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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my giulia sprint has always breath some oil from the oil filler washing the engine top (btw: is there any way to solve this?) but yesterday I found that most of the top of the engine was covered with oil and the surroundings of the engine specially near the back and in the exhaust side, but also in the front.

I see the camshaft cover gasket protruding further near the firewall zone, could it be caused by too much pressure inside the engine that blows the oil or the nut over the camshaft cover not too fastened?

are the problems related? : oil spread from the oil filler and from the camshaft cover gasket?

thanks in advance
 

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Engine crankcase ventilation

Hello Jose,
As these engines get more miles on them they do suffer more blowby past pistons and valve guides. Usually this is taken care of by the breather at the back of the block. If it becomes plugged, or closed off, in any way, it is possible to blow out the cam cover gasket. There are several solutions. A front breather can be added by using the GTA style oil filler cap, or a later style cam cover can be used that features the upper right corner breather. It may be that the cam cover gasket is tired and just needs replacement. If so it should be sealed to the cover, not the head, with an available gasket sealer, (I use RTV blue for ease of future replacement) and the head surface needs to be perfectly oil free. Excessive tightening of the cam cover hold down bolts can result in a warped cover (leaky) or a cracked cover. If, with a new gasket properly installed, and good crankcase ventalation, the problem still exists, it may be time for engine work or at least a diagnosis of where all that pressure is coming from.

:DGordon Raymond
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have checked and found that the end of the back breather is almost blocked by the block itself, I don't know why this had happen, maybe I will cut half an inch so it wont be obstructed, what you suggest?

I hope that would reduce the oil all over the engine block, but what about the oil sprayed from the oil filler...?

thank you Gordon, and keep the good advice coming...
 

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This is a guess, Jose, but three things happen to the fillers over time. First, the fingers at the bottom lip become bent downward so the cap is never tight when it stops turning. Second, the rubber seal in the top hardens, falls out, or cracks with age. And third, the brass disc above the rubber seal loses its ability to press the rubber down, due to rubber shrinkage, or the disc being dented or bent. A new oil cap is the easy fix though tired ones can be rebuilt easily enough. Don't forget, you will still probably have to replace the cam cover gasket. With 1600 engines without the two small bolts through the front of the cam cover and head, the gaskets often leak at the front, causing the appearance of a leak from the filler. Gordon Raymond
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
torque on cam cover nuts

is there a value to the amount of torque required to fasten the top cam cover nuts?

I can't find any value in any the books I have!
 

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Has the oil vapor separator been cleaned? If it's all gunked up inside the engine will push oil through the seal/s of least resistance; even new ones. For cam cover gaskets, my preference is Permatex #2, shellac based though never hardens. Some have used silicone but it's amazing how much of that crap collects on the oil pump pick-up screen. Vapor separators can be cleaned by soaking in a de-greasing agent. I use WalMart's 'Purple Power' (NFI). It's strong enough to remove paint and your hyde so rubber gloves are a must.
 

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A clogged oil vapor separator is not the problem, since a Giulia Sprint does not have one.
 

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Believe it or not there was a thin metal plate that someone from Alfa invented to stop oil vapor from exiting properly from the engine. It might have something to do with California emissions and transitioning from the 101 engine to the 105 which is vented slightly differently. Anyway I pulled the road draft tube off the back of a 1966 Veloce engine (not from CA) to discover this little thin blocking plate cut to the perfect symmetry of the two bolt attachment that was slipped in while the engine was in the car by slotting the two holes to drop it in place. Drove me crazy trying to figure out the source. With this plate in place there is no where for the crankcase to vent off any pressure except the cam cover gasket, the weakest link in the system. Also another source is nature. If the engine has been sitting around waiting for you to finish the body work or you haven't driven it in awhile, wasps love to build nests in this nice place just as spiders love to build them in your outdoor gas grille orfices. Mud dabbers or paper wasps can be very sneeky. Its a real pain in the *** to pull this off but I am afraid you will have to. I use to hang the plate on my workbench wall as a reminder. Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
washers on cam cover

should I use the metal washers for the cam cover? I don´t have any.

are they stock? and in what case you suggest to use them?

btw: thanks for the torque value!

I have retorqued the head, and also the cam cover (using 15 lb-ft oops) and with only a short drive I see more oil bathing the back of the engine near the exhaust, and I think some of the oil come from the half moon rubber.....there is where I suppose that the metal washers would be useful/necesary but want some advice from you wise alfisti.
 

