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Had the oil filter housing off to replace engine mounts, and noticed this. I didn't see them at first, but when I happened to look at the inside of the filter housing under a magnifying lamp, I notices these.

They seem to be very fine aluminum particles. A magnet does not attract them. Haven't seen them anywhere else (like underside of the cam cover.)

I don't want to think about what it COULD be. Any thoughts ?
Funny thing is, I did not think any of the wear surfaces in the engine (bearings, rings, etc.) would be aluminum, but would be steel or some hard ferrous alloy.

What does it mean ?

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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Ya, could be residue from the timing chain slapping the cam cover. (you wouldn't see residue on or near it, but you would notice a pretty distinct set of grooves worn into it)

The bearings are 'white metal' shells with copper and another light colored metal coated onto them. Definitely not steel.

Other aluminum bits that can get a bit of wear:

Pistons
Connecting rods
Inner cam cover
Timing chest (if the chain is really sloppy or the intermediate timing gear can walk in it's bushings)
Waterpump in the vicinity of the tach drive
Cam journals

Any or all can give off a bit of residue under different circumstances.
 

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There are companies that do engine oil analysis, and will tell you what's in your oil. You just mail them a small vial of oil. Do a Google search, and I'm sure you'll hit on a few. Not very expensive, IIRC.
 

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A friend of mine, who is a helicopter mechanic, says that on bits like that there is no need to worry until they are big enough to be able to see the parts number.:p:p
 

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There are companies that do engine oil analysis, and will tell you what's in your oil. You just mail them a small vial of oil. Do a Google search, and I'm sure you'll hit on a few. Not very expensive, IIRC.
Ingersoll Rand (Air Compressor Company) has a lab out in California that does those types of analysis.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, as soon as I read Bianchi and Tifosi's post, I knew that I should have known that ! :D I even remember reading it Pat Braden's book..!

I went right out to the car, and, sure enough, there is the trace mark on the underside of the cam cover...see below.
I have nearly 1/2 inch of free play inthe chain as opposed to the 1/16 - 1/8 Braden recommends.

Note my eagerness to settle on this explanation.
From my flying days, I remember they used to use the kind of oil analysis mentioned above for metal content to determine when an aircraft's engine needed an overhaul ( $$$$).

Thanks to all for putting me onto this.....

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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From my flying days, I remember they used to use the kind of oil analysis mentioned above for metal content to determine when an aircraft's engine needed an overhaul ( $$$$).


Jeff
On the air compressors, that analysis is used to determine when the oil should be changed, if there is a coolant leakage, etc... Amazing what they can find and determine from used oil.
 
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