Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,575 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One of the things I'd noticed with my '98 TS Spider (now on the road) is that the clutch pedal would end up rather low most of the time. Lifting the pedal with my toe would restore normal operation for a few uses.

There was a bottle of brake and clutch fluid in the boot - always an interesting sign - but I found the reservoir still full.

This evening I decided to try bleeding the clutch. To gain access, I removed the plastic section of the air intake (from between the two rubber pipes), which includes a bulky 'resounder' that obscures the clutch slave cylinder. To get this resounder out, I also had to swivel around one of the hose clips on the thermostat.

I hooked up the Gunsons Eezibleed (bought at Halfords Bristol!) and in light of past experience, didn't bother to fill its bottle (if the cap blasts off, fluid goes everywhere...) I connected it to the left front tyre and thereby pressurised the reservoir. I put a tube on the slave cylinder bleed nipple and opened it with a 7mm spanner.

A small amount (about 100mL) of very dirty fluid came out along with a lot of air and then - just air, with some force!

What I have learned is that the reservoir has to be practically brim-full to supply the clutch circuit (a safety device to prevent depleting the brake fluid reserve if the clutch circuit leaks). After un-pressurising, I filled the Eezibleed's bottle with fluid and re-pressurised, which keeps the reservoir supplied. I was then able to bleed a large quantity (about 500mL) of fluid through the clutch circuit, which got all the air and dirt out. The car's reservoir cannot supply this quantity, so I suggest that pressure bleeding is probably the way to go - it's also quick and easy (provided the cap stays on), and there's no need to touch the pedal, though it should first be raised to its highest position to allow fluid flow through the circuit.

So far the clutch feels great. Time will tell, of course. But at least if I do have to replace something, the bleeding process will be easier now that I know about the small reservoir capacity :)

I remembered to top-up the air in the left front tyre too. Then I moved on to refitting the aftermarket gear knob so that it doesn't spin around, and I removed the bootlid latch and replaced its micro switch so that the boot light comes on. Removed and refitted the sill trim on the left side a little further forward, so that the join doesn't creak against the door trim with the door closed. Went around both the door trims and seals with silicone spray - might alleviate some of the creaking, might not... Adjusted both the doors so that they close a little easier (very tight fit before...) I used black silicone sealant, rubbed with a rag soaked in turps, to repair four tiny slits in the roof - backed up with a single piece of duck tape applied underneath by reaching in with the roof partially open. So that's a few things ticked off the list...

-Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,577 Posts
I`m not surprised you`ve had it blowing the cap off if you just connect it to the front tyre (~36-39psi) as you are not supposed to go much over 20psi with the eezibleed kit!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,575 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks - see pics below from my iPhone, which I finally got off iCloud onto my iPad, then uploaded to DropBox Albums and found on their website, selected the URLs, copied and pasted - all because I can't figure out how to browse for a file to upload here or anywhere :lol:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53055207/Albums/Red Alfa Romeo Spider 1998 TS//F8C18Q.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/53055207/Albums/Red Alfa Romeo Spider 1998 TS//N4I53V.jpg

I didn't have any problems today with the cap blowing off or even leaking - I had those with a 164 in the past, the Gunsons caps never seem to fit the reservoirs in my cars very well, but the Spider is the exception.

I found when trying to bleed the brakes on other cars that a bit more pressure helps :) the Gunsons bottle says "test at 40psi first"... But you are right Ian, it says in brackets MAX 20psi!

My Spider's tyres have 32psi in them. Wouldn't 36-39psi make a horrible noise, be skittish in the wet, and wear out the centre of the tread first?

I was going to use the spare tyre, just as well I didn't eh... that's over 50psi... :lol:

-Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,577 Posts
My Spider's tyres have 32psi in them. Wouldn't 36-39psi make a horrible noise, be skittish in the wet, and wear out the centre of the tread first?
Handbook recommended pressures are 39psi on the front and 36 on the back for 16 and 17" wheels :D

Seems a little firm, but works quite well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,067 Posts
I run 37 and 35psi personally.

Also I personally don't bother with the ezebleed either, I fill the reservoir, open the nipple and let gravity do it's thing, not that slow and no bubbles :) I do the same with the brakes too. Just leave the cap off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,041 Posts
My Spider's tyres have 32psi in them. Wouldn't 36-39psi make a horrible noise, be skittish in the wet, and wear out the centre of the tread first?