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The correct washers are four or five fiber with one or two aluminum. The aluminum are usually in the middle. The purpose is electrical. It was found the fiber washers could electrically insulate the cam cover from the rest of the engine, and with sufficient gasoline vapor in the blow by under the cover, if a plug wire shorted to the cam cover, cause an internal explosion inside the engine. Not good.
Your leak is likely the half moon rubber seals at the back. They do dry out and shrink with heat and age. Did you check the cover gasket surface to be sure it is flat? The covers can get warped, though they usually crack, if too much torque is used on the cover hold down bolts.
Gordon Raymond
 

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Bumping back this thread: Put a new cam cover and gasket on my Spider this weekend to seal up a pesky leak, etc. I've read up on this cam cover washer discussion as it evolved over the past two decades. So far I have read that these aluminum washers replacing some of the red fiber washers served three purposes depending on the year, with later Alfa Service Bulletins recently posted to back it up. Feel free to correct any of this if necessary, please. I'd like to leave some decent facts for these without misinformation.

Above, per papajam's fantastic past expertise and patience during his life, he explained the electrical (ground) reason behind it. Makes sense. Wonder when and how Alfa figured that out?

The other two reasons for the aluminum washers were: 1.) The 750/101 cam covers without the front two small bolt hold downs developed on later Alfas were suggested to receive them on the front to seal oil drips there ( I had that problem after a rebuild that had sat too long.) 2.) Two aluminum washers at the rear two locations to help seal up over any possible leaky half moon seals. That washer application area carried on through the years at the rear only, it appears. Cold torque on the cam nuts were to be 11-14ft ft.lbs tops, drive the car until warmed up, then gently torque again. They DO loosen up a bit after a warm drive.

My question is who sells these correct aluminum washers? They are about 25mm outer diameter x 12mm inner. The fiber washers are about 2.7mm thick. Not sure what the stock aluminum ones were. Does anyone know any stats on these? Belmetrics doesn't have anything close.
 

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Buy used ones from Larry at APE in California.
 

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Everyone has their own personal preference on how to do things, I totally agree with Uncle Gordon on first checking that the cam cover is FLAT - I have a chunk of marble countertop in my workshop from a kitchen sink installation and use it as a flat rubbing surface for large items like cam covers. A dab of valve grinding paste or Autosol aluminium polishing paste will soon show you high or low spots on the cover. When it's absolutely flat & washed spotlessly clean again, I glue the new cam cover gaskets to the cam cover using ordinary yellow contact adhesive. I then place the cover flat on my marble slab again (opposite side to the side I sanded on) and add weight over the top & leave overnight for the adhesive to fully cure. I then run a bead of contact all around the inside edge of the gasket, wiped off with my finger - this waterproofs or more correctly oil-proofs the edge of the gasket & even the old cork gaskets never sweated after doing this.

Gasket + cover are then fitted dry to the head & pulled down with a home made tool & I don't have leaks as a rule, Fiber washers at the front & middle & aluminium ones at the back, although some of my cars have 6 fiber washers.

My can cover nut tool is a length of old flat bar around 180mm with a 14mm bolt welded to it & I pull it down sympathetically

Aye
Greig
 

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Greig,
I just found this response in my email’s spam filter. 30 such Alfa-related emails! Ugh.

Anyway, Interesting methods for the cam cover. I will have to try that inside sealer application after letting the gasket dry flat with weight on it overnight. Makes perfect sense.
In the meantime I got my extra cam cover returned powder coated in a black crinkle which I had bought a few years back from Andrew. Pics below. I applied grey Permatex in a thin coat on the cam cover, fixed the gasket, then applied another thin coat along the complete cleaned-and-dry surface of the head for it. I drop the cover on the head wet, barely finger tightening each cam nut just to get it evenly flat. I let it dry overnight so as not to squish out any sealer. The next afternoon I tighten it to about 13 ft lbs for each nut in a cris cross pattern. So far, no leaks from it after a warm run and re-tightening of each cam nut.

Fyi, I secured 4 Alfa aluminum washers for those cam nuts. I haven’t installed them yet. The posting by someone recently (Thierry?) of an Alfa service bulletin around ‘64 stating aluminum washers on the front of Giuliettas to help with leaks there (before later small bolt-type cam covers came out) had me scratching my head because everyone else suggested the rear two. Both areas make sense though. Do you use yours for the electrical grounding theory, or the better tightening of the half moons…or both?

Dave
 

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Hi Dave

Sorry slow reply, I generally fit the aluminium washers at the back like they always did on the 105's. A properly installed cam cover & gasket rarely leaks. The Veloce ones tended to suffer from crank case pump up more than the Normales for obvious reasons. Proper installation of the vent tube at the back of the block generally sorts this out.

For me the secret to the cam cover is to make sure it's 100% flat before you install it. Your method of installing the gasket is excellent and should ensure a leak free top end.

The Normale cover doesn't need the aluminium washers to ground the cover, that's done by the air filter bracket. The Veloces didn't ground the cover either, just the tapered water rail tube

Ciao
Greig
 
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