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Discussion Starter #1
so i just noticed that the oil pressure on my milano is very slow to come up on start up. it takes nearly 3-4 seconds before the gauge moves and while i know it does take time to build pressure, this seems excessive to me. is this normal? even when warm it takes some time but of course the main worry is when starting a cold engine as it definitely takes longer.

i only recently noticed this and i just changed the oil and i am running valvoline VR1 racing 20w-50. i use this oil for the zddp zinc and autozone only had it in 20w-50. i would have preferred a 10w-40 but i figured since it's summer in LA, it would be fine. i never noticed the pressure taking so long with the previous castrol gtx 10w-40 but i may have just not noticed. can't say for sure.

anyways, please let me know if this is an alfa v6 quirk or if i may have a problem. and if maybe this is indicative of a specific problem common to alfas such as maybe just the oil pressure sender, wiring or gauge. or of course, a bigger problem with the pump, etc.

many thanks as i really don't want to kill the engine so soon....
 

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The Alfa oil pressure sender is not known for its absolute accuracy nor for its longevity. Replacing the sender might be a good idea. Or at least checking the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge. It should not take 3-4 seconds for oil pressure to build up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok, i timed it and it's about 8 seconds on cold start up and about 4-5 on warm start up.
 

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That does seem long. I would say replace your oil filter first.
mine seems to peg when cold right away. and drop to normal/low when warm/hot

The oil filter should have a valve in it that keeps the oil from draining back down when not running. it sounds like that valve is not working and you have to reprime the system each start.
 

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You don't give us any information as to pressure at cold idle, hot idle and at, say, 4k rpm. Nor do we know the car mileage.

Yes, change filter, never hurts, they are inexpensive, and easy to change without removing anything. If that doesn't do it, either fix or replace the sender. As noted above, they are notoriously unreliable with age.

In our Milano, at a cold start the oil pressure jumps up within a second to about 75-80 with Mobil 1 15-50. When warm, drops down to about 45 at idle, 55-60 at rpm. This at 95k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You don't give us any information as to pressure at cold idle, hot idle and at, say, 4k rpm. Nor do we know the car mileage.

Yes, change filter, never hurts, they are inexpensive, and easy to change without removing anything. If that doesn't do it, either fix or replace the sender. As noted above, they are notoriously unreliable with age.

In our Milano, at a cold start the oil pressure jumps up within a second to about 75-80 with Mobil 1 15-50. When warm, drops down to about 45 at idle, 55-60 at rpm. This at 95k miles.
mileage is about 60k on the engine i think as i put a different engine in. pressure is fine at all other times, just takes a long time to come up. i just changed the oil and filter (and that was one of the toughest things i've done on the car! had to take the AC off to get the filter off.) filter is the larger fram (ph7??).

are there specific filters to use? brand and size? i mean as i know there are two different sizes which fit. i figured the larger one was the better one. never heard of the valve in the filter.

and is the pressure sender that PITA to get to sensor at the very back inside the V of the 2 heads?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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There are a lot of reports out there of Fram filters with leaky anti-drainback valves. Not saying that's definitely your problem, but it could be. Having seen the innards of Fram filters I refuse to use them on my cars.

I've used the Baldwin 233 and Mobil1 M1-204 on the Milano. The latter is available at most auto parts stores. They're both a tight squeeze but I've never had to remove anything.

Yes, that's the sender and yes, it's a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks guys. prolly the filter as it seemed to happen with the oil change.

worth a change i suppose to see.

does the sender trouble usually cause problems like mine?
 

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Not really. Usually the failure mode is for oil to leak internally and for the sender to start reading lower and lower over time. Also it seems too coincidental for it to have happened at the same time as an oil change.
 

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Go to the parts place and ask for a 2001Toyoda camery v6 3l oil filter.
That one will fit no problems. I like wix brand if they have them.
And you will not have to do whats a alfa game at the counter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Go to the parts place and ask for a 2001Toyoda camery v6 3l oil filter.
That one will fit no problems. I like wix brand if they have them.
And you will not have to do whats a alfa game at the counter.
if i use a toyota filter, will my car suddenly start losing character, stop relaying road information, and begin sounding like it has no soul?
 

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I just use one of the small better grade Fram or Wix filters, and change them often. I use the Fram book to find the filter I need, the heck with the no nothings at the counter. It also has cross referencing between brands. They are inexpensive for what they do, and the small ones are easy to change by reaching down past the front of the right exhaust manifold. I use a band wrench to loosen the filter and then pull it open side up around and past the manifold. If I'm lucky I don't drip any oil, but I do use a pan underneath the car to catch the oil from when I unscrew it and before I tilt it up. Installation of a new one is a piece of cake. Make sure you tighten it hand tight per the instructions, don't use a wrench to tighten.

BTW, I've heard of people changing the filter on a 164 engine when it is out of the car, and using the larger filter. You cannot get that filter off the engine after the engine has been reinstalled in the car. Oops.

Also remember that the first time you start the engine after installing a new filter, the gauge will take more time to come to full pressure as the filter fills with oil. After that, it should be much better in response if it stays filled with oil. If it does drain after every engine shutoff, then it will always take the extra time to fill.

The low reading sender can be repaired in most cases.
 

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20w-50 oil is pretty thick, the 10w-40 lubromoly oil from napa auto parts worked the best in mine. Autohausaz has mann filters for the milano (whish are good filters) for a little more than half what wix filters cost. I wouldnt ever use a fram one, they are all too cheaply made.
 

