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The vendor was Classic Alfa. I just heard back from them and they are going to work with the garage (APC) to make things right. They report they've sold about 300 of these pumps with no similar failure.
I recall the "soft gear on oil pump" issue discussed by gigem75 on the BB a year ago (*), so David's experience is not the first time this has happened. Perhaps the other victims didn't get theirs from CA. Or perhaps other CA customers have had the issue, but didn't report it. Somehow, I'm guessing this happens more than one time out of three hundred.

While CA only seems to sell one type of oil pump (their EN058 for $252), Alfaholics sells two:

- The ENG2045, described as "New reproduction oil pump - standard quality version" for $256

- The ENG2044, described as "New high quality reproduction oil pump, manufactured by original manufacturer for Alfa " for $744 (about 3X as much as the "standard quality" pump)

Given the similarity in price, I'm betting what CA sells is made by the same manufacturer as Alfaholics' "standard quality" pump. But I have no idea who that manufacturer is.

*) see the thread at: oil pump
 

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Discussion Starter #82
My car has an oil-pump history.

When I bought it had 54,000 miles, with fine oil pressure, compression and leakdown numbers.

At about 65,000 mi the pump-eating started with a PRV burst on startup, dumping oil in the driveway - see my 'Spider Aneurysm' thread. Stewart found grit in the PRV, rebuilt the pump and we figured it was a fluke. Blackstone oil analysis found nothing out of the ordinary.

Nine months later, about 69,000 mi, another PRV burst on startup. We stripped the engine, found a void in one of the cam caps, and decided that was where the problem lay. Stewart rebuilt the engine with a new CA pump, less than 5,000 mi ago.

The current repair will be the 4th oil pump, by my count, tho the first two were the original pump, with one rebuild. I've always warmed up, and never rev over 5500 RPM.

David OD
Laguna CA
 

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Perhaps the other victims didn't get theirs from CA
The first three reported came from Paul Spruell and it seems that he stopped selling them when the problems came to light.
Gordon said that he knew of only two vendors selling pumps to OEM specs. As Jay notes,this all came to light a year ago.
I don't see how re-analyzing the failures and looking for another root cause serves much purpose. Just note that if $250 for a new pump seems too good to be true - it is.
 

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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.. If you starved the engine because the pump failed ..that is one thing... If it had no clatter or prolonged knocking going on when you shut down.. I would roll the dice with a new pump. The debris you are concerned about should have been filtered out and remain in suspension in the filter. Just my two cents. I would not be concerned with the internal oil circuitry of the motor..
Well said. In have heard of cheep aftermarket filters where oil bipassses the filter material due to holes. Dont skimp on filters cheap insurance. Get a can opener on open the filter off your motor and inspect (try washing filter material out).
 

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Depending where the car is and who is doing (paying) for labour, but if you have the sump off you can always remove a main cap and inspect one bearing shells.
 

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To the OP ... you have been given a good way to determine how contaminated your engine is ...
I'd suggest looking in the cam galleys. Bunch of brass? Filter didn't work. No brass? Filter probably worked.
If the cam galleys are clear, I would replace the pump and drive the car. Do not use an engine flush, but an oil and filter change soon after the repair would be good insurance. Then after a couple thousand miles an oil analysis would give you some peace of mind.
 

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I wanted to give everyone an update about these pumps. I sent mine, which failed exactly like the OP's did, to Gordon Raymond for analysis. His report back is that except for the failed gear, the quality and workmanship on the pump was top quality. In particular, he looked at the tolerances and machining on the pump, and in places, found it to be better than in factory pumps. He is sending out the failed gear for materials/hardness testing to compare it to OEM pumps, and I will provide updates as they come in.

Interestingly, although the gear had been worn down to almost nothing as shown below, there were no brass shavings or debris anywhere in the pump.

1635518


The bottom line (for me at least) is that this confirms that our suppliers are selling high-quality products rather than cheap knock-off stuff. In this case, however, the pump supplier mistakenly used the wrong material for the gear, either thinking that it didn't matter or by receiving the gear from a different supplier that screwed it up.
 

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Hi all,

So because of post # 87, again my question here, could the repro pumps be used when replacing the wrong material gear with the original gear of the old pump ? Maybe this could be a solution for all the guys having bought these repro pumps. Anyone ?

Rgds,

Thierry
 

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Imagine my delight to find this in a box of spares from my father in law!
although that looks more like one of the two gears inside the pump...?

My parts book (S4) doesn't show a PN for the drive gear
it does, otoh, show 2 PNs for the in-pump gears. The second one is for new 'increased capacity' oil pumps, whatever that means.
So even during the short 3 years production of the S4 they must have had 2 pumps.

