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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Cam cover gaskets, exhausts and oil leaks..UPDATE!!

Hi everyone,

Can you tighten up the bolts on the cam cover or if it leaks does it require a new gasket?? As a newbie to the Alfa world I can't wait to get my car back from the body shop to get on with the mechanics. The car sounds like the exhaust is blowing and it seems to be leaking oil from the top of the engine and maybe even the bottom as when I drove it back home the car stank of hot oil from the exhaust. I've noticed that the exhaust manifolds are at the top of the engine just below the cam cover gasket that may probably explain the oil smell.

It drove back great and It seems that these engines are pretty strong but I understand history is paramount of which mine is patchy.

Can't wait to get her on the road any similar issues and stories and solutions would be gratefully received.


Thanks again Chaps

jamie
 

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Jamie, I know oil leaks are a pain, but if they are not that drastic, don't be too concerned. However, new gaskets might help in certain cases, if they are more than you can bear. Some time past, when I was not that well briefed, (not now really!) remember what my good friend BWE said, "Show me an Italian Twin Cam That doesn't leak a bit." Not sure about other power plants, never been able to afford those wonderful V sixes. Yet!!!
 

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One of my cars needs the cam cover off every 10k to adjust the valves so the gasket is quite old & knackered (i.e. the cover's been off 8 times without changing the gasket).
I use Hermetite Red gasket jointing compound and apply it to the face of the head, not the slotted part of the cam cover and it seems to do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply's,

I guess that it may just be one of those things with the sealant should I take the cover off and put it over the gasket or just smudge over the seal on the outside of the cover?

Cheers again guys
 

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You'll have to take the cover off I'm afraid.
 

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When you put the cover back on, tighten it up using a torque wrench otherwise you could strip the threads and that's not good (trust me I know :rolleyes: ;) )
 

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If you are going to use gasket "gunk" then I would do it this way which would allow easier separation later on and should stop the actual gasket from being ripped apart on removal.

1) place gasket on engine block and apply a thin layer of oil to the gasket where the cover will touch.

2) clean the mating surface of the cover.

3) Apply some instant gasket to the cover mating surface then fit.

This will allow for any compression on the gasket to be filled and with the oil in place will allow for easy separation when needed. + you get a good high of instant gasket....NOT. Stinks of strong vinegar !
 

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Good tips, nice of you all to help him out! Acetic Acid, Vinegar? Cripes,I sound like the English Master, who corrects our grammar.Mind you, that is also very useful with the minimalistic education I had!! All good fun. (note how I typed 'that is' rather than that's!) Nah! Sal 2 diffi! S'lang as'yer unerstan, wot i's on baht. Jokey's!!!
 

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I've noticed that someone has used a silicone based sealer around the cams on my car- maybe the same technique? It's held together well over time.
The Hermetite Red is also excellent as it never sets. :)
I agree about the gasket "gunk". A total PITA to clean off.:rant:
 

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I would say avoid RTV sealant in this area, I've seen several cars where bits of the rubber were breaking off and if they did and then blocked an oilway!!! Don't be cheap, treat it to a new gasket as the rubber of the old one may well have gone hard and brittle.
 

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There you are Jamie, weekend sorted by the guy's. No personal experience, but heard also that bits of silicone sealant have been known to obstruct oilways, when bits got there by accident. New gaskets maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah thanks guys,

I will deffinately go for a new gasket and get some top quality sealant probably Hermetite Red and then take the plunge. Hopefully it will all go smoothly, atleast the engine on this is in the front as apposed to my old MGF where it was a nightmare to access from the back window/parcel shelf.

Jamie
 

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Sealant is not necessary as the new gasket will have sufficient compliance and a double ridge, if you really want a belt and braces approach a very thin smear of grease is all you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just got my spider back from the bodyshop (in the dark) took the car out for a nice long spin. Got to the drive way and its decided to dump a nice big puddle of oil all over the drive. Going to have to have a look in the morning but there seems to be loads there. MOT due on the 28th so the Mastercard will probably take a bit of hammering. Could smell the oil when driving but assumed it was something else as the exhaust is blowing as well.

Lets see how much this will all cost???

Jamie
 

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Just a word of warning after you replace the rocker seal - dont overtighten any of the ribe bolts when fixing back the cover.
The cover is very delicate (assuming that with your '97 spider its an alloy rocker cover.) and the corners can break off easily - I know this from experience :eek:

The best way to do it is fit the new seal and tighten the ribes evenly up by hand, or using very little pressure with a ratchet drive. Drive it for a while and if its still leaking then tighten the ribes a small bit more. This cover does not need to be tight.
Overtightening is not good for the seal, the alloy threads or the rocker cover. The torque setting is only 9Nm.
 
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