Solved-Spider roof fault - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
 22Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 126 Old 25-04-16 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
Alphamale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Leicestershire
Posts: 205
Solved-Spider roof fault

A few weeks ago I had the dreaded "roof operation not complete" message coming up when the roof was up and I was driving around.I noticed that one corner of the roof at the rear was slightly popping up-about 1cm off the body. This was enough to make the computer think the roof was opening. To cut a long story short, the fault was due to the gas struts that hold the roof taught against the body when up. There are 2 struts on each side,with two different forces. I ordered new ones -not from Alfa, and with a bit of help replaced them all for about £60. When the old ones were off I could easily push the struts in by hand as opposed to the new ones which were much harder. After driving around now for about 3 weeks with no error messages,I am pretty confident the fault has gone.
DKVelo likes this.
Alphamale is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Member
 
VeloceRagno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
County: -
Posts: 224

Member car:

Spider 2.2JTS

Nice - can you tell us where you got the (not from Alfa) replacement struts from please?

Maybe a link to where to buy?
VeloceRagno is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 126 Old 25-04-16 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
Alphamale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Leicestershire
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeloceRagno View Post
Nice - can you tell us where you got the (not from Alfa) replacement struts from please?

Maybe a link to where to buy?
I got them from Sgs-engineering.com a UK company. Very quick postage and helpful too. They can also re-gas struts as long as they are in good condition.
The numbers that I quoted-taken off my original struts were: 7456VP 0200N & 5579XQ 0100N. From these numbers they found their equivalent which come with a 2 year warranty.
Top Down and fxzspider like this.
Alphamale is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
VeloceRagno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
County: -
Posts: 224

Member car:

Spider 2.2JTS

Many thanks - will give them a try

I'm having some intermittent closing issues (open cycle works perfectly) which involves the procedure of lifting up the rear glass section, which is done by those two struts - thinking of replacing them even if it's just as part of general roof maintenance.
VeloceRagno is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
I've had this problem - I need to manually push the strut on the passenger side to finish the roof closing cycle. No error messages after I've done that, and no springing back up later on either.
I had this problem twice in the past and had it 'fixed' at the dealers - they said it just needed a recalibration.
I've held off throwing more money at it since as it's just so easy to push the strut by hand.
But good useful information Alphamale - it's something else I or the next repairer can investigate.
lussoman is offline  
(Post Link) post #6 of 126 Old 25-04-16 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
Alphamale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Leicestershire
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
I've had this problem - I need to manually push the strut on the passenger side to finish the roof closing cycle. No error messages after I've done that, and no springing back up later on either.
I had this problem twice in the past and had it 'fixed' at the dealers - they said it just needed a recalibration.
I've held off throwing more money at it since as it's just so easy to push the strut by hand.
But good useful information Alphamale - it's something else I or the next repairer can investigate.
I did try pushing the strut down by hand,but the roof wouldn't stay down for long. The gas struts seem to be the way to go-bit sceptical about "recalibration"- sounds like dealer speak for just fiddling around with it! Hope you don't lose faith in yours.
DKVelo likes this.
Alphamale is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphamale View Post
I did try pushing the strut down by hand,but the roof wouldn't stay down for long. The gas struts seem to be the way to go-bit sceptical about "recalibration"- sounds like dealer speak for just fiddling around with it! Hope you don't lose faith in yours.
Possibly a different issue then. Once my strut is forced into position it's locked solid, no chance of any movement.

To be fair to the dealer they did fix it, just over time the shear bulk of the roof mechanism causes it to run out of alignment, at least in my case, and that does sound plausible.
It's still never needed any new roof parts in the 5.5 years I've had it, but labour rates are bloody ridiculous.
lussoman is offline  
Status: Driving in an Alfa wonderland
AO Member
 
SpiderSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Hedge End, Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 865
Garage
Mine does the same, closes ok but then lets go on one corner, it needs a push up inside to lock it down, I now have a little tool to do the job easier, just a short length of metal tubing with rubber stops on each end, I find this much easier than having to get in the back and do the Charles Atlas thing.
lussoman likes this.
SpiderSaint is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderSaint View Post
Mine does the same, closes ok but then lets go on one corner, it needs a push up inside to lock it down, I now have a little tool to do the job easier, just a short length of metal tubing with rubber stops on each end, I find this much easier than having to get in the back and do the Charles Atlas thing.
Good idea, it does need a damn good shove.
Is yours the passenger side strut as well?
I've never had to do anything with the driver's side one.
lussoman is offline  
(Post Link) post #10 of 126 Old 26-04-16 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
Alphamale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Leicestershire
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderSaint View Post
Mine does the same, closes ok but then lets go on one corner, it needs a push up inside to lock it down, I now have a little tool to do the job easier, just a short length of metal tubing with rubber stops on each end, I find this much easier than having to get in the back and do the Charles Atlas thing.
That really does sound like the gas struts, for the time taken to change them-1 hour at most-it does take the negative feeling away when using the roof. After all,the smile as the roof goes down is a very big part of having a convertible.
SpiderSaint likes this.
Alphamale is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
VeloceRagno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
County: -
Posts: 224

Member car:

Spider 2.2JTS

From manually pulling the rear glass part up (won't lift up on the closing cycle - but operates perfectly when opening the roof), I recently had this spring pop out (as circled in pic) - which then looked like it was about to pierce a whole in the roof! - NOT something you want to happen (don't want to think what a replacement top would cost and I would not be happy having it patched).

Dealer was kind of enough to fix it free of charge - it clips onto the bottom of the glass and is apparently designed to help the roof over the roll hoops.

Needless to say I am now less than keen to give the roof any 'manual help'.

And obviously the roof closed 100% fine while I was at the dealer - typical...!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg spring.jpg (48.4 KB, 166 views)
VeloceRagno is offline  
Status: Driving in an Alfa wonderland
AO Member
 
SpiderSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Hedge End, Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 865
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
Good idea, it does need a damn good shove.
Is yours the passenger side strut as well?
I've never had to do anything with the driver's side one.
Mines the drivers side, probably less hassle than the passenger side, I wont do it every time in summer as it shuts enough to seal it but she definitely looks better when the cloth is stretched properly.
SpiderSaint is offline  
Status: Driving in an Alfa wonderland
AO Member
 
SpiderSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Hedge End, Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 865
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphamale View Post
That really does sound like the gas struts, for the time taken to change them-1 hour at most-it does take the negative feeling away when using the roof. After all,the smile as the roof goes down is a very big part of having a convertible.
I left mine as I was told by an Alfa dealer that it was the ram at fault, this would cost £500 plus labour but here's the sting in the tail, Im told there's no way I'll get one.

Its not detracting from the elegant dance it does when putting the hood up or down and as with other little Alfaisms you sort of get used to them and live with them.

I made the tool up as it means I can push the frame in the correct position without worrying about catching anything else.

Most of my problems and worries are with the electrics cutting out and that's what I have to concentrate on for the time being, maybe I'll look at the roof struts when my electrical problems are sorted, they are looking good at the moment after changing a relay but she needs a bit more testing to be fully confident.

Driving in an Alfa wonderland
SpiderSaint is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderSaint View Post
Mine does the same, closes ok but then lets go on one corner, it needs a push up inside to lock it down, I now have a little tool to do the job easier, just a short length of metal tubing with rubber stops on each end, I find this much easier than having to get in the back and do the Charles Atlas thing.
I think I need to fashion a similar tool.
I do weights 3 times a week at the gym, but had to give it everything I had yesterday to get the strut to lock-out.
It's never really been an issue before, so hope yesterday was a one-off.
I'm still experimenting with different ways of finishing the manual procedure - locking down the rear deck via the boot before bringing the rear screen down; and bringing the rear screen down and then locking the deck via the boot.
Maybe the stage at which I try to lock-out the strut has an effect on how difficult it is. I'll find this out after a few more goes.
It also seems strange that only one of the struts needs to be forced back (over-centre), in my case the passenger side.
There's a little bit of movement in the driver's side one, but its position can't be shifted and it does seem to be sealing.

So now I've more or less mastered the full manual opening and closing of the roof, I'm finding life with the Spider much more enjoyable, and it only takes slightly longer to open and close the roof than my previous system of part electric, part manual procedure.
Physically lifting the hood out of its storage space when closing is the trickiest bit - it is quite heavy, but doable.
I now intend to have a lot more open-top motoring over the coming months, and with no hint of the dreaded roof anxiety!
SpiderSaint likes this.

