Selespeed Accumulator swap and oil drain - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 8 Old 12-07-12 Thread Starter
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Selespeed Accumulator swap and oil drain

Hi Folks,

Have read a great deal on here, and really appreciate all the helpful posts. I have recently bought a 2001 156 2.0 TS Selespeed with 86K on the clock - it's my first Alfa, and loving it. I've replaced the front upper arms and the droplinks and all has been well, but the Selespeed needs some attention.

Although the system is working fine, if maybe a little sluggish to change, the other day the indicator started flashing in 1st, and on testing (Ignition on, engine off, change up and down) the pump is operating every 2-3 gear changes. The pump is working, and the fluid level is fine, so it looks like the system has stopped holding pressure, and, from what I read, an accumulator replacement is in order.

So, I've ordered a new accumulator, Tuleta CS oil, an ODB II cable, and I have alfadiag at the ready. I have read through the procedure for changing out the accumulator, calibrating the clutch rod, and recalibrating the Selespeed system, so I'm fairly happy with all that, but I have a couple of questions about the Selespeed fluid:

The Selespeed fluid that is in the system is red in colour, so I'm assuming (hoping) it's another brand of Dexron III. I would like to replace this with the Tuleta that I've bought, does anyone have any tips on draining and flushing the system and replacing the Dexron III with Tutela?

Is draining the existing fluid out of the reservoir in a depressurised system and refilling with the Tuleta going to dilute the existing fluid enough? - I've read conflicting opinions on whether they can be mixed without causing damage.

Also, any other gotchas or tips would be gratefully received before I get started..

Many thanks in advance,


Last edited by ceejaybee; 12-07-12 at 20:44.
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1. Pump engaging all 2 to 3 changes ist OK!! So thats not a problem.

2. because you bought a new accumulator anyway, i recommend to take out the EV0. Thus draining all the oil (after depressurising with AlfaDiag/FES/whatever or simply wait a night and open the bonnet through the passenger door, so that the pump does not run) and at the same time take the opportunity to clean the EV0.

3. Fill up (recommend LiquiMoly TopTec 1200), adjust clutch (no less than 28mm), run calibration. Drive, let engine really warm up and calibrate again, have fun...

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(Post Link) post #3 of 8 Old 13-07-12 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice - thought I'd read somewhere that pump engaging that often was too frequent, so I stand corrected. As you say, good opportunity to clean the EV0 do a clutch rod adjustment and re-calibrate and change the accumulator since I've got it.

All my bits arrived today, so a good job for tomorrow :-)
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Unfortunately had the ACCUMULATOR changed and the pressure is still erratic, not as bad as before. But a new problem is the Car won't change from 1st to 2nd unless I slip it from 1st into Neutral then 2nd.

Can someone please advise me?
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Is it holding pressure at around 50 bar ? if it is dropping too fast the accumulator may be at fault
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Thx Rarebear. No the pressure is less
Volatile now with the new accumulator, the old one was gone. You
Could stick the screwdriver all the way in. The new one would only go in 1 or 2 CM. All that's happened is the symptoms have changed from the car dropping into neutral from 4th or 5th, to the car having problems in 1st...
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(Post Link) post #7 of 8 Old 26-08-12 Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd give a quick update on this - replaced accumulator, adjusted clutch rod and recalibrated. Drained as much of the unknown red Dexron III as possible by releasing both in and out hoses, refilled with Tuleta CS, ran through, drained and refilled again.

After this, gear changes are much smoother, especially when cold, when the car had a tendency to kangaroo hop like I was a learner when setting off first thing, much to the amusement of the kids :-)

Now the annoying bit - The gear indicator still flashes in 1st and 2nd while accelerating. There are no error codes from the selespeed ECU, and the car drives really well. I'd convinced myself it was electrical as the flashing seemed to be more frequent during wet weather, or if the car hadn't been driven for a few days. Today I've cleaned all the contacts to the sensors, relays and the big multiplug, and it's still the same, even though it's nice and sunny and dry, so I'm thinking it could be something else.

The flashing in 1st and 2nd seem to go away after a while on a good long run, but then return when the car is cold again, and it only flashes while accelerating, and only ever in 1st and 2nd.

It's not really causing a problem with driving the car, but it is annoying, and I'd like to get to the bottom of what the problem is. I'm thinking its either the gear position sensor at the back of the actuator, or something physical with the gearbox.

So, my plan of action is to drain the gearbox, remove the end plate and clean any swarf. Then if that doesn't solve it, replace the gear position sensor. Does anyone have any better ideas?

To me it's odd that it only happens when accelerating, which would point to the clutch speed sensor, or a worn clutch, maybe? The car has done 86K, but that is a lot of stop-start and country roads, not motorway cruising.

Any suggestions (including, relax, enjoy and be thankful and wait till it breaks properly with an error code or something else obvious!) welcomed...

Last edited by ceejaybee; 26-08-12 at 23:40.
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It sounds like a connector issue somewhere, you should clean all the connectors around the selespeed with some electric cleaner spray.

Your pressure stationery and in N with engine off key to Mar, should last 399sec from 55 bar to 45 bar before pump activating again.

Your clutch rod distance should be 28.2-28.5 in N car engine off key to Mar

If you had a clutch worn the symptoms are more mechanical then lights switching on and off. Like gear slipping, or holding gears too long etc.

My guess but i am not as good as the others here would be a sensor or connector.
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