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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Gearbox shifting problems

Hi everyone. I have an ongoing problem with shifting in my 1960 Giulietta Spider Veloce with a 5 speed. A little history: The gearbox was rebuilt 15,000 miles ago with all new bearings, synchro, etc. by a well known, respected mechanic/retired racer here on Portland area. Third gear was always tight. Last year I pulled the motor and gearbox to fix an engine oil pan leak and at that time replaced the clutch, pressure plate and T.O. bearing with a new Sachs. On the last AROO club drive I started having problems with shifting between first and second. It felt like I was pulling the shifter through rubber. Very stiff. I pulled the box, with help from my friends Denny T and Greg B. and took the box to Nasko's here in Portland OR. and he discovered the two fork rods were bent, and there was considerable wear on the brass forks. He he replaced the rods and replaced the forks (modified) with the later style -- I have an earlier box. He said everything else looked good.

The problem: Shifting into second gear in any normal manner causes it to grind especially if my foot is not completely hard down on the clutch pedal. If I shift very slowly it's OK. Downshifting from third, same result. So, I tried adjusting the clutch rod to get the maximum clutch disengagement as possible. I virtually have all the rod linkage backlash removed. At the pedal I have the clutch starting to engage about 1" off the floor? I have about another 1" of pedal travel from rest to where I feel the T.O. bearing pressure. Am I adjusting the linkage correct. Should I remove more play? I am afraid I will have the T.O. bearing in-play full time if I go further. I have had the grinding issue develop before after a long drive, and I replaced the clutch because of slipping (it was a relined clutch). Oh, and all the pins are all like new and the holes are not out of round. Am overlooking something? Help!

Thanks,

George Kraus
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 07:34 PM
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Hi everyone. I have an ongoing problem with shifting in my 1960 Giulietta Spider Veloce with a 5 speed. A little history: The gearbox was rebuilt 15,000 miles ago with all new bearings, synchro, etc. by a well known, respected mechanic/retired racer here on Portland area. Third gear was always tight. Last year I pulled the motor and gearbox to fix an engine oil pan leak and at that time replaced the clutch, pressure plate and T.O. bearing with a new Sachs. On the last AROO club drive I started having problems with shifting between first and second. It felt like I was pulling the shifter through rubber. Very stiff. I pulled the box, with help from my friends Denny T and Greg B. and took the box to Nasko's here in Portland OR. and he discovered the two fork rods were bent, and there was considerable wear on the brass forks. He he replaced the rods and replaced the forks (modified) with the later style -- I have an earlier box. He said everything else looked good.

The problem: Shifting into second gear in any normal manner causes it to grind especially if my foot is not completely hard down on the clutch pedal. If I shift very slowly it's OK. Downshifting from third, same result. So, I tried adjusting the clutch rod to get the maximum clutch disengagement as possible. I virtually have all the rod linkage backlash removed. At the pedal I have the clutch starting to engage about 1" off the floor? I have about another 1" of pedal travel from rest to where I feel the T.O. bearing pressure. Am I adjusting the linkage correct. Should I remove more play? I am afraid I will have the T.O. bearing in-play full time if I go further. I have had the grinding issue develop before after a long drive, and I replaced the clutch because of slipping (it was a relined clutch). Oh, and all the pins are all like new and the holes are not out of round. Am overlooking something? Help!

Thanks,
It's really hard to trump what expertise you have at hand . I have built a few, maybe 5, of these boxes and know enough to be dangerous..Bent forks are for someone else to give you a reason for. I have seen wear outside spec but not bent forks. Personally I don't believe in throwing everything in the trash bin for starters. I have never replaced bearings and always payed close attention to sleeve wear and ring wear. i got pretty good at swapping around stuff that had many many thousands of miles of life. I know more problems created by chucking everything than refreshing everything. SOOOO ... New Sachs what? I sold the last PP I have ever seen. The repops??? don't know. Seems like if shifting is a problem it is a miss-match of synchros and sleeves. A good mechanic should know that on the bench after it is assembled how it will work in the car. Now that I have just made you mad... well you are at the mercy of your local experts. Sorry .. can't add any salve to the wounds. Bending forks is not in my repertoire. If the car isn't shifting properly it either has occurred suddenly or through cycles of frustrated forcing in attempts to make things better but yet results in things worse.

