Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 72 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a significant oil leak that I can't figure out and was hoping that you guys could help me.

My Spider always leaks a little oil, a drop or two here and there. But now it is leaving a puddle under the passenger side front.

I cleaned the engine and took it for a short run and this is what I found. Here is a picture of the oil pan, you can see the oil dripping off the bolts on the passenger side.



Here is the front of the engine looking up from the pan, I wiped this clean before I took it for a short drive. You can see the oil running down.





Sorry the pictures are not really good I was having a hard time getting a picture under there.

I know that it is running down the front but cant figure out where exactly it is coming from. What does it look like to you guys? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
At a guess I'd say front crank seal. They don't usually have a catastrophic fail they tend to slowly get worse. But I don't have a car with Spica so I could be wrong. It could be an oil feed to the fuel pump I don't know them well enough to make a definite call. It's pretty involved to replace front crank seal . As a precaution with that much oil leaking I would not drive the car till I had it seen to. :detective:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts
When the front seal leaks it tends to be thrown out in an arc. I would clean up the oil as good as you can then run the engine and try to see where it is coming from. I agree with Spydaman that the front seal is the most likely source. The distributor is another.

Replacing the front seal is not that bad a job. You would have to remove the radiator then get the nut off the engine pulley with an impact wrench. There is a tab washer on the nut. Then pull off the pulley, pull out the seal and tap in a new seal with a driver. I have a piece of Oak floor board with a hole bored in it for that. Inspect the pulley. If the surface that contacts the seal is not smooth it will soon leak again. The solution is to fit a Speedisleeve to the pulley. There are posts that go into the details of doing that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
I will throw my vote in for front seal too. Not that bad a job to replace.

I can not recommend more strongly, that when looking for leaks, I use a dye and ultra violet light kit.

I think its around $25 at your local parts place. You get the light, 1 dye for oil and 1 for coolant. You can then buy just the packets of dye separately for future use.

For me, invaluable. Saves me time finding the source and eliminated guessing and replacing the wrong parts.

Good luck,

Vin
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,635 Posts
I can not recommend more strongly, that when looking for leaks, I use a dye and ultra violet light kit.
I'm with Vin; while the front main seal is the most likely source, it isn't the only possibility. Could be that bolt that holds the head to the front cover. Could be the oil feed to the spica pump. Could be the tach drive off the water pump (hmm, that's on the driver's side though). My point is that it seldom pays to replace parts - at least parts that take some effort or $ - before confirming what the problem really is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
887 Posts
Had a similar mess on my '77 with carbs...turned out to be the mechanical fuel pump was a little loose at its mounting flange. Nipped up the 2 x bolts, and all was well again. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Same location and issue on my '74 Spider. Mine is the distributor. Replaced O ring with one from Centerline, still seems to be leaking. Applied RTV, hoping for the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I spent a little more time looking at it this morning.

The front of the engine around the water pump is clean, I replaced the water pump about six months ago and the block is still clean there.

The SPICA pump looks pretty clean as well. I don’t see any fresh oil there.

The distributor has some oil around it, but it does not look fresh to me. Nor does it look like the amount that I was seeing run down the front of the engine after I ran it.

I have an electric fuel pump at the back of the car, is there a mechanical pump at the front? I am not sure where that is so I have not checked it.

When I get under the car there is oil everywhere, it looks like it has been flung all over the place, I am thinking that it is the front main seal.

I think that I will look into getting the UV kit to check to make sure

Funny I just replaced the Radiator, I wish that I had realized the the seal needed to be replaced when I had it all torn apart! Oh well that’s how it goes.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,635 Posts
I have an electric fuel pump at the back of the car, is there a mechanical pump at the front?
On a US delivery 1973 spider you don't have a mechanical fuel pump at the front/right - just the Spica pump. Earlier US delivery cars, and European delivery cars had mechanical fuel pumps. Spica pumps don't typically leak, but you might check the tightness of the four, 8mm nuts that hold it to the front cover.

