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1977 Alfa Romeo Spider
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Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying I’m very green when it comes to mechanical work. I’m only 26 and this is my first project car. I have a 1977 spider spica injected. This past weekend I was working on getting it timed so I could tune the spica. Iv had It running multiple time but it never would idle or run good. I was attempting to get it up to 5,000 rpm to check the time when it started to smoke really bad from the exhaust pipe and then I noticed a bad oil leak coming from the #3 exhaust manifold gasket. It’s also leaking at the connection of the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe and under the car ant what must be a failed weld. I’ve done a compression test and got 144-138 which I think is ok. The bad news is the leak down test confirmed almost %100 leak down on #1,2,and 3. I was pretty deflated after that and never checked 4 which oddly enough the #4 spark plug is supper clean while the other are covered in carbon and possibly have oil on them. I’m planing to do another leak down test tomorrow and document all cylinders as well as check the tolerances for the shimsince I have the vale cover off now. My question is

if I’m getting ok compression how could I be getting that much leakage?

I’m guessing I may have another issue non-value related that is allowing oil into the cylinder, is that right?

this is most likely going to turn into a long term project now because I don’t have unlimited funds. I may decide to cut my losses but for now I’m content with putting money in it as I can. I’m really enjoying learning about Alfa and cars in general. Any suggestions on what to test or how to identify my issues so I can better understand what I’m about to embark on ( I assume an engine rebuild) would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Cale
 

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1977 Alfa Romeo Spider
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Discussion Starter #2
Update
Tonight I did another leak down test and check the tolerances of the cam followers.

LEAK DOWN:

I was pleasantly surprised that both 1 and 2 seem ok. The only thing I did differently this time was go in sequential order instead of the firing order. I though going in the firing order would save me some time but it appears it messed me up somehow. I also have the valve cover off now so that ases visual confirmation of TDC for each cylinder. As you can see in the pictures(they are in order 1-4) 3 and 4 are basically %100 There is clearly air coming from the exhaust and what sounds like the oil sump on both cylinders . I also have air coming out of the #1 spark plug hole. If I put my finger over the spark plug hole the air noise decreases substantially. Does this mean i could have a blown head gasket? Number 4 cylinder is also dry while the other cylinders are wet with what I assume is oil.


VALVE ADJUSTMENT.(picture below)

From what I’ve read so far the only one I need to worry about is number three exhaust. I’m going to try to study up on how this may correlate to any other issues.

Thanks
 

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Hi there, when running, does it sound like it’s only running on two cylinders? Was the engine warm? Is the whole car driveable? If so I would go and flog the heck out of it for 5-10 min at least after it reached full temp. Lots of pulls to redline etc. Then retry.
My experience is that valve clearance doesn’t get bigger, so your 22 and 27 thou don’t make sense since the other two are 18, 19.
 

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1977 Alfa Romeo Spider
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Discussion Starter #4
The engine was cold. I was in the process of try to figure out why it won’t idle when this happened. It’s on jack stands and has not been driven in about 15 years.
 

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1977 Alfa Romeo Spider
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Hi there, when running, does it sound like it’s only running on two cylinders? Was the engine warm? Is the whole car driveable? If so I would go and flog the heck out of it for 5-10 min at least after it reached full temp. Lots of pulls to redline etc. Then retry.
My experience is that valve clearance doesn’t get bigger, so your 22 and 27 thou don’t make sense since the other two are 18, 19.
Sorry i realized i didn't answer all your questions. Im not experienced enough to say whether it was only running on two, but it was not running good. Here is a video from this past Friday, a day before it started leaking.

 

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Sounds like a lawnmower to me. The good news is that you only need ~$100 in parts to fix your leaking headgasket. 50 for the gasket, 25 for 8 quarts of 20-50, and 25 to waste on beer and shop rags. Will take you a solid day to replace it though, assuming the head comes off easily enough
 

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Does it burn a lot of oil? I just wonder if what we see there is burned oil residue leaking out past the exhaust gasket from that cylinder.
Andrew
 

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Does it burn a lot of oil? I just wonder if what we see there is burned oil residue leaking out past the exhaust gasket from that cylinder.
Andrew
I don’t think it’s burning it. There was a puddle of oil on the floor.
 
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