Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,631 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all

I'm trying to track oil consumption but first need some help with the basics. I do have a new dipstick purchased from classic alfa. The motor is a rebuilt Spica 2l with motronic pistons and hastings rings and was broken in using the hard and varied style recommended by several. I now have maybe 1500mi on it. I use dino oil, currently VR1 20w-50. I don't see any smoke and have ~180psi cold compression across all four. No gushing or even dripping leaks but chasing a bit of dampness here and there.

This will sound exceedingly dumb but hear me out - any tips on how / when to read the dipstick? I'm coming from 911's which are incredibly finicky on account of reading the level in the oil tank not sump and the effects of the oil cooler thermostat. The alfa of course has none of the above but still - what's the best way to read? My guess is stone cold after sitting for a night.

Next - what kind of oil consumption do you all see? Happy to hear from those with rebuilt motors, stock motors, high mile motors. Really I have no idea whatsoever what "normal" is. Again - with the 911, Porsche itself publishes some fairly eye opening numbers as "normal", a quart every 500mi I recall seeing in my 3.2. Do you see radically different oil consumption highway / city ?

Finally - any intel on how many quarts separate the Min/Max?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,158 Posts
I think the best advice is to be consistent. 'After sitting overnight' is a convenient way to be consistent but I doubt there is a big difference between that and sitting for 5 - 10 minutes.

On our 2L '84 Spider there is a 2 quart spread between the 'low' and 'full' mark on the dipstick.

On the Spider (I rebuilt it at ~ 85K miles, now ~ 135K miles) I might add a quart between 5K oil changes (when it is time for the oil change it might be down another quart so you could say 2 quarts in 5K miles). Our GTV6 (bought it with ~ 130K miles, now >200K miles but I do not know its history) I add about 1 quart in 1,000 - 1,500 miles.
 

·
Richard Jemison
Joined
·
7,535 Posts
Oil consumption should be minimal. No more than 1/2 qt per 1 thousand miles if the engine is broke in and rings and valve seals are in good order.
Check the oil in a consistent pattern. Cold parked on a flat surface. The two lines on the dip stick are 2 quarts apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,631 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all will start checking in my garage, in the morning.

I will also do a leak down test. I'm guessing it helps to have the valve cover off to be sure all the cylinders besides #1 are TDC, using the cams as an indicator? What matters is the valves are closed, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
1981 spider 115,2000cc, euromodel on Solex
OIL: over 50.000 km consumption 0.883 l/1000km (always kept on the "max" mark. When these cars were new an oil consumption ranging from 0,5 (normal) to 1.0 l/1000 (quite normal)
dipstick showing "max":6,600 l
dipstick showing "min" 4,400 l
sump+filter+pipes: 7,160 l
fuel consumption: 9,97 l/100 km at cruise velocity 90 km/h (rural and intercityroads)and 130 km/h (highways)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
657 Posts
That is quite a difference between the MIN and MAX 2.2 liters or 50%. That should have an effect on the operation of the engine.
Should one should aim for mid point between MIN & MAX?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,010 Posts
You guys are very lucky with whatever minor consumption your cars have, as some of us have a 91 164S, an otherwise great car, where the factory supplied many of their V6 engines with faulty oil rings, causing the loss of oil of about a qt every ~400-500 miles, from new. The other versions of the V6, ie, GTV6, Milano, 164B, 164L, 164LS, 164Q seem to have no such problem. I never have had to add any oil between changes of maybe 5-7000 miles for the Milano and LS, as well as the GTV6's we owned.

No smoke, no sign otherwise, just gone. My former mechanic Carlo said that installing new rings cured the problem. Nothing to do with valve guide seals (that can be a different problem), according to what the factory told him.

No recall, no nothing from Alfa. That was somewhat of a bummer, but the car has been so great...

In all the years and Alfas we have owned, worrying about how to read a dip stick was never on our minds, and the cars always ran great for thousands of miles. I wouldn't be concerned about how many angels dance on the head of a pin, lol. Most leak a little, anyway, marking their spot.

And, yes there is a small difference in consumption between city type DD and miles on the highway, that consumption proving to be a little lower on a long freeway trip as compared to DD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,631 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just thinking through the mechanics of the dipstick... since I put this car together from scratch and I make no claims to know what I am doing...

It would be possible to assembly the dipstick assembly incorrectly, resulting in incorrect readings wouldn't it? I can see not fully seating the tube which would result in the dipstick sitting high and therefore reading artificially low. Does that sound right?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
Yes, that’s correct. Which is why it’s important to note where the max dipstick oil indication is relative to adding 7quarts of oil on a fresh oil change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Do make sure you have the correct dipstick for your car. There were several formats over the years and I can relate a story I heard once on the issue. This from one of our most respected engine builders and specialists.

A newly rebuilt engine was fitted to a 105 series car and filled with a measured amount of the correct oil. Roadtested fine and delivered to happy owner. A few hundred miles later the engine builder gets a call - the car is using a lot of oil and smoking and somethings obviously very wrong. Car brought back, everything is checked, no issues found and car sent back.

Again, a few hundred miles later the same thing happens, again no issues found. Cue very frustrated owner and mystified engine builder.

Second time it's back, a bit more research finds the engine has the wrong dipstick. Although it has the correct amount of oil in the sump, the dipstick shows it way below the minimum and so the owner when checking, has topped up to max - which is now badly overfilled, hence the smoke and apparent oil use issues. The engine builder measured the oil in, so never had a need to check the disptick.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top