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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day everyone.

I'm based in Adelaide, Australia and I'm about to purchase an 85 GTV6 and would really appreciate some advice.
Firstly I would like to know if it is an expensive procedure to have the cambelts changed?
Also the car has the usual 2nd gear grind syndrome. Is this best fixed with a replacement gearbox out of an Alfa 75 or is it cheaper to just replace the syncro?
The cost of these repairs will influence the final price so any advice is greatly appreciated. (The garages are all closed over Christmas so I can't ask them.)

Thanks in advance:)

Chris.
 

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Hello Chris,

Firstly I'm based in the UK and am more familiar with the 75, but as you are aware they are almost identical mechanically so I'll venture an opinion. I'll talk in hours rather than currency as the Aus labour rate is likely to be different to ours, and tell you the parts you'll need so you can interrogate any quotes you get to make sure they are doing a proper job.

Firstly I would like to know if it is an expensive procedure to have the cambelts changed?
It's not difficult at all - if you are at all competent wielding a spanner then this is one to do at home IMO. Budget 3-6 hours if DIY (Taking your time and cleaning everything nicely), I would be surprised if a mechanic would quote more than 3 hours.
Parts needed should be:
- Cambelt (Singular - there's only one)
- Tensioner rebuild kit (Oil seals etc)
- Fresh engine oil
- *Auxiliary belts* (Optional, but they'll need to come off so you may as well for the cost)
- *Cam Cover Gaskets* (Optional - If doing this yourself. A good mechanic is unlikely to take off the cam covers)
- *Waterpump* Optional but well worth it - these aren't the most robust of designs and often fail, and you need to remove the cambelt to change them! So do it now.

Also the car has the usual 2nd gear grind syndrome. Is this best fixed with a replacement gearbox out of an Alfa 75 or is it cheaper to just replace the syncro?
IMO it will be more cost effective to replace the syncro than to replace the entire box with a 75 unit, unless you really want an LSD. Likely problems with the 75 box:
- Unless rebuilt it will probably have a weak 2nd gear syncro anyway.
- The LSD will need adjusting which won't be cheap (If you can find someone willing to do it). If you don't adjust it you'll likely not get the benefit.
- Not sure that the new box will talk to your speedo without a bit of thought.


The Alfa transaxle is well designed for maintenance IMO, with the ability to easily remove the Mainshaft/pinion shaft assembly all held together by the intermediate flange. This bundle can then be handed over to you friendly specialist for replacement syncro's and bearings if needed.
Unfortunately, the above scenario only becomes easy once the exhaust, is out of the way, the prop disconnected, gearbox mounts disconnected, and the front of the transaxle dropped (The Bulk of it stays on the car) and the clutch pack removed.
Again, if you are at all competent at DIY, the most cost effective way of doing this is to do the donkey work yourself and hand over the Mainshaft/pinion shaft assembly to your specialist.
How long this takes really can vary, depending on what has seized solid and what breaks. I'd estimate anywhere between 6-12 hours for DIY removal and reinstall of the Mainshaft/pinion shaft assembly (That is in and out, taking your time and being the first time you've done it) and 1-2 hours for the shop to replace the actual syncro in the Mainshaft/pinion shaft assembly.

Time for the shop to get the assy in and out would again depend on what's seized. I'd estimate between 4-6 hours depending. Then, again, 1-2 hours for the shop to replace the actual syncro in the Mainshaft/pinion shaft assembly.
Parts you'll need (From memory, and it's been a while!)
- Syncro (It's common to swap 5th gear and second gear syncros instead of getting a new one, unless 2nd is totally hammered).
- Intermediate flange sealant (If they do this wrong it'll weep gear oil)
- Gear oil
- *Optional* (but not really) new gearbox mounts - unless changed in the recent-ish past, your's will be knackered!)
- *Optional* New clutch - inspect yours whilst you are in there as the clutch pack will be out!

If you want to have a go yourself, post back and we'll advise you further and point you in the direction of some on-line info.
If you do get a mechanic to do it for you, I would suggest going to a reputable Alfa specialist that knows the vehicle, otherwise it can go very wrong! E.g. rotating the engine the wrong way can make the belt jump, screwing up the timing and potentially destroying the engine, and the fact that turning the prop turns the engine(!)
Also the prop and associated components should always be marked before removal and be replaced in the same orientation or you are likely to get an out of balance and hence viby driveline!
A specialist will know this sort of stuff, not sure about a normal backstreet garage.
Good luck, hope this has gone some way to answering your question, maybe someone will be along soon who is in Aus and has had similar work done recently and can give you the dollar amount they paid..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the information mate. I'll be getting a workshop to do the work as I don't have the room to do it in my garage. This info will put me in a much better position when speaking to a mechanic. The car has been looked after by the same local specialist for 9 years so I'll likely take it to him.

Thanks again:)
 

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No worries, hope it all works out ok.
A tip I use for prelonging the life of your new 2nd gear syncro: don't use it!
Whilst cold, go straight from 1st to 3rd gear until the box has warmed up - the torquey nature of the 12v won't struggle with that, and I suspect you'll be looking after the engine whilst cold anyway and so won't be in a hurry(!)
 

