Good news. We're all done. Selespeed starts and shifts like a dream. A good dream.
In the dictionary under "bloody long process" it says "see Alfa Selespeed clutch replacement".
Decided to not remove motor. Process:
1. Timing belt and water pump as per normal procedure.
2. Drove for a week to make sure she's still a keeper.
3. Clutch/pressure plate/release bearing as follows:
-Run computer de-pressurise routine for Selespeed.
-Remove battery & fuse box.
-Siphon out fluid from Selespeed reservoir.
-Push clutch actuator fully back and wire into place.
-Undo selespeed feed and return lines. Plug up /cover, tie back.
-Raise front of car quite high.Support on big stands using the round lift points behind the front wheels.
-Remove front section of exhaust (nice header snakes, BTW! Got some drool on those. Bracket that connects cats to engine block was completely broken, as were 3 exhaust hangers. Ordered new from Jamie at Alfaworkshop. Cat ears required some cutting to fit revised stronger bracket.)
-Undo driveshaft allen bolts both sides.
-Remove subframe complete with lower wishbones and anti-roll bar (undo lower balljoints, remove all bolts on the central under tray, remove rear engine mount with engine supported. Watch the A/C lines-- they are bolted to the subframe!)
-Drain gearbox oil.
-Remove LH gearbox mount. Remove RH intermediate drive shaft.
-Remove bellhousing bolts except one.
-Let engine/gearbox droop down, hanging on front mount and top mount (release the fuel line bolt at the firewall, unclip a few things to make sure nothing is stretched/stressed.)
-Plenty of room to remove gearbox with selespeed crap still on top.
-Remove clutch, bearing etc. Sand flywheel, clean a lot, grease the release bearing pivots & contact points. Very light lube on the input shaft splines (clean your fingers on it). Install new clutch.
-Gearbox mating is helped by using the two long subframe bolts threaded in at the top of the bellhousing. Hang the 'box on those and slide her into place.
-Put it all back together. Subframe is easiest BEFORE the outer driveshafts, so you can pivot the uprights outward to connect up the balljoints.
-Re-install all the other bits: suspension bolts, central under tray bolts, Selespeed lines, exhaust, fusebox, battery etc.
-Fill gearbox oil. Fill selespeed with new Tutela CS to the filler neck, about 300ml. Interesting to note that the factory fill is red like ATF, and Tutela CS Speed is golden.
-Before starting motor: connect laptop PC, set clutch actuator linkage to ~28.1mm, run clutch bleed routine.
-Go driving. Ah. Bam bam gearchange. That's better!
-Ferrari technology for the masses.
Wife pleased to get the Alfa back, and I get my Mercedes before she inflicts more kerb damage on its sensitive bits! E28 BMW retires back to the garage awaiting clutch abuse from the teenage daughter...
Gerald in NZ.