How To: 147 Stiff gear change - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Easily the best guide I have seen regarding the stiff gear change problem. Thanks for your time and effort :-)
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Originally Posted by rxe View Post
I understand that the root cause of the problem is aluminium corrosion in the housing. This reduces the diameter of the housing, pushes the top hat washers hard onto the shaft and makes them sticky. If you clean out the tube, and grease it, then replace the washers, there is no reason to believe that this problem will come back for several years.
I too had the same problem. But being in South Africa, I cannot get the parts locally, must have it posted from UK/USA or where ever I may find them. Our postal system is the pits, so I sought an alternative solution.

I stripped the whole shebang, removed the gear housing from the central consol, and took the cables off. Turned out that the back and forth cable was guked up and extremely stiff.
So I trickled thinners down the inside of the cable, behind the flexi rubber while working the cable up and down. ventually it come loose and after a lot of jiggling, I then followed the thinners with oil. Did this for another 20 min and satisfied it was loose enough I then reasembled the whole lot. Woks like a dream, if not better than new.

Took time, cost me nothing and problem solved.

Hope that this helps.
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Great guide kiscix, thank you! I hadn't prepared for this so I just bored-out and greased one of my existing top-hats today, easily enough to fix my hard-to-find 3rd/4th gears.

I found a couple of steps easier if done in a different order:

10 (lifting the fuse box) is easy if you have left the four battery tray bolts in
17 (selector arm nut) is straightforward if done before the three selector plate bolts - you can simply use a torque wrench on it

Anyway, it really wasn't too bad a job. The retaining clips were the only tricky step - the far one can be levered against the selector plate, and wedging a spanner (19mm in my case) next to the cable gave me a surface from which to lever the near one. Refit with hammer

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I had this done - 'top hat' bushes cost pittance and my mech did the swap - said old ones were stuck on had to sandpaper some of it off...

Previous to this the gear change was getting stiff and was very worrying.

I've heard of people selling on 147s thinking the gearbox is knackered when it was just the little bushes.

This was done on my car 2 years ago now approx maybe even more and is still smooth and free!!!
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I knew what was needed for this as I did it some years ago - but when I went to local dealer they said the top hat bushes weren't available on their own, only the complete gear selector assembly.....anyone else had this?

I just polished up and lubed the swivel arm and the bushes, which vastly improved the issue - although not to perfect condition.
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147 , change , gear , stiff

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