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Hi, I have been restoring a Alfa Spider 1750 kamm tail dated 1971. i am a beginner and have already had a lot of good advice from the forum.

My next problem is that it seems that I over filled the oil and have blown the valve stem seals because I have lots of blue smoke at ideal and oil around the plugs. The head gasket is great. The question is can I get at the valve stem seal from the top of the engine or do I need to lift the engine out again and to do this job do I need any specail tools?

Guy
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You won't blow the valve stem seals by overfilling the engine. These seals are there to stop excessive amounts of oil being drawn through the valve guide and into the combustion chamber. For this reason, there are no stem seals on the exhaust side (there's no suction). The oil in the head is the same amount whether the sump is full or empty so you can't have damaged the seals by doing this.

Can I assume that you've let some oil out of the engine so that the level is now correct. If not, do this now (a few mm over the "max" level won't do any harm). Overfilling can cause excessive blue smoke so sort this out first.

Oil in the plug holes will be down to a leaking cam cover gasket (or heroically poor oil pouring technique when filling). The cam cover gasket is easy, six bolts on the top and two little ones on the front end of the cam cover and the whole thing comes off. Clean all the surfaces and mop as much oil out from round the plugs before removing them. You'll get a load of oil on the plugs so give them a damned good wash with carb cleaner before you put them back in. When you put the cam cover back on with a new gasket, note that there are four fibre washers and two ally ones. The ally ones go on the back two bolts.

The valve stem seals are generally speaking not accessible with the head on the engine. There are ways of getting them out with the valves in place but you need special tools and a fair bit of luck/mechanical aptitude. The head's fairly easy to remove IF IT WANTS TO COME OFF but if it doesn't...

Final thought, what oil did you overfill it with? Modern oils are no good for these cars, you need something thick and old like a 20w/50. Millers CSS and Valvoline VR1 20w/50 work well in these things as well as Halford Classic 20/50 (green oil like old Duckhams).

Modern thin oils will go through a twincam like sh*t through a goose and may be the cause of your blue smoke.
 
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