Worst Pain In The Rear????? - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 01:40 PM
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Getting the wheels balanced on my '69 GTV.

How hard can this be??

took it to the local tire shop, they cross threaded one of the lugs and was not able to get the lug off. Had to get a new stud and lug from alfaholics. went back with the new parts and they stripped another stud! Then they gave up. They told me they were afraid of my car and offered me a full refund because they did not want to deal with it. I countered with paying them but letting me work along side of them using their lift and tools. They went for it. (pretty cool as they are a national chain.) I worked along with their guys. I had them borrow a die set to clean off the stud from the shop down the street. It took us working together the whole day (figuring out how to get the lug off, etc...) but we got it done.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divotandtralee View Post
These cars are as simple as it gets for the DIYer...Some jobs are tricky and take some noodling but once done in the proper sequence it is very satisfying. Unfortunately that sequence isn't always covered for every task in the manuals. As with all disassembly and reassembly, there is a right way and a wrong way and it is amazing how rapidly things go south if started the wrong way.. This website has helped me immeasurably.
I totally agree with this. My experience has been completely the opposite of the OP's. I find my Alfa very simple simple and straightforward to work on. It's a great classic to own for somebody like me with limited mechanical ability like me. In general easy to work on and parts readily available.

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Originally Posted by Vivace View Post
Try to do ANYthing on a modern Audi and this is your life. Five systems need to be removed or disassembled to get to the one you're working on. So frustrating.
^^^^ This. My 2005 A4 stymied me so many times I lost count. And parts were super expensive. I spent far more money on pro mechanics for that car than any other I've owned. I loved that her with all of my heart but she stabbed me in the back! Never again.

Chris

1990 Spider Veloce
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Legomedic View Post

3rd worst: Engine mountings
2nd worst: Removing the starter (I just battled OK)
Worst by far: Removing the heater box
Well yeah - you just listed THE three hardest jobs on the car in their proper order! Every car has some tough jobs somewhere on them.

I've had the intake off enough times though that I've got it down pat so 2 and 3 aren't so tough anymore.

Chris

1990 Spider Veloce
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Garfinkel View Post
Getting the wheels balanced on my '69 GTV.

How hard can this be??

took it to the local tire shop, they cross threaded one of the lugs and was not able to get the lug off. Had to get a new stud and lug from alfaholics. went back with the new parts and they stripped another stud! Then they gave up. They told me they were afraid of my car and offered me a full refund because they did not want to deal with it. I countered with paying them but letting me work along side of them using their lift and tools. They went for it. (pretty cool as they are a national chain.) I worked along with their guys. I had them borrow a die set to clean off the stud from the shop down the street. It took us working together the whole day (figuring out how to get the lug off, etc...) but we got it done.
Over-torqueing a wheel nut will return this result with any car. Want to see a Porsche guy pass out ? Watch him as the tire store man rattle wrenches the alloy nuts on his Fuchs wheels.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divotandtralee View Post
Over-torqueing a wheel nut will return this result with any car. Want to see a Porsche guy pass out ? Watch him as the tire store man rattle wrenches the alloy nuts on his Fuchs wheels.
Not over torqued- cross threaded and stuck with 1/4 inch between the bottom of the lug and the wheel. Had to drill it out!
I hand tightened the lugs....
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:49 AM
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those freakin' springs on the hand/park brake pads!

......my car was on a lift, up in the air (so, easy job methinks)
I was literally hanging off the little fat sob handbrake spring, my whole weight, feet off the ground, whilst my brother was trying to twist the end inwards to get it to locate.

(just consider Luigi at the factory, this thing is passing by on the conveyor belt, and his mate throws him a set of hand brake shoes...Hey Luigi, quick, fit these!)

Images of Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
those freakin' springs on the hand/park brake pads!

......my car was on a lift, up in the air (so, easy job methinks)
I was literally hanging off the little fat sob handbrake spring, my whole weight, feet off the ground, whilst my brother was trying to twist the end inwards to get it to locate.

(just consider Luigi at the factory, this thing is passing by on the conveyor belt, and his mate throws him a set of hand brake shoes...Hey Luigi, quick, fit these!)

Images of Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times
As I said previously... knowing the proper sequence is critical and noodling will get you there.. Leverage is a mechanic's most valuable helper..The only thing I would do different is try to attach both springs before locating the shoes and prying them apart to locate the adjuster before resorting to the bottom spring stretching on. PS I've never done it.https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...61&action=view
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Last edited by divotandtralee; 05-24-2019 at 04:17 AM.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 04:50 PM
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I sanded the end that goes into the door and they work great - I just rounded off the "barrel" a bit.

Ya say ya don't have a ticket, walk in backwards, they'll think you're coming out!
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 02:14 PM
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A couple spring to mind for me...
- Realising you've mixed up the 'long' and 'short' 105 handbrake cables, after the park brakes are reassembled.
- Replacing Milano/75 heater fan resistor unit, tucked beautifully in behind the heater unit.
- 105 steering column hub key which doesn't want to sit still when trying to install hub/wheel.
- realising that was just one tap, twist or lever too many...
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 03:50 PM
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Worst pain the rear? Undoubtedly it’s setting crown wheel preload and crown/pinion depth and lash. Everything else in the rear is pretty simple!!!!😆

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 09:38 PM
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Rear transmission mount is no picnic, but worst part is making your own tools.

