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Discussion Starter #1
My GTA front suspension strip down is taking forever because of all the rusted / seized bolts and galvanic corrosion - a month so far and still counting... Good job I've got a spare car :rolleyes:

But now I've come up against something which has really got me flummoxed - how to remove the rear gearbox mount so I can get the subframe out at last. I managed to undo the mount-to-subframe bolt with a lot of grunting straining (my breaker bar's bent now!) but I cannot even crack the gearbox to mount bolts at all!

I could put even more pressure on them by using a bottle jack to force the breaker bar upwards, but I'm worried galvanic corrosion has seized the bolts into the 'box casing. Most bits can be replaced without too much hassle when corrosion has eaten the threads away, but I get the feeling a replacement GTA 'box might set me back a few quid!

So, is there any way to get the subframe out without removing these pesky bolts and potentially wrecking my box? I'm planning to drop the box anyway; I figure after all this hassle I might as well change the clutch whilst everything's off, so any gearbox wiggling / removal of other mounts won't worry me too much.
 

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When I did the clutch on my gtv 2.0 TS, I couldn't get this mount off either so I resorted to leaving it on and pulling the gearbox out with it. Once on the ground I was able to get much better leverage and it came off quite easily.

How long is your breaker bar? I recently upgraded to a 2ft'er and it makes a world of difference.

I am told that if you coat the bolt in WD40 and then whack it once very hard with a hammer it will "Shock" the theread and break any corrosion. Failing that, blowtorch.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks, will give both things a try, I've just ground off the last thing (I hope) preventing me getting the box off - an allen-headed bolt which had been turned into a round-headed bolt by a mixture of corrosion and overtightening last time the clutch was changed.

It'd be good if I can even get one of the big bolts shifted because then I can rotate the mount round the other bolt, which will either loosen it or hopefully give me enough clearance to get the subframe off, and if that fails then go through the fiddly business of wiggling the gearbox free. At least I'm an expert on wiggling gearboxes out in zero space - I'm a 306 GTi6 veteran so I'm used to having around 5mm clearance :thumbup:

BTW I've got several things I use as breaker bars - a normal one, an extendable tyre iron thingy which is about a metre long, and an old dial-type torque wrench which I modified to take a steel pole as a handle, which is around 2.5m long; that's the one which bent!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It worked :)

I've now got both bolts free so I can finally unbolt the subframe. And then the next issue came up.

I took the gearbox drain plug out, and got 1.5 litres of what looks like red ATF out (hope that's the correct fluid), and found the magnetic drain plug was full to the brim with swarf. I'm hoping that's not the reason reverse selection's so 'baulky' or I may be looking for a new gearbox after all...
 

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I am assuming your car is a manual 156 GTA? That is very much the wrong fluid!.

Any odd whines or bangs from the tranny? If not you might have just gotton away with it but you (well, whoever last worked on it) have probably seriously reduced its life expectency.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, it's the bog standard 156 GTA 6 speeder, with a Q2. It's difficult to know whether it is ATF or not, from what I've read sometimes the correct fluid is red coloured like ATF, but this does seem very thin and has an ATF-like smell. OTOH the synchros seem to operate fine (I wouldn't expect them to work well if the fluid was too thin) so I'm a bit in the dark.

Difficult to know what it is really, though the large amount of swarf is extremely worrying.
 

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Well I have never known normal gearbox fluid to be red, I could be wrong though?
 

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It worked :)

I've now got both bolts free so I can finally unbolt the subframe. And then the next issue came up.

I took the gearbox drain plug out, and got 1.5 litres of what looks like red ATF out (hope that's the correct fluid), and found the magnetic drain plug was full to the brim with swarf. I'm hoping that's not the reason reverse selection's so 'baulky' or I may be looking for a new gearbox after all...
What in particular worked for you? As above haven't seen manual gearbox oil of that colour. The swarf does sound a bit worrying but if you have had no real issues fingers crossed that it is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
What in particular worked for you? As above haven't seen manual gearbox oil of that colour. The swarf does sound a bit worrying but if you have had no real issues fingers crossed that it is ok.
The penetrating oil and shock method of getting the bolts out worked, thank goodnss.

Ned says in this thread that the corect oil for the 'box with Q2 is sometimes red:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-gta/610129-atf-fluid-leak-on-147-gta.html

The prev owner always had it serviced by Peak Alfa, and just prior to him getting it the Q2 was fitted by Alfatechnico, so hopefully neither of them effed the gearbox oil up. However it was difficult selecting reverse when I got it, and it made a 'crrk!' noise if you accelerated from rest (which I suspect was caused by the missing 'snap' ring between the n/s/f cv joint and the driveshaft).

Main reason why I started my epic suspension rebuild saga was a mixture of the weird noise, the reverse difficulty, knocking from the n/s/f suspension, low ride height at the front, and a rather nasty occasion where it did an uncontrollable dive for the side of the road half way round a roundabout (probably that cv joint again), so I only drove it four times before it came off the road, but I didn't notice any gear change issues during that short time.