Last edited by divotandtralee; 08-10-2019 at 04:04 AM.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 07:57 PM
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Clutch Release issue

Removed my post and moved it to my technical questions thread as this involved mechanical linkage, not hydralic clutch release...

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:37 AM
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Giulietta clutch linkages are all mechanical - rod & fork with clevis pins at the linkages

George - you said you have an early box, I presume it's the original 4 speed which you have upgraded to 5th - if so I presume you kept the original Giulietta casing and used internals from a later Giulia 101 or early or perhaps even late 105 box ? If so then what synchro's are used in the set up you have ?? --> the early brass ones with the grooves around the circumference or the later ones which look like black 80 grit sandpaper on the surface ?? Different oils are required for each version of synchro. The Factory specified Dentax - today any simple GL1 tractor oil is the equivalent

The early brass synchro's require a non molybdenum oil like Dentax (simple GL1), the later black sandpaper type will tolerate an EP (Extreme pressure) molybdenum (Moly) additive in the oil. Wrong oil will cause the early synchros to virtually cease to function.

Not sure why you should be battling to shift (very stiff like pulling through rubber you said), but the early & late synchro cones are not the same size, the early synchro rings are not compatible with the late cones and vice versa. This might be the cause of your bent shift forks ??

My suggestion is to first check the huge rubber thick rubber noise & road dust seal at the turret, (not the small boot keeping the oil in, but the thick rubber dust seal) - that can be a cause of poor shifting as its a hard mass to move if it's not sitting quite right - go for a drive without it & see

If the dust seal is fine, then drain the box, check the oil for any particles in suspension, then peek through the filler hole to see if you can see the synchro cones - if brass, then go with a standard GL1 oil - you may have to flush it two or three times to get rid of the clingy EP additives..... if that makes absolutely no difference, then you are reduced to pulling the box again

Now before we get into a drawn out saga about various oils, Redline etc, etc, stock GL1 (Dentax equivalent) works just fine in early boxes. You can add your choice of the spendy stuff when its right.

Let us know how you fare

Ciao
Greig
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Giulietta clutch linkages are all mechanical - rod & fork with clevis pins at the linkages

George - you said you have an early box, I presume it's the original 4 speed which you have upgraded to 5th - if so I presume you kept the original Giulietta casing and used internals from a later Giulia 101 or early or perhaps even late 105 box ? If so then what synchro's are used in the set up you have ?? --> the early brass ones with the grooves around the circumference or the later ones which look like black 80 grit sandpaper on the surface ?? Different oils are required for each version of synchro. The Factory specified Dentax - today any simple GL1 tractor oil is the equivalent

The early brass synchro's require a non molybdenum oil like Dentax (simple GL1), the later black sandpaper type will tolerate an EP (Extreme pressure) molybdenum (Moly) additive in the oil. Wrong oil will cause the early synchros to virtually cease to function.

Not sure why you should be battling to shift (very stiff like pulling through rubber you said), but the early & late synchro cones are not the same size, the early synchro rings are not compatible with the late cones and vice versa. This might be the cause of your bent shift forks ??

My suggestion is to first check the huge rubber thick rubber noise & road dust seal at the turret, (not the small boot keeping the oil in, but the thick rubber dust seal) - that can be a cause of poor shifting as its a hard mass to move if it's not sitting quite right - go for a drive without it & see

If the dust seal is fine, then drain the box, check the oil for any particles in suspension, then peek through the filler hole to see if you can see the synchro cones - if brass, then go with a standard GL1 oil - you may have to flush it two or three times to get rid of the clingy EP additives..... if that makes absolutely no difference, then you are reduced to pulling the box again

Now before we get into a drawn out saga about various oils, Redline etc, etc, stock GL1 (Dentax equivalent) works just fine in early boxes. You can add your choice of the spendy stuff when its right.

