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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am in the process of doing some work to my '88 Spider. I moved to South Korea at the beginning of the year and brought her with me.
After finding a mechanic that seems reliable, I am going to replace the head gasket and the oil pan gaskets as well, as I did not have time to do it before leaving the US and with my trusted Alfa mechanic in Queens, NY.

Here is my question: is it possible to replace both oil pan gaskets from underneath, with the car on the lift? Or how should that be done, otherwise (without having to take the engine out)? I noticed the recent FAQ threads, but could not find anything there. If there is any thread about the topic I would really appreciate it.

Thank you very much in advance and cheers to all the alfisti from the other side!

-InBoccaAlLuppo
 

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The lower pan can be done easily enough, but the upper requires the disconnecting of the engine mounts and a means to lift the engine in the bay to allow the rear portion to clear the crossmember.

I'm not for sure, but the upper may be easier if the oil pump is removed too once the lower pan is off.

Suffice to say that it's been done, but dunno if the folks who accomplished it actually enjoyed it or would have preffered just to yank the engine and be done with it.

Perhaps a search using the word 'sump' instead of 'oil pan' would yeild more productive results as that seems the more commonly used term round these parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Darren,

Thank you very much for your tips. Sounds like we really need to make sure we want to replace the upper pan, then. I will deifnitely try a search with 'sump'.
I just checked your L-jet webpage and it has clarified a lot of obscure myths I had acumulated. I'll give it a shot, thank you very much for being so informative!

Best regards,
marc
 

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I tried to remove my oil pan once with the engine in place. After raising the engine, and getting all of the pan-to-block bolts out, I just couldn't wiggle the pan free - it kept getting hung up on the oil pump pickup. Perhaps I could have reached in there and unbolted the pump, but I gave up at that point. As Tifosi wrote, it wouldn't be a pleasant job, either on disassembly or reassembly.

The oil pan-to-block gasket is seldom a source of leaks. If your engine is oily down there, I would suspect the front and rear crankshaft seals first. Or oil leaking down from the head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jay,

I appreciate your insight. I was getting at that conclusion myself as well. Will check the head gasket, lower pan and crankshaft seals first and hope that will be it. Thank you very much!

Best regards,
marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Hi everyone,

I am in the process of doing some work to my '88 Spider. I moved to South Korea at the beginning of the year and brought her with me.
After finding a mechanic that seems reliable, I am going to replace the head gasket and the oil pan gaskets as well, as I did not have time to do it before leaving the US and with my trusted Alfa mechanic in Queens, NY.

Here is my question: is it possible to replace both oil pan gaskets from underneath, with the car on the lift? Or how should that be done, otherwise (without having to take the engine out)? I noticed the recent FAQ threads, but could not find anything there. If there is any thread about the topic I would really appreciate it.

Thank you very much in advance and cheers to all the alfisti from the other side!

-InBoccaAlLuppo
Hi,

Im an Alfa owner in Queens....who was your "trusted Alfa mechanic?" if I may ask?
 

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Hey Bocca:

Its "Alfa poor in KY". :D:D:D Big difference there!:D:D

You will definitely have to jack the engine to remove the upper pan with the engine in the car. Best place is at the junction of the bell housing and the block. I did this on my 92 spider due to a catastrophic strike onto a sewer access/man hole cover which shattered my lower pan and knocked a softball size hole into the front of my upper pan. I did not have to remove the oil pump. It is tight, but definitely can be done.

I think the first thing I would do if in your situation....get the engine very clean. Go run it a few miles and see where the oil originates from. I doubt its your upper pan seal. Probably from somewhere higher....distributor O ring, VVT O ring, front cover, the two bolts going into the bottom of the head, the half moon seals on the back of the head, the crank seals, the valve cover gasket or the head gasket.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi,

Im an Alfa owner in Queens....who was your "trusted Alfa mechanic?" if I may ask?
Hi there, I used to take my car to Giuseppe Lore at Alfa Import Center on Wyckoff Ave, in Ridgewood (Home Page).
Fabulous man and great crowd hanging out there, especially Saturday mornings.
Unfortunatelly for many newyorkers, he moved to NC earlier this year and moved the shop with him. His cousin Giuseppe DePaulo has taken some of the Alfisti clientele, at a different location close by for which I do not have the info right now. You may call Giuseppe (Joe) at 704-509-4520 and I am sure he would be happy to help you.

Hope it works. Best regards,
marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Bocca:

Its "Alfa poor in KY". :D:D:D Big difference there!:D:D

You will definitely have to jack the engine to remove the upper pan with the engine in the car. Best place is at the junction of the bell housing and the block. I did this on my 92 spider due to a catastrophic strike onto a sewer access/man hole cover which shattered my lower pan and knocked a softball size hole into the front of my upper pan. I did not have to remove the oil pump. It is tight, but definitely can be done.

I think the first thing I would do if in your situation....get the engine very clean. Go run it a few miles and see where the oil originates from. I doubt its your upper pan seal. Probably from somewhere higher....distributor O ring, VVT O ring, front cover, the two bolts going into the bottom of the head, the half moon seals on the back of the head, the crank seals, the valve cover gasket or the head gasket.

Best Regards,
John M
John, my apologies.
You know what, I finished posting and realized the mistake but it was too late. I hoped nobody would notice but misjudged the responsiveness of this blog! :eek:

Thank you very much for your input. I was headed towards this direction as well. I am far from any Alfa dealer here in Seoul and thus have to be very strategic and careful about the delicacy of the work to be done, parts to order, etc.
So I hope I don't need to replace the upper pan gasket, but if so it is good to know that it can be done.

Thank you very much again and best regards,
marc
 

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John, my apologies.
You know what, I finished posting and realized the mistake but it was too late. I hoped nobody would notice but misjudged the responsiveness of this blog! :eek:

Thank you very much for your input. I was headed towards this direction as well. I am far from any Alfa dealer here in Seoul and thus have to be very strategic and careful about the delicacy of the work to be done, parts to order, etc.
So I hope I don't need to replace the upper pan gasket, but if so it is good to know that it can be done.

Thank you very much again and best regards,
marc
Not a problem Marc. And welcome. Anytime.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Great, thank you very much. I will contact you later if you don't mind, in case there are more questions.
Best regards,
marc
Sure thing Marc.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Hello all!! My name is Casey, and my '74 Alfa Romeo Spider has kind of a bad oil leak coming from just beheath the altornator on the driver's side of the block. I took off the altornator and tried my best to clean all around that side and the front of the block. I got most of the old oily substance off, but not all of it. Anyways, I'm thinking that this oil leak is coming from just a faulty gasket...thing...from inside the oil filter where it screws onto the block, but I'm not completely sure. Has anyone had any problems like that before with their Alfas??? And if not, should I check all the places mentioned above for leaks??? I'm thinking that it's nothing too serious or expensive to fix, but I'm really not sure. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Casey
 

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It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the oil filter gasket has issues.

In fact, it kinda happens a lot.

Anything from grit on the seat when a new one is installed or burrs on the surrounding metal that get bumped on the way in with ham hands making cuts and knicks, no fresh oil on the gasket surface during install, all the way up through an old gasket from a previous filter remaining stuck to the block and the new one just screwed on over top of it.
 

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I'll add a couple more things to check other than the filter. I would look at the oil cap. They can leak. And check the oil dipstick return line and the rubber hose between the dipstick and the oil pan. Get the engine clean and you'll find it.

Best Regards,
John M
 
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