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And now for the engine...

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

  1. Wombat

    Wombat Donation Time


    This is one of the Factory installed oil leaks. Rootes relied on an oil slinger and a scroll on the pulley to keep the oil in.

    Oil gets into the timing case from the front main bearing and via a small pipe that provides lubrication to the timing chain. This pipe has a ball valve and spring to regulate the flow and a small hole in the side to let enough oil out for the chain. This may be faulty and letting in too much oil.

    If your main bearings are worn extra oil can be coming from there. How's the oil pressure?

    There is a drain hole through the main bearing cap. Barely possible this may be blocked.

    Have your mechanic look at how much blow by your engine has. This can contribute to pressure build up in the sump.

    My old Hillmans always leaked a little there, but did not spray the oil in the way you describe until something in excess of 120,000 miles. It was something I lived with.

    In any case it looks like you need to take the timing cover off, so it may be a Good Idea to adapt a seal to it as described in some of the earlier posts.

    The other oil leak that is difficult to fix is the pushrod cover.
  2. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    Robert and all.
    Thanks for the responses they are really helping me understand what might be going on. Now aside from the oil problem I have a couple of other items that I need to consider.
    1) After sitting for a year in my garage, the gas tank is sending some yukky rusty colored fuel to the fuel filter. From external inspection he feels that the gas tank itself is in good condition, but thinks the inside is rusty and that we should take it to have it boiled out and re-lined with some special material for $$$$$. Is there a home remedy for cleaning out the inside of the gas tank, if the outside is in good shape?

    2) Only the front of the twin zenith carbs is operating, and just barely. He is suggesting like so many of you, that rather than go throught the expense etc. of rebuilding or fixing these, I should go with the weber. I had wanted to keep the original look of the engine, but not if I'm going to have a headache. Rick at SS has the kit with manifold and gasket etc., and instructions for change in linkage.

    Thanks for taking the time to read these long posts and helping me figure all of this out.
  3. Wombat

    Wombat Donation Time


    Fuel tank:

    Kits are available. See here


    Its an AU site because I searched on petrol tank repair, but I am sure I have seen the stuff mentioned in the Forum before (and it mentions US tank sealer). I haven't used it and don't know of anyone who has.


    If you want to keep the original look get the Zeniths rebuilt. I seem to recall some on the Forum that have them working well (one of the racers perhaps??)

    This info may have been on the old Forum.
  4. Steve Kirk

    Steve Kirk Guest

    I used a kit from the link below to do the gas tanks on my series 5. I cleaned out the inside with paint stripper. The gas tanks on this car were in good condition with no rust therefore easy to do.


    On the Zenith carbs unless you are totally into originality I would go withe weber conversion. The problem witrh Zeniths is they leak around the spindles and the parts to repair this are not available.
  5. ozzie alpine

    ozzie alpine Bronze Level Sponsor

    I've recently used the "tank sealer kit", as detailed by Robert (the PPC kit).
    It was recommended to me by my local carby specialist, who has used it on a few old classics. One of his customers uses it as a matter of course on newly made fuel tanks, to prevent rust problems on "occasional use cars"
    Quite easy to use, although potentially a bit messy. The process uses a degreaser (reusable), rust "converter" and a sealer, with washing and drying required inbetween some of the stages (a compressor is useful for drying, although I used the sun and a leaf blower!)
    I used it on my S2 tank, which was very rusty, even has pin-prick holes which have been brazed previously. You should've seen the crap that came out of it! It seems to have worked well, although hasn't really been tested fully yet.
  6. Drnobeam

    Drnobeam Donation Time

    Here is the link for the article on the oil seal adapter for the timing cover:


    Pretty easy mod. Instead of the method described for alignment in the article, I JB welded the chevy cover/seal flange the the stock cover with both pieces installed on the engine and oil seal installed in the chevy flange. With the cover mounting bolts in place, the flange was aligned by the crankshaft. The JB weld curred over night. Next morning I removed it, painted the cover and re-installed with a new gasket. Hasn't leaked a drop (from the cover) since.