Past: GTV T.Spark Lusso (owned 8 years) Present: 948 Spider LE (bought Nov. '10) Future: 8C (in my dreams )
Previously (selective): Porsche 944 Turbo; Porsche 944S; Jaguar XJ6; Audi Coupe; Mark 2 Golf GTI.
lussoman is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
I think I need to fashion a similar tool.
I do weights 3 times a week at the gym, but had to give it everything I had yesterday to get the strut to lock-out.
It's never really been an issue before, so hope yesterday was a one-off.
I'm still experimenting with different ways of finishing the manual procedure - locking down the rear deck via the boot before bringing the rear screen down; and bringing the rear screen down and then locking the deck via the boot.
Maybe the stage at which I try to lock-out the strut has an effect on how difficult it is. I'll find this out after a few more goes.
Okay, pushing the strut back is much much easier if you lock the roof on the front headrail (top of windscreen) first.
Pushing the strut back should be the very last thing to be done.
So NOT as Alfa Workshop's otherwise excellent guide.
lussoman is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
yerbamateo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: PL/ES
County: -
Posts: 33
Thumbs Up Confirmed - roof fixed!!!

Hi,

I was gonna open a new thread, but found this one describing exactly what I did today, so let me expand a little and give my thumbs up.

My 2007 Spider had two typical roof issues - rear window getting stuck on plastic embellishment of head hoops and arc corner sometimes slightly popping up after closure.
Both issues are solved, changing 2+2 gas struts inside the hood. Mine were totally shot, just as I suspect most of them are after couple of years (keep reading why).

First pair, upper one, rated at 100N, which seems to be responsible for tensioning the roof between 3rd and 4th arc. This keeps (heavy) rear window slightly up when going over the hoops. There´re also elastic straps, that go along each side of the window (photo below), which after couple of years loose elasticity - I pulled them slightly and made a knot, to tense them again.
Second pair of the struts, rated at 200N, keeps lower, fifth arc tensed and roof sealed to the cover. If the corner pops, or you need a lot of force to lock over-the centre struts, this most probably is the gas spring being dead weight.

My 100N springs were completely shot, no force whatsoever. The 200N, one had around 35N (causing shearing of the plastic cover on the hoop on that side), the other had around 120N.

For the replacement gas springs, you´re looking for Stabilus 2609NH and 2607NR. Avoid Alfa Service prices, they're double retail. Myself, I've fitted FA Krosno 23286 250N as lower springs, and Hahn Gasfedern 106729.2 + 2xPX22, charged to 150N (these are industrial quality springs, with valve to regulate or charge the spring, and steel ball mounts). FA Krosno you can get around here for 8-10 quid, Hahn are closer to 18-20 quid/piece. PM me, if you want some contacts here in Poland to get them, many places ship internationally. You basically want 155mm, 40mm displacement, 6/15 gas springs with fi10 ball mounting.

10 full cycles of opening/closing confirm that no issues whatsoever remain.

Removal/refitting is really easy, with just two rivets to drill (I've replaced them with small screws afterwards), and four screws to undo. PM me if you need a detailed procedure.

By the way, popping of the corner is also often caused by the rubber limiter on the over-the-center struts. Undo small allen screw that blocks it, and turn the rubber in.

Last but not least - why those gas springs break? When ordering my springs I spoke to the engineer that designs them, and apparently the biggest factor in gas springs loosing pressure is amount of vibrations, especially when extended.
Unlike gas springs in the boot, or any other places in the car, the ones in the roof are constantly vibrating with the roof up and the car at speed. This means that spring quality is paramount, but anyway they´ll die after 3-4 years anyway and should be replaced. (The ones in the boot can last even 20 years. My other Alfa proves that )

So, it was a good day in the garage, now I need a slightly warmer days to take the Spider for a spin...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3530.JPG (115.2 KB, 183 views)

Last edited by yerbamateo; 27-01-17 at 08:47. Reason: Gremlins. Changed description of gas spring function. (as per post below)
yerbamateo is offline  
Status: Hibernating
AO Member
 
Fitz750's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Italy
County: Bergamo
Posts: 201
Garage
Great info Yerbamateo
Fitz750 is offline  
Status: Leaning towards keeping the Spider
AO Member
 