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No worries, hope it all works out ok.
A tip I use for prelonging the life of your new 2nd gear syncro: don't use it!
Whilst cold, go straight from 1st to 3rd gear until the box has warmed up - the torquey nature of the 12v won't struggle with that, and I suspect you'll be looking after the engine whilst cold anyway and so won't be in a hurry(!)
 

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I am currentkly restoring my GTV6. So far have removed all rust from front end, replaced all front end supsension bushing, painted all suspension components and rebuilt.

Next I will start the same task on the rear end. However as I have to do all the work without any help I am a little concerned that taking the rear susuepnsion out complete might be a bit difficult. Does anyone have any advice they can give me? i.e. tips on removing the rear end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay , so I've decided to do the cambelt myself with the help of my mechanic mate. The parts are all sorted thanks to your checklist, so could you please offer some advice on the best way to go about the procedure? Any particular alfa quirks that I need to be aware of...?
Thanks again for all your help.

Cheers:)
 

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tmundy: I suggest you start a fresh thread with the Dedion assy question as we should keep on the original topic. Never done the job myself, but I think the biggest problem you'll have is seized fasteners and the watts linkage body mounts being rotten - so it has the potential to becoma a big job. If your car has been cossetted and kept away from winter roads than I don't think it's a massive job. Someone more knowledgable will be along in the minute I'm sure!

@ Chris:

Download the Milano Engine Manual from here *Link*
It should cover everything you need to know (I’m assuming the GTV6 Procedure is the same as the 75 – I’m 99% sure it is.

From Memory (And again it’s been a while):

• Have a good look at your cambelt tensioner – is it oil tight? If so the repair kit may fix this, but be aware that it may not. At least you now have a point of reference for your car. If it wasn’t leaking before rebuild, and does afterwards you know you've done something wrong!

• Remove the bonnet(?) Don’t need to on a 75 but the GTV6 has that stupid front hinged arrangement so this might be a good idea.

• Drain the engine oil (May not be necessary, as the (Oil Fed) tensioner sits above the sump line, but it fresh oil never hurts.

• Drain the coolant if you are doing the waterpump (You are doing the waterpump aren’t you?!) Remembering to open the cabin heater to full hot. There’s no drain on a 75 – you have to remove the rad lower hose.

• Optional, but I always do this: Remove anything in your way and then remove both cam covers. This is so you can see that the cams are correctly aligned; there is a way of telling by just looking at the camwheels but I don’t trust it.

• Remove the PAS, Alternater and Aircon belts (if fitted) making a note of the order they sit on the crankshaft pulley.

• Remove the sparkplugs (Optional but makes the engine easier to turn) and rotate the engine in the direction of normal travel until the reference pin points to TDC on the Crankwheel (I think it’s the mark with a ‘P’ but check for your car).

• Insert something blunt into No1 Cylinder to ensure it’s at TDC and not BDC

• (Optional) Borrow a TDC gauge and make sure the TDC ‘P’ mark on the crank pulley is accurate; rarely out but I have heard reports that it has happened in the past.

• Ensure the notches in both camshafts line up with the marks on the camshaft caps. (If they don’t it likely means the old belt has been installed a tooth out or the heads have been skimmed. If the latter there is a procedure to deal with it, probably in the manual – post back if this is the case).

• Index the old belt and transfer the marks to the new one using something non corrosive.

• Slacken the cambelt tensioner (It’s not that obvious how to do this and I can’t quite remember enough detail but you should be able to figure it out with the manual)

• Slip off the Old Belt

• Remove and rebuild the tensioner (The ‘Special Tools’ mentioned can easily be improvised). Reinstall in the ‘Untensioned’ orientation.

• Remove the waterpump by releasing all the bolts and replace with the new one, I used gasket sealer when doing this and it hasn’t leaked since).

• Replace the cambelt making sure it goes back in the same position as removed (Indexing helps here) ensuring you keep the correct tensions taut as detailed in the manual

• Retension the belt following the manual.

• Rotate the engine in the direction of normal travel a few times to ensure that when the Crankpulley indicates TDC the camshaft marks co-incide with the cam caps. DO THIS BY HAND GENTLY AND IF YOU FEEL ANY CONTACT BETWEEN VALVES AND PISTONS – STOP!

• Reinstall everything you took off (Spark plugs, camcovers using new gaskets, all the belts.

• REFILL WITH OIL and coolant.

• Turn her over on the starter with the king lead removed to prime the new oil filter (You did fit a new filter right?! Optional obviously) listening for any signs of valve contact.

• If all is well, start her up and keep observe for oil and coolant leaks. Refresh the level of oil and coolant as necessary.

• You should be there!

This is all from memory so don’t rely on it as gospel – there should be some posts on http://www.alfagtv6.com/ & http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/index.php that you could have a look at if you feel you need further info. Good Luck!
 

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The one that says 'Milano Engine' I think.
It details a complete strip and rebuild but to do that you need to remove the cambelt, tensioner and then replace hence it's all in the the one manual. You may need to search through it a bit
 
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