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Discussion Starter #1
Thankfully this happened quite literally as I was reversing back in to my driveway today. I stopped and tried to engage reverse and the gearstick immediately went sloppy and won't engage any gears.

A friendly neighbour helped me push the car in to the driveway, had a quick look and there's fluid leaking from the area of the gearbox but doesn't smell or feel like oil, so from a quick search around sounds like it's one of the clutch cylinders that's died and dumped the fluid in to the bell housing, probably the slave cylinder.

Going to call garages in the morning and see who can take it, thought I'd post here though and see if anyone has any thoughts/ideas. From the sounds of things it's a pig of a job to do DIY and expensive in a garage if it is the slave cylinder.
 

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Brake/clutch fluid is miscible with water, so if you can wash it off with water it is likely to be that. Where as oil will not wash off.

The Clutch slave cylinder is inside the gearbox housing, so the gearbox has to be removed. Whilst you are in there it is a good idea to change the clutch and dual mass flywheel at the same time.

It can be DIYed if you are feeling brave. I did ours on the driveway.
 

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The failure of either clutch cylinder ought not to result in a sloppy gear lever. If a clutch cylinder has failed you’ve another problem associated with the gear linkage. I had a worrying incident where I thought a fluid was down to a failure of something, it turned out to be the condensate from the air conditioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Had another play with it and the gear lever is now stuck in a notch as if it was in gear, but no gear is engaged, and the clutch pedal isn't on the floor, so now thinking it's mechanical.
Liquid certainly could have been water, the aircon was blasting due to the temperature and had no smell or oily feel to it. Need to get it up on a jack and stands to have a look at what's going on.
 

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Sounds like you have a failed linkage or cable then, remove battery and pop cables off gearbox and see how gearstick feels also try and select gears on the linkage on top of the box. These will point you in right direction of it either being stick/cable related or fault on or in the box
 

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I'm thinking selector forks or synchromesh or output gears, I had a similar thing on my 147 JTD and it was a gear box failure, if your car has a traditional manual clutch I doubt it will have anything to do with the gearbox lever throw
 

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Gearbox failures are not unheard of. I have had one myself.

the linkeage should be easy to check..

I take it athet the gear selection issue is the same with the engine both on and off?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's the linkage all right, had a look this morning in a calmer frame of mind. One cable is in a plastic connector on to the box and is fine, the other is a circular metal piece that sits on a ball via a rubber bush and the bush is what has failed. If I push it back on I can engage gears but it quickly pops off again.

Looks like a relatively cheap and easy fix IF the part is available anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As usual S4P come through Gear Selector Cable 55255616

Does anyone have experience of fitting a new cable? Search doesn't give me any hits on anyone who's attempted it DIY. At least it's a much cheaper part than my first thought of clutch/cylinder/DMF all needing replaced!
 

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Never done one On a G but I can’t imagine it will be that hard once centre console is out. When I had my console and dash out I seem to remember it’s fairly accessible.
 

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Before you start removing interior trim have a look at the underneath of your car. Hidden under an exhaust shield is a large plastic box. The cables start there so track them forwards towards the gearbox. If you’re unsure of what I mean see Alfa Workshop’s guide on replacing the neutral gear position sensor as there are some good photographs there. Follow those down the page. You’ll see the cables exiting the plastic box going towards the front of the car. Take care with the setting of the sensor, it needs to be preserved for when you reassemble the linkages.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks armoore, had a look at that and was thinking it looks like a right PITA on the driveway.

However, it's not the cable that's the issue. Having another closer look and it's a linkage on top of the gearbox that the cables connect to that's the issue. The black bushing that's green in the centre in the image is the fault. Can't find one on shop4parts or Alfa Workshop so going to email them to see if they can help.

The good news is that the car drives if I push the linkage back on and change gear VERY gently. Not going to take it out obviously but at least means that I can verify that the box is OK and get the car straight on the driveway from where it had been pushed in.

 

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You might make it less susceptible to disengaging by looping a cable tie around the lever and the end of the rod in a figure of eight. Or perhaps inserting a number of self tapping screws in the recess thus squeezing the spigot. Or drill the centre of the green dot, place a large penny washer and self tap screw to keep it secure. All bodges I know but could tide you over pending getting the correct part. Is it number 5 in the diagram?
 

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I had exactly the same issue last year changing from 2nd to third just outside Kenilworth and was stuck in 3rd gear. The rubber cup just disappeared, luckily the AA glued some rubber pipe into the circular end of the stalk and wired the linkage onto the ball as armoore has suggested and it got us home. Part number at Shop4 parts is (S4P26215) Rod and it was £30.96 last July. The interesting part is you can't get any forward gears but you can easily get reverse every time!?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Emailed shop4parts because I couldn't find the part, and they sent me that exact PDF armoore and said I think it's part no 5 can you confirm? It's on order direct from Italy now. Probably could put a tie round it to hold it in place but I don't need the car too much at the moment anyway.

Checked that part number Isotope and it's not found on their site, but as I said they are ordering me one. Great service as always from s4p, I emailed them at 4pm today and they got back to me this afternoon to confirm the part and the lead time to get it. I couldn't get any gears at all, the loose end of the rod had caught on a fin on the gearbox and wedged in the 3rd gear position without the gear actually being engaged.

Thanks all as always for the help!
 

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I think when you start asking for things not on the website they create a part number to process the order, so might not be on the official site but hopefully they can get it from my previous order? I have used Shop4parts for well over the last 10 years and Mick Holdsworth is an absolute star. I can also confirm it was item 5 in the pdf.
 

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Hopefully you can get it soon, even without the pandemic, Italy is normally on holiday for all four weeks of August!
 

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I think I may have a second hand one if you are really stuck? I will have a look in the morning. It is attached to the gearbox which broke on me a couple of years back...
 

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symon, you must be as bad as me. I still have a 33 gearbox that had the synchros disintegrate. That was 15 years ago. It might come in handy some day!
 
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