Author Topic: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak  (Read 10103 times)

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Cool Jesus

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916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« on: August 13, 2012, 11:32:13 AM »
Hey troops, I'm slowly bringing the new acquisition up to speed and have come across what I now believe to be a gearbox oil leak. When I had it up on the hoist for the new exhaust, the crud under the engine made me initially believe it to be a rear engine seal gone bad. At the mechanic for the timing belts they were pointing me towards a leak in the power steering system. Over the weekend I drained the power steering and refilled with new oil and stop leak, whilst I change a CV boot on the same side. While I had the car up on jacks I degrease and water jetted the underside of the engine to get a better look at what fluid was leaking.

The oil is blue in colour and very thin. Itís accumulating on the bell housing (engine side). It may be emanating from within the bell housing? Wife has mentioned that the clutch pedal has stuck halfway on release (may have something to do with oil leak); most likely thatís a clutch/pressure plate replacement.

Anyhow, has anyone had to replace any gearbox seals on this series? Where are they? Is the gearbox oil blue?

I'll be checking levels tonight and I'll throw a photo on as well. Was too knackered over the weekend and forgot to do this.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

Gotta B Red

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 05:22:06 PM »
The clutch anomaly reported by the chief might be a big clue.Certainly a good place to start.
Does the collected oil sample match the stuff in the clutch resevoir .... if there's any left.
Cheers,
Andy

colcol

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 06:45:22 PM »
In the old days before OH&S, i would say have a bit on your finger and taste it, if its bitter, then its brake \ clutch fluid, if its oily and smells like gearbox oil, then its a gearbox leak, have a whiff of new gearbox oil and brake fluid, and trust your sense of smell, don't taste it, thats only for grizzled old veterans who should know better, the clutch playing up, looks like a slave cylinder leak, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Paul Gulliver

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 07:01:36 PM »
Colin,

So what do you have on your steak & chips every night . Engine oil or brake fluid :D

Gully
Paul Gulliver
Present
2013 Black Giulietta  QV
1979 Silver Alfa 116 GTV Twin Spark
1973 Red Alfa 105 2.0 GTV

Past
2006 Black 159 2.2 J
1970 Dutch Blue Series 2 1750
1975 Blue Alfetta Sedan 1.8
1981 Piper Yellow Alfetta GTV 2000
1985 Red Alfetta GTV 2.0
1989 White Alfa 164
2000 Red Alfa 156 Selespee

Gotta B Red

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 08:57:34 PM »
Whoa Guys,
I was only suggesting a look and maybe some touchy-feely stuff,  taste testing sounds a bit Cheech & Chong to me!
Nonetheless Gully I'd rather be eating at Chez Colin  .... steak'n'chips rule OK !

colcol

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 08:58:20 PM »
There are 2 types of slave cylinders on these to my knowledge, the early twin sparks had the slave cylinder mounted externally of the gearbox, which meant it was easyish to replace, the later JTS engined cars had the slave cylinder in the gearbox, means gearbox out for its replacement, no rebuilding nonesence here, get a new slave cylinder, they are not too pricey, if your brake fluid / clutch fluid level has gone down then this is the culprit, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

bix

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 09:51:27 PM »
Not sure if my TwinSpark is rated as "old" (MY2000), but the slave cylinder is also mounted internally and shares the brake fluid reservoir. I've just replaced it as part of a new clutch install. Locally Alfa want $250.00 for one, whereas one from EB cost less than $100 delivered. Some of the clutch kits come included with a new slave cylinder and is probably the most economical way to buy one should you need to change the clutch also.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 09:55:05 PM by bix »

Cool Jesus

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 09:58:06 PM »
Ok kids, before you go playing what's this mystery fluid taste testing I have solved my dilemma. I must say, it really pays big time to degrease and clean the engine bay in order to diagnose any leaks. I can't recommend it enough, so do your self a favour and clean it up first then find the little expert!, I mean that drip that was under pressure.

First photo shows the fluid drip at botom of bellhousing, the oilyness of it was transfered engine muck giving me a false sense that it was a fluid oil of sorts. Before the clean up I thought for sure I had a rear main seal gone it was so black and oily. It had no smell and best I could guess was that it was gearbox oil of some sort. I even used tissue paper to see how it transfered off, although I didn't have the patience to see if it evaporated. Anyhow, having given the lower half of the engine a good belt with degreaser and waterjet the day before it was easy enough to trace the leak back up to the thermostat housing. Thank God for small miracles is all I have to say...

As you can see it isnt brake/clutch fluid coloured and I could have sworn the coolant was green, nope I open the resorvoir and it was blue, the yellowing of the tank gave it a green look from the exterior and old crystalised leaks around some pipes were from green coolant so they too gave me a false belief of the actual coolant colour.

Anyhow, the nuts are very tight, so I may aswell renew the thermostat and gasket this weekend, if it has gasket. From initial inspection it doesnt seem to use one, perhaps its incorporated on the thermostat ???

