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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
You may be my only hope! It's long tale of woe but hopefully it'll have a happy ending.

Brace yourselves, it's a long one...sorry!

I have a problem child GT who ate a clutch 18 months ago and a belt almost 9 months ago.
For about 3 months he was perfect.

He then developed an odd gear problem. Finding gears is no issue but often when you try to get it out of a gear it sticks. The problem has got worse and now is guaranteed to happen many times on every journey. It seems to be at its worst and most difficult when going down a hill.The first few changes of the day seem okay but it's worse as the engine warms up.

I've googled but no-one seems to only have this issue getting out of gear and it's driving me mad.

Adding insult to injury in his usual manner, a month ago the diff went and punched a hole in the clutch. In my stupidity I thought the car would come back free of any issues, presuming that the diff dying was what was causing the sticky feeling. It had a new gearbox and clutch, oils bled and changed. The sticky gear change came back with it. It was okay for a day but then got really bad. With foot to floor it would stick in gear. Only releasing after a few attempts and a bit of muscle.

When it does change properly it's beautifully smooth. If the revs are high it seems easier but when decelerating it is horrible.

Last week it got to a point I could barely get it out of gear.

I had mechanics take it away who just said it felt a bit notchy! They then changed the linkages and the gearstick mechanism.

I drove it again...still sticky.
I'm desperate. Has anyone had these problems?

Apparently racing changes without using the clutch are fine...does that point towards the clutch being the culprit?

Someone suggested engine or gearbox mounts, another said acctuator. It's making driving a chore and I'm worried I'll do more damage.

Please...I don't know what to try next!
 

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I think the simplest possibility is that the clutch release mechanism is slowly sucking air in after it has been bled, so the clutch does not fully release. Good synchros would mask this when engaging a gear, just feeling notchy, but not when coming out of gear. If you get the clutch bled again and it improves for only a day, again, then that points to air getting in. I think that's usually a failing master cylinder, but I'm not sure on these cars.
 

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I have experienced this - goes into gear fine and then really hard to get out again. It happens quite often sometimes and then not at all for a long time. It's currently in remission. Because it comes and goes I suspect it's some crud in the gearbox itself moving around. If you search on here there is a procedure where you can take the end off the gearbox without removing it completely and clean out the swarf. Not done it myself.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. Getting the clutch bled asap and will update after! Fingers crossed it should be so simple!
 

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I have experienced this - goes into gear fine and then really hard to get out again. It happens quite often sometimes and then not at all for a long time. It's currently in remission. Because it comes and goes I suspect it's some crud in the gearbox itself moving around. If you search on here there is a procedure where you can take the end off the gearbox without removing it completely and clean out the swarf. Not done it myself.
Thats only the 5-speed Twinspark/JTS gearboxes, not JTD. Unfortunately there is no such easy access on the JTD gearbox.

Has it ever had the clutch slave cylinder changed during any of these works? It is possible you have the wrong slave fitted but that would usually make selecting a gear difficult too. It could also be leaking air as RT says, meaning the clutch isn't fully disengaging when you have the pedal on the floor.
 

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Thats only the 5-speed Twinspark/JTS gearboxes, not JTD. Unfortunately there is no such easy access on the JTD gearbox.

Has it ever had the clutch slave cylinder changed during any of these works? It is possible you have the wrong slave fitted but that would usually make selecting a gear difficult too. It could also be leaking air as RT says, meaning the clutch isn't fully disengaging when you have the pedal on the floor.
Aha, my bad. :paperbag:

I'm as sure as I can be that there's nothing wrong with the clutch action when it happens on mine.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
The master and slave was changed when the clutch went a year or so ago. Neither were changed this time. There really is no problem when I'm going up the box when the revs are high. I've started giving it a nudge on the accelerator just before I change down a gear and it's a lot easier. I accept I can't continue doing this as when I'm going down a hill is a bit more difficult!

The clutch pedal is confusing me too. When the clutch was changed I could've used my finger to change gear but it does seem to have got heavier quite quickly. Don't get me wrong, it's not hard or stiff, there seems quite a spring to it but it definitely has changed in a matter of a week.

My boss, who has driven it says it feels a bit like a car with a clutch cable that's badly adjusted.
I'm really grateful for all your suggestions...keep 'em coming!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, so clutch bled, no discernable change. Gearbox oil (the one specified for the car) topped up, no discernable change.
In desperaration I looked at symptoms of a dodgy DMF, there is no noise and smooth pull offs every time.
There are no leaks on any parts of the engine and there's no pools of fluid gathering anywhere.
The master & slave were fitted the first time the clutch went about a year ago.

Please? Any help?
 

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Is it any different with the engine hot but switched off, using clutch and without ?

Does going up a steep hill make it easier ?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Apparently racing changes aren't a problem and I now give the engine a quick rev before I change gear, up or down. For example, it works if I'm in third, mini rev and change down a gear with the clutch. That works okay.

