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It was the last step in a 2L engine rebuild that so far has gone well ... and then I did it. Despite all the warnings on this BB, I managed to drop the master-link "fish." It is somewhere down in the engine's innards. (And, yes, I had a towel under the chain when it went down.)

I flipped the engine over (it's on an engine stand), expecting gravity to do its thing. Nothing.

I wriggled the upper timing chain around and flipped the engine over again. Nothing. I messed with the chain while it was upside down. More nothing.

I got a strong light and I peered into it. Nowhere to be seen.

I got the trusty magnet on a telescoping wand and fished for the fish. the magnet stuck on the chains and everything else ferrous down there. But it did not come up with the little "fish."

Here's the question: I guess that pulling the oil pan is next, then the front cover if that doesn't do it. But before I do that, is there some other trick I haven't thought of?

This project is resurrection of a 1988 Spider that by all rights should have been a parts car. I bought it for $450 and promised my wife it would take no more than $2,500 to get it onto the road. I'm now $400 over that budget. But it now has a potentially great engine (if I find that fish and can finish it). It has refurbished brake calipers and new pads. There is a roll bar ready to be installed. I just got delivery on a a nice fuel cell to replace the tar-filled gas tank (this car sat for several years). It still needs seats, new gas lines and -- later -- a paint job.

Until tonight It has all been fun.
 

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I did the same thing of my 84 spider. Took me 3 hours to fish it out. I used a piece of a fridge magnet. wrapped the magnet with a bread twist wire onto a piece of coat hanger. It was wedged by the oil pump gear. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Chizel. Nice to hear that it is possible to fish it out without tearing stuff back off the engine. I'll take a deep breath and go back at it with the magnet.
 

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Whatever you do, take your time and find it. Your time is free and won't contribute to the larger deficit you have at this time. If you get frustrated, walk away and re-attack the next day or time you have to work on it. Good luck.
 

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I know it has to be found, so I'll keep at it until it is retrieved. Right now I'm still pretty mad at myself, but soon enough I'll settle down enough to get a tight focus on it. I'm beating myself up, because there have been so many warnings about this ... and I had taken such care on the assembly process to that point.

Ah, we learn, we learn ... sometimes the hard way!
 

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I did the same thing of my 84 spider. Took me 3 hours to fish it out.
And how long would it have taken to just unbolt the oil pan, extract the piece, and reinstall the oil pan? I'm going to guess 30 minutes if you do everything carefully.

In the future, you could install the chain and time the cams before installing the pan - that way, if there's an accident, it's easy to remedy.
 

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With a piece this small, there is no guarantee that it made it all the way down to the sump.
I too dropped a bit down the front of the Duetto the last time...a cam adjusting bolt.
Lots of time with a flashlight and a mirror on a long stalk convinced me it wasn't hiding higher up. Then the long wand with a magnet.
Got it !!
 

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It was the last step......that so far has gone well ... and then I did it
Oh, how many times have I said the same thing in my short relationship with Alfa's! :D

Good Luck.

Vin
 

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Good advice!

And how long would it have taken to just unbolt the oil pan, extract the piece, and reinstall the oil pan? I'm going to guess 30 minutes if you do everything carefully.

In the future, you could install the chain and time the cams before installing the pan - that way, if there's an accident, it's easy to remedy.
I did do it carefully, and it took longer than 30 minutes -- but this was a good prompting. I already knew I'd likely have to drop the pan. However, a guy really hates to undo work -- especially when it could mean ordering a new gasket. I lucked out on the gasket. It stayed in decent shape after the pan came off ... and there it was, way down in the bottom of the engine -- the little wayward "fish."

I left the pan off until everything on the head was finished. In fact, I noticed that anything dropped into the oil filler hole would go into the same maze, so I found the cap and put that on before buttoning the engine up.

Whew. Feels good to have it this far.

Thanks, Alfajay, for providing the nudge I needed. I could have fished for the tiny part for hours more with my little mirror and magnet, and I would never have retrieved it.

The three photos below show the wayward "fish" just as it was found, the engine as it sat last night when I came into the house, and the grimy engine as it was just before coming out of the car.

Nice improvement, I think. The cam cover has been cleaned up and shines, but it is not yet truly polished. That project will wait until after the car is back on the road.
 

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Wow! Am I the only one that likes the way that engine shines! Can I send mine over to be cleaned? BTW, the before picture of the engine with grim looks pretty good to me!
Glad you found the missing link!
 
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