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Discussion Starter #1
It's a pretty well known fact that the early Alfetta's crank plugs popped out. Mine is a '75, bought it in '78 and not long after buying it the oil pressure suddenly dropped. I was informed by a very knowledgeable Alfa mechanic that it wasn't that big of a deal, though would have to be taken care of eventually. He just suggested I not take it up to redline until it/they were replaced. He replaced a couple, later I replaced a couple more. Crank was fine.

Question is, does anyone have a later, '78/'79 Alfetta that had this problem? It would help if you've had your car for a long time, since most have been fixed by now (I assume).

My '75, with a fresh/rebuilt engine from a '78 which had slightly iffy oil pressure from the beginning, now has none. I was five miles from my place and did not do what I tell everyone who finds themself in this situation - stop immediately, and call for a flatbed. Hey, didn't seize, but the water temp did go up a bit, but not much.

Most likely I will drain the oil tomorrow and pull the oil pan (so glad it isn't a Spider) and have a look see. Boy am I hoping there are two or three aluminum plugs in the bottom of the oil pan.

Yes will check the oil pump (not new) and several bearings / crank journals to see what shape they're in.

So, this is more of a hopeful post in that you have a '78 Alfetta and all of the plugs fell out, but the engine was okay.

Yes, I've switched oil pressure senders (no difference), and even tested the oil pressure with a spare Alfetta gauge cluster (oil pressure on it didn't even register).

Please send good news and tell me the '78 cranks were just as bad as the early ones, plug wise.

Biba
 

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Biba,
I am considering a '75 with low oil pressure. Are the plugs easy to replace with the Alfetta on a lift and the sump removed? Would it be possible to thread the journals and install threaded hex plugs per Jim Kartalamakis' book, without pulling the engine?
 

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Biba,
I am considering a '75 with low oil pressure. Are the plugs easy to replace with the Alfetta on a lift and the sump removed? Would it be possible to thread the journals and install threaded hex plugs per Jim Kartalamakis' book, without pulling the engine?
Yes. No. One or more of the plugs are somewhat hard to get to , and unfortunately I found that it was not possible to get a good hammer swing to really seat them. I cant imagine being able to thread those. Plus the whole metal chip/ cleanliness issue.
 

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Hi:
I would NOT attempt to thread a crank in situ. Those cranks are HARD, break off a tap in the crank, then what? You need sharp, good quality taps to do the job and much care and attention to what you are doing.
And as been mentioned, keep it CLEAN.
Regards Ian.
 

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Years ago, when I had a '79 Sprint Veloce (Alfetta GT) it had low oil pressure which was symptomatic of missing crank plugs. I drove it for a couple of years and many miles that way with no ill effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In my case the low (as in 0) oil pressure turned out to be an improperly tightened oil pump. I'd fire the mechanic, but difficult to do since I was the mechanic. To finish this bit Tom Sahines had told me to rotate the engine before completely tightening teh oil pump to let it seat. This I did, but then forgot to do the final tightening.

All but the front crank plug can be replaced while under the car. Even the front can be done but you'd need a drift with a bend in it. Do not rush it and of course have a set (6) of new aluminum plugs before starting, along with Loctite (now Permatex) high strength / stud threadlocker (yes of course there are no threads). I believe the number is 27100. Also have a ton of Q-tips, lacquer thinner, and perhaps brake cleaner. Keep cleaning out the hole until the Q-tip comes out clean or darn close to it. You might want to finish up with the brake cleaner. Liberally apply the threadlocker to the plug and hammer it in -straight - using a drift, then ping the edges over. Do not cut any off. It all should be hammered into the hole.

If one (or more) of the plugs are just starting to come out, I'd go ahead and pull them and replace. Your call if you want to do them all while under there. If in solid you'll of course have to drill and then pull out with a small slide hammer. PepBoys among other's sell the small slide hammers.

Also have a new pan gasket, oil, and filter ready.

Biba
 
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