I was expecting to have to spend a fair bit on it (I got my 'dream machine' for a bargain price, and I'd probably make most of my money back if I broke it for spares) but it is going to be a pain if I do have to replace the box; I'd probably stick a 2.5 box and driveshafts in (with the Q2) if it came to that, but for the moment I'll just replace the clutch and gearshift bushes, refill with oil, hope for the best, and book it into Autolusso for a health check when I've got it all back together.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Think I might have an explanation for the swarf - I was giving the 'box a quick wipe down and found a 'reconditioned' tag underneath the grime, and it looked fairly recent. So my guess is the 'box was replaced with a reconditoned one when they did the Q2 about 40k ago (presumably the old diff went bang and lunched everything), the swarf is probably from the new bearings / synchros bedding in, and the 'box is just overdue for it's initial oil change.

Also found the exhaust is pretty new whilst completely removing the downpipes, and celebrated my good fortune by smacking myself round the head with the longer downpipe. Ow.
 

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Think I might have an explanation for the swarf - I was giving the 'box a quick wipe down and found a 'reconditioned' tag underneath the grime, and it looked fairly recent. So my guess is the 'box was replaced with a reconditoned one when they did the Q2 about 40k ago (presumably the old diff went bang and lunched everything), the swarf is probably from the new bearings / synchros bedding in, and the 'box is just overdue for it's initial oil change.

Also found the exhaust is pretty new whilst completely removing the downpipes, and celebrated my good fortune by smacking myself round the head with the longer downpipe. Ow.
Those Alfa recon geabox's are terrible, often the shafts are shimmed too tight and that could well be the cause of your swarf

Give it an oil change and see how you get on, oil required at a good price

Fuchs Titan Gear Syn 75W-90 Semi Synthetic Manual Gearbox Oil - Autolusso New Alfa Romeo Parts

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those Alfa recon geabox's are terrible, often the shafts are shimmed too tight and that could well be the cause of your swarf

Give it an oil change and see how you get on, oil required at a good price

Fuchs Titan Gear Syn 75W-90 Semi Synthetic Manual Gearbox Oil - Autolusso New Alfa Romeo Parts

Ned
Thanks Ned, I figured it'd be something like that when I saw the newish 'reconditoned' tag on the box.

Might be a while before I get round to checking the results though - I still need to order the replacement clutch (and all the nuts / bolts which I had to grind off), finish getting the 'box off (it seems to be taunting me today - "Har har, you think you're so clever, well you're not. You've already hit yourself in the face for no reason, and you've got another think coming if you reckon you can reach my bolts in that way") and rebuild the rear suspension (shudder) before I give it a test drive.
 

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Thanks Ned, I figured it'd be something like that when I saw the newish 'reconditoned' tag on the box.

Might be a while before I get round to checking the results though - I still need to order the replacement clutch (and all the nuts / bolts which I had to grind off), finish getting the 'box off (it seems to be taunting me today - "Har har, you think you're so clever, well you're not. You've already hit yourself in the face for no reason, and you've got another think coming if you reckon you can reach my bolts in that way") and rebuild the rear suspension (shudder) before I give it a test drive.
Haha you had trouble with the top starter bolt then

We have all the bolts etc you will need to put it back together

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha you had trouble with the top starter bolt then

We have all the bolts etc you will need to put it back together

Ned
Yep, that's the one!

I'll have a dig through eper once I've hot everything off (just in case anything else snaps / jams / falls to bits) and send you a list...
 

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Yep, that's the one!

I'll have a dig through eper once I've hot everything off (just in case anything else snaps / jams / falls to bits) and send you a list...
Don't worry about eper and a list that is a long way of doing it, just come over and we will find you what you need, we will have everything is our used parts department

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Don't worry about eper and a list that is a long way of doing it, just come over and we will find you what you need, we will have everything is our used parts department

Ned
Cool :)

Talking of which, I found out the easiest way to get to that pesky starter bolt without creating weird and wonderful tools was to drop the rear exhaust manifold!

Whilst I was doing that I noticed something a little worrying - the heat from the rear cat had started to 'cook' the wiring going to the ecu - the outer shield had melted a bit and the the wiring looks a little shiny.

Between getting the 'hardest' of the two manifolds off (iirc they were replaced fairly recently, though how they were done without dropping the subframe is a mystery) and the cooked wiring, it's got me thinking... Hmm... CF2 time maybe?

I'll drop you and Dan a PM about CF2 manifolds :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quick update before work tomorrow - the rear manifold's off, the starter's off, the gearbox is half-off (input shaft disengaged, box supported by a couple of metal locating dowels and a trolley jack), and the subframe is off too :thumbup:

I've also ordered some nice Wizard exhaust manifolds from Pud237 (I figure it'll save me money in the long run since I won't eventually need to replace cooked looms, a fried ecu and two dirty great cats), so next stop will be a new clutch and a whole load of nuts and bolts from Ned (probably about 60% of the front suspension nuts / bolts needed to be ground off or split, or are too rusty to trust again) and a hope that my bank account doesn't look too badly battered after all this :paranoid:
 
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