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Old 05-06-2008   #1
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barchingmad is barking mad

Spotted an oil leak last week. Wasn't coming from the bottom of the engine or anywhere I could spot.

Dropped it into Ferdis in Lytham. It has been in since tuesday... I have had to be on buses - with old people and youths. Ugh!

It turns out that the oil has been leaking from a (badly) sealed seal. the edges of the cam cover had been heavily siliconed. The oil had leaked and contaminated the cam belt. one end of the cam cover had cracked all together and had a small leak.

Is it a common problem for cam covers to be cracked? Is it common for them to be heavily siliconed? DTR suggest that this is normal for the b... Indeed they suggest FIAT often supply them cracked.

give them their due though DTR are sending a cam cover to replace. however i am beginning to wonder how well sorted the car was when i purchased it last September. It is still going to cost a small fortune to put right

I have already had the crankshaft come off early this year. thankfully didn't trash the engine! seems i might be luckier than i think as i have now had 2 near misses with the cam belt.

Ferdis also pointed out some rusty bits from the interior of the engine. see attached foto (i cannot remember what he said). Ferdi said that the bits they go in had water in them - hence the rust. I cannot imagine how water got in there as i have never steam cleaned/ cleaned the engine before.

STRANGE!

Any thoughts?

Barchingmad
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Old 05-06-2008   #2
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Has this Barchetta been fully serviced by DTR? if so I would point the finger at them with the current problems.

Silicone is not an engine product and should not be used for any engine seal, instant gasket etc is completely different and has a different compound make up but doesn't excuse the fact that a proper dealer bought seal should be used in places that are so important, anything else is cowboy work.

Cracked cam cover supplied by fiat? doubt it more like it's been overtightened so it cracked and the seal couldn't work so silicone was added to try to stop the flow.

Is there a seal round the oil cap? or the top cover? if not there is a chance that water is getting in and dropping down the plug holes causing the rust that you see.
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Last edited by Alan.D; 05-06-2008 at 20:28.
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Old 05-06-2008   #3
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

yeah - had been serviced by DTR - and had the usual DTR work done before being sold to me. Or had it?!

All a bit disappointing really - at least they are sending a replacement cam cover which will save me some cash (but will it be cracked)...

this comes after the crankshaft pully incident which the recovery driver/emergency garage suggested looked like it hadn't been correctly put on - this was just 4 months after the DTR work.

Strange, huh?
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Old 05-06-2008   #4
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

I'm pretty shocked by that to be honest, I've never used them but have been told that they are very maticulous in their work.

I would be straight back on the phone and causeing havoc if they had serviced something so poorly. I certainly would have had a go re cracking and using silicone. Oil will eat the silicone so there is no supprise that it wouldn't seal. If it was DTR that used silicone to seal the cover because they over tightened the cover causing it to break I would have had a few choice words and certainly threatened trading standards and consumer advice.
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Old 06-06-2008   #5
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

It sounds like someone stuffed the cam cover when working on the car and then fixed it with DIY silicone

KC has a cam cover that he might sell so drop him a message

The rust is water getting under the engine cover and sitting around the top of the spark plug chamber, after a while the water gets under the rubber lip and down inside the plug chamber. The fix is a good clean and keep an eye out for water sitting around the top of the plus just under the engine cover. A bit of WD40 round the tops or a small amount of gasket seal will keep the water out.

Dont panic its not a big problem.
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Old 06-06-2008   #6
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Don't panic!!

It's not as terrible as it seems, although I have to say the issues have been 'bodged' rather than fixed.

The oil leak is very common, quite a few b's that I looked at had the leak - in fact mine did when I bought it but a new gasket soon fixed the issue! Its hard to locate as it comes from the bottom left hand side of the cam cover, dribbles around the front of the block and down between the manifold, looks really bad but is nothing to worry about.

The cracked CAM cover is also quite common, in fact I have to admit to cracking mine a couple of weeks ago (so keep your hands of KC's cover 'cos I want it!!).... Again, quite a few b's that I looked at when hunting for mine had a cracked cover on the bottom right hand side, most of the time it does not cause a leak though. The reason for it is quite simple, when removing the cam cover you should start on the outside bolts working inwards in a circular motion releasing opposite bolts, this means that you a releasing the pressure from the bolt eyes evenly, if you don't do this eventually all of the pressure will be on one bolt eye and invariably will snap! Replacing the cover is the same but in reverse, start in the middle and work your way out in a circular motion. Also, never totally loosen or tighten the bolts when fitting/removing, always loosen each bolt gradually and evenly. I managed to crack my cover by being a bit too enthusiastic when 'nicking' the bolts up!

