Boxer Gearbox Replacement Tips - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Boxer Gearbox Replacement Tips

Hello Folks.

On my Days off this week, an Alfa 145 was brought to me, by a Good Mate of mine for some urgent attention: BOX transplant!

What a pig of a Job!


Spent the Afternoon/Evening trying to look for a way of removing the Gearbox with out removing the Engine.

No can Do!

-Unbolted the box from the engine.

-Removed the Cross Member, Manifold, Cat. and its heat shield.

-Disconnected the linkage from the back of the box and undid the bottom Subframe to Box bolts.

- The subframe shelves which the gearbox sit on, the A-R bar and the car's bulkhead together make it impossible to extract the Gearbox, with out disturbing the engine or dropping the Subframe.

Sought advice in the Local in the end. No advice but Great Guinness!

Thursday/ Friday and Saturday

Finally gave in and prepared engine for removal once again.
(Clutch was only replaced 2 months back)

Here Goes:

(If you don't fancy doing it this way, you could drop the whole Subframe. Job will take twice as long though)

- Disconnect the Battery and isolate terminals.

- To make life easier for yourself when reinstalling engine, remove the Headlamps and their Cradles as well as the front bonnet shut and Grille.

- Remove the Rad. and disconnect all the wiring.

- Remove the Inlet Manifold and air box, by loosening the six nuts, 3 connectors and 2/3 vacuum pipes.

-The throttle cable can be removed with ease by pulling the trottle wide open. Try not to lose the circlip that holds the cable in place or you will find, as we did, that the trottle will jam itself open.

- Block the inlets with 4 small rags to prevent Debri, water or nuts falling into the cylinders.

- There is no real need to Label the wiring.
It's all very self explanatory.
Most of the Loom runs down the Left Hand side of the engine (whilst looking into the engine bay of a RHD car).

-Disconnect the 4 wires leading to the respective sensors( One is a spade connector, 2 are single pin Bosch plugs and one is a twin pin Bosch plug. Disconnet the starter motor harness and the Alternator Wires.

-Once all the wires are disconnected pull them back to where the bonnet hinge is, so they are out of the way and won't get trapped or snared during engine removal

- Not including the 2 injector wires there's only 2 other plugs that need to be disconnected on the right hand side of the engine bay: The Rad. Temp. Sensor and the Lambda Sensor Plug.

-Unclip the 2 fuel lines located at the back of the engine bay on the right.
Stopper them with a narrow bolt rapped in masking tape so they don't leak.

- Disconnect the pipe leading to the right inlet on the passenger side cylinder head.

-Disconnect the Heater hoses as well.
(The Fiat/Alfa/ Lancia Hose clips used are best destroyed and replaced with good Quality Jubilees)

- With the inlet manifold removed, the bolts for starter motor will be accessible.

-Remove the Starter motor.

- When everthing up above is done you now have to go below and remove exhaust,the two engine mounting bolts, the gear linkage and the Drive shafts.

I placed the car up on Axle Stands and chocked the back wheels. If done properly it makes things a lot safer and easier. This way the front wheels are free to turn and you can loosen up the drive shafts alot quicker once you have an accomplice to to apply the brakes.
Having the car in the air will also aid the bleeding of the Power steering system once everything is reconnected.

-You will need a good quality narrow walled 13 mm socket for the Manifold nuts or an opened ended spanner and alot of patience and time.

I opted for the latter when reassembling because I lost two of my knuckles after the Socket split trying to loosen them.

- Undo the 4 nuts that hold the gearbox to the engine.

-Split the engine and gearbox and then lift out the engine with a hoist.

-To remove the Gearbox takes alot of patience.
You have to remove the Gear linkage frame as well.
Undo the bushing at the back of the linkage frame and diconnect the cables by sliding out the retainers with a large screwdriver as a lever.

