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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My wife and I just drove my Spider back from Darlington in the North of England to Gallarate near Milan. Some of you may have seen my first post on here recently about the issues I had when it was stored with my Mum (http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gtv-and-916-spider/317284-new-to-me-alfa-spider-dead-battery-what-to-do.html) but with a new battery, it started without problems and we are back home in Italy and I am ready to start preparing it for the Spring time out here…

There are quite a few little bits that need looking at, so it should keep me very busy. Fortunately it seems the main mechanicals are all OK and the roof mechanism works without fault – the main ingredients for getting out open topped once the snow and ice melts and the temperature gets up!

I’m sure I’ll be on here soon asking for advice with specific tasks, but before that a good few searches are to be done for bouncing door locks, emission lights, sticky fourth gear, flakey cigarette lighter sockets and many other things!

Wish me luck,

Cluffstarr
 

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Ohh nice trip. One along those lines I would like to do in mine at some point.
 

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Nice that everything went as it should, Spring time.. let it come quickly when the Russians right now is trying to eliminate us Swedes with an massive (ice) cold front, best of luck with your Spider.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi guys,

Well after a few days of getting to know the car (and cleaning off all the salt from the trip...) I definitely have a few issues to resolve.

There's a high pitched noise that seems to originate behind the seats. It doesn't change in pitch or volume when the engine is running. I originally thought it might be related to the battery but could it be the Subwoofer? It has an after market stereo and I wonder if the sub is powered but not delivering a clear signal (with a lot of noise...). I want to check on the weekend but any other suggestions what it could be would be appreciated...

The temperature guage simply will not move off the 'off' (i.e. below 50) mark. I have read about thermostats not working properly but is this more likely to give a dodgy reading than provide no voltage at all to drive the dial? Again, assistance in diagnosing whether it's a dial or thermostat issue would be appreciated.

The other main thing is the fourth gear selection issue but I think that one is beyond me for the time being. I intend to limit my use of that gear until I can get it to Alfaworkshop to have a look at when I get it serviced...!

Cheers in advance, Cluffstarr
 

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If the gauge never moves at all then it could be getting no signal or it's not working. A duff 'stat usually gives you some movement (albeit the needle stays down around 70C or less).

If you get hot air out of the heater, then the stat is probably working okay. When you get home from a longer drive, leave the car idling for a few minutes until the fan cuts it. That should be 92C.


Ralf S.
 

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The high pitched noise might be the fuel pump that you hear, the subwoofer should only produce
low-frequency noise unless it is very poorly connecteded.

Fourth gear - perhaps this is your problem. How To... Remedy a non selecting 4th Gear

Temperature guage sounds like a sensor or connection problem,
but start the engine when cold and feel the upper radiator hose
the hose must remain relatively cold until thermostat opens then
the hose quickly becomes hot if the thermostat is working properly,
doing this to rule out a thermostat problem when the weather is
so cold so you have a stronger cooling effect on the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi guys,

Thanks for the responses. On the way back from the UK the temperature out of the vents was at points quite low even if the heater setting was turned quite high... Perhaps it is the thermostat... A bit of investigation is needed...

First thing though, I noticed tonight there is an oil leak. Or atleast I assume it's engine oil - it could be the gearbox oil contributing to the fourth gear issue... Time to pull out the italian dictionary and go to the Alfa servizio a few kms down the road...!
 

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the responses. On the way back from the UK the temperature out of the vents was at points quite low even if the heater setting was turned quite high... Perhaps it is the thermostat... A bit of investigation is needed...

First thing though, I noticed tonight there is an oil leak. Or atleast I assume it's engine oil - it could be the gearbox oil contributing to the fourth gear issue... Time to pull out the italian dictionary and go to the Alfa servizio a few kms down the road...!
Thermostat sounds like a good idea to check.

Take and smell the oil that leaks, if it has an acrid/pungent smell then it is most likely gearbox oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, well I've had the car looked at by an Alfa Technician and I could see myself that the leak is from the gearbox area. The is also a slight leak around the cambelt but that's due to a slight crack in the cambelt cover so I'll need a new cover there when i get the belts done in the UK in August... Wonderful!

Anyway, to this more pressing gearbox issue. How difficult is it to attempt having a go at refitting the necessary seals and topping up the oil? At the moment I just have a jack but could get hold of some axle stands and go from there... I have the Alfa Workshop manual on CD too for any other help. I'm just not sure this might be a step too far for my first DIY 'fix' on the car!

Even though the day brings bad news, the emissions light is no longer present on the car and the bouncing locks seem to have cured themselves today so hopefully the Spider was protesting about the -15 degree temperature we've been having recently!!

Cheers in advance guys,

Cluffstarr
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Me again guys,

I have read countless threads on gearbox oil leaks and I think the first thing I would like to do is check the oil level in there as this has been going on for a little while now, I don't want to be driving it a long way with a low level in there... Am I right in thinking (the threads don't make it obvious) that with the front left wheel off and the wheel arch liner removed that it's then possible to get in to check the gearbox oil level and top up if necessary?

Cheers, Cluffstarr
 

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Hi Cluffstarr,

Are you sure that the leak is coming from the gearbox? My car leaks engine oil from a seal near the gearbox - it is only a slight leak, but a constant one. Jamie at the Alfa Workshop told me not to worry about it and to leave the seal replacement until the car is due a new clutch, then to have both jobs done at the same time, which is what I plan to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Junior - that's the reason I want to get in and see what the level is at the moment... If it's engine oil (and i think it might be as it doesn't smell acidic as people have pointed out that is could be...), then it may be that I just keep an eye on it and top up frequently and wait to get it to Jamie in the summer...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, these things are sent to test us....

Went out to do a final clean off of the car this morning and wanted to get the roof down. Result : A loud bang and crack goes the rear windscreen. Shards of plastic everywhere.... A quick fix with some transparent tape but now to decide if to get a quick replacement from EBay or try and get a glass one from the chap in Germany...

Now where's that screen thread....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi guys, are the spider door cards exactly the same as the GTV??
 

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Hi Cluffstar, yes they are! the doors are exzactly the same also with the exception of the top seal on the outside that runs along the top of the door. To check oil level you need to remove the top hex/allen bolt at front of gearbox, (being front of engine as you look into engine bay, the drain hole is in the passenger wheel arch and lowest down at at back of gearbox as you look from engine bay. Don't worry about undoing diff plug as its very awkard. (2 Ltrs is what you need for a full gearbox oil change)

As for removing and replacing seals the hardest part is removing gearbox from engine, the seals themselves are very easy! As a head's up, ignore removing subframe to remove gearbox, the hardest part i found was getting starter motor off. You can do this from the engine bay and above.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi guys,

Noticed tonight driving home that the gear knob will lift slightly (with the gear stick, maybe a centimetre) and when I got back home had a closer look at it's lifting through down and into the gearbox. I had no problem selecting gears (other than it being as it's always been - very notchy). Slightly worried. Has anyone had this issue before and if so, how can I look into fixing it??!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bump... Anyone know what this lifting of the gearstick could be??
 
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