When I get under the car there is oil everywhere, it looks like it has been flung all over the place, I am thinking that it is the front main seal.
Again, it probably is the front main seal. But keep in mind that airflow will fling oil from any source front --> back. Oil coming off the front pulley will get flung radially by the centrifugal force, and then backward by the airflow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I ordered a new front seal and figured that I would replace the distributor o ring at the same time just to be safe so I ordered one of those as well.

It has been a long time since I took the distributor off so I just wanted to make sure I knew the approach. If I remember correct the distributor has a keyed end and not a gear. So if I pull the cap and mark where the rotor is with regard to the distributor and make sure that I replace it in the same spot (and not rotate the engine) I should be fine. Is this correct?

One more question, I read a few threads about sleeving the pulley bearing, is there a preferred place to order the sleeve?

Thanks for all the help guys
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,037 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
I'd try the distributor O ring first. It's easier than the crank seal. I had a similar leak, and the distributor O ring was the problem. Yes the dizzy is keyed, and can only go back in the way it came out. Marking the rotor position on the dizzy would verify correct installation. Just loosen the 10mm bolt on the block, and remove the entire bracket, so it stays in time. Mine is a 1600, and I'm not sure if they slotted the bracket for spark timing adjustments on later models. If the bracket is slotted just mark the block, and the bracket with a Sharpie. Any ways you should be close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
I ordered a new front seal and figured that I would replace the distributor o ring at the same time just to be safe so I ordered one of those as well.

It has been a long time since I took the distributor off so I just wanted to make sure I knew the approach. If I remember correct the distributor has a keyed end and not a gear. So if I pull the cap and mark where the rotor is with regard to the distributor and make sure that I replace it in the same spot (and not rotate the engine) I should be fine. Is this correct?

One more question, I read a few threads about sleeving the pulley bearing, is there a preferred place to order the sleeve?

Thanks for all the help guys

Yes, distributor goes in just one way. Easy job, use wobble extension 10mm. if no timing light, mark original timing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
If you do decide to change the front seal, I agree with what has been said and that is, to check for worn grooves.

If you do have signs of wear, its the best time to address it with the sleeve.

I have a 91 and this is what I found:

IMG_8158.jpg

Used this sleeve

IMG_8161.jpg

Was straight forward to put on

IMG_8163.jpg
IMG_8170.jpg

Vin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
I'm no mechanic and I had issues getting the seal in straight and flush so I made this "tool" and used the crankshaft nut to drive the seal in nice and flush!

IMG_3047.jpg

IMG_3048.jpg

IMG_3050.jpg

Dont forget to lube the inner lip of the seal or you will be doing this again in a few months.

Good luck,

Vin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for all the info guys, I am going to do the distributor o ring first. Then if that does not work I will do the front seal.

Vintre, I found your other thread and bookmarked it, I figured that I will probably have to sleeve the seal surface and your info was really good. Thanks to the info in your thread I have been able to source a sleeve. I like your method for the seal installation. I will probably make some similar tooling. Thanks for posting all the pictures it is really helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I took the air cleaner off so I could get a better look tonight and realized that the belt that connects the flywheel pulley to the SPICA pump is cogged. So I am assuming that it is timed and that I need to keep the orientation. Are there any tricks that I need to know when replacing the front seal on a SPICA model spider?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
I took the air cleaner off so I could get a better look tonight and realized that the belt that connects the flywheel pulley to the SPICA pump is cogged. So I am assuming that it is timed and that I need to keep the orientation. Are there any tricks that I need to know when replacing the front seal on a SPICA model spider?
Yes very important. Search Spica timing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Spica Pump

I didn't notice other remarks about this so I'll just bring it up. There is an oil filter fitted to the Spica pump, lower front side with 3 10 mm nuts with a triangular cover. This might (probably not) be a source of a leak. At any rate while you are in there you might change the filter, it's an easily overlooked maintenance item.
 
1 - 20 of 72 Posts
Top