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Discussion Starter #1
After driving home from work yesterday and pulling into the garage I noticed some oil dripping from the passenger wheel well. Since my 89 Graduate doesn’t leak normally from the back of the wheel well I decided to investigate further. Went inside to change my clothes and when I came back out into the garage there was oil dripping from everywhere on the passenger side of the engine. It was coming from the front of the wheel well, the back of the wheel well, the towing eyelet. Upon further investigation I notice a part was missing from the engine block (heart skipped a few beats). The problem I have is that I don’t know what the part is, what it does, or what connects to it.

Passenger side, below the distributor there is supposed to be a part here but I only saw a hole, not broken but a part missing. It looks as if it is a rectangle shape, which mates to the block, and has 2 screws that attaches it to the block and is above the oil pan (almost looks as if it rests on the sump. I can’t tell if anything else connects to it, it’s just as if it fell off and took everything with it.

I went looking through various catalogs and my Alfa factory workshop manual and still couldn’t find a picture. Any help is appreciated and I’ll try to get a pic and post it later tonight.
 

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Block-off Plate

Alfa Todd,

Sounds like your car was converted from SPICA to carbs. When that is done a block-off plate is used to cover/seal the oil supply from the engine to the SPICA pump. I never heard off one coming off but then again. IAP sells the plate serparately for about $30.00. Look in the section under Duel-Carb conversion.
 

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Except that an '89 Graduate should never have been Spica to begin with, so unless it's an earlier engine that was dropped in there in the past, I don't think that will be it. :)
 

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Farace said:
Except that an '89 Graduate should never have been Spica to begin with, so unless it's an earlier engine that was dropped in there in the past, I don't think that will be it. :)
It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the block still has the Spica mount cast on/in it though.

My 85' has it for sure but it was hidden behind the AC compressor mount.

I got lucky and didn't have to put a cover plate on mine when I removed forever the roached compressor and mount as apparently they didn't drill whatever holes in the middle nor the fixing bolt holes deep enough to get into any oil passages.
 

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My 85 has AC and the bracket not only bolts to the vertical rectangular shaped "hole" but also to the threaded hole in the oil pan. I'm not sure what type of plate yours would have had.
 

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The oil leak is obviously a problem but I wonder if you are looking for something that ain't supposed to be there?!?

Our '84 Spider had A/C (but the PO removed it all). There is a rectangular section cast into the block as in your photos but there is no cover over it nor does any oil leak from that area. I believe that originally the A/C mount bracket would have bolted on there. And on earlier models the SPICA fuel injection would have bolted on there.

Here's a picture I just snapped. The car has over 5,000 miles on it since I rebuilt it earlier this year. (The dark area in the bottom of the rectangular area is just a shadow.)

So, unless there is a major difference in the engine blocks from '84 to '89 (I doubt it) or your car has had a replacement block installed from an earlier (i.e. SPICA) model (and those blocks were open to the interior of the engine...? ), I don't believe you are missing a block-off plate. I suspect your oil leak is coming from another source. Could it be the oil vapor seperator or one of its hoses?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Eric,

I put the car up this morning, have the day off, to get a closer look. You are correct that it's just a mounting point for the A/C and that nothing fell off my car however I think I found the source of the leak.

When crawling under the car to clean off some of the caked on oil, so that I could verify the place where the oil was coming from, I looked at the crank pully and saw a crack in the crank. I can move the pully in and out indicating that (it's loose from the crank?) but between the pully and the engine it looks as if the crank is cracked.

I don't know much about Alfa's as this is my first however this just doesn't look right.
 

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You don't need a massive oil leak to get oil all over everything. A cup of oil will cover an amazing area. Second, when it occurs while driving, the fan and air will blow it all over the place, and make it almost impossible to find the source. Make sure your oil level is all the way to the full mark. Get some spray cans of "Gunk" degreaser, or get a gallon of "Simple Green" and a pump type garden sprayer. The Simple Green won't hurt the paint, I'm not sure about Gunk. Spray the engine compartment down thoroughly, and let it stand for 1/2 hour to soak in. Then rinse everything off with water. If there is still oil on the engine, repeat the process. Once everything is clean, start the engine and let it run until you find the source of the leak. Finding an oil leak on a filthy engine is almost impossible, unless it is a broken oil line that is squirting oil out.
 

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I think you put that last post up while I was typing the previous post. I'm sure that what you found is definately the source of your leak. I don't think it is a broken crank. That broken piece is where the front oil seal rides. Most new engines have the oil seal riding right against the crank, but as the seal runs it wears a little grove in the crank. When the seal starts leaking, if the groove is not fixed, a new seal won't seat. Most replacement seals come with a hardened wear ring that is a very tight fit on the end of the crankshaft for the seal's lip to ride on. It looks like the wear ring has cracked. You will need to remove the pulley, and the wear ring will likely fall right off. Then you remove the old seal, and replace the wear ring. Some wear rings are just sleeves made of sheet metal, and you put a coat of Permatex on the inside before you drive it on. Some are hardened steel like a bearing race. The way your's cracked, I think it is probably hardened steel. I'm not familier with Alfa's, just engines in general. If it is a hardened steel ring, there will probably be a special tool available to install it with. Someone with more Alfa specific knowledge than I have may jump in here and give you the "skinny" on the correct procedure for installing the ring. Then you install the new seal in the front of the engine over the wear ring and install your pulley. Also I've seen some engines, like the Izusu diesel where the wear ring is mounted on the pulley instead of the crankshaft, and then the pulley is torqued to the crankshaft with the seal installed to make the seal.
 

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It is hard to tell from your picture (it helps but still hard to know for sure) but you've obviuosly found something that ain't right.

I have heard about pulleys cracking next to the key way (a slot cut in the inner bore to align the pulley with the crankshaft. I doubt you've cracked the crank shaft itself, more likely the pulley's hub.

I don't know if the pulleys are available 'new' (I don't see them listed on IAP's web site), try calling Alfa Parts Exchange to see if they sell any good used ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Let me clarify a little bit.

The "wide" black line that is perpendicular, to the best of my limited knowledge, is an "O" ring.

The horizontal black line is a crack in something.

There is some play in the pully, I can move it in and out.

Sorry, I just don’t know that much about the bottom end on these cars…but I’m learning :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Right on Eric!!

Take a look a the pic below...however what would cause this to crack? Should I be looking for anything else before putting her all back together?

Thanks for everyones help it's really appreciated!!!
 

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Alfa_Todd said:
Should I be looking for anything else before putting her all back together?
I'd suggest a new key while you're doing this job. The key should be a snug fit in the key way of the pulley and the crankshaft. If it is loose the slight back & forth movement will stress the new (or used?) part.

I'm also assuming you're going to install a new oil seal.
 

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Looks like you've got the same problem I have. I pulled my engine(you already saw the pic of that) which had a lot of oil spread around the engine compartment. When I got the crank pulley off, I found a crack. I've read that this is relatively common but I don't know if there's anything that could keep it from happening again.

I contacted Alfa Parts Exchange a while ago and they called the pulley a "hot" item, ie. lots of people need one. I have since decided to rebuild the engine so I haven't been agressively looking for one. Good luck finding a replacement and if you happen to find 2, let me know. :)
 

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