I don't buy that.... 'our suppliers are selling high quality products'...what is the use of a fantastic pump with better than factory specs if it has one part on it that is made of absolute c**p and is going to fail almost immediately and ruin your expensive rebuilt engine?
None, I'd say....To me that makes it a bad pump.

Certainly thankful to Gordon for checking the pump out. Useful information indeed.
 

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I don't buy that.... 'our suppliers are selling high quality products'...what is the use of a fantastic pump with better than factory specs if it has one part on it that is made of absolute c**p and is going to fail almost immediately and ruin your expensive rebuilt engine?
None, I'd say....To me that makes it a bad pump.
Dom, I made it clear that this is my opinion. Yours may be different. But my point is that the resellers did not buy these pumps and market them knowing that they were junk or of inferior quality because they appear to be well made. To be sure, they are bad pumps that have caused real damage. My opinion is that you can't put the blame on the resellers unless they continued to sell them after learning of the problems.
 

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Rich
Put that way, I agree

Hence the sellers have to be notified as soon as such a bad failure occurs.... and they should not sell on their remaining stock either, or at least the stock from that supplier.

It makes me now wonder why AH and OKP offer two types....
Is the huge difference in price (300 to 700) maybe to do with: one that might fail and one that won’t....
 

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My parts book (S4) doesn't show a PN for the drive gear
it does, otoh, show 2 PNs for the in-pump gears. The second one is for new 'increased capacity' oil pumps, whatever that means.
So even during the short 3 years production of the S4 they must have had 2 pumps.
I wonder if that "increased capacity" pump can be fitted on S1-S3 engines? If it is even available anymore.
 

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Not ALL aftermarket pumps are alike! I and others have seen "replacement Veloce" pumps with studded bottoms of such poor quality that they may not be functional. The were not inexpensive. The pump now under examination came from a reputable Alfa parts supplier. Examination shows a few issues, but upper and lower body machine work was excellent, as was main shaft and gear set. Clearances were generous, but within spec. Today I am replacing the failed bronze (?) crank driven gear with another from an OEM Alfa 2L pump. The failed gear is out for analysis today. We shall see....
 

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Today I am replacing the failed bronze (?) crank driven gear with another from an OEM Alfa 2L pump.
OK, so that answers one question I had: Could someone buy one of these pumps and substitute the drive gear from their original, but worn pump. You seem to be saying that they could.

spiderserie4 said:
It makes me now wonder why AH and OKP offer two types....
Is the huge difference in price (300 to 700) maybe to do with: one that might fail and one that won’t....
And that leads to another question that I don't think has been explicitly answered in this thread: are the $300 pumps sold by CA, AH, OKP the ones with the soft drive gears? If so, it seems that you could save $400 by buying one of these, swapping the drive gear from your old, worn pump and still end up with a decent part.

I'd like to believe that the $700 pumps sold by CA, AH, OKP have tighter internal clearances, as well as better drive gears.
 

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I am interested in finding the culprit here. Is it the base metal at fault? or the cut of the gear teeth? or the installation? or what else is left for a probable cause?
 

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I am interested in finding the culprit here. Is it the base metal at fault? or the cut of the gear teeth? or the installation? or what else is left for a probable cause?
I think we'll have to wait until Gordon tells us the results of the analysis he is having done by an outside lab to know whether the base metal is at fault.

Has anyone looked at one of these gears prior to their getting chewed up to see if they are cut improperly? Once they look like the photo in post #66, it's pretty hard to tell.

I suppose that ignoring the installation procedure summarized on the CA site would result in the drive gear having to bear a greater load. Usually when the pump is installed off-axis, its shaft fatigues pretty quickly, causing the distributor to stop turning and the engine to stop running. But maybe the shafts of these off-brand pumps are made with a more ductile material, allowing them to survive the fatigue of off-axis operation long enough for the gear to fail first.
 

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I have rebuilt the failed pump, and tested it on my lathe. There is a bit of special tooling required to replace the bad bronze gear, as well as a bit of tolerance correction on the 2L OEM replacement. Not a DIY job.
1635613

With this pump, I did not change any of the as-it-was-built clearances.
1635614

Both axial and radial on this pump are generous, that said, as a tall gear pump it would likely be fine with 20-50 mineral base oil.

1635615

My interest here was failure analysis. When I hear how the ruined gear compares to another Alfa OEM gear, we may know something.

1635616
 
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Hi Gordon,
Great work, for finding other failures on those repro pumps it is good indeed not to change any other thing but the gear.
Thanks for testing it.

Rgds,

Thierry
 
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