine thread, it should have a gasket.
 

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IAP and Centerline, probably all others sell the copper washers for the drain plugs. if you torque it enough, it may not leak, but your really pullng hard on aluminum, might strip the threads.
cliff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yep, I talked to my mechanic this morning and he said the same thing. I will order the plug, but drive the car the way it is until the next oil change is due. Thanks for all of your help and
Cheers
Andy
 

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Just for information purposes, if for any reason you can't get the nylon washer, you can use copper. The secret to copper is not to try to tighten it tighter to get it to seal! If it doesn't want to seal, take it off and anneal it. You heat it with a propane or butane torch until it is just short of red hot (cherry red is ok, but not necessary). Let it cool or quench it, and the copper gets soft. Now it will crush and seal without having to tighten it so tight that you damage aluminum threads.
 

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<-- stands quite deeply on Russ' side of the room regarding annealing coppers and hands him a beer while loitering.

I've been doing it since my old Brit bike days with those copper washers, shims and especially the head gaskets those things are laden with.

I tend to quench in old motor oil (you know, what you just drained sitting there in a pan) as it gives a better cooldown IMO. (water is a bit too fast while air is a bit too slow. Oil keeps it a bit warmer for slightly longer than water would which promotes more even cooling)

You can anneal an unlimited amount of times provided the copper is in good condition/not gouged up.
 

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My 1986 Spider was missing the plug gasket when I bought it. I bought a copper gasket and promptly overtorqued it. I then turned one from brass with me old 1936 South Bend lathe. Works great after at least 10 oil changes and doesn't leak. You too can take your oil plug, or make a drawing, and take it to a competent machinist. It may cost more than the copper gasket. You do want a gasket there IMSO.
 
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