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You'all,

I will probably be asking a lot of quesitons over the next few weeks. I'm expecting to take delivery of a '91 S4 on 9/17, and have NO experience with Alfas.
I do have ~15 years of current history with Porsche 928's, and ~20 years with Mercedes, as well as 5 years with Fiat 124 spiders back in the '70's. So - I'll be most appreciative of learning from you gurus about how to care for this car. I currently have a '73 MB 450 SL show car, a '90 MB 560 SEC, an '89 Porsche 928 S4 manual for driving to and on various race tracks in the eastern US and Canada, as well as pristine ''94 928 GTS for 3 season driving. The spider will also be a 3 season car here in southeast PA.

My current questions relates to lubricants:
I've been using Mobil 1 in the two Porsches, as well as fully synthetic in the transaxle. The synthetic has improved the "balkiness" of the 2nd gear shift considerably, and it seems this is also a charicteristic of the Alfa's. So - is it OK to use fully synthetic lubes in these transmissions and differentials?
Also, I'm planning on using Mobil 1 15W50 in the engine of the alfa (or perhaps 10W 40). Do you concur that these are the best lubricants for the Alfa engines as well - they are widely believed to be the best for the 928 aluminum/silicon carbide block/aluminum piston cars.
THANKS for any comments you may have. I hope to have this car for at least 10 years with no mechanical problems along the way. That's how I've maintained the 6 Porsche 928's I've had over the past 15 years.

Ciao,

Gary Knox
West Chester, PA
USA
 

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I've been using Mobil 1 in the two Porsches, as well as fully synthetic in the transaxle. The synthetic has improved the "balkiness" of the 2nd gear shift considerably, and it seems this is also a charicteristic of the Alfa's. So - is it OK to use fully synthetic lubes in these transmissions and differentials?
Gary,

Welcome!

Yes synthetic lubricants work well in the transmission, but you have to be careful to get the right one. Particularly - you want one that DOES NOT have limited slip friction modifiers in it. Redline 75W90NS works well.

Mobil 1 15W50 is a good engine oil, and I've run many Alfas on it for years. Redline may be slightly better, but at a higher cost.

Joe
 

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JOE, is Redline available at local parts stores or is it something that has to be ordered online. Haven't found it locally as yet.
Redline is available locally, usually at shops that specialize in racing supplies. We also stock their gear oil at Centerline (as does IAP).

Joe
 

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Hey Backfeeder, If you ever make it up here to the metro Atlanta area I have found one race shop that keeps every Redline product in stock in Cumming. Let me know if you need details.:)
 

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Thanks Skip, problem is that I might actually need to get Redline to get to Atlanta in order to get Redline!
I'm still working on her rear end, so it will be some time before I get as far as the transmission. Once the differential bearings are here, the rear axle can finally go back on.
 

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Backfeeder,

You mentioned differential bearings. Is that the same as the rear wheel bearings where you have to pull the axle to install ? I have a growling noisie coming from the rear end and cannot determine what it is so I was going to change the wheel bearings. I've asked this question on the BB but still am not sure.

Thanks - Terry
 

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Terry, the first pic is one of the differential bearings. As you can see you have to basically remove the entire rear axle to get to it. I took mine apart in order to fix the LSD. It just makes sense while the differential is apart to replace a couple of $20 bearings. The second pic is the wheel bearing. Much easier to get to. As to you growling noise there are much, much more qualified people on this board to answer your question. good luck.
 

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You'all,

I will probably be asking a lot of quesitons over the next few weeks. I'm expecting to take delivery of a '91 S4 on 9/17, and have NO experience with Alfas.
I do have ~15 years of current history with Porsche 928's, and ~20 years with Mercedes, as well as 5 years with Fiat 124 spiders back in the '70's. So - I'll be most appreciative of learning from you gurus about how to care for this car. I currently have a '73 MB 450 SL show car, a '90 MB 560 SEC, an '89 Porsche 928 S4 manual for driving to and on various race tracks in the eastern US and Canada, as well as pristine ''94 928 GTS for 3 season driving. The spider will also be a 3 season car here in southeast PA.

My current questions relates to lubricants:
I've been using Mobil 1 in the two Porsches, as well as fully synthetic in the transaxle. The synthetic has improved the "balkiness" of the 2nd gear shift considerably, and it seems this is also a charicteristic of the Alfa's. So - is it OK to use fully synthetic lubes in these transmissions and differentials?
Also, I'm planning on using Mobil 1 15W50 in the engine of the alfa (or perhaps 10W 40). Do you concur that these are the best lubricants for the Alfa engines as well - they are widely believed to be the best for the 928 aluminum/silicon carbide block/aluminum piston cars.
THANKS for any comments you may have. I hope to have this car for at least 10 years with no mechanical problems along the way. That's how I've maintained the 6 Porsche 928's I've had over the past 15 years.

Ciao,

Gary Knox
West Chester, PA
USA
Gary,

Welcome to the BB!

I have used synthetic engine oil for years on all my Spiders, and I really like them. It's a good idea to check the Owners Manual of your Spider to see what is the recommended weight. For example, for my series 3 Spiders (yours is a series 4) the manual calls for 10W-50. Since I don't drive them in the winter anymore (I did for years), I now use 20W-50. I like Castrol Syntec so that's what I use. For the tranny, I don't necessarily use synthetic. As Joe pointed out, it's more important to make sure you use the correct lubricant. (Again - have a look at your Owners Manual.)

