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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1968 1750 spider, euro spec carburettor car.

i noticed that the coolant had dropped slightly a couple of months back, so topped up. Recently after two more outings and perhaps 100 miles it’s down again, not much, maybe 100ml .

On a hot restart I have noticed an initial misfire, and white smoke. Coolant getting into the Combustion chamber? No white smoke under normal running, in fact it runs as well as ever. No signs on mayonnaise in the oil yet either.

Last year I changed the carb mounts. Before I blame the head gasket I am thinking of changing the inlet manifold gasket again. Is this a likely culprit, or am I clutching at straws here? It looks like there is plenty of material between water passages and the ports?

On previous changes (third carb mount change over 20 years) I have used a smear of hermetite red to assemble. This time I used some own brand blue stuff (Halfords, UK shop).

Is there better guidance on gasket sealant? Hermetite red is no longer available.

If that doesn’t work I guess it’s head gasket time. Any point re torquing it?

Headgasket problems I have had in the past are either between cylinders, or involve pressurising the cooling system.

thoughts and guidance from those more experienced very welcome.

Jonathan
 

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If you tightened down the manifold nuts well, with sealant and a new gasket, I would think you're OK. I just helped a guy with the same worry, was not the problem.

Pressurize your cooling system, let it sit the prescribed time, see where it leaks if at all. Do this with the engine hot and cold. Have you done a compression test? If you're not getting lots of white smoke probably your head gasket is not leaking water into the combustion chambers.

Andrew
 

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Agree with Andrew: probably not the intake manifold gasket. That's not a common coolant leakage area on an Alfa engine.

A head nut re-torque can't hurt. Alfa heads should be re-torqued from time-to-time. But if you don't see white smoke, then perhaps the coolant isn't going into the combustion chambers. Any chance it is leaking elsewhere? Have you tried putting a clean piece of cardboard under the car and looking for coolant spots after a long drive?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Andrew & Jay

i have re torqued the head, and have been around the inlet manifold fasteners and nipped them up.

The white smoke I had on a re start previously had gone on my short test. I now need a relaxing of lockdown so I can test it properly on some favourite roads! Fingers crossed.

Jonathan
 
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