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Discussion Starter #1
I have had an oil leak on my engine (1750 in a 71 Spider) that makes the Exon Valdez look lazy. A steady drip even when the engine wasn't running and coating the bottom of the engine and transmission while driving.

I cleaned the engine and checked all the bolts on the lower pan - discovered one (of 17 !) that seemed to be stripped on the rear driver's side of the pan. After snugging all the bolts on the pan, this place now drips even more steadily.


Bought a heli-coil kit, 17 new bolts, a new(er) lower pan and a gasket, and dropped the pan off the car.

I found that the pan is cracked around the bolt that appeared to be stripped.

Upper pan crack at bolt.jpg

Now what? Can I use something like JB Weld on the crack?

Do I have to find someone who can do aluminum welding?

Do I have to get another pan?

The leak is too big to ignore so that isn't an option.

An interesting note: When I put in a new bolt, it seems to fit snugly.....

My thinking is that the best current course is:
1. Do the heli-coil anyhow. This is my first attempt but it doesn't seem too hard.
2. Clean thoroughly and apply JB weld to the crack.
3. Pray
4. If praying fails, drink.

Opinions and recommendations please?

Thanks!
 

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must be plenty of TIG welders in your area - that is how i would go about it, then fit a helicoil (and visually check the 16 others whilst you are at it, just to be sure)) then a reinz sump gasket -
 

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I have an extra pan set. I bought it off a guy who was going to send it to the scrap pile because no one wanted it. It is supposed to fit a 2000, but frankly I have never unpacked it. If you like, I can unpack it and look it over for condition and year it does fit. I have no idea if a 1750 and 2000 share the same oil pan, but someone on the BB will know. This is another option if it will fit your engine and it is in good condition. I will sell it reasonably.

Robert Hill in Memphis, Tn
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, but this is the upper pan that's cracked. It's still on the car. Getting it to a TIG welder would require a tow truck since there's no oil in the engine. Since the upper pan is only cracked around the one bolt hole, I'm hoping it's not too serious. I think - that with the stripped bolt, most of the leak was coming from the gap between the gasket and the pan. I have a replacement lower pan and it's fine.

VF31rhill - if pulling the engine and changing out the upper pan is the only option, I think I'll take you up on your kind offer. For right now, please don't go through that much trouble.

So, is JB Weld even worth a try given the expense and impracticality (for now ) of getting it TIG welded?
 

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I would use something flexible on the outside of the pan after you helicoil it. Aluminum expands at a different rate than steel so I have no idea if JB weld is going to just fall off. I'd use a good black silicone after cleaning the crap out of it.
 

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JB is just a sort of epoxy and in a crack like this how are you going to get the traces of oil out of it (and there will be oil in there somewhere!) JB wont stick to oil terribly well - but maybe a cheaper solution and worth a try.

eventually the crack will spread, but you might get afew years dry out of it.

I wonder if the welding can be done upside down under a lift:) - if so that is the way I would go - but a professional welder (maybe a mobile welding service?) will know if this is even remotely possible. Normally they like to work on a bench as it is pretty precise work involved.
 

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Any quality Alfa repair shop can replace the upper pan in the car. It happens more often than you'd think. (hard hits to the lower pan usually crack the upper pan) Anyway, call around and see what they'd charge you. Tow it there. I sold my shop many years ago, but we did this repair regularly. Not a big deal.
 

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Any quality Alfa repair shop can replace the upper pan in the car. It happens more often than you'd think. (hard hits to the lower pan usually crack the upper pan) Anyway, call around and see what they'd charge you. Tow it there. I sold my shop many years ago, but we did this repair regularly. Not a big deal.
just curious, but were you able to do the weld repairs ON the car, working under a ramp, or would you only do such work on an engine OUT of the car? (I always have visions of molten weld dropping down, burning the bezeezers out of you):(
 

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We'd weld them off the car, or swap it out with a good used one. I guess my point was the upper pan can be removed and reinstalled without pulling the motor. Its not a bad job with experience and a lift.
 

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On my recent motor rebuild I took the upper pan off while on the car difficulty comes from the bolts behind the motor mounts but you can do it. This was with the front of the car on ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys. You've convinced me that I need to fix this right and not do wistful thinking with JB Weld et al.

The car is going to Shadetree Enginetrix for a new clutch next week anyhow, and now obviously, for an upper pan repair or replacement too.

It'd be foolish not to do it right when the car is going to be there.

Appreciate the advice
 
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