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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody,
I have bought last may a 1976 spider junior 1600cc and i am slowly fixing a few little things.
The first and second gear "scratch" slightly when i insert them.
Could this be the famous worn syncro-mesh or is it something else?
Before i bring the car to the mechanic i'd like to have an idea of what this could be and how much would cost to fix or repair it.
thank you for any info or advice.
 

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Normally first gear has no problems, 2nd gear is the weakness: by "scratch" do you mean it grinds the gears trying to get into 1st from a standstill?

this could be the clutch actuation: maybe the system needs a bleed, or the clutch "pivot" weld is giving up (is, for instance, the clutch pedal hanging lower than the brake pedal, that is usually a tell-tale sign of this?), or there is a fluid leak in the system, not allowing full actuation...have you checked under the car for leaks, at the slave cylinder, flexible hose etc?

if it is indeed the 2nd gear synchro, then you are talking gearbox out and a rebuild......you are looking at a good half a grand.

What oil is in the gearbox, do you know? If you do not, it is worth changing whatever is in there to "Redline 75/90 NS" (make sure it is NS!) before undergoing major expense...I did this and there was a big difference in the shifting.

Oh and welcome to the AO:)..........and let's see a pic of your spider, that always goes down well!
 

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My understanding is that there is no Synchro on 1st gear going in from neutral. Certainly both mine are slightly reluctant to go into 1st, I get round it by slightly engaging 2nd from neutral then going into 1st. Of course I know I am just accelerating wear on 2nd Synchro by doing this, but it works.

Definitely worth checking clutch adjustment and clutch cylinder operation and the actuation linkage, they can get worn & bent. That would be a lot cheaper fix then gearbox rebuild.
 

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as Harryf rightly says, first is not synchronised from neutral into first (it is synchronised downshifting to first), hence always a good idea to touch into 2nd, then to 1st when starting off from standstill.
My spider goes into first without any crunch, but I still touch 2nd first, just got used to it from previous alfas!

There is a fix for this, if you happen to have the g/box out for a rebuild and are going through the expense anyway.
Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums - View Single Post - First Gear Fix

Apart from pivot arm, flexible hose etc, its also worth checking the rod length adjustment and free play at operating cylinder:
Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums - View Single Post - Clutch adjustment is to possible
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the help.
I haven't had the time to check properly yet but the gears grind definitely when i shift down from second to first and when i shift up from first to second at slightly higher revs.
From what i am saying it sounds the synchro but i am not sure.
I am quite proficient in house DIY but unfortunately i don't have experience in automotive DIY.
I wouldn't want to dismantle the car without being sure how to put it back.
I have seen that there is a small oil leak under it.
I could try to change/refill the gearbox oil if this could help but i don't know how.
Could anyone tell me how to do this or send me some pics about this, please?
 

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changing the g/box oil is easy, except the car has to go up on jackstands high enough for you to get comfortably under there, and has to be level.
You will need a hex wrench for the filler plug and a socket for the drain plug (or maybe two sockets, depending what is there...have a look underneath)

First remove the filler plug (because if you first undo the drain plug, then find the filler plug doesn't budge, you have no oil left in the gearbox to drive it to a mechanic!), then the drain plug and drain the oil into a containor.
Clean off the drain plug magnetic piece (it will have metal shavings on it), and put it back in (use a new copper washer) when it stops draining and then fill through the filler plug, slowly, until the oil starts dripping out...you will need some sort of hand oil pump to get the oil in.

Photo shows the filler and drain plugs, on the left side of the gearbox.
Gearbox takes 1,8 litres, or, if you use the redline NS as suggested, then 2 bottles, as these are quart bottles.

or just take it to a small local garage, and supply them with the correct oil...
 
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