Let us know how you fare

Ciao
Greig
Thanks Rick and Greg.
Greg, I think you are correct that it's the original 4 speed upgraded to 5th - and the original Giulietta casing and used internals from a later Giulia 101 or early or perhaps even late 105 box. It's been ten years and will need to go through my 2 inch pile of receipts to check. I have never seen the inside of this box. it was rebuilt 10 years and 15,000 mi ago with later style synchros and uses standard 80/90 GL-5 gear oil. That was confirmed by the original builder of the box and this past week by Nasko. The problem with the very stiff like pulling through rubber was before Nasko disassembled it last week and replaced the forks and bent rods. It now shifts fine through all gears but grinds in second and in reverse if motor is not at idle. It feels more like the clutch is not disengaging fully although I suppose second gear synchro could be bad and not spotted by Nasko. I will have to call Nasko's next week to pick his brain. He said everything else looked good so didn't replace anything else.

And no Rick, I could never be mad at you...

Cheers,
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:57 PM
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I don't have my Giulia handy at the moment but an inch off the floor for when you feel the clutch start to grab seems a bit low.

The manual says 23mm free pedal travel at the top, but on my car that was a bit too much. I set it more like 1/2" (12mm) and now I get proper clutch release. That raises up the engagement point further from the floor.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have my Giulia handy at the moment but an inch off the floor for when you feel the clutch start to grab seems a bit low.

The manual says 23mm free pedal travel at the top, but on my car that was a bit too much. I set it more like 1/2" (12mm) and now I get proper clutch release. That raises up the engagement point further from the floor.
Thanks Tom. Control rod "T" is now pulled tight with no slack in the linkage. I am going to play with adjusting the rods more and see what happens.

George Kraus
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:15 PM
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Geo...all that free play stuff is huey.. UNLESS everything is correct inside the box...... I think there are ways to make a correct box work if outside of minor adjustments in the linkage. These aren't the space shuttle to activate a gear you choose. Worn pins and worn clutch surface and shaft throw leaves out all the other options. I haven't done 15 thou on a clutch but that is lowest on the food chain of solutions.. GEEEoooo .. Hope you get it fixed.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 08:07 AM
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Lubricants

The typical GL5 lubricants should NEVER be used in a balk ring syncronized box as are these. Regardless of Moly or non-moly bands.

RedLine 75-90 NS is a specially formulated GL5 specifically made for balk ring transmissions,
Even the containers list Alfa Romeo and Porsche as specific application.

The super slippery common GL5 lubes defeat the necessary friction needed, for the syncros to work correctly. I suggest you drain the stuff out, and pour in a quart of diesel fuel or kerosene and let the car run in neutral for a two or 3 minutes to flush out the GL5. Drain and fill with 3 pints of Redline 75-90 NS.
The "flush" gets the GL5 out of the internals of the syncronizers where the friction bands are located. They are the "brake shoes" of the syncronizing system.

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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The typical GL5 lubricants should NEVER be used in a balk ring syncronized box as are these. Regardless of Moly or non-moly bands.

RedLine 75-90 NS is a specially formulated GL5 specifically made for balk ring transmissions,
Even the containers list Alfa Romeo and Porsche as specific application.

The super slippery common GL5 lubes defeat the necessary friction needed, for the syncros to work correctly. I suggest you drain the stuff out, and pour in a quart of diesel fuel or kerosene and let the car run in neutral for a two or 3 minutes to flush out the GL5. Drain and fill with 3 pints of Redline 75-90 NS.
The "flush" gets the GL5 out of the internals of the syncronizers where the friction bands are located. They are the "brake shoes" of the syncronizing system.
Soooo I'm confused. Why would Nasko, a well know and respected Alfa mechanic use a typical GL5 lubricant in the gearboxes he rebuilds? I hope you are right and it is as simple as that. Any other comments out there about the oil choice?

