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I am trying to locate an annoying oil leak that my 1986 Spider Veloce has had for a while. I first cleaned the engine to try and locate the leak and it appears to be from the front of the engine somewhere below the water pump.

My first thought was the front seal, but the leak is restricted to the driver's side of the engine and the passneger side is clean. It would seem to me that if the front seal leaked the oil spray would cover both sides of the engine.

Last weekend I pulled the radiator and alternator to get a better view of the front. The leak seems to be coming from the water pump. There is a small cover on the driver's side about the side of a half dollar. The timing pointer is attached to the cover and when I removed it there was no gasket on the cover. I am not sure what the cover is for, but there was no significant oil residue inside.

Does anyone know what this cover is for? Do any of the water pump studs go through to the oil jacket? I am hoping someone else has run in to this issue before I start pulling the water pump and front cover off.

I know I should post pictures but I am still trying to gett my wife to find her camera!
 

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I first cleaned the engine to try and locate the leak and it appears to be from the front of the engine somewhere below the water pump.
Firstly, welcome to the BB!

Could be the tach drive which is on the bottom of the water pump.

This thread might help


Good Luck,

Vin
 

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Retarozzi:

I assume your '86 has an electronic tach, and that the cover you removed from the water pump is just a flat piece of sheetmetal.

The earlier Alfas used a mechanical tach - the drive for the cable came off that part of the water pump. When Alfa converted to electronic tachs, they didn't re-design the water pump - they just substituted a block-off plate for the tach drive. Yes, there is oil behind that block-off plate - it was needed to lubricate the gears connecting the timing chain pulley to the tach drive. That thread that Vintre mentions shows photos of this stuff.

I'd recommend that remove the block-off plate and examine how smooth the aluminum surface is behind it. If the surface looks good, you might just make a gasket, apply some sealant, and re-install the block-off plate. If the surface is irregular, some clean-up with a file might be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jay,

You are spot on. My '86 does have an electronic tach and the cover is a flat piece of metal. I did wonder if someone had installed the wrong water pump, but then they would have had to fabricate the plate and who would bother with that? Now I have the answer.

The plate is smooth and I will fabricate a gasket and install it this weekend. That for the quick reponses!
 

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Its also possible for oil to creep through the stud holes on the left side of the timing chain cover that hold it onto the block, (the cover, not the water pump), and they be right there in the vicinity of the waterpump and tach drive if present.

Even the gasket between cover and block can weep.

Just some alternate places to look should this weekend not prove fruitful.
 

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Just another shot- I chased my oil leak for years, never figuring it could be the oil cap itself. Guess what? Yup, oil cap........

AND, the signs didnt even indicate it like you would expect. Oil splatters. But I got it!
 

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A fine misty oil spray can be nearly impossible to see (but it still makes a mess). An easy way to safely search for the source of such a leak is to use a piece of clean white paper. Hold the paper near any suspect areas with the engine running. If oil hits the paper it'll be come quite obvious. You can even safely hold the paper near moving parts while keeping your fingers a safe distance away.
 
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