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If you have any confidence in the oil FILTER.. you should be fine. The operation of the engine is to suck oil from the sump and push it through the filter BEFORE any crap gets to the moving parts of the engine..
Well, unfortunately the oil filter didn't do its job; see David's first post where he says: "my new $7,000 engine is full of metal (see drained oil photo)" and the accompanying photo of the sump with bronze bits in the oil. So his bearings have been exposed to brass/bronze debris.

David: I guess you could try replacing the pump, putting on a new filter and changing the oil, and then just seeing what happens. You might be OK, but I sure wouldn't guarantee it.
 

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I though the first post referring to the bypassing oil filter was about the engine pre rebuild.... bypassing filter, bought a pump, turned into an engine rebuild, new pump wore out.
If taking the path of just changing the pump, even in car, it’s what, an extra ten minutes to pop off a rod cap and main cap to have a look for scored bearings with brass bits?
How is oil pressure currently?
 

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Well, unfortunately the oil filter didn't do its job; see David's first post where he says: "my new $7,000 engine is full of metal (see drained oil photo)" and the accompanying photo of the sump with bronze bits in the oil. So his bearings have been exposed to brass/bronze debris.

David: I guess you could try replacing the pump, putting on a new filter and changing the oil, and then just seeing what happens. You might be OK, but I sure wouldn't guarantee it.

Jay, I kinda respectfully disagree.. The drive gear is exposed to the sump, isn't it? and that is the gear that got chopped up in the sump as I understand it... Metal filings that big would have been filtered through through cotton stocking.. The oil filter is doing it's job. And remember it oil works if the oil pump is pushing moil through it.
 

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Jay, I kinda respectfully disagree.. The drive gear is exposed to the sump, isn't it? and that is the gear that got chopped up in the sump as I understand it... Metal filings that big would have been filtered through through cotton stocking.. The oil filter is doing it's job. And remember it oil works if the oil pump is pushing moil through it.
OK, I see your point. Even though there is brass/bronze debris in the oil, you're saying that none of it should have reached the bearings, because the filter should have gotten it all out. I suppose that's what vintagemilano is suggesting in post #22 where he says "an extra ten minutes to pop off a rod cap and main cap to have a look for scored bearings with brass bits". Be nice if it all looks clean.

David will get practically nothing for the car as-is, so he might as well drop the pan and inspect some of the bearings. If they do look OK, investing in another oil pump is probably worthwhile. At that point, he can chose to either sell or continue driving it.
 

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I bought a mgb that had noise at 3000 + rpms. I was hoping that it was detonation but it was not. Some dirt I assume managed to get into the motor and the filter did not get it all. I could probably got by with new main and rod bearings after a flush but why risk it. I just bought a replacement engine and installed it and was good to go. If it were me and you had this much money in the motor I would strip it down and start over. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Back to my original question: Has anyone reading this thread actually flushed out a fouled engine and tried to keep running it? What was the outcome?

When I researched buying a Spider, I saw numerous threads where previous owners are criticised for cutting corners and not spending the money to properly run the cars. Right now, throwing another $3,000 into labor to strip this engine isn't in the cards. I have no garage and can't do the work myself.
 

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I have no garage and can't do the work myself.
You have a choice between opening your check book more often that you would like to or buying a Miata, Z3, etc
Even if you buy an Alfa that is running pretty good it is a matter of time before you get to the place that you are now.
 

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I've flushed out a few. Some survive, some do not. Depending on when I noted an "issue" those shut down quickly are more likely survivors. It's a cXXX shoot. I'd guess 50/50 depending on the issue and catch time.
 

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"Has anyone reading this thread actually flushed out a fouled engine and tried to keep running it? What was the outcome? "

Not quite the same issue, but fouled in a different way. I had a head gasket go on a 916 V6 Spider (Busso engine). The oil looked like a Cappuccino mix when I drained it,. The volume I got out, compared to the oil capacity suggested there was about 1 1/2 litres of water in the mix. I had various opinions on whether the big ends might have been damaged or not, by running for a while with contaminated oil.
I put some fresh oil in it, ran the car for a few minutes, and didn't hear any knocking or other nasty noises. So I went ahead and replaced the head gaskets without worrying about the big ends, put it all back together and it ran fine.

If it hadn't run fine, I would have taken the engine out and got it fixed.

