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And now for the engine...

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by napa 1, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    About a year ago, I backed RAZ (as the kids call it) into the garage turned off the ignition, disconnected the battery and tore the car apart. I have not so much as started it during that time. When I last drove it, it would start with some starter spray and playing with the choke and eventually would settle down and idle without conking out. Once it was running it purred fairly well. I drove it only a couple of times as it was leaving a nice little trail of oil, that one could follow to see where I'd been. (I kept oil topped up and oil pan seal and drain plug checked out OK). A local European - no Alpine experience - mechanic suggested a bad crankshaft seal, and that this was a major operation. With the interior done and the electrical all working, I'm about to take it to a local british mechanic (works a lot on older TRs and MGs) for inspection and testing to see what I'm up against. Has anyone any advice for me as I begin this process.:eek:
  2. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    There really is not a crank seal in the thing. The front of the engine has an oil slinger and a rubber ring that sort of seals agains the timing cover and lower pulley. The rear of the engine the crank has a screw gizmo that is supose to sling the oil back in the pan. If the leak is at the rear it is most likely the cork gasket on the rear of the oil pan but could be the corners of the rear main cap. If it is really leaking is most likely the cork gasket on the rear main cap. These are not easy to install and if the pan is over tightened or it was installed with sealer they tend to squeeze out and leak like a rusty bucket.

    Ther is a modification for the timing cover that allows for running a modern seal that works well.

    Actually sealing one of these up so it does not leak or at least not much is sort of fun in a sick way. It can be done and it can be done with the engine in the car if you are really affected. I typically only use the factory pan gasket the rest I use the black gasket stuff.
  3. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    You write that you could follow the car by the oil trail. With that much oil, the source(s) should be more apparent. Take it to the car wash, jack it up and blast the engine and tranny clean. Drive it a few miles and inspect for drips on the engine AND tranny. (A lot of oil sometimes means a bad rear tranny seal and/or bushing)
  4. ceecpa

    ceecpa Donation Time

    Timing cover modification

    Where can I find info regarding the modification?

    Chuck Edwards
  5. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    I should have mentioned that it only dripped oil when the car was running and driving, and not so much when it sat idling. Also when not running, while it sat in the garage over the last year, it may have leaked only a tablespoon of oil, if that.
  6. Alan F

    Alan F Platinum Level Sponsor

    I had an issue with an old Triumph a few years back where it would leak when driven, but not at idle. I could never see it leak. This dcrove me nuts until my brother suggested that the crank case ventilation might not be working properly.

    It was a later model TR4A where a PCV valve had been added so there was not a road tube. It turned out it was not working properly and while driven, it would leak oil everywhere. We put in a different PCV system and it didn't leak a drop.

    If you have a road tube, maybe something crawled in and died (plugging it up) while the car was sitting. If it has PCV valve, it might be stuck.

    Good luck.

  7. dmich2

    dmich2 Diamond Level Sponsor

    Just a long shot, but you're sure it's not the rear or tranny..?

  8. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    I am looking. There are two versions of how to do this the easy way was written up by Coolcat if I recall. Will see if I can find a copy of it.

    Cool you got a copy? can I use it?
  9. Paul A

    Paul A Alpine Registry Curator Platinum Level Sponsor

    I've got a copy of the seal adaptation that I can send you via email. Contact me offline at
    palmjeld@mitchelltelecom.net and I will attach it to an email to you.
  10. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    I supose this should go in the modified section but..