Ryan_The_Spider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: Warwickshire
Posts: 627

Member car:

Giulia Veloce

It's weird I have a 2007 Spider and never had this problem.
Ryan_The_Spider is offline  
Status: turning heads everywhere
AO Gold Member
 
lussoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 6,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_The_Spider View Post
It's weird I have a 2007 Spider and never had this problem.
You must have a collector's item. Keep hold of it!
lussoman is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
yerbamateo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: PL/ES
County: -
Posts: 33
Red Face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_The_Spider View Post
It's weird I have a 2007 Spider and never had this problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lussoman View Post
You must have a collector's item. Keep hold of it!
Absolutely! I've seen many Spiders, before getting mine (well, wife's actually, I'm just a handyman and ocasional driver ) and all of them had silver rollover hoops damaged, or scratched, or glued...
You can quite easily remove the gas springs, get one of the lower ones, and try to squeeze it in your hands. 200N is quite a lot, and squeezing a new one is very, very hard. Or rather, imposible with bare hands.
To move swiftly heavy rear window across the hoops is a carefully orchestrated effort of all four gas springs, two coil springs that keep upper corners and elastic strap that runs along the window. All those elements loose strength over time, and with minimal distance to the hoop it makes the window to sag and fall in the groove on the hoop.

And the second issue, popping corner - when you close the hood, the hydraulic cylinder on the fifth arc exerts sufficient force to close, but once it's over, hydraulic pressure drops, and if the gas spring doesn't hold, rubber buffer on the over-centre pops the strut back, sometimes alone, sometimes due to vibrations during ride. In some cases, depending on where the Hall sensor is on the hydraulic cylinder, it may cause "Hood not closed" message.

Moving the Hall sensors around is what most Alfa dealers charge as "roof adjustment". Actually, the roof has very few adjustable parts - mostly locks, and main anchor points, which are rarely out of adjustment.
It's a reliable German construction, by Webasto, used also in 3-series beemer and in slightly different version on other cars.

//Mateo
ftored and Spencer Jansen like this.
yerbamateo is offline  
Status: Leaning towards keeping the Spider
AO Member
 
Ryan_The_Spider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: Warwickshire
Posts: 627

Member car:

Giulia Veloce

Quote:
Originally Posted by yerbamateo View Post
Absolutely! I've seen many Spiders, before getting mine (well, wife's actually, I'm just a handyman and ocasional driver ) and all of them had silver rollover hoops damaged, or scratched, or glued...
You can quite easily remove the gas springs, get one of the lower ones, and try to squeeze it in your hands. 200N is quite a lot, and squeezing a new one is very, very hard. Or rather, imposible with bare hands.
To move swiftly heavy rear window across the hoops is a carefully orchestrated effort of all four gas springs, two coil springs that keep upper corners and elastic strap that runs along the window. All those elements loose strength over time, and with minimal distance to the hoop it makes the window to sag and fall in the groove on the hoop.

And the second issue, popping corner - when you close the hood, the hydraulic cylinder on the fifth arc exerts sufficient force to close, but once it's over, hydraulic pressure drops, and if the gas spring doesn't hold, rubber buffer on the over-centre pops the strut back, sometimes alone, sometimes due to vibrations during ride. In some cases, depending on where the Hall sensor is on the hydraulic cylinder, it may cause "Hood not closed" message.

Moving the Hall sensors around is what most Alfa dealers charge as "roof adjustment". Actually, the roof has very few adjustable parts - mostly locks, and main anchor points, which are rarely out of adjustment.
It's a reliable German construction, by Webasto, used also in 3-series beemer and in slightly different version on other cars.

//Mateo
Where are these hall sensors?

I am getting an error message where my roof doesn't do anything. I took it a dealership and they confirmed it was microswitch failure but they couldn't confirm anything until they do further investigation, smells fishy to me lol.

If you have any information where all the microswitches are in the roof and any schematics it'll be appreciated.
Ryan_The_Spider is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
yerbamateo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: PL/ES
County: -
Posts: 33
Well it´s too cold today for a walk to the garage, to make a photo, but below is the schematics from eLearn, could be helpful. Sensor that might give the message right after closing is probably 23.