- Unbolt the Anti-roll bar clamps and undo the 17 mm nuts holding it to the wish bones. This allows the AR bar to move around a bit, giving you more clearance to remove the box and linkage frame.

-With the 2 lower Gearbox Mount bolts removed the whole unit should be free now to pull out.

-Once work on the box is complete, you can install the Linkage frame, Gearbox and engine into the car again as one unit. You will need 2/3 bodies to do this though as clearace distances determined by the Subframe, AR bar and front panel are minimal.

To do this you will have to remove the Exhaust bracket bush on the back of the Gearbox, as this will not clear the Roll bar. You can replace it whilst under the car bolting everything else up.

Important: Once the car is going again, don't tighten up all the AR Bar nuts and bolts until the full load of the car is on the suspension.

If you tighten them up while the car is suspended, the AR bar clamps won't line with their bolt holes properly and the AR bar may knock against something if in the wrong position.


Hope this is of use to some of you, if not only to warn you of what is involved.

I've now escaped back into work now, not that I like that Idea. My working environment is alot more comfortable at work than it was for the last 3 days lieing on gravel, in puddles and in un-identified synthetic liquids.

Must buy my own place soon and build a Garage that makes the house look small.

I certainly won't take my time off next week for granted. I'll keep well away from Car maintenance for at least another 2 weeks.

I deserve at least 3 Gold Clovers for this thread!!
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woooow, you deserve a GOLD clover !

I heared the same story from a guy with a Testarossa, took him a week !!! just to get the clutch renewed.
And the engine weighs about a ton.... eek!

is your 33 biting again ?
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Did the gearbox replacement of my 1.7 Sprint some years back. Took me the whole of a Sunday in the workshop at work. Had to take engine and 'box out together but once it's out it's much easier to work on.

Not an easy job even with plenty of space and the Sprint has carbs so itís probably a lot easier than the fuel injection. Was completely knackered when I finally arrived home late on Sunday night.

Gives you a good chance to look around the engine, Ďbox and engine bay for any extra work thatís required.

I donít think itís a job I want to do again though.

156 2.5 V6 24v, Cosmos Blue Metallic, Tan Leather, 17Ē GTA's, 225/45 Michelin PS2's, Full Zender body kit, GTA Headlights, Eibach springs, Koni FSD's, Eibach Anti-roll bars, Ferrari 360 Brembo calipers, DS2500 pads, Squadra ECU, 45mm Intake Runners, Carbon Intake, Dan & Wizard exhaust

156 2.5 V6 Qsystem, Red + Red Leather, Bilstein dampers, DS2500 pads...soon Brembo calipers, 17" GTV Teles
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This Easter I fitted a new engine to my Lil' Bro's 33 16V, overhauled the gearbox and the powersteering rack. Dropping/fitting the drivetrain is a straight forward job on any 33, it'll only take you a few hours, taking the gearbox apart is a pig job. Best thing to do on a 33 aswell is dropping the complete drivetrain. Removing the gearbox or engine separately sure's a pain in the derriere.

What I initally meant to say: Wauw, very good and detailed report Psycho. If we had ratings on this forum, you'd be a silver member by now.


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woooow, you deserve a GOLD clover !

I heared the same story from a guy with a Testarossa, took him a week !!! just to get the clutch renewed.
And the engine weighs about a ton.... eek!

is your 33 biting again ?

Thanks for the Praise!

McGuinn's 145 has been racing other cars again apparently, so it's back in good working order!!
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It's all working just fine and dandy now. I showed a 205 XRAD my new tail-light cluster up-close in a duel in Tallaght... the anti-roll bar bolts are tight enough to make it round a roundy-bout at full tilt, leaving him way behind. Must get some propper rubber for thoses fronts though, she's behaving like a Ditch-Finder Extraordinaire with all the precipitation.

I'll have that 146 with the dodgy gear-box and clutch over to you soon... wink FOOT IN!
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boxer , gearbox , replacement , tips

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