    You have to temporarily place something between the crank gear and the timing cover seal flange while the JB weld is curring. This will keep the chevy flange firm against the stock timing cover while the weld is curring. I used a rubber "donut" that fit around the crank.
  7. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    I wrote up my tank cleaning and sealing adventure once for the Marque, think I have a copy of it here somewhere not a great piece but is how I did it in my back yard so to speak.
  8. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    Below is a version of the write up I did a while back for the Marque not sure it is the final edit....

    How to clean and seal gas tanks. Have you done yours yet?

    You may be getting around to this job sooner or later if you or the DPO has not yet done it. In my case the DPO had done a poor job of sealing the tanks, which resulted in making the job even harder for the current DO. Here is what I found and did:

    Upon removing the tanks from my SV I found they had been sealed at some point in the past. At first I thought, “Oh joy! I can skip this and carry on with other parts of the project.†But no. The previous seal job was botched. The tank had not been cleaned well before sealing and the sealer was starting to come off.

    So I now had to figure out how to remove the old sealer, clean the insides of the tanks, and get a sealing kit. For the sealing kit I went with Bill Hirsch. For cleaning I went to the hardware store and made a lucky mistake (see below). The Hirsch sealing kit was recommended to me by a fellow Alpine owner. I also did a search on the net and read good things about his product. So I placed an on-line order for just the sealer - my first mistake. Seems you need to buy the etch to ruff up the inside of the tanks so the sealer will bond. I found this out later and through a semi-complex deal, I combined with another Alpine buddy on etch and a cleaning product that Hirsch sells. About this time I found out the etch is phosphoric acid. Remember that, as it will come in to play later.

    Now I needed to get the tanks ready by getting the old sealer out. The Hirsch instructions informed me that paint stripper might remove some forms of tank coatings so that is what I tried. Off I went to the hardware store and got a gallon of the stuff and poured about half in each tank. I used duct tape to cover the holes and just rotated the tanks every few minutes for a couple hours. Then I emptied the mess out into a bucket and washed the tanks out with water. Lots of sealer came out but upon inspection I saw that much was left inside, hanging in strips and stuck to the walls of the tanks. Hmmmm now what… I was thinking the paint stripper was still ok, so I put it back in the tanks and repeated the whole thing. Once more, lots came out but much was still left in the tanks. Ok, now I was getting mad…. I poured the stripper back in and left it for several days, rotating the tanks every now and again. This time I figured they would be clean as a whistle, but no, still there was old sealer in the tanks. So out came the steam cleaner and I blasted the things with water hot enough to cook a turkey. Still there was sealer in the darn things. Next I tried dumping in some Purple Stuff and a bunch of rocks from the driveway shook the tanks for all I’m worth. This worked to some degree and more sealer and some old paint came out. Finally I decided they were clean enough to use the etch. So I dumped it in and rotated the tanks, sure now that when I was done it would be ready to seal. I was counting on the etch to remove the last of the old sealer and paint. But while the etch did do something, the tanks were still not how I thought they should be. Since I had split the sealer and etch with another fellow I was getting worried because at this rate I will have no etch left. So off to the hardware store I went to buy more acid. Looking around the store I saw no phosphoric acid. I asked and was given a gallon jug - total cost under $5. Now, Mr. Hirsch gets a whole lot more for a whole lot less of this stuff. I could slosh this stuff in the tanks like there was no tomorrow. I went back to the shop to have another go at it when I noticed that this was not phosphoric acid, it was muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid). I dumped it in anyway… rotated the tanks every few minutes for an hour or so, dumped the acid back in the jug, and rinsed the tanks in cold water. Right away I noticed a difference. This stuff has bite. Not only did it clean the inside of the tanks but if you spill it on the concrete it cleans it too. Still the tanks were not good enough, so I gave it one more go with the muriatic acid. This time they looked great: as if they were bead blasted on the inside - all I could ask for and more.