Sensors are easy to spot - black plastic thingy with cables, mounted on top of the hydraulic cylinders. They're flat, with QRcode on them, fixed to the cylinder through plastic holder that can be shifted up and down.

Hall sensors are very reliable, this is the same type of sensor that is used in ABS, so malfunction is rather due to bad positioning or cabling. One other thing to keep in mind - function of the sensors is redundant, i.e.. one bad signal does not necesarily mean interruption of the process, especially on hood closure.

The least reliable sensors in our hood must be the one in the flap motor - it´s a potentiometer, so susceptible to wear and moisture. This is my next weekend project - disassembly of the flap motors

//Mateo
Attached Images
File Type: jpg screenshot 2017-01-24 at 22.42.11 .jpg (66.6 KB, 173 views)

Last edited by yerbamateo; 24-01-17 at 21:09.
yerbamateo is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
yerbamateo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: PL/ES
County: -
Posts: 33
BTW. I mixed up the gas springs in my original description. Lower one, 200N keeps the fifth arc/bow down, upper one 100N tenses the roof between 3rd and 4th arc. Sorry for that.
Drawings below show location of the springs.
Stabilus ref. numbers are actual ones, not what you will find on original springs. They changed numbering some time ago.

Oh, and I've found a photo of the sensor

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...lp-needed.html

//Mateo



PD. I've corrected the original post, to reflect proper spring functions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg screenshot 2017-01-23 at 22.04.05 .jpg (88.1 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg screenshot 2017-01-23 at 22.30.16 .jpg (33.3 KB, 133 views)

Last edited by yerbamateo; 29-01-17 at 20:32.
yerbamateo is offline  
Status: Leaning towards keeping the Spider
AO Member
 
Ryan_The_Spider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: Warwickshire
Posts: 627

Member car:

Giulia Veloce

Quote:
Originally Posted by yerbamateo View Post
Well it´s too cold today for a walk to the garage, to make a photo, but below is the schematics from eLearn, could be helpful. Sensor that might give the message right after closing is probably 23.

Sensors are easy to spot - black plastic thingy with cables, mounted on top of the hydraulic cylinders. They're flat, with QRcode on them, fixed to the cylinder through plastic holder that can be shifted up and down.

Hall sensors are very reliable, this is the same type of sensor that is used in ABS, so malfunction is rather due to bad positioning or cabling. One other thing to keep in mind - function of the sensors is redundant, i.e.. one bad signal does not necesarily mean interruption of the process, especially on hood closure.

The least reliable sensors in our hood must be the one in the flap motor - it´s a potentiometer, so susceptible to wear and moisture. This is my next weekend project - disassembly of the flap motors

//Mateo
Do you know the part numbers for those sensors for the lid? (Ideally all of them).

Ideally Alfa and supplier because I am sure the latter will be much cheaper. Hopefully they are just cheap microswitches which you buy from RS or something.

PM if it is easier.
Ryan_The_Spider is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
yerbamateo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: PL/ES
County: -
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_The_Spider View Post
Do you know the part numbers for those sensors for the lid? (Ideally all of them).

Ideally Alfa and supplier because I am sure the latter will be much cheaper. Hopefully they are just cheap microswitches which you buy from RS or something.

PM if it is easier.
Hi Ryan,

Abandon all hope - those sensors apparently are are sold only as a harness, with cabling, part number according to eper is 71748886 for the one on the hood cover. It's far from cheap, eper shows around 200Eu. Dont't know who the supplier is, (Lear?), but I've never saw harnesses sold outside of the official dealer's network.

But - I doubt very much that Hall sensors are faulty, takes probably physical damage to kill them. These are not mechanical microswitches. You can check them, it's basically watching the voltage when you move a small magnet close by.
Test procedure, if anyone needs it, attached below.

Don't know what problems you're experiencing, and why you think it's the sensors... If your mechanic talks about "microswitches" then probably it's time to look elsewhere for advice. BMW used to have proper trainings for their staff on the cabrio hoods, and it's basically the same construction.

//Mateo
Attached Files
File Type: pdf test_sensor.pdf (79.2 KB, 122 views)
ftored likes this.
yerbamateo is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 159, Brera & 946 Spider

Tags
fault , roof , solvedspider

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome