Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: 1999 Spider Hood Problems
Well I finally got a chance to have a good look at why my hood has been so slow to operate and, yes, its pretty clear that the hydraulic pump is leaking from somewhere. I've ordered the correct tutella hydraulic fluid (pretty hard to get in Australia) and hope to get that this week. I'm not going to take the pump out and find the leaking seal just yet - i know its a shortcut - but I'll just replenish the fluid reservior for now and see how that goes. I will eventually overhaul the seals but I figure its taken 5 years for this to occur, perhaps (fingers crossed) its just a very slow leak. Maybe im kidding myself.
Last time i posted that i had fixed the solenoid/motor that locks down the hood cover. A couple of people asked how I did it. So I'll spend a few moments describing what i did to avoid having to use the hammer each time it got stuck. To be clear, this isnt a permanent fix since the cause of the problem is a plastic gear inside the unit that wears and will continue to wear. I didnt attempt to locate a new plastic gear but did think about getting a brass one machined up someplace. Now that would be a permanent fix.
Simple fix is to remove the motor from the car. take the gear housing apart (i think there are 3 nuts/bolts holding it together from memory). you'll see the large plastic gear. You'll notice that one half is worn but the other half is ok. I simply rotated the gear so that the unworn half now meshs with the smaller gear and then re-assembled it. Like i said, this isnt a permanent fix since the good side is certainly going to wear and fail as well. But the fix has worked for me for the last year or so.
Maybe if enough people have an interest, we could organise an engineering workshop to produce replacement gears. I would think brass would be better than the plastic in there at the moment (though i suppose that could cause wear elsewhere in the system). I never tried to find out from Alfa here whether i could just get that part - i suspect they would want to sell me the whole assembly for mucho dollars. This fix took less than an hour from start to finish.