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I agree with @Mauricio101. If my memory serves me correctly, the Spider S3 workshop manual states that the Pressure Relief Valve Cap is calibrated to 68.6 kPa; 0.69 bar; 0.7 kg/cm2; aka 10 psi. But that's just a guess.
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Have new cap and hoses (top, bottom and bypass) coming from Centerline. The cap is the wrong cap for sure.
Using diluted coolant for now, but if I do go concentrate when I do the flush I'll be sure to use distilled water for the "other" 50% :)

I think the hose from the water pump to the thermostat is kinda kinked too.
The bottom hose where it connects to the water pump starts wide near the clamp, but then squeezes in a bit - is that how they look normally? (Don't have one to compare to.)

FF1E739C-D176-46D4-91E1-DE92CF59EC04.jpeg 73B2D150-BA84-471A-BC20-24E4D94D3B0B.jpeg
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #23
Oh since it was brought up and I’m looking at the mechanic’s manual

68.6 kPa
10 psi




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78 Alfa Spider
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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #25
While I'm waiting on the parts I'm working through what I'll do when I need to flush the whole system. To top off what I have and check for a head gasket leak I have some Peak 50/50 Antifreeze, but anything special recommended for when I flush the whole system.

Manual calls for "3681-69956 (or 8)" which I don't see as some thing I can just buy.

I see from this thread (Coolant type confusion) that the Yellow Prestone seems to be a good option, but that's an post from a decade ago. Still the same preferences?

Any coolant preferences for an '86 Veloce from our forum?

Edit: Just found this thread Antifreeze/Coolant type that is more recent. Looking into that - thanks.
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #27
Pressurize the system to 15psi and let it sit for an hour or two. Hopefully it still hold the pressure.
Thanks! Should I do this before or after (or both I guess) I replace the hoses?

Current plan is to clean up any area around the cap. Top off the radiator expansion tank with 50/50. Put the new cap on (when it gets here) - then drive it for a bit.

Then check the cap to see if there's any more build up.

I could do this before the cap comes to see if it holds pressure as a good "before". Parts of it are holding pressure I think b/c when it has that 15 psi cap on it, it holds the pressure so it pulls that hose closed - and I feel/hear the release when I undo it.

I'll look to rent that tool regardless - the o'reilly site says it's $150 (I'm hoping that's to buy it).
 

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78 Alfa Spider
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The tool is a FREE loaner. The $150 is the deposit that you get back when you return it. I would do the test now while the system it still full.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The original Alfa spec was for green inorganic (IAT) coolant. If you want to go with this you need to find a coolant that says "conventional green" on the bottle. Peak and Prestone are no longer IAT.

There are some concerns about using the newer long-life organic (OAT) coolants in older cars: specifically their ability to protect brass/lead radiators and their compatibility with older seals and gaskets. I do not know how valid these concerns are in practice, but I personally stick with the green stuff in the Alfas.
 

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My radiator hose did that , I then realized i had installed the overflow bottle backwards, this would pinch the over flow tube from the bottle to the radiator shut causing the collapsed hose.
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Curious how it worked out.
Thanks for following up, Joeseph! I had actually just gotten to work on it in the past few days - here's the scoop.

Got a test kit from the local supply shop, but couldn't get it to hold vacuum. It would leak from the universal adapter (I couldn't get one to fit the cap properly.) Coolant would come between the bottom and the top of the adapter, where you see the metal screw in the photo, once I got it to about 8psi and it would seep out until I released the pressure. Never got a good test on it.

1652917

I might be doing it wrong?

That being said - I got my cap and hoses from Centerline. First off - the hoses are much firmer then what are on there, so I do think that's contributing to the top hose being able to collapse so much as the engine/coolant cools.

I put the new cap, filled up the coolant to the "MAX" level, and drove to a local Cars & Coffee about 20 min away. Engine temp gauge was fine (as it always has been).
Opened the hood and all the coolant was still there.

Before I left I checked the hose and it was vacuumed a bit, definitely not as much as it was with the 15psi/no relief cap. I opened the radiator cap and heard a loud hiss and some large air bubbles popped up in the expansion tank. Sound like when you get water from an office water cooler.
I've tried to replicate and haven't been able to - I can get the hiss release, but not the bubbles up to the expansion tank (which is a good thing?)

Every time I've opened the cap I've checked it for white goo - nothing yet. Looks clean.

Anyway - that's where I'm at. Thank you so much for checking back in!

Planning on:
  • Drain the coolant system
  • replace the hoses
  • flush the system (planning on using the video below as a guide)
  • refill
Hope that addressing the old hoses and incorrect cap address the issues. (Hose won't compress b/c it'll be new, foamy stuff on rad cap won't be there anymore)

Any suggestions on getting the vacuum test kit to work would be appreciated. It looks brand new so I'm not assuming it's busted - just that I'm not using it correctly. Otherwise I'll just return it.


I then realized i had installed the overflow bottle backwards, this would pinch the over flow tube from the bottle to the radiator shut causing the collapsed hose.
I'll take a look at that while I'm poking around in there - thanks!
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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So it should be a pressure test kit, not vacuum. You pressurize the cooling system to look for leaks.

Secondly, that adapter in the picture appears to be cracked and broken?
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #34
Thanks! Yes, I miswrote - it’s a pressure kit. I pressurized up to 8psi and it leaked through that adapter near the threads (it’s in “expanded” setting in the photo)

The system itself didn’t show any leaks, and it holds the vacuum on the hose when it cools down so I’m guessing that would indicate no leaks as it couldn’t hold that vacuum if there was a leak.

Also, when the engine is warm you can try to squeeze the top hose and it’s firm/resists.


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But Mad North-Northwest
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Unless I’m misunderstanding what I’m looking at, that adapter doesn’t look “expanded”, it looks cracked and broken. That would explain the leaking.
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #36
Unless I’m misunderstanding what I’m looking at, that adapter doesn’t look “expanded”, it looks cracked and broken. That would explain the leaking.
I’m not sure.
Here is the adapter in three “settings” and the manual from the kit.

I think it must be broken inside since it leaked from the metal part - if it’s supposed to hold pressure it shouldn’t leak anything, right?

I think my coolant system holds pressure only because of the collapsed hose. When I had the “no vent” cap the loss of pressure when the coolant cooled down turned into a vacuum and the system held it until I opened the cap.

Right?

Thanks for the help!!

Photos for the tester






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does that type of kit just press-fit into the radiator?
iow it doesn't actually screw on like a radiator cap (ie. half a turn and lock)
that's probably where the escape air is coming from, the fit of that gadget is not air tight when you pump pressure into it.
 

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1986 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #38
None of the caps fit the Alfa radiator. :(




I used a pressure fit cap.
You push it in and get it snug, the turn the top part to expand the diameter so it’s pressure tight.

It didn’t leak around the connection to the radiator, but in between the top and the bottom of the adapter - via the center part.

I’m going to return it and ask them.

In other news it does look like I lost a little coolant from the past few drives.


Was at the full line.
Radiator cap doesn’t look bad when I check it.

Have new cap installed, but not the hoses. Haven’t done the flush yet either.


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But Mad North-Northwest
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Ah, I get how that works now. I thought it was cracked, sorry.

Anyway, the Alfa has a pretty standard radiator neck. You sure the #50 adapter doesn't fit? The vehicle-specific ones work much better than the expanding universal ones in my experience.

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