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Push hard and live
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Discussion Starter #1
Just a note to anyone considering using Dichtungen Schwarz for Alfa gaskets.

They advertise (still) head gaskets for the FNM/Alfa/Rio 2300 engine, so I bought two. They essentially used 102 - 2000 head gaskets and made the bore hole larger. This is incorrect and results in inadequate sealing along the front edge where the FNM 2300 and 102 engines have different shapes.

When I notified them of this their answer was that I bought the gaskets as pictured, and no consideration would be given. I have never met a vendor in my life that offered something by description and then later claimed that the customer must identify whether it is the right part by looking at a very small Ebay picture. These are new made-to-order gaskets, not old remnant close-out stock. If a vendor says something fits a certain car, and it doesn't, one expects it to be corrected.

So - although the basic manufacture of the gasket appears to be first rate, I must caution people against their business practices.
 

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173 Posts
Hi Don,

Have you considered using a solid copper head gasket? I do not know if this has been tried for this application, but has certainly been done on others in the past. I used one once, in addition to a standard gasket, on a head that was milled well beyond the normal limit. This was a cast block/aluminum head application and it worked fine for many years on a daily driver. If you are interested, I might be able to find a source-it may take some digging, as this was some time ago.

Steve
 

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9,698 Posts
Don,

I googled for the company and found their web site listing the "ALFA ROMEO Rio 2300" head gasket here. They also list Terms and Conditions. Paragraph 3 "Rücksendekosten bei Ausübung des Widerrufsrechts" (which loosely translates to "Return shipping costs when exercising the right to return merchandise") states under section 3.1 that the buyer is responsible for return costs if the merchandise costs less than 40 Euro, if the buyer has not paid for the merchandise in full EXCEPT IF THE MERCHANDISE DELIVERED DOES NOT CORRESPOND TO THE MERCHANDISE ORDERED (original language: "es sei denn, dass die gelieferte Ware nicht der bestellten entspricht"). This establishes that they consider themselves to be bound under the BGB.

§ 434 Sachmangel of the BGB states that merchandise is considered to be free of defects "if it is suitable for the purpose stipulated in the contract" (original language: "wenn sie sich für die nach dem Vertrag vorausgesetzte Verwendung eignet") and, I'm paraphrasing here, considers it defective "if public statements such as advertisements by the seller, the manufacturer, or an assistant, are not congruent with the merchandise delivered." Hence, I think your rights under the BGB were violated and it's now a question of how to exercise them.

Although I'm not a lawyer and cannot provide legal advice, I'll be happy to help crafting a letter in German that makes clear to them that they better take you seriously and that you're unafraid to invoke the law. Furthermore, I hope that a German AlfaBBer can provide some advice on how to proceed with legal claims in Germany. I understand the German "Mahnverfahren" (collection procedure) via the "Zentrales Mahngericht" (centralized collection court) is an efficient and inexpensive process similar to Small Claims Court.

Although conjecture, I expect you'll have to send back the merchandise (using delivery confirmation to prove return) with a letter stating the problem, then invoke the Mahnverfahren for the amounts they owe you (purchase price plus shipping both ways, plus any fees for court procedures, plus costs of any legal assistance, etc.). The application can be filed online via this site.
 

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Push hard and live
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Discussion Starter #4
Steve,

I wouldn't mind trying a copper gasket, although I'm quite happy with the standard materials in this application. It is not a terribly high compression ratio, so extraordinary steps to effect sealing are not required. The problem in this case is that the manufacturer simply duplicated the 102 gasket with a larger bore. Although it appears to fit, it does not adequately cover an area that was moved in the FNM engine vs the 102.

Ruedi,

Wow, thanks for all that. Frankly, I don't see the tradeoff in time ,money, and aggravation to be worth the $500, so I doubt I'll pursue a legal claim. However, if you have easy access to someone that can craft a German-language letter along the lines you describe, that might get some motion going. I'm simply astonished that they claim there is no recourse based upon reference to their Ebay picture, with no regard that their ad clearly states the gasket is for the Alfa Romeo Rio 2300.

I have located a vendor in Brazil who seems to have the correct gaskets, and for substantially less money, although I must admit that doing business with Germans is normally easier than getting a shipment out of Brazil.

I've been notified that my new pistons are shipping today, and the new cylinders are in the hands of DHL, so the only hang up to enjoying the finally-arrived Spring weather is a head gasket.

Thanks to all,
 
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