Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Re: Selespeed - DIY Actuator Replacement
Here's my mini-guide for what it's worth!
• Leave the battery off overnight. Without the examiner there's no other way of letting the pressure out of the system, but to unplug it and eventually the pressure drops away.
• Drain the actuator. (Not sure if there's a better way/drain plug, but I just undid one of the pipes from the pump, they've got to come off anyway)
• Remove the battery tray etc, so you can get to everything. Also the drivers-side wheel, and the little section of the arch liner covering the side of the gearbox.
• The actuator is held to the top of the gearbox by three long allen-head bolt (IIRC), and by the selector rod (bolt circled). The selector rod is the only bit that's bound to cause grief.
See the pic attached, from when I had mine out.
• You probably need to loosen engine mounts to get the unit to drop to a position where you can get into the end of the actuator with a long allen key. (Support it though!) The end I've removed, should really not have to come off! But the actuator I found on my car (back when it was playing up) was already second hand, and the allen head was rounded off. It is torqued up really tight, so MAKE SURE YOU USE THE RIGHT SIZE ALLEN KEY! It'll have to be an allen key on a socket that you can get a torque wrench on. You really wont be able to get it off otherwise.
The reason the end is off in the picture, is the bolt was so tight it needed undoing with grips! It was so stiff that I ended up having to get the gearbox out with it! Complete nightmare! In an ideal world the bolt will just undo, the actuator will lift off, and you'll never need to see the insides of that bit! At least it helps for you guys to get your head round the workings!
It turns out, that the second-hand gearbox and actuator I bought were still bolted to each other, for the same reason! How unlucky am I!?! So even the one I fitted I had to get grips onto the bolt to get apart!!
And beleive me, there's no space to get grips on it! a 30-second job that took about a day, seriously! Can you imagine the frustration!? All because in the past someone had skimped on using th correct tools for the job and rounded the head!
Another mistake I made was to not tighten the bolt back up to the correct torque. This led to to the bolt coming loose, and eventually losing gears, leading to breaking down, me getting an earfull from the missus etc etc and so it goes on!
The garage took a few hours to realise that the problem was as simple as the bolt coming loose, got a nice new one for about £3 and now my sele's working 100% confidently, and changing gears/going straight from 1st to Reverse in one go/no longer flashing any gear numbers etc, like it never did before, problems that continued from time to time after I'd changed the actuator, just because the bolt wasn't torqued up!
So another tip is to replace that bolt (I think they referred to it as a pinch bolt) if there's any damage to the allen head whatsoever, just to do yourself a favour in the future!
It appears to me, and I'm not expert, that the actual selecting of the gears doesn't rely on the hydraulics at all, just one servo (Whatever the term is) that turns the selector rod left and right, and another (on that end plate I removed) that moves it up and down. It seems to me that the hydraulics and all the other electrical connections are all to do with the clutch. I don't even think there's any fluid in this end part of the actuator.
Hope this is useful, If anyone's done this job and wants to clarify/correct any of my points, feel free. I'm affraid I don't know the correct torque the bolt should be, but do find out before finishing the job!
Oh yeah, and you may/may not have any gears until it's been callibrated, you'll need Alfadiag for this.
. : Alfa 147 2.0 Selespeed : Tan Leather : Bose Sounds : 17" Supersports : 40mm Lower : HK Drive & Play Ipod Kit : .
Maybe staying with Alfa though, see what I end up with next!