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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Members,

Long time lurker in the Alfa world, and hopefully a Alfa owner, soon. I've looked at 10 different examples. Some rusty beyond words, some with engine noises and leaks, some with crap transmissions, some with all of the above.

But recently I found a 1984 Spider with what I believe to be 64k original miles, almost totally rust free, I mean clean everywhere, super nice shifting transmission, smooth clutch, solid everywhere. It was a dry Barn find that was given a in-depth tuneup, from cleaning of the gas tank fuel pump, to rebuilt injectors, valve adjustment, water pump, plugs, wires etc. etc. While this seller made this car run as good as it looks, yet after a short drive today and an in depth look underneath I found a wet bell housing yet not coming from the motor, yes the motor is grimy but not wet. The seller has not really driven it much if any after bringing it back from the dead.

FYI... The car sat for 10+ years in dry storage.

If I didn't know better I'd say front main seal of the transmission.
Is this a common thing with this model of Spider? and I assume the entire drivetrain will need to be pulled to service it? Are there any other aspects of the transmission that could be causing this leak? I smelled the fluid and it is 90wt. After a few miles drive it puked a dime sized spot on the ground.


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Cheers,
M
 

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Welcome,

I wouldn't say it's a common issue but any car that has sat unused for 10 years will need a good going over. Seals that sit & dry out tend to lose their sealing ability.

You can buy a lot of 90wt oil for what it'd cost to pay a mechanic to remove the transmission to replace a $5 seal.

BTW, our cars do need a specific transmission oil. Most modern gear oils are too 'slippery' and the synchro's won't work right. Redline 75w-90NS is a good choice (make sure you get the NS version). And, if you are going to change it (highly suggested), make sure you can remove the fill plug before draining the oil...

Next we need to discuss the forums unwritten rule about photos. You have to post some - we likes photos. Of your Spider would be good.
 

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Oil on the bottom of the bell housing could be a few things.

What does it smell like? Engine oil or transmission oil?

If it were the front seal, the lower oil pan should be covered in oil and dirt. Is it?

If not, then possibilities are rear main seal and or most likely cigarette seals.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pictures of possible new toy

Thank you for putting this into the Spider forum. I will continue to do this in the future.
As stated earlier this is the nicest spider I've found.

First let me say that I am an experienced wrench, putting myself through college performing complete restorations on British and german sports cars, so I do not find the complexity of the Alfa insurmountable at all.

Getting back to this candidate, yes the fluid seeping out of the trans IS 90wt oil, the bell housing is covered with fresh wetness, the smell itself explanatory.
This car is so very rust free its incredible speedometer is at 64k and works smoothly, engine running is very smooth/quiet, trans shifts GREAT, doors close VERY well, did I say no rust? The nose is excellent no bondo tight and clean rockers.
As stated this thing sat for 10+ years, at least. The gentleman I might be buying it from bought it not running and bought it to flip. He spent time replacing front calipers (old ones gummed up and stuck) replaced the AC pump (old one knocking and making crazy noise) a full tune up including rebuilt injectors fixed a small hole in the radiator, put a new muffler on it.
Ok, so here sits a decent candidate for my needs and a very nice price. I have a very strong idea that I'll need to pull the drivetrain to address this oil leak, and possible head gasket, as it does not seem to hold radiator pressure (could be many things I know)...

But to find a decent solid car is a challenge today that does not need a ton of stuff for a reasonable price here on the west coast. So I'm still interested.

Kind listeners I'm looking for a nice example for a weekend/holiday driver, I do not want a British or German roadster, I want a Italian and I like the more modern FI system, I embrace the look of this vintage of Alfa, while I'd like a red one, silver would be my next favorite color. Overall this one is a decent candidate for me, and for you guys the price of this example <$3k.

Included are the Pics of the car I drove this weekend,
Thanks in advance for your input!
Cheers,
Mark
 

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Welcome. The car sounds pretty good. You probably won't find a car that doesn't need some work for less than $3,000, so if you can find one without rust issues that runs pretty well, you can address the little things that crop up.
 

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