-Alex
Great write up about bleeding the clutch - I bet mine needs doing, the pedal is ridculously stiff

Handbook recommended pressures are 39psi on the front and 36 on the back for 16 and 17" wheels :D

Seems a little firm, but works quite well!
+1

I ran mine between 32 and 34 for quite a long while, then found out the pressures should be 39psi on the front and 36 on the back and it made a big difference. I now find that if the pressures are down by just 3-4 psi, then I notice that the car gets skittish (great word!).

I'm guessing that the centre tread doesn't wear out first due to the weight of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,575 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the tyre advice Ian and Starkers :)
I did look up the handbook and it said 2.7 and 2.5 - multiply by 14.2 to convert metric bar to English psi and that is indeed 38.3 and 35.5, I was surprised! I guess I'm stuck in the past where the biscuit tyres on my Uno 45 (135/80R13, about the size of a space saver spare these days) had a specified pressure of 1.9bar (27.5psi) and you did NOT overinflate them if you wanted to get home in wet weather ;)

I suppose tyre profile is less rounded these days so the contact patch isn't narrowed by high pressure, and with the Spider weighing nearly twice as much as an Uno 45, that is significant too. Today I stopped at a service station for a little more fuel and thought I'd top up the tyres to 38 rather than the 33 I put in. However the pressure was 37, which meant either the digital inflator was wrong, or the pressures had increased significantly due to the heating of the tyres (hot-ish day here today, 27 degrees).

Meanwhile, speaking of tyres, I had a wheel alignment done today. Toe on the back end was negligible (increased to 1.8 each side), lots of negative camber at the back end (nearly three degrees) but at least they match. About a degree too much negative camber on the left front, but the caster is correct. Toe at the front was excessive.

Also replaced the airbag ECU with one from a 145 Twinspark, which put the light out at last. The Launch x431 couldn't connect to either mine or the replacement, so swapping the ECU was a good solution and my specialist friend kindly donated it. It remains to be seen whether AlfaOBD or FIATEcuScan can connect to the replacement ECU but in the meantime, the light is off!

The clutch is back to its old ways. I think, given the symptoms (pedal not returning, no fluid loss) it's likely to be the master cylinder that needs replacing?

By the way Starkers, a heavy clutch in my experience of other Alfas means the clutch is near the end of its life. My yellow Spider has a noticeably heavier clutch than my red one. I've replaced three heavy 164 clutches. One possible easy thing to try is to bypass the damper, I'm fairly certain that two-hose pot-shaped device made an appearance on V6 GTVs/Spiders (not the TS).

-Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,041 Posts
Thanks for the tyre advice Ian and Starkers :)

I suppose tyre profile is less rounded these days so the contact patch isn't narrowed by high pressure, and with the Spider weighing nearly twice as much as an Uno 45, that is significant too. Today I stopped at a service station for a little more fuel and thought I'd top up the tyres to 38 rather than the 33 I put in. However the pressure was 37, which meant either the digital inflator was wrong, or the pressures had increased significantly due to the heating of the tyres (hot-ish day here today, 27 degrees).

By the way Starkers, a heavy clutch in my experience of other Alfas means the clutch is near the end of its life. My yellow Spider has a noticeably heavier clutch than my red one. I've replaced three heavy 164 clutches. One possible easy thing to try is to bypass the damper, I'm fairly certain that two-hose pot-shaped device made an appearance on V6 GTVs/Spiders (not the TS).

-Alex
You are welcome :)

If I recall correctly, tyres can go up by as much as 3 psi on a journey, so the advice is to make the pressure adjustments at the start of your journey.

I drove back from work last night and when I tested the fronts, they were at 40psi - although I did use a different machine from the last time I tested them.

RE my clutch - it's more that the pedals in both cars are very springy - my minis were the same and the difference is noticeable when I drive my Mum's diseasel golf. Perhaps I should just man up.... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,577 Posts
Meanwhile, speaking of tyres, I had a wheel alignment done today. Toe on the back end was negligible (increased to 1.8 each side), lots of negative camber at the back end (nearly three degrees) but at least they match. About a degree too much negative camber on the left front, but the caster is correct. Toe at the front was excessive.
Interesting about the front camber, I had full geo check-up the other day and also have front left camber over spec, but the other side fine. Euroboy had almost identical results.

Seems to be a "feature" :lol:

http://starcroft.org/alfa/geo_after.jpg
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top