There are certainly a lot of threads with extensive discussion and opinions related to engine and transmission lubricants, so I would encourage you to do a search.

Best regards,
Enrique

P.S. Good points on the diff bearings, but perhaps that should be posted on its own thread, since the info will just stay buried here or it could lead to this thread getting hijacked...
 

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Enrique, you usually have excellent advice. But, lubricants have come a long, long way since our cars were manufactured--even since my '93 left the assembly line. I wouldn't put that much trust in the manual for these issues.

Joe has some good advice.

Take some time and learn who's who on the board and read through the myriad of threads on lubricants. This place can be a gold mine of good information and advice.
 

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Enrique, you usually have excellent advice. But, lubricants have come a long, long way since our cars were manufactured--even since my '93 left the assembly line. I wouldn't put that much trust in the manual for these issues.

Joe has some good advice.

Take some time and learn who's who on the board and read through the myriad of threads on lubricants. This place can be a gold mine of good information and advice.
Hi RedSpider,

I do agree with you on the comment that lubricants have come a long way. I also know very well who Joe is, have tremendous respect for him, call him specifically from time to time, and have also met him personally.

What I shared is not necessarily outdated information, and it is also not just my opinion. It is what the people that work on my cars have done. It's not that I can't work on my cars, it's simply that I don't have the time anymore, and these guys know a heck of a lot more than I do. I cannot disclose on this public forum their names, for they do not post on this BB, nor do they want to be contacted as a result of their name being mentioned here. They are known nationally, and if you would like to know who, feel free to send me a PM.

What I can say is that the results of their work have been impressive. My '84 Spider (pictured in my posts) was fitted with 10:1 compression pistons, and here I am two years and 16k mi. later, and the car consumes no oil. I mean zero. I have never seen anything close in any of the Spiders I have or have had. Furthermore, this car has 12 mm cams (with the Bosch fuel management), and besides being driven between NJ and OH, this Spider goes on the track for time trials. And I have to say that as others told me before I did this last set of upgrades two years ago, whenever this group does work, the cars just don't have any issues, and you know this is unusual on the track. Last, this Spider is not trailered to the track. Quite the contrary, it pulls a small trailer with its race wheels and tires, roll bar, tools, etc. I drove to this past national convention in Detroit with my wife, pulling the small trailer, with our luggage, and all the car stuff to prep the car for the concours, plus the chairs, etc. The car did TT, autocross, concours and then we drove back. Now the car is out in NJ with me, so I would think that something has to be good with the lubricants in the engine and tranny. That's all I'm sharing.

Best regards,
 

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Enrique,
I didn't intend to get in an argument with you. Your advice is usually very good, well thought out and based on sound information, but I'll still have to disagree with your advice following the owner's manual with reference to lubricants for cars that are over 15 years old.

My intention was to point out that this board can be very helpful and the owner's manual, with reference to lubricants, can contain "old" information and should be taken with a "grain of salt." For example, my S4 owner's manual calls for 10W/40 in the engine, but I use what you use namely, Castrol 20W/50, which was not a commonly available oil back in the day. The Corvette manual calls for a winter weight and a summer weight engine oil...who does that anymore? The owner's manual also calls for Dexron II in the automatic transmission and power steering unit, but Dexron II hasn't been available for years; Dexron III, to a certain extent, though, is backward compatible. My Alfa manual calls for Spirax HD 80W/90 in the manual transmission and differential--good stuff, but hard to find. Lubricants have changed since our cars were built; some changes are helpful in keeping our cars on the road and others are (
, for example) may be good for the environment, but not necessarily for our cars. This forum can help sort out the differences between our old owner's manuals and the technology available for our cars today.

BTW, I do all the maintenance on my cars including my '62 Corvette and Morgan Plus 8--you'd might not only be surprised at what these owner manuals recommend for lubricants, but could also have a good laugh. Oh, and I've also owned Alfa's since 1974.

The owner's manual is a necessary basic reference, but over time, things change and your advice and other's input on this board can be more helpful in uncovering changes in technology that will benefit our cars in the long term.
 

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Redspider,

I did not take your comments as an argument in any way... More so, I think I've known you long enough to know how helpful you are. I always appreciate your posts and thoughtful input. Perhaps, I just haven't been very eloquent in my posting. I just re-read my last post, and for example, the last sentence certainly didn't come off as I intended. It would have been much clearer to say: "That's all I was trying to share", meaning I've had good results by following the advice of the guys that are heavily involved with the Spiders...

I do agree with you that for these lubricants the manual reflects the period in which it was written, and as time has gone by, it becomes a historical document. I should have stated that clearly. It's the same for other items, like tires. I would never follow the old recommended pressures, etc. Yes, I am in agreement with your post, and certainly don't feel that there is any issue.

Best regards,
 

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Enrique
Off the tread but I need to ask this q preparing for rebuild What kind of rings did you use for rebuild and valves guides and seals for guides

Thx
 

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Enrique
Off the tread but I need to ask this q preparing for rebuild What kind of rings did you use for rebuild and valves guides and seals for guides

Thx
Greg,
I sent you a PM...

Best regards,
 

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before we suck each others johnsons too hard, lets get back to the subject...

the mfr put in the owners manual a synthetic....its AGIP SINT2000 and for the tranny/diff, ROTRA SX. both are synthetic mixes.

both can be acquired at performatek.com for a reasonable price. even by the case...
 
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