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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Dentax or equivalent (90W) is a safe alternative for all gear boxes to my knowledge ..I'm sure Richard speaks from experience. I only used it on the early synchros (grooved) and Redline on all the 105 and >. I do agree with Richard that the sleeves and rings must match for composition and it is easy enough to get lost on mis-matching them. I know mechanics that should know the difference but never paid attention to the differences. Then they blame the lousy design and ALL Alfas have a built in second gear clash, just like ALL Alfas leak oil. It's endemic in the fixer-up community. Many times the NEW mixed parts will work for a long time but perhaps not as long as they should. How many times have we all been down that road with repop parts even for our daily SUV driver?
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Dentax or equivalent (90W) is a safe alternative for all gear boxes to my knowledge ..I'm sure Richard speaks from experience. I only used it on the early synchros (grooved) and Redline on all the 105 and >. I do agree with Richard that the sleeves and rings must match for composition and it is easy enough to get lost on mis-matching them. I know mechanics that should know the difference but never paid attention to the differences. Then they blame the lousy design and ALL Alfas have a built in second gear clash, just like ALL Alfas leak oil. It's endemic in the fixer-up community. Many times the NEW mixed parts will work for a long time but perhaps not as long as they should. How many times have we all been down that road with repop parts even for our daily SUV driver?
What about using a 75, 80/90 GL4?

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 04:07 PM
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The typical GL5 lubricants should NEVER be used in a balk ring syncronized box as are these. Regardless of Moly or non-moly bands.

RedLine 75-90 NS is a specially formulated GL5 specifically made for balk ring transmissions,
Even the containers list Alfa Romeo and Porsche as specific application.

The super slippery common GL5 lubes defeat the necessary friction needed, for the syncros to work correctly. I suggest you drain the stuff out, and pour in a quart of diesel fuel or kerosene and let the car run in neutral for a two or 3 minutes to flush out the GL5. Drain and fill with 3 pints of Redline 75-90 NS.
The "flush" gets the GL5 out of the internals of the syncronizers where the friction bands are located. They are the "brake shoes" of the syncronizing system.
While I agree with your basic premise, the Alfa gearbox does not use a balk ring synchro. It uses a servo synchro also known as a Porsche synchro. I think most gearboxes do not take well to a GL5 oil as that spec includes an EP additive which degrades synchro action.
I have a low mileage (35K) '74 GTV that had basically no synchro action on 2nd gear. I swapped in a fill of Pennsoil synchromesh gear lube and ~200 miles later the synchros work pretty good. Not perfect, but acceptably. I suggst the OP try out the Pennsoil product if the clutch hydraulics are in order.
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 05:28 AM
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What about using a 75, 80/90 GL4?
No on the GL-4 as I see it. It is the main reason the synchros failed historically.. that plus low fill levels. Purely unscientific and not empirical..

GL-1 is the stuff that went into the early gearbox. GL-4 the diff. ( Spirax -- ergo Spiral Gear lube ergo differential... marketing is a real fun subject)

Spirax could be used in SOME trannies but not YOURS...https://www.oilspecifications.org/api_gos.php

Garages skipped the fine print and put it in everything.. Too busy to switch and the hose that retracted into a ceiling hose reel didn't have a selector to switch grades. The thinking was a fillled tranny and diff was better than a dry one. Ps CH there is no hydraulic clutch as you know..
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 06:35 AM
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The suggestion to use a GL-4 gear oil in the Alfa final drive is incorrect. A GL-5 oil, recommended for hypoid gears, is needed. GL-4 is not recommended for hypoid gears.
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