    This is the point where I made a mistake. I left my tanks to dry and they rusted. What I should have done was pour the etch in the tanks as soon as I washed the wrong acid out. The correct etch causes some sort of chemical reaction and leaves a whitish coating in the tanks that does not rust. When I found my tanks had a nice coat of rust I was heart broken, but since I had the muriatic acid and knew it would make short work of rust, I dumped it in and sloshed it around for a bit. I followed up with a rinse and shot of compressed air. Then I dumped the correct etching acid in and sloshed it around for an hour. Now I was golden. The insides of the tanks were almost too pretty to seal.

    At this point you need to let the tanks dry completely - as in bone dry - before dumping in the sealer. I waited a few days and then poured it in. One thing about the sealer is that it is thick and you will need a good bit of it to have enough to coat the tanks. I bought a quart plus one pint and when I was done had a full quart to forward on to my cohort. I think if you are doing one set of tanks a quart will be enough but a pint might be too little. The final step was easy. Just rotate the tanks with the sealer inside and get a good coat. Do not get in a hurry. Spin them around slowly and the final product will be lovely coated tanks and no more paint chips in the fuel line.

    In summing this up, the real job is getting the insides of the tanks clean. I was very happy with how the muriatic acid worked and I think it was a lucky mistake that I tried it. I can tell you it is nasty and burns if you get it on you and you must wear safety glasses. I have also been informed by some well respected know-it-alls that it will eat metal so I would suggest you do not leave it in the tanks for any extended length of time. Also the phosphoric acid leaves a nice rough surface that does not rust. It is what the makers of the sealer suggest you use to give the sealer a surface to stick to. Finally you want to save any left over acid or sealer. I just dumped it back in the containers it came in. You certainly do not want to dump it on the ground or down the drain.

    There you have it! A back yard tank clean and sealing.
  9. napa 1

    napa 1 Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks a lot guys for all the great info. I can't wait to get started on these projects. By the way, I got the compression readings which are as follows... #1 160 PSI, #2 140 PSI, #3 155 PSI and #4 165 PSI. How do those readings sound?
  10. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    Three of your Alpine's pistons have decent numbers, but 140 on #2 doesn't sound good. It's more than 10% off from the rest. Could be a burnt valve, broken or prematurely worn ring(s), or a slowly disintegrating piston.

    Do you know the history of the engine? Maybe a PO did a quickie "rebuild," dropping in some usable but mis-matched pistons? Any oil on #2 sparkplug, or any noticeable differences between plugs?

    It might be perfectly driveable - for now. If the valve gets worse, it'll start backfiring. A broken/burned piston tends to eventually let a small chunk loose on top of the piston, which makes a god-awful sound as it jack-hammers into the head.

    On my first Alpine, back around 1980, I offered to let a good friend drive it. He was reluctant, but I told him there was no way he could possibly hurt it. The very instant he started it, a piston chunk came loose. BAM!!-BAM!!-BAM!!.... He declined to ever drive it again.

    Dick Sanders
    Kent, WA
  11. Steve Kirk

    Steve Kirk Guest

    I tested my series 5 recently and the low reading was 162 with the high reading 172. This car had not run for 15 years.
  12. Wombat

    Wombat Donation Time

    The 140 on #2 probably needs further investigation. One way would be to do a leakdown test. This involves putting compressed air into the cylinder and measuring how much leaks out, and where it leaks out will tell you whether it is valves, head gasket or rings.

    Google on "cylinder leakdown test" for more info.
  13. Nickodell

    Nickodell Donation Time

    A simpler way is to pour a tablespoonful (about an ounce, or 30cc) of engine oil down the plug hole and do the comp test again. If it goes up to the same as the others, or better, you have a piston or ring leak. If not, it's probably a burnt valve.

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