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just a side note but i have always run 20w-50 in my cars. i had an oil change done at a local shop where they used 10w 40 and my car leaked like a stuck pig. it often took a long time for pressure to come up, my oil pressure light would come on(not the dipstick) all the time. and aster a hard boot it seemed i was low on oil. I finally had enough of this and changed itback to 20w50. problems gone car runs fine with a minimal (livable proper alfa) leak.
pressure is normal and guages are good. dont really know what happened there but thats my two cents.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Factory specs for oil options, at least for my '87, are listed as 10W50, 15W50, or 10W40. Bob's in LA so 20W50 should be fine year round.
 

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If you buy the better grades of Fram filters, you should be ok. The stories about "cheap" Fram filters, are pretty much just stories, IMO, like the one where you shouldn't use Shell gas in Italian cars, lol. I've heard that one for decades. I've used Fram filters for decades, and my Alfas' engines last as long as any. Big problem is that most people don't change them often enough, regardless of brand.

We have used Castrol 20w-50 in our Milano since new, just recently changing to Mobil 1 15W-50. The oil pressure readings and response times have not changed at all.
 

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Del, I'm going to be a little hard on you here, but it's for your own good: opinions and personal anecdotes don't count for jack. You bring engineering data or you go home.

Here's a link to a thorough analysis of oil filter construction:

Oil Filters Revealed - MiniMopar Resources

You'll note that almost all the Fram stuff is fairly poorly reviewed. The only one that looks semi-okay is the Tough Guard, but given the way their other filters are built I see no reason to support the company by buying any of their stuff.

Here's what they had to say about the Extra Guard, which incidentally is one step up from the one Bob is using:

"This filter cartridge has a small outside diameter with a rather low filter element surface area (193 sqin), and features cardboard end caps that are bonded in place using a thermal adhesive. The rubber anti-drainback valve seals the rough metal backplate to the cardboard end cap. In practice these seem to leak, causing dirty oil to drain back into the pan. If you use this filter and have a noisy valve train at startup, the filter is likely the cause. The bypass valves are plastic and are sometimes not molded correctly, which allows them to leak when they should be closed. The backplate has smaller and fewer oil inlet holes, which may restrict flow."

Leaking anti-drainback valve causing start-up oil pressure problems...this sounds kind of familiar...
 

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Thanks for the nice/kind comments:

"opinions and personal anecdotes don't count for jack. You bring engineering data or you go home".

Ouch.

This site exists on opinions and personal anecdotes. If it doesn't have them, then our real time experiences with Alfas also don't count for "jack". Of course engineering information is pertinent, that's how products get designed in the first place, but personal experiences are as well. Having been an engineer myself in my career, I learned a long time ago that engineering data are not everything in real life experiences. Good place to start, but the real usage of any given product can have a way of altering the best designs of mice and men. Sometimes the most beautiful designs are just unnecessarily over the top in cost and quality. As an example, Boeing jets, of which I am somewhat familiar with, have many examples in their designs of just that. We thought we knew better, based upon our engineering data. Let me introduce Murphy.

My personal experiences with the better grade Fram filter has been satisfactory through the decades. My many Alfas have never suffered from using them, there have been no occurrences of lubrication failures or excessive wear. No one else, however, has to use them.

Relax, you are of course entitled to your own opinions, but I've read the engineering information here and there on the web done by various groups, and I see little to unconvince me that, as I said, the better version of the Fram filters is probably satisfactory. I don't argue that there may be brands out there which may be more precisely designed/fabricated.

Indeed, the reviewer you cite does say for the Fram Tough Guard (which is the better one I use if other brands are not handily available):

"this one is not too bad. It has a heavier filter element with more surface area, a silicone anti-drainback valve, the cheap pressure relief valve, but with an integral screen to keep out large particles, and enough inlet holes for good flow. The only other drawback to this filter is that it is capped on each end with cardboard instead of metal. Looking in through the center outlet does not reveal any paper end caps, but they are there. I personally do not use this filter, but the design didn't have enough bad qualities to cause me to tell others to avoid it."

Note that he does offer very personal opinions on construction characteristics of various filters which are not really pertinent to safe/satisfactory usage, and engineeringwise, may not be relevant.

My question to you is, just how good does it have to be? I change the filter often, so in general the mentioned drawbacks are of no consequence. Oil by nature IS dirty due to the existing detergents, so if there is leakage of dirty oil "back into the pan", it makes no difference, and the larger potentially harmful particles are still trapped in the filter material. I cannot think of one occasion where filter drain back (which would be evidenced by an increase in the pressure buildup elapsed time upon cold start up) has occurred in any of my Alfas.

So that's it. I offered my opinions based on my own real time experience, and what I have read. People are welcome to read, if they so choose, the cited reference and others, and draw their own conclusions. It's their money.

If you don't want my personal experiences with my Alfas, I can handle that.

Peace, fellow Alfa owner.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Now like I said, Del, I was being intentionally hard on you based on the dismissiveness of your original post. I read too much opinion crap on here (especially regarding filters, gasoline, or...God help me...oil) that's just not supported by any data. I'm glad to read you're at least analyzing and thinking about this stuff, though I disagree with your assessment of the importance given the ease and minimal cost delta of finding a better made filter.

Anyway, the last time folks started arguing about the F-word it went south fast, so let's try to avoid that.
 

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In case anyone else wants any additional info, go to post #7 in this thread.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/gt-1965-1974/416-oil-filters.html

Note the looser pleats on the Fram showing the lower surface area. Also that it's the only one using glued cardboard endcaps.

Also note the thinness of the gasket vs all other filters. This saves Fram money at the cost to the user of increased risk of gasket blow-out (yes, this happens).

It will be an interesting experiment if Bob replaces the oil filter and finds that solves the startup pressure problems. He changed two things at once (viscosity and filter) so we'll need to see. I've never had any issues with 15W50, but every engine is different.
 
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