Finished the 166
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Zealand
uhhh hang ona minute...
need some more data.
1) Is it auto or selespeed or manual ?
2) by describing 'driver's side' does not explain much - is the oil dripping on the driver's side, or is it actually visible when you take wheel + shield off on the driver's side while the car is jacked up ?
3) In post 2, you describe 'seal or bearing where driveshaft goes into gearbox' - now, this is true, as FF Alfas do indeed have a pair of shafts out the box to the wheels - but these are encapsulated within a pair of rubber boots, which in turn are filled with grease, so as to protect and lubricate.
These can break, and are designed to do so over a very long period of time, more or less 15 years.
In 156's and 147's, this is a generic part i.e. any supplier of Alfa bits will have them in stock. There is (and correct me) no difference between the two.
As the engine and box run up, the grease gets hot and very fluid. As it cools, it of course congeals. Can you confirm that the 'oil' on your drive conforms with grease when cool ? Or is it really oil ?
Trans oil is also very very thick, typically with a 70W rating (for reference, ordinary oil is a 15 to 20W rating, making it very flowing), so it will be thicker than car oil, but not a grease at room temperature.
Another clue is colour - the grease inevitably picks up accumulated dirt, nanoparticles of carbon from chemical reactions with the inner lining of the boot. as well as carbonation from continuous heat-cold cycles, and also just plain chemical changes over time. The oil in a gearbox is considerably less stressed, no matter what kind of gearbox it is.
If the 'oil' is black in colour, then it isn't oil, it is grease, and that implies a broken boot. This is a painless operation to replace : remove broken boot, diconnect driveshaft (the three nuts) and slide boot off shaft. Buy new boot. Fill with moly grease (well not completely!). Reconnect shaft with boot slid back. Slide booth forward. use plastic ties when boot in place. Reassemble. Drive. The end
If the 'oil' is golden in colour, then it is a leetle more serious - this implies that seals between engine and gearbox (on the passenger side) have gone. BUT - and this a is a big, rounded, full bodied and Rubenesque but(t) - several things preclude this conclusion. more on that later....the most likely culprit is the so-called cigarette seals (which are so named because they look like the filter ends of a cigarette) which act as pressure seals between flywheel compartment and the input shaft of the 'box. There is in additional annular gasket between clutch/torque converter and box areas, but to crack this takes real talent, and besides which I have only ever heard of this being savaged after rallying an Alfa in rubble at the bottom of a quarry and after doing Knight-Rider style stunts without modifying the car etc. etc., and even then the gearbox still worked - and wasn;t spewing oil !
Clue that its the boot being a bit tired was the mention of 'driver's side' which is the source of my 'But'. FF Alfa gearboxes, from the 164 onwards, are (for a RHD machine, anyway) on the passenger side, not the driver's, and this goes for all FF Alfa's. It is therefore extremely unlikely for an 'oil leak' to be visible on the passenger side under any circumstances, at least as far as I can tell.
Please enclose photos, and please feel free to correct me...its a good day when I am even half right !