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(Post Link) post #1 of 8 Old 08-09-10 Thread Starter
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Manual Gearbox shifting characteristics.

Hello All,

I have recently purchased a 2008 159 Jtdm 2.4 Q4 diesel and as I have no previous experience driving an Alfa some particulars of the transmission and engine are giving me some concern. I would like your opinion if this sounds particularly within normal range, or if I should bring it into a garage.

When the car is stationary and turned off the transmission will shift very freely without any resistance to move through all 6 gears and R. When I then start the car and sit idle it also shifts very freely. Once I start to drive I start to feel some resistance entering all gears and also hear some mechanical linkage noises from the front of the car (shifting while stationary, but no noise while at speed) which are different and a bit louder than the normal shifting noises one would hear. When shifting while driving I cannot shift very fast as I have to wait until the gears let me shift and sometimes when downshifting there can be a lot of resistance. There is no grinding or a feeling of metal contact and coming out of a gear is not an issue, it is only getting into a gear. Also the clutch does not slip at all.

Also when driving and at a low idle (~1500rpm) when I lift off the gas pedal I can feel a very profound jerk as the engine speed seems to match the wheel speed. I also feel this jerk when I am shifting. Other than these issues the car drives very well and only has 33km on it.

Driving an Alfa, a diesel, a turbo, and an AWD with modern stability controls is a new thing for me, my last two cars were very different from the 159 (Honda Civic Type R and a Mitsubishi 3000GT), so my feeling is that I simply have to change my driving style to match the car and the setup, but I would like your opinion if what I am experiencing is simply part of the “experience” or I might have another issue.

Thanks in advance to all.

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Hmmm, a few reported gearbox issues with the 159. Particularly with 2nd to 3rd shifts. A few people had a gearbox replacement under warranty. It's the jerk you report that concerns me the most - think its a trip to the dealer for a check up. Is it under warranty still?
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I have 66k miles on my 2.2 petrol version and the gears still have a certain stiffness and clunky feel to them but I just attribute this to it being a substantial and solid box. The changes aren’t exactly slick and have to be very deliberate but I think that's just the way the car is. Give it some time and you'll soon adapt to it just like I did.

Most importantly, Enjoy!
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On the 156's there were issues with Dual Mass Flywheels (DMF!) which all the deisels have (far as I know).

It may pay to do a search on both 159 and 156 forums for Dual Mass Flywheel and DMF and see if DMF failure can lead to similar symptoms as the clunk / jump you reported.

Also wonder if the hydraulic thrust bearing may be on the way out - would that maybe lead to inability to fully release the clutch which could explain some of your symptoms?

I seem to remember lots of posts on the 156 forum about DMF and some good guys on there with lots of advice, so if you don't get a solution here it'd be worth posting something on their forum to ask - if the moderators allow that sort of thing!?

07 3.2 Q4 SV Brera alfa red --- previously '99 156 2.5 V6 for 9.5 years

Last edited by Burnsy; 08-09-10 at 22:24. Reason: typos, again
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All of the boxes are quite mechanical & not slick like on the previous gen cars.

My Brera is tons better than my old 159 but 2nd to 3rd can still catch a bit on a high rev quick upchange, especially when cold.
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The quality of the gearchange is one of the most disappointing aspects of the 159. Being rugged and precise is fine but it's not slick enough for a sporting car. I'd still prefer the manual to Alfa's auto, though!
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GT 3.2V6

Mines not good either 2nd to 3rd especially, loud tap as the clutch comes up.... I have had a new clutch and DMF recently and it felt much better, the gear change was definately better for a few miles but now back to it normal clunky self!

It does spoil it for me, I have to think about every change to get it right and less clunky.... this is something you shouldnt have to do!!!
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(Post Link) post #8 of 8 Old 10-09-10 Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the responses, based on everyone’s feedback my feeling is it does seem to be a characteristic that I simply have to get used to. It is a little disappointing as the engine only revs to 4500 before redline, and with a slower deliberate shift the revs drop quite dramatically then trying to modulate the throttle and balance the turbo response takes some getting used to. I’ve been trying to change my driving style to suit the car a bit better, but for sure it is a much different world from my previous cars. Nonetheless, I will take it by a dealer just to have them check it first hand; it is under the service warranty so it can’t hurt.
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