Steve Waclo Carson City, NV; '87 Spider QV, ES Champion, 2018 Reno SCCA (125k);'93 Honda Nighthawk 750 (105k);'03 GMC Sierra SLE 2500HD Turbo Diesel (155k);'08 Altima Coupe 3.5SE, 6sp (125k)
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:57 PM
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Sorry guys, but I enjoy working on my Alfa's. Patience is important. I watch videos or read articles here. Then I look at the job - I look at the parts and I imagine them off the car. Then I watch the videos again or re-read the article. Then I get all my tools together and begin the job. Yes, I'll admit that I sometimes wonder why I have to take so many other parts off to get to something simple. But it's okay, since it gives me time to reflect on the job I'm doing and what it'll do for my car.

I've worked on a lot of my own cars since high school. The GM stuff!!! Why do they put a socket only accessible bolt on the top front shock (of the 70's and early 80's cars)? If there's even a hint of rust on the threads (shock shaft), the bolt gets stuck and the shaft and bolt turn as one piece. There's a special tool they sell that holds the shaft (at the top), while you gain access to the bolt. A teenager barely has enough money to buy new shocks and has $0 left over for special tools!

Why does Chevy put the engine so far back that you can't get to the right rear plug - not even through the wheel well?

Why does Volvo put such a cheap blower motor in their 240 series cars, then bury it under everything in the dash, so a normal 1 hour job becomes a one or two day job with skinned knuckles!

Why does Infiniti install the starter on an M45 under all the suspension parts, so all the bolts except the last one is accessible? I couldn't figure it out, so I left it there with a flat spot.

Why does Chrysler install the entire front body of the car around the engine? It's by far the hardest car to get that huge 413 CI V8 out of - yes I did it and it was tough, with a lot of bouncing and pushing. Now imagine getting it back in! An all night event.

Why does Jaguar make nearly everything on their XJ series straight six an impossibility to access and fix. Open the hood on a mid 90's with the 4.0L straight six - there's no room under the hood to do anything!

Why does VW design their cars, so when you have to do a timing belt on a Jetta, the entire front end of the car needs to come off? Bumper, AC Condenser, radiator, etc.

Why does Toyota and Nissan put the knock sensor so low in their V6 engine so that everything on the top has to come out? Intake manifold, throttle body, etc. And while you're down there, you may as well change the coolant hose (that sits between the two heads).

Why does Mercedes put the transmission controller inside the transmission? I know that other manufacturers also do it, but aren't electronics (chips) suppose to stay cool? Isn't the inside of a transmission pretty hot? The wrong place for a computer, right?

Why does BMW place the oil separator on top of the valve cover (on E90's) and then glue them in, so you damage the plastic when trying to remove it?

Why does Hyundai put a cheap pot metal part in the steering column (of the Sonata), so at 70K miles it breaks causing a click and looseness in the steering wheel, but the part is buried in the steering column, so has to be dismantled?

Lastly, why does Tesla make cars that don't have a soul? And why are people buying them???? You can't work on one and if you get into an accident, your body shop can't get parts to fix it.

So, I'll take the mechanical work that my Alfa Spiders need - things that I can fix while I'm on the road (or side of the road). Things that I understand how they work, so if I don't have the right part, I can rig it up so I can get my car home or to a friendly shop! And, I get the bonus of being able to drive a mechanical masterpiece! A car that puts me in touch with the road. A car that lets me experience driving how it was meant to be - open air, all the aromas of the area I'm driving, the warm sun on my body, the wind blowing by me, the feeling of openness and freedom, the sounds of that twin cam four with the mechanical whirling and the exhaust singing! This is what we love about our cars and why we won't settle for anything less!
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 12:51 AM
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Indeed, all things are relative, autobroker.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:12 AM
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Spider Door stays and Milano starters hands down,

Door stays may be easy to replace on a car with manual window regulators, but the job gets ridiculously complicated on those with motorized regulators. I use a father/son team of professional mechanics with more than 75 years combined experience on Alfas for stuff I don't want to tackle. They basically refused to replace the driver's door stay on my 91 Veloce. I took a look myself since there would be no need to crawl around on the floor with limited access to nuts and bolts. They were right--it's just too much work for something that should be simple.

As far as Milano starters, it should not be necessary to remove the exhaust manifold, release the motor mounts, jack up the engine, struggle for an hour trying to line up the holes on the housing while balancing a heavy starter in one hand, attach and torque the unit basically impossible because of the ratchet extension needed, set the engine back on the mounts and torque them, reinstall the exhaust manifold while somehow balancing the entire exhaust system to align the manifold and torquing the nuts (again iffy at best for those on the bottom side) so that there are no leaks.
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Last edited by keownk1; 06-03-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:35 AM
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Autobroker, you have obviously been down the road, maybe the same one I have!

That post almost brought me to tears, my man... I could hear Pavarotti singing Verdi in the background, with a choir

I'm with you man, some of the toughest jobs I've ever done were not on an Alfa. One exception being my S4 Spider's RH motor mount (hats off to my son Mike for getting those little bolts started up there).

Saluti...

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