However, if I coast to an almost standstill and try to select 2nd from 3rd, it feels stuck and doesn't come out easily. Equally, if I'm driving and someone makes an abrupt manoeuvre in front, if I have to slam on and change out of gear to restart my journey it'll stick.

It finds all gears fine, it's as if it is magnetised to the gear it is in when I change down.

I'm now reading about clutch forks and bearings. The bearing would've been done when the clutch was changed. Is it possible to fit incorrectly and if so would this be a symptom?

There are no odd engine noises, just the usual diesel noise.
Thanks...hopefully you've got some advice!
 

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Did these issues start after the diff failed? If so, it may be that some internal damage has resulted. In which case your cheapest option would be a replacement gearbox. Expect to pay around £150 - £250 for a good 2nd hand one.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
The same symptoms happened prior to the diff and clutch failing. Ther gearbox and clutch have been replaced and the symptoms still persist.
 

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Clutching at straws now, but I think the alternative may be to open the bell housing up to investigate, so worth checking these.

A figure for the travel of the clutch release arm should be available from Alfa. If it consistently moves the correct distance then the master and slave cylinders are good. If not investigate those.

Gearboxes have a detent (mechanical logic) system that prevents two gears being engaged at once. If the gear change cables aren't adjusted properly it might be possible that a detent is just beginning to engage, partially locking the change mechanism. So, double check that the change is set up right. Since the fault has spanned a change of cables, it might be that incorrect information was supplied/used.

If the flywheel can move axially (along the line of the crankshaft) then some of the movement of the release mechanism will be used up moving it rather than releasing the clutch. A failing DMF could probably do this, but it's inside the bell housing so expensive to check. Failing crankshaft thrust bearings could do the same. I don't think it's very likely that they could allow enough movement to cause serious clutch drag, but they can be checked by levering on the nose wheel, to see how much it will move in and out.

Anything else outside the bell housing???
 

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Is it any different with the engine hot but switched off, using clutch and without ?

Does going up a steep hill make it easier ?
Any feedback on this ? It might help pinpoint if it's clutch related or gear selector related (not adjusted correctly). Also, the issue of uphill/downhill suggests movement of the engine/gearbox (soft/failed mountings) might be throwing out the gear selector alignment. This same movement also occurs when accelerating vs decelerating so may also affect the selector alignment. Shouldn't really happen with cables but who knows, especially if movement is excessive.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Hello,

I'm asking my mechanic for advice on this. I first noticed it on hills but the fact is, it's related to slowing down and changing down a gear. Speeding up and keeping the revs high makes changes up easy.

There was no fluid leaking.
Are there any diagrams anywhere for correct linkage alignment and or the travel of the release arm RT mentioned?
I'm at my wits end and considering saying goodbye to it despite how much I love it and the fortune I've spent.
 

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I have to say I would still suspect the clutch slave cylinder. It's quite possible for a seal to let air in but not leak fluid, losing operating travel. Or it may be a problem at the master cylinder, which will almost certainly have two seals - the primary inner seal leaks fluid, the outer secondary does not. Again there's no external sign of an issue, just lost movement. I have had exactly this fault with brakes (master) on a non-Alfa car and on a motorcycle clutch (slave).

If you find a quick pump of the clutch pedal eases changing gear, that would confirm. By that I mean press the clutch pedal, allow it to quickly return, then immediately press again and change gear, see if it's easier. Because this fault really does sound like clutch drag.

My clutch slave is leaking, although it's working fine. It's only 20k and a couple of years since it was replaced by the previous owner. Obviously it is rubbish, to fail so quickly. There are many mfrs of these cylinders - I found 4 when looking the other day. TRW, Bosch, Sachs, FTE. Price and (very likely) quality vary between £32+VAT and £65+VAT from discount suppliers. I know mine cost £40 from a not particularly cheap supplier, and I suspect I got a POS.
 

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My clutch slave is leaking, although it's working fine. It's only 20k and a couple of years since it was replaced by the previous owner. Obviously it is rubbish, to fail so quickly. There are many mfrs of these cylinders - I found 4 when looking the other day. TRW, Bosch, Sachs, FTE. Price and (very likely) quality vary between £32+VAT and £65+VAT from discount suppliers. I know mine cost £40 from a not particularly cheap supplier, and I suspect I got a POS.
And there are errors in motorfactor catalogues too, Alfa used a couple of different master cylinders and a few different slave cylinders, you need the right combo for your model & engine size otherwise the bite point is in the wrong place, or worse, you have not enough or too much travel. I keep only genuine & Bendix slave cylinders in stock, I've had problems with being supplied the wrong cylinders before.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I tend to agree Halftone. It makes sense, I'm hoping I can get that investigated soon. I'm running out of money.
 
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