Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I park my clean, low miles 87 Grad for the winter after its last drive in early November. Fast forward - two and a half months of quietly sleeping under a cover in my garage and we finally had a day of warm weather today. I took a half day from work, came home, uncovered her, checked the oil and tire pressure, installed the new oil vapor separator and decided to look under the car. Nothing like a big pool of green anti-freeze. Poked around with a flashlight and it looks like it is coming from the water pump and running down the side of the block. Drip, drip, drip. The radiator is full and the overflow tank is perfect. I never even started the car! So it runs perfectly in 2010, sits for the winter, and starts to leak on its own? Is that even possible? p.s. I had a friend with an MG who said it was the only car he ever owned that broke while sitting in his garage. I didn't really want to join his club. On the other hand, trying to remain positive, it didn't leave me stranded on the side of the road somewhere.
 

·
Registered
what part?
Joined
·
9,988 Posts
do a pressure check on the coolent system.. if there is a leak, you will find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Hey enzobindo - we feel your pain. There's no real logic here. At the worst, your water pump is 24 years old, and it's due for a change. A sitting car is seldom a good thing - even in winter, it's good to start it up and get parts resealed/lubricated. Even if you did that, an old car is really like having your finger in the dyke (don't get dirty on me now). But once you get a few holes patched up, and get all the usual suspects rounded up, your car will be "sorted".

Good news is that a new water pump is about $80. Just read the threads here on how to replace - it's actually not that bad assuming you follow the instructions. And I will bet a dollar someone chimes in here with how fast they can replace one - it's par for the course. Give yourself a nice warm spring day - set the radio up to a classic rock station, get all your parts together, and have fun.

There also is the possibility that it seals itself. Don't buy any product that claims it will fix a water pump.

Anyway - you are probably well aware of all of this. But I do sympathize with you. I'm of the camp that a good, clean Spider is a reliable piece of Italian design and engineering in the right hands.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,753 Posts
While your in there

On the bright side, while your changing out the pump, great time to replace that lower rad hose that is such a PIA to get at but so much easier while everything is out:D

It's all good...........

Vin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Has the antifreeze been tested recently? I would be afraid that it froze mid-winter and cracked the block. If it is the water pump, it could just be odd timing. Maybe it was starting to fail but wasn't noticed until it was sitting long enough. Who knows.
 

·
Registered
what part?
Joined
·
9,988 Posts
from what i heard on the news,, you got very cold, a few weeks ago..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
Might just be the cold weather and the seals shrinking enough to let any water under pressure pass. Start her up and see if it leaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the ideas, although Spencer you scared me half to death when you made me think about the block. It has been sitting for 10 or so weeks, but we have had ground cover snow - several feet of it - since Christmas. I've never seen a winter like this in northern NJ before, and with all the salt on the roads, I really did not have a chance to move it around and keep the seals, etc fresh. Replaced the lower hose in June 09 when the radiator went and the anti-freeze at the same time. Started it this a.m. and it is coming from the pump. My garage floor has a nice green sheen to it now. It was supposed to go to Sal's in Boonton this Spring to replace the rear bushings, so I had it flat-bedded there today and he'll do them both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Unrelated but similiar. Took the 88 Quad out of winter storage first warm day after weeks of extreme cold weather. Cranked and ran fine. Fillled the tank and drove it to work. Parked it at work for my 12 hour shift, only to discover very large puddle of raw gasoline under rear of the car. Drove it home and put it on jackstands. Raw gasoline was oozing out of the flexable fuel line connecting the tank hard line to the fuel pump. A lot of it. Literally weeping through the hose body. Reason (other than being 23 years old) - who knows. The replacement fuel lines and new filter arrived from IAP yesterday; now awaiting my next day off to replace everything leading to and from the fuel pump and filter. Breaks of the game I suppose.

Good Luck, Robert Hill in Memphis TN

1959 red Giulietta Spider Veloce
1988 black Spider Veloce
1988 red Spider Quad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Robert - I also had fun with gasoline a couple of years ago. No leaks in the garage but smelled gas when in my (inclined) driveway. Checked the car when level in the street as I wanted to get it away from my house, and voila - no leak. Eventually figured out that it was leaking from the front seam of the tank, and when pointed downhill with enough gas, it leaked. Level with under a half tank = no leak. That one was fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
<<There also is the possibility that it seals itself. Don't buy any product that claims it will fix a water pump. >>

I know that this is common wisdom, but kinda like common sense not all that common. I was driving my old Alfetta from Houston to a show in Arkansas when I noticed the WP leaking from the weep hole while doing a quick once around during a gas stop. If I had to relace the pump I had nothing to lose so I put is a stop leak product from the gas stop store. Stopped the leak and the pump lasted 2 more years before I had to replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
While stop leak is great for situations such as you described (on a road trip) I would be cautious as to when I used it/how long I delender on it. It's really just pitting a "band-aid" on the leak, and you never know what other, possibly important holes in the cooling system it may plug up.

Man, I am really coming off very pessimistic in this thread aren't I? Sorry for that! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,486 Posts
Even in a dire situation, Id rather take my chances with pouring DI water in that Bars stop leak. That stuff will crud up your innards. Either way, doesnt loo like that is the situation here. Good luck.

Oh, ifn you have to take it apart, and hate to get the crank nut off, you can double nut the water pump studs (2-3 of them not all)..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
Don't know if what I used was Bars Leak, prob some other brand or type of leak sealant . . . whatever did work for me. If I were not on a road trip would havecertainly had the pump replaced ASAP. We do see a lot of anecdotal evidence here for numerous Alfa frailties.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,132 Posts
I was driving my old Alfetta from Houston to a show in Arkansas when I noticed the WP leaking from the weep hole while doing a quick once around during a gas stop. If I had to relace the pump I had nothing to lose so I put is a stop leak product from the gas stop store.
I agree with SFaikel: when you're on the road, and can't readily change the pump, try Alumaseal, try Barrs, try oatmeal, pepper, whatever. But, my sense is that these sealants are not intended to work on rotating seals (which is what typically fails on a waterpump once the bearings wear enough to become sloppy).

Those sealants are intended for static seams, like cracks in the block. leaking headgaskets, etc. They work when the stuff oozes out and dries on contact with the air - not to be gross, but kind of like the clotting factors in your blood that form a scab when exposed to air.

Stopped the leak and the pump lasted 2 more years before I had to replace it.
Well, I can't deny that's what actually happened. But, I wouldn't count on any sort of "canned leak stop" working for very long on a rotating seal.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,543 Posts
While your under there replacing the fuel pump lines might as well replace the return line. I had replaced the fuel pump lines and a week later started smelling gas and sure enough the return line was weeping so another trip under the car.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top