    How Cool did it!
    I found that a balancer seal from a small block Chevy is a near perfect fit to the Alpine and a balancer repair kit with a sleeve will work. If I cut out the seal mounting area of an aftermarket dress-up timing cover for a small block Chevy I could mount it in the Alpine timing cover and avoid machining. This is how I did it.
    1. Using a saber saw with a fine hacksaw blade, cut out the seal mounting area from the cover. Leave as much of the flat area around it as possible.
    2. Place the balancer on your workbench, hub side up.
    3. Place the Alpine timing cover over the balancer in its normal operating position (see drawing).
    4. Place a block of wood under the cover to make it level and stable on the workbench.
    5. Place the sleeve from the kit over the hub of the balancer.
    6. Install the new oil seal 1/2 way in the cutout oil seal mount (1/2 way as we need to remove it later).
    7. Place the mount with the seal over the sleeve inside the timing cover with the bulge side down.
    8. Locate the notch or file the mount area where the center bolt attaches. Take off no more than necessary to clear mounting stud.
    9. Place 1/2" wood spacers under the mounting flange (bulge side down) on two sides.
    10. Drill a 1/8" hole through the mount flange, spacer and timing cover on two sides. (This locates the seal center, so drill as vertical as possible. Use a drill press if possible).
    11. Remove the seal mount, seal, spacers, sleeve and balancer from the timing cover.
    12. Lay the timing cover inside down on your work bench and carefully cut out the flat part of the bulged area all the way around.
    13. Place the seal mount inside the cover, bulge side toward front. Make sure your alignment holes line up and the mounting flange is flat against the timing cover.
    14. Remove the seal mount. Clean the mount area in the timing cover very clean with sandpaper and then wash the area with paint thinner.
    15. Using a good flux, solid 60/40 solder and a propane torch, tin the cleaned area. Do not fill the 1/8" alignment holes.
    16. Remove the seal and sand off the chrome plating down to base metal on both sides of the flange of the seal mount. Clean it with paint thinner.
    17. Apply flux to the flange of the seal mount, bulge side.
    18. Mount the seal mount in the timing cover (bulge side out) and secure it with two steel pop rivets in the alignment holes.
    19. Apply flux to the engine side edge and flow solder all around the mounting area and over the rivets.
    20. Remove all flux residue with paint thinner.
    21. Coat the outside edge of the oil seal with liquid Permatex and press it fully into the timing cover, open side toward motor.
    22. Install the cover on the motor with a new gasket. Do not tighten bolts.
    23. Clean the balancer hub with sandpaper. Remove all traces of oil and dirt with paint thinner.
    24. Mix a small amount of J.B. Weld and apply evenly over the entire hub area.
    25. Rough the inside of the sleeve lightly with sandpaper, clean it and place it over the hub. Press it down as far as it will go.
    26. Remove the excess J.B. Weld and let set the recommended time.
    27. Lightly coat the sleeve with wheel bearing grease and install balancer on motor.
    28. Tighten the timing cover bolts.
    Available sleeve part numbers are, Fel Pro 16202 or McCord 82-2004. The cost is about $8.00.
    Available seal part numbers are, National 9845, C/R 17286 or Victor 49328. The cost is about $3.00.
    The Chevy aftermarket small block chrome timing cover cost is about $ 10.00.
  11. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    I'm fairly sure that it was engine oil, but no, I'm not completely sure except that while it sits in the garage, I have a pan under the engine which has collected a small amount of oil. There are no other areas under the car that have any sign of oil/fluid drippings.
  12. mikephillips

    mikephillips Donation Time

    Speaking of oil leaks at the rear main, I ran across this in an MG discussion. The T series has the same scroll type oil return on the rear main and has the same problem. What has been suggested, and apparently tried by some, is the use of an oil "anti-wicking" compound made by a company call Nye Lubricants in New Bedford, Mass. According to what I read you apply this liquid to the scroll end of the crank and the outside end of the main bearing surface and once dry the oil will not cling to the either surface. It will then no longer flow into the gap between the scroll and the block and any leaks should stop.
    Now I will say I haven't tried this, I've only read about it so take it for whatever you feel it's worth.
  13. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    The trans "should" have engine oil in it also...
  14. dmich2

    dmich2 Diamond Level Sponsor

    Then it's probably from the engine. I know on mine there's a pesky leak at the rear housing at the plug.

  15. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    What exactly is a road tube, and where do I find it? (I'm just beginning "Alpine Engines - 101" :eek: )

  16. Wombat

    Wombat Donation Time

    Look at the rear of the side cover plate on the right of the engine. There should be a pipe there pointing downwards (unless someone in the past has changed things - if I recall, your engine number does not match the body number??). This lets crankcase fumes out. I think this is what Alan is referring to. If it is blocked, pressure can build up in the crankcase and force more oil than usual out of the various leaks installed as standard.
  17. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Robert. I love the way you phrased that.:D
  18. Wombat

    Wombat Donation Time

    Its the patented British self-changing oil system.:)

    If its not leaking oil, there's no oil in it!!
  19. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    On closer examination of the engine by my mechanic, the oil is being tossed out of the engine right behind the pulley for the fan belt etc. - sprays a nice even spray right up onto the fenders, hood, floor. Any thoughts on where we should begin? Thanks as always for the help.
  20. AutoX47

    AutoX47 Guest

    Hi John

    Sounds like its out the timing cover there then.

    What I did was per suggestion by Jeff Scoville here on the board. I went to autozone and got myself a balancer belt for a camaro I believe. I brought my own balancer with to make sure the size was spot-on. Then I took my front cover and ground off the lip that goes inward around the shaft of the balancer. I aligned by means I can't recall the seal on the back of the cover with the metal face against the back of the front cover, put it on the drill press and drilled 3 holes through the metal of the seal and the cover, equal distances from eachother. Then I riveted the seal in place with some plated steel rivets and covered em in jbweld, along with a seal of jbweld along the outside of the seal against the rear of the cover to make sure there were no leaks

    I only have about 500 miles on the motor but no leaks so far.

    Hope this helps.

    BTW proper alignment is somewhat critical there, I don't remember the means I went about doing that it was two winters ago.

    Kind Regards,
    Andrew Zizzo

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