The rust marks on the end of the coils are old so I would hazard a guess that someone has steam cleaned or jet washed your engine at some point in the past. If you had water in the bore(s) the car would run like a bag of bolts (feels like driving with the choke full on), I know as I speak from experience!

My advice to you is to get the plugs out and check them over, they may have rusted so it would be prudent to replace them now rather than when they let you down at 11.00 at night in the pee-ing rain! Get a new CAM gasket from FIAT, I think mine was about 11.00 + VAT, clean all of the silicon off as you don't want that on your engine and make sure that the replacement cover is not cracked, the comment about FIAT supplying them cracked does not matter - you don't want a cracked one!!!

I am sure that your garage could do all of the above in half an hour, they really are very easy jobs!

HTH
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Old 06-06-2008   #7
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Lee your reply above is excellent advice for someone who is doing these jobs themselves or someone who has just bought a Barchetta sold unseen and found these after purchase. However I think the point is somewhat missed, this Barchetta has been fully serviced and supplied by DTR or that's certainly the impression that Barchingmad gives. I don't think he needs to get any parts I think he needs to get on the phone and moan and complain like hell.
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Old 06-06-2008   #8
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

I may have mis-read the initial point, I thought that the car had history by DTR but had been bought independently - in which case it is difficult to point the finger as anyone tinkering under the bonnet could have caused the damage.

If it was bought from DTR then it should be heading back in that direction to be rectified!!
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Old 06-06-2008   #9
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Thanks for the advice guys - DTR (to give them some credit) have already DHL'd parts up north.

If I could have got down to DTR I would have done, as Paul from DTR said he would resolve the issues.

Anyway, main thing is they have supplied parts that would have cost me 200+. And my local garage is getting it all sorted on Monday.

I guess I just imagined that buying from the UK specialist rather than some back street garage who know nothing about the car, or privately that these issues would not have occurred.

Cannot wait to my b back. Missing it terribly.

The weather has been fantastic here in Lytham over the last few days and is set fair for the weekend. I hope this wasn't summer...
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Old 06-06-2008   #10
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Quote Originally Posted by barchingmad View Post
I guess I just imagined that buying from the UK specialist rather than some back street garage who know nothing about the car, or privately that these issues would not have occurred.
Hear hear! personally I would also be sending them the local garage bill
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Old 09-06-2008   #11
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

to mangle a famous footie quote - i thought it was all over it isn't now...

i had expected to collect my b today after getting the problems sorted.

the part dtr sent arrived in good time and ferdi put it all back together today. he ran the engine for 30 minutes with no leaks. switched off and then spotted another leak. so it seems it was leaking in more than one place.

it has now been suggested that the oil pump housing has been damaged by the failing of the crankshaft pully failed back in january. evidence suggests that this was caused by this not being fitted correctly with incorrect fixings.

happy days! i will call dtr tomorrow morning and see what there comments are. hopefully they will send a oil pump housing and oil seal...

can everyone please keep their fingers crossed.
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Old 09-06-2008   #12
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Old 10-06-2008   #13
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

You are very calm mate.....I would be bouncing off the walls by now.
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Old 10-06-2008   #14
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

Hmmm. Are DTR possibly implicated in all these things?

If so should I not cancel my cambelt/inspection visit in 2/52?

Ooo-er.

Hope things are going ok! Sounds a right nightmare
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Old 10-06-2008   #15
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Re: barchingmad is barking mad

i am only calm because i am not 100% sure its DTR - they have been pretty helpful with parts - but i still believe that 2 elements are their problem.

1/ the crankshaft pully problem back in january
2/ the knackered cam cover which fowled up the cam belt with the oil leak.

i believe the oil pump housing problem may have been caused by the garage i was recovered to when the crankshaft pully failed.

BUT at the end of the day if the crankshaft had not failed after 4 months... and if the cam cover wasn't cracked and siliconed up...

I will be contacting them again once the work is complete asking them for their comments and hopefully contribution for the works carried out...


I had planned to take the b to DTR on a trip to London in September for its MOT and service because I wanted it seen by specialists. Will I do that now? NOPE!
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