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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys!

RIGHT! I'm looking for an alternative to the driveshaft repair for the Q4 Brera/159 centre prop bearing failure issue, and i'm hoping the brains trust here can assist.

Yes, there are a number of threads here about 'my clunk', 'banging noise' etc - i've read what feels like all of them I’ve searched but I can’t seem to find anyone manufacturing replacement bearing parts for the 159 or Brera.

For those lucky enough to live in the UK, you can get it done by Driveshafts UK and it's a great solution at a realistic price from what i hear.

The problem for anyone outside the UK like me (i'm in Australia) is that we need to dismantle our car, have the part shipped to the UK, repaired, shipped back, all whilst our car is out of action (for i dunno how long)... which makes things rather difficult as you can appreciate.

Locally I have gone to two custom drive shaft shops (they do hot rods etc) but of course as is often the case when you want something done that isn't common, these tradespeople cant be arsed / don't want a headache so they never get back to you.

Mine doesn't need replacing just yet, but when it does, i want to be prepared.

I believe the "Alfa 159 Brera Q4" 4WD system is the Torsen Diff, which is also used in the VW Touareg, the Audi 4WDs, Porsche Cayenne and Renau’t Scenic/Kangoo’s. And if you check their forums (at least the Touareg’s) they all complain about the exact same thing as we do. Including the same BS tactic where their company, VAG, don't sell the replacement bearing, but only sell the entire bloody prop shaft.

Seems we are all surrounded by [email protected]#@$ds!

Alternative 1: Clamping Bearing:

So i see one enterprising company - Vertex Auto in the US of A - have manufactured a replacement clamping bearing that they say improves the OEM design, and fixes the problem in 20 minutes as you don't have to even remove the drive shaft.

It’s basically 2 half horseshoes, that you pop around the in-situ propshaft bearing. That bolts together, holds the bearing in place, and you are sorted.

Unfortunately, the design is specific to the Cayenne – so the replacement bearing they sell basically bolts into and becomes the housing.

Website:
Cayenne Drive Shaft Clamping Bearing Support Mount: Drivetrain &amp Drive Shafts

YouTube Tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-67Z3JmMC3E

Alternative 2: Re-packing the existing Alfa housing

Another alternative I found was on You Tube, where someone has made a replacement rubber packing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8py-7Og9gOU

I can’t read german so I can’t understand this – but it looked interesting – and if your bearing is fine but the rubber perished, then this would be a pretty cheap and quick solution.

The beauty of this type of solution is I could order this part, and when mine wears, the mechanic can replace it instead of a driveshaft specialist.

Question 1: Has anyone found a manufacturer making replacement centre and rear bearings for the brera/159?

Question2:
Has anyone heard of, or seen anything similar to that ‘clamping bearing’? Would this work with the Brera I wonder?

Question3:
Has anyone seen anything like this re-packing rubber before? Where could you buy something like this?

Looking forward to your responses!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
By the way - can anyone help me with pics of the rear and centre prop shaft bearings?

and maybe inner diameter / hole distance / various specs for the parts to help find an alternative manufacturer????

Thank you!
 

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I don't know what is fitted to the other cars you mentioned, but the Alfa 159 4WD system is a ZF unit -

Cars | 2-Stage Power Take-Off Unit - ZF Friedrichshafen AG

which they unfortunately seem to have decided is not serviceable - I'm in the middle of servicing mine after the output bearing started to grumble - casing cleaned and bearing outers pressed in last night, bearing inner pressed onto output shaft this afternoon. I'm about to go install in the case and adjust spacers and shims to get what I think is a good guess/estimate/calculation for rolling torque of 1Nm.

As for the prop repairs - the clamp version is interesting. Not too sure about the method of cleaning the rubber off and where it leaves the precision ground outer diameter of the bearing ;-) Or it's fit in their new housing. Not too confident about the seal removal either - used to do it as a teenager to remove seals from R/C car bearings to reduce drag and to clean and re-lube. It's going to end up damaged and let crap into the bearing. The instruction to pack as much grease into the bearing as possible isn't too good either - too much grease is as bad as too little - it'll overheat and cause problems.

However, the basic idea has merit - should be easy enough to measure, design and get one made. I know they say patent pending - but patents are notorioisly easy to circumvent if they haven't employed some very expensice patent lawyers.

The second idea of the ring shoved in the existing housing - initially I thought that's good. . . but the what stops the bearing outer simply spinning in the ring?

I think when it happens, take your failed prop (dead easy to remove if you have access - certainly for a garage) to a custom prop fabrication place, and ask for a replacement one made to suit, rather than repair the existing one, making suitable mounts to secure it back to the car. I find definite requirements get better answers than possible, maybe, in the future sort of enquiries from those sorts of places if they are busy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Bricol.

Good points.

I think the best solution is definitely a removal and remanufacture of the original part to allow for a common bearing housing which is easily replaceable. For us in Australia, something like a Holden part.

Should be relatively easy fit a custom shop to make up... just got to find a good tradesperson!

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 
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