Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Spider has an ongoing oil leak that I'm finally about ready to tackle. The pictures show the accumulation of oil after a few days. In this most recent case, I'd taken the car out for about a 30 mile drive before setting up a drip tray. It seems that the leak is coming from the passenger side as shown by the droplets on the lower oil pan and the accumulation on that side of the drop tray I had underneath it.

I guess I'm wondering (1) where to start and (2) how to identify the source of the leak.

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design
Automotive tire Car Tread Vehicle Wheel
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,233 Posts
The oil will both run down & back so search above & forwards. Best thing is to clean it off as best you can then look for the source. The cam cover gasket & the two rubber 'half moons' in the back of the cam cover are likely sources. If nothing obvious jumps out at you, try holding a sheet of clean, white paper near any possible sources. If there is a fine mist of oil it'll quickly show up on the paper.

Another option is to add a fluorescent dye to the oil and use a black light to search for the leak. I've never done that but it sounds interesting.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,431 Posts
Agree with Eric but another thought is that at some point, Alfa started routing the return line for the OVS to a fitting on that side of the block. You might check the small line from the OVS and see if it is detached
 
  • Like
Reactions: ghnl

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,233 Posts
Good idea. And cleaning out the Oil Vapor Separator might be another Good Idea. A clogged OVS messes with sump scavanging. Remove the OVS, spray some solvent into it (brake cleaner works well), rinse & repeat. Add a little oil to the small diameter drain hose to act as a one-way valve.
Light Vehicle Motor vehicle Car Automotive fuel system
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,109 Posts
that oily grimey front part of the oil pan, which your photo seems to illustrate, is likely to be a front crank oil seal failure .....that amount of oil loss over a few nights is not just the usual alfa seepage/oil sweating..... it's a proper leak.
(front crank seal failure is not at all uncommon and where I'd look first, tbh)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
There's an o-ring around the distributor shaft that would drip down to exactly that spot. You could probably spot it by popping off the distributor cap and seeing if you've got oil pooling on the little platform the distro sits upon.

I've used UV dye to find oil leaks and posted an example pic here: UV dye to find oil leaks

It was enlightening (GET IT?) to see just how many unique ones I have to deal with. But I'd rather know than not know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,431 Posts
Now you have a variety of things to check. Let us know who the winner is!
 

·
Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the wealth of knowledge everyone. Will be sure to follow up with who the culprit is. Many people in my life have said "put some cardboard down" or "the fluid is cheap" but I agree with @mslatter -- I rather know than not know!

Moving out of the city in about a week so I'm thrilled to finally have a garage with some space to tinker thats not a garage complex.
 

·
Premium Member
1987 Spider
Joined
·
62 Posts
My money is on the VVT o-ring leaking, although the car probably for more than one leak to track down.

Mhendri, locate your VVT solenoid, the cylindrical thing sticking out the front passenger side of your valve cover, close to the radiator. Wipe your hand under it (or a paper towel). If it's soaked, there's your leak.
 

·
Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mhendri, locate your VVT solenoid, the cylindrical thing sticking out the front passenger side of your valve cover, close to the radiator. Wipe your hand under it (or a paper towel). If it's soaked, there's your leak.
Thanks @GradBrad, will do!

I mean, it's an Alfa. Even after you fix this leak, you'll probably still have to put some cardboard down.
Haha, I'm counting on it!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,431 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: vbisbest

·
Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I went poking around yesterday with these tips at hand and came across a suspicious looking VVT solenoid. The video shows what to me looks like too much free play and a mostly disintegrated seal. Or maybe just some RTV that was slathered on. You can also see some oil oozing when pressing the solenoid against the walls.

While perhaps not the cause of my major leak, this seems like it could use some attention. Does this require a new support bushing thats outlined here?: Repairing your VVT support mount bushing

Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Automotive wheel system Auto part
 

·
But Mad North-Northwest
Joined
·
12,580 Posts
Yeah, your bushing is shot. There are various ways to bodge up a replacement discussed on the BB using heater hose or whatnot, or you can just buy a solid replacement mount here:


If it's leaking oil it'll be at the cam cover (from the VVT plunger that goes into the cam cover that the solenoid you're holding actuates). There should be an o-ring under a plate there. When you pull off the VVT mount to fix it you can investigate it.

Some photos here, though note that this guy was missing the plunger and o-ring

 
  • Like
Reactions: mhendri

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,109 Posts
before spending money on the bushing repair or the solid replacement, it's a good time to check the VVT is actually working....

loosen that little phillips head screw on the clamp around the plastic and carefully pull off the white plastic gizmo....this reveals 2 spade terminals.
now start the car, let it idle.
now put 12V + / - to the two spade terminals and hold it there a few seconds.........the idle should go really rough, might even stall the engine.

yes? then it is working and advancing the cam as it should.

no? then it is not and we all do some trouble shootin' :ROFLMAO:

another decent DIY fix here if 100 bucks sounds too much (it would to me!)
DIY VVT solenoid fix
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,431 Posts
As Dom says, check the functionality of the VVT solenoid but i would go with the solid replacement mount. I have done several this way.
 

·
Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dom, I followed your instructions and the car does idle roughly when I apply 12v to the solenoid terminals. So all seems to be in working order there. Thanks for that!

Appreciate the insight, Greg. I saw an old post on here where someone said Larry at APE was selling new bushings for $50 or so. I'll give them a call to see if they've still got 'em. Only wish I knew what was gonna go next so I could save on shipping!

So thats certainly one leak, but not "the" leak as far as I can tell. Eric, the half moons behind the cam cover are dry and the small line on the OVS is well connected. I may still take the time to clean it out. I need to double check the distributor area -- I popped off the black plastic shroud that encases the distributor, cap, and cables, but didn't see anything nefarious. Would popping off the red distributor cap possibly reveal more?

The hunt continues!
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top