If I had your issue (and I'm very sorry to hear about it, you really don't need a failure like that) I would flush it and run it for a few miles, then drain the oil and change the filter again. Then I would just drive it and see what happens. If you think you might have to drop another $3k on it, you might as well drive it first to see if you really do need to do that. Seems to me you have nothing to lose by trying the flush and drive. Just make sure you have breakdown cover :)
 

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I wouldn't use a flush product, they're too hard on bearing surfaces. I'd get some cheap oil and filters like Wal Mart Super Tech and change the oil a few times after running it hot for a few miles. If you don't see any more glitter or metal in the drained oil, put some good oil in it and drive it a few hundred miles. Do another change and if It sounds okay and everything seems normal, it should be fine. This is all assuming oil pressure remains good and steady. Brass is a soft metal, and even if you have a little scoring on a rod or crank bearing surface, it shouldn't cause a catastrophic failure. Most motors I've disassembled from street cars have some bearing wear and minor scoring from debris the got past the filter but usually don't cause any problems. Others may disagree, but I don't think this requires a tear down yet.
 

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If you think you might have to drop another $3k on it, you might as well drive it first to see if you really do need to do that. Seems to me you have nothing to lose by trying the flush and drive.
I guess David's dilemma is that he does have something to lose: even to do what AngloSpider recommends, he'll have to pay for a new oil pump and its installation. Of course, he should opt for the high-dollar, OEM pump and then pay for the __ hours of shop time to install it.

So as always with a "money pit" car, he must be asking himself: will this repair be the last one for awhile, or will something else major go out next week, and I'll be writing more checks? I wish I had a crystal ball to answer that question!
 

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I guess David's dilemma is that he does have something to lose: even to do what AngloSpider recommends, he'll have to pay for a new oil pump and its installation. Of course, he should opt for the high-dollar, OEM pump and then pay for the __ hours of shop time to install it.

So as always with a "money pit" car, he must be asking himself: will this repair be the last one for awhile, or will something else major go out next week, and I'll be writing more checks? I wish I had a crystal ball to answer that question!
As with all 30 plus year old cars I believe eventually you will have to rebuild or replace almost all of the components on an Alfa. So spend what you can when you can and keep the focus on reliability.

Dave has already done so much work on his car already and I would believe he is emotionally attached to it. Flush it and drive it until the next thing that has to be repaired.

Or as others have said on this thread sale it at a loss and buy Japanese!


Ken Smith
 

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Discussion Starter #35
If it was just some flushing, a good oil pump, and 'happy motoring', I'd be thrilled. Part of the picture is that sometimes this car almost seems to be persecuting me. The value and reliable maintainability I hoped for has turned into a what's-next money pit that doesn’t justify the resources. Alfajay hit that nail on the head.

David OD
Laguna CA
 

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Dave, since you have the sump off, pop off #4 rod cap and look. The bottom shells always go first, and oil volume flow is down at the rear of the crank. That will give you some perspective. Don't forget to suck all the oil out of the pools up top next to the cams, and clear brass from there. Send us PHOTO's!
We LIKE pictures!
 
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Don`t even think of running the engine. Bwass will be everwhere in all the oil passages, crankshaft in the dead end of the drilled slots that cannot be cleaned sufficiently without the plugs removed.

Problems with aftermarket pumps were posted long ago!!
 

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You will be fine with dropping the pan. Actually just the lower one and cleaning it out. A good oil filter will have kept the oil under pressure clean. Your car is not a lemon. I have two new pumps from Classic Alfa that replaced failed pumps. I really hope you hear something good from Classic. I would suggest anyone who has a new pump from anyone other than Gordon keep an eye on the play in the distributor. If the gears are wearing off it will increase and be easy to detect.
 

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Don`t even think of running the engine. Bwass will be everwhere in all the oil passages, crankshaft in the dead end of the drilled slots that cannot be cleaned sufficiently without the plugs removed.

Problems with aftermarket pumps were posted long ago!!
Well, we really didn't hear the first chapter of the saga... what was it that made the owner diagnose the pump had gone kaput and how long was the engine operating when the problem popped up? Assuming the pump was spinning albeit erratically with the sheared drive gear teeth, wouldn't the scenario be like the pump sucked up small debris particles through the strainer screen at the bottom of the pump..all the other chunks would be in the sump?...In this case, one would expect some scoring of the pump housing. Then what pressure the pump put out to the filter would have been filtered until the filter element clogged ( that's a lot of debris) at which time the filter would have been by-passed. The filter which should have filtered out the debris UNTIL the filter element clogged and the filter be by-passed to the critical moving parts of the engine. What am I missing? If it was a cartridge filter, it would be easy to observe what is going on inside that filter and find remnants of brass particles possibly in the canister bottom..perhaps? Just noodlin'..I'm not familiar with the spin-on filter technology, but in the cartridge type, couldn't one expect to flush the line from the feed line from the pump to the filter with the existing pump removed at the bottom hole of the cartridge housing?... the feed line from the pump. Always looking for knowledge.
 

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Just to save time (for the curious, like me), ClassicAlfa is selling its pump for ~$251...just FYI.
""Oil pump. New 2016 production, even better quality ""
David, wishing you the best!!
 
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