My Spider has the clutch slave on the exterior. I think the sticking clutch will reveal itself in due course and involve a clutch kit. Looking forward to that job like a hole in the head.

The clean up has also revealed a power stearing leak near the rack and pinion bango joints. gave them a clean tonight, see what tomorrow reveals. Doesn't look too accessable in there, manual indicates its complete removal, arghhh. I'm hoping the Lucas stop leak may start to work.

Thanks for the input everyone. Its good to get feedback, and read the banter between members. I'm for steak 'n' chips any day over gaskets and brake fluid :-\
Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

Cool Jesus

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 10:04:17 PM »
and photos?
Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

Cool Jesus

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 11:05:45 PM »
Found the gasket answer. Looks like they use an o-ring.
Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

colcol

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 09:35:55 PM »
If it is a Banjo joint leak, then fix the leak, it will be a aluminium washer or o ring, easily fixed, try not to use power steering leak fixer, all it does is swell the seals, leading to early failure, while you have the thermostat out, check to see if its opening at the right temperature, if its more than 2 years old, it will most likely need replacing, the o ring can leak, it can also leak around where the plastic hose pipe is pressed into the alloy housing, try bleeding the clutch slave cylinder, before replacing the clutch, it may just have air in it, you should bleed the clutch everytime you bleed the brake system, that is 3 years, or when the brake fluid has absorbed too much moisture, shocking habit of mine to keep tasting drips on garage floors or in cars, to pin point leaks, all you kids at home, don't do what uncle Col does, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Cool Jesus

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 10:42:48 PM »
Shall do Uncle Col.

Have already added the stop leak into the power steer. Should I flush it out?

I'm looking at just replacing the thermostat. For $15 its not worth wondering if its OK, even though there's no temperature issues noticed. More for piece of mind, as i have no service records or receipts. The hoses have been man handled around the thermo housing (non OEM hose clamps). Service book soon to be obtained now.

Also looking at flushing coolant system whilst Im there with Red long life. I've never come across blue coolant, even my 2010 159 came with Red, so with no service references I'm assuming its time for a flush anyway. Does anybody know of the blue coolant? I think I read somewhere that the parafin blue was replced with parafin red ... is this correct?

Should probably flush the brake/clutch hydraulics too?
Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

colcol

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 09:44:32 PM »
If you have just a banjo joint leaking, just fix that, yes i would do a power steering drain, otherwise your seals will swell up, there was a post on 156 power steering fluid change, about 3 months ago, quite a worthwhile and straight forward job, $15 for a thermostat?, no these days the thermostat is part of the housing, and is not replaceable on its own, try $90-$160, depending on Genuine \ Non Genuine \ temperature gauge installed \ not installed, quite a straight forward job, remove flexiable duct on air cleaner assembly for better access, and the original Alfa hose clamps have to be 'mongrelled' off, just replace with good stainless steel tridon clamps from Repco best to use the RED coolant, i use Nulon long life that has anti fungal growth in it for long life, i have used the 'blue' coolant in the 33, if i remember it was LOCTITE brand, don't use Nulon 'green' coolant, i did and it rusted up, but the Nulon 'green' is recomended for motorsport applications, as it contains no Glycol, which makes race tracks nice and slippery, when it leaks out, Parafin is what the English call Kerosene, the make of coolant as recomended by Alfa Romeo is PARAFLU, according to the sticker on my coolant tank, it can be obtained in Australia from Alfa Romeo dealers, after market Alfa spare parts places and the U.K. at places like E.B. spares, but freight is quite expensive due to the restrictions on fluid transfer laws, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]

Cool Jesus

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 09:53:27 AM »
Thanks Col, I had my doubts about the thermostat so I didn't get the $15 item. The positioning of the hoses indicated the thermostat was built into the housing. It seems to be working fine so I'll just reseal the mating surfaces.

Shall also drain the power steer when I renew the copper washers over the next day or so. I'll see if I can't find that thread you mentioned.

Paraffin. Paraflu. I was close !!!  By the way, what's kerosene taste like?

Present:
* '76 Alfetta GTAm 2.0 (project)
* '89 164 3.0 (track project)
* '98 Spider 2.0 TS (on road)
* '03 147 2.0 TS (on road)
===================
Past:
* '10 159 2.2 JTS

colcol

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Re: 916 Spider/GTV gearbox oil leak
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 08:17:25 PM »
If the thermostat is leaking where it bolts onto the head, just get a new o ring, and torque the bolts up accurately, if you can't find the thread for the subject, just take the hose off on the lowest point on the power steering , at the front on the right hand side and let it drain, the hoses are clamped on by single use only hose clamps, so you will have to butcher the old ones off and get replacements, best are stainless steel Tridons at Repco, Kerosene tastes just like Parafin, but there is different types, blue kerosene is a bit more tart than clear kerosene, but you only get what you pay for, Colin.
1974 VW Passat [ist car] 1984 Alfa 33TI [daily driver] 2002 Alfa 156 JTS [daily driver]