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You do have a little mismatch there. DO prop it up in front, but try avoiding removal if the 6 nuts and bolts on the cross member as on this car the stamped frame rails move when you disconnect the linking member, making it a pain to re-install, lining up bolt holes and using the cross member to pull everything back in alignment.
Warm it up draining HOT oil. While oil is draining remove the filter canister. There were at least three usual variations of the canister with sub variations, Fram, Fispa and Comit. Inside the canister are a long bolt and a filter support mechanism, which differs with the different manufactures and sub variations. DO NOT lose or accidentally throw away internal canister parts! They are not easily replaced. When you think your on your way to success, there were different sizes and types of giant "O" rings in the upper assembly attached to the engine. Some were square cross section "O" rings, but round usually works. Reseat the can filter and bolt CAREFULLY. Owners of these cars will tell you horror stories of dumping 7-8 quarts of oil VERY quickly in the driveway if the canister was not correctly seated on the "O" ring.
Use the correct oil. Usually a 20-50 mineral base with plenty of ZDDP zinc for cam lubrication. If your oil is for an engine with catalytic converter, it might not contain adequate zinc. If in doubt, most oils for diesel engines still contain zinc, or you can buy it as an additive.
Some use Valvoline VR-1 race 20-50 mineral base as it has plenty of zinc.
If you are not sure what to do, ASK on the BB. Never take a chance that might damage a costly to repair Alfa engine.
 

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Thank you for all of your advice, Gordon! I didn't like the idea of removing the member. Glad I asked.

I should have access to a pit in my grandfather's garage this weekend, so raising the nose should be easy and getting under enough to see everything will really help.

I have some Lucas 20-50 oil with zinc, so I think I'm good there. Just make sure to give it a good shake, I'm told.

Is it true that the original plug was a 14 mm hex, removed with an allen key? What I would do for such a plug right now. It sure is tight in there....
 

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Different sump drain plugs were used with many of the different Alfa sumps. The pictured plug is common on many sumps, but I believe the one you are referencing is the 750 or 101 Veloce sump drain plug that looks like this, used with this tool kit wrench.
 

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I see. My dad's car is not a veloce, nor is the engine, so maybe the drain plug he has in there is correct and the problem is the 750/101 mismatch. I finally managed to attach a picture....

BTW, the crossmember extends about 1/2" farther back than the drain plug. :/
 

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Someone DID try to make that impossible! The crossmember also appears whacked on the pavement with a nice bend! You have MORE clearance with the temperature sending unit. I would remove that and call it a "drain"! You could remove the cross member, but then I would straighten, it probably with a hydraulic press. That done, it appears it would shorten making re-install even more a pain. Not such a simple 1/2 hour project. Also not unusual with neat older cars!
Any other ideas readers??
 

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Gordo
Isn't the cross member radiused on one side? Maybe it is installed backwards and effectively making the drain plug hard to get to.
RML
 

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Yes it is, I have one around here somewhere. Cannot tell from the photo, as the photographer had limited access for the photo. That IS a good point. Very possibly flipping that cross member around would correct the whole problem!
Thanks!
 

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I just checked the cross member and it is installed correctly, with the radius at the back for access. That was a good idea though.

I also like the idea of using the temperature sending unit as a drain. Does that have a reusable seal like a washer or o-ring or does it have something like a crush gasket that I will need to buy?
 

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Some were a taper on the sump and sending unit, others use a copper washer seal.
 

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I always appreciate readers who study the issue, sometimes with help from Uncle, above and others, before making a mess of the job. Kinda no-fault that way!
 

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I have the exact same problem with the standard steel oil pan in my standard 1959 750D. The undamaged cross member likewise interferes with the oil drain plug. The mechanics must have had a way around this in the day. I make do with removing that cross member at each oil change. I have not found the right offset wrench to remove the drain plug without removing the cross member. I'd love to know where to find one.
 

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Simplest thing to do is deep six the existing plug with the external hex and interference and install an Allen type, 14 mm.. That's what I would do if it was such a hassle. The tool kit one won't work because it's too short a throw .. Just get a real one. A double nutted 9/16 common bolt works in a pinch. All kinds of ways to skin this cat. Or you can throw throw car away and tell me where you left it. Jsusttttttt kidding . I've been accused of being demented but dementia isn't here yet. How do i know.. My last stiff drink was yesterday about this time .. I think it is time to start one.
 

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Same threads uncle? The 14mm has this big flat area with a large copper washer. Is it the same size as that for the older steel sumps?
G.
 

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I can't believe they are different. I'll check my NOS plugs with magnets.. It would blow me away they are special. I'll post later. I am on No. 3
 

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I'd reiterate the copper gasket on drain plug. If you don't have replacement , you can anneal it by putting it on an open flame. I use 20-50 motorcycle oil which tends to have zinc in it.

Castrol and even Rotella eliminated it years ago. The local race shop sells a Brad Penn semi-synthetic oil. I use it in some older motorcycles when I have gone through the engine.

Changing out the canister is a real trip. My 1st time for some reason I was expecting 4qts. of oil. Imagine my surprise......

I change my plugs over to the Centerline ones with a head for 27MM socket and magnet.

A final statement about a new engine is to run NON-Detergent in the beginning.
 

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I have the exact same problem with the standard steel oil pan in my standard 1959 750D. The undamaged cross member likewise interferes with the oil drain plug. The mechanics must have had a way around this in the day. I make do with removing that cross member at each oil change. I have not found the right offset wrench to remove the drain plug without removing the cross member. I'd love to know where to find one.
Interesting to hear. Do you have issues with getting the cross member back on when you're done?
 

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Simplest thing to do is deep six the existing plug with the external hex and interference and install an Allen type, 14 mm.. That's what I would do if it was such a hassle. The tool kit one won't work because it's too short a throw .. Just get a real one. A double nutted 9/16 common bolt works in a pinch. All kinds of ways to skin this cat. Or you can throw throw car away and tell me where you left it. Jsusttttttt kidding . I've been accused of being demented but dementia isn't here yet. How do i know.. My last stiff drink was yesterday about this time .. I think it is time to start one.
Agreed! I would love to find a Allen key type drain plug and just change over. That would truly solve this problem, but I haven't found anyone selling them. Any hints? (I've tried Centerline, Classic Alfa, Mr. Fiat, eBay)
 
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