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Jack Straw 05-22-2019 06:55 PM

Worst Pain In The Rear?????
OK, we've all run into those tasks that should be straightforward or at least they were on a dozen or so cars you've owned and wrenched on previously. But now you're tinkering on an Alfa and to be charitable, it's a different world........very different.

I've only been around the BB a short time but I've read much of the travails, the humiliation, the degradation, and the resignation over any number of jobs that were no sweat on a Mustang, an MG, an old BMW, but leave a decent home mechanic in despair, the floor covered with every darned tool you own,
plans for the evening ruined, the ol' lady PO'd. Of course wife inevitably says, "why didn't you just PAY somebody to to that?" Naturally she doesn't understand that there isn't a shop within 500 miles that'll touch an Alfa with a 36" wobble extension.

I'd love to hear your worst. Let's think of it as a kind of group therapy.

I'll start. Just this afternoon I had the pleasure of R&R of the passenger seat in my S4. Lord have mercy, no wonder Italy always lost its wars. Don't even mention changing a shifter boot on this car.

OK, let's hear your sad story.

sloboy89 05-22-2019 07:08 PM

Getting 30-year-old ball joints and tie rods to break free as part of a front-suspension refurb was the most time consuming. But replacing the door limit straps was certainly one of the most frustrating.

Jack Straw 05-22-2019 07:16 PM


Those door limit straps are sitting in a package on my bench.......I'm waiting for the planets to get into the right alignment 'fore I try THAT one.

WithanF 05-23-2019 03:46 AM

Electric windows. I had the door panel off so many times I can do it with my eyes closed. Never did get it fixed. Wound up spending money for a new part.

Craig_m67 05-23-2019 04:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
There isn’t anything more time consuming or frustrating in an Alfa than fixing rust..... all of it, properly

sbadaro 05-23-2019 07:27 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Nuff said... [emoji849] Attachment 1567916Attachment 1567918Attachment 1567920

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goats 05-23-2019 07:56 AM

whats difficult about door check strap ? I R/R the whole thing, bought assemblies from classic alfa and in they went in 15 minutes. Granted, getting the 10mm bolts started is a little finicky but nothing tough about it for me. 1971 S2.

Ball joints? Need the alfa tool for upper and lower, off they come.

Biggest hassle -- setting up preload on crown wheel in differential. Trial and error. no other way to do it that I have found

Most cuts on hands? Install spider dash (pro tip, use a heat gun to soften the vent tubes and get them over the vents and make sure the turn signal indicator is placed correctly before you install the dash)

HIgh frustration ? Removing frozen phillips head screws from seat tracks.

and how can we leave off finding the source of oil leaks?

divotandtralee 05-23-2019 08:15 AM

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. Don't despair.. be thankful you aren't working on a Citroen or a Lancia. The only tool I wish i had in my old age after working on these for nigh 35 year is a LIFT and a set of bifocals that work when the subject is almost touching my nose. And yes, the right tools are necessary. I have at least 25 screw drivers and they all serve a purpose. And BE THANKFUL for this website and the internet.

sloboy89 05-23-2019 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by goats (Post 8416492)
whats difficult about door check strap ? I R/R the whole thing, bought assemblies from classic alfa and in they went in 15 minutes. Granted, getting the 10mm bolts started is a little finicky but nothing tough about it for me. 1971 S2.

Things got a lot tighter in the door as time progressed, with increased reinforcement and power window motors.

Legomedic 05-23-2019 10:11 AM

You wanna list?

Where to begin?

Why do we need to remove a whole bunch of unrelated things just to do a simple job?

3rd worst: Engine mountings
2nd worst: Removing the starter (I just battled OK)
Worst by far: Removing the heater box

A few years ago a wise person on this board likened the spider design process to some guy in the workshop putting a heater box on the workshop floor, and everyone else building a car around it.

I'm sure there are others but those three jump to mind.

I have lost more blood, and sustained more painful injuries while working on this car than any other; BUT I once had a drive around Chapmans Peak (beautiful twisty coastal road in Cape Town) on a sunny day when everything on the spider worked perfectly... That trip bordered on a religious experience.

Vivace 05-23-2019 10:31 AM


Originally Posted by Legomedic (Post 8416546)
Why do we need to remove a whole bunch of unrelated things just to do a simple job?

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.

AlfaAL 05-23-2019 11:32 AM

too funny.. I am cursed I mean blessed to own a 164 and a S3 AND I get to fix things on them at the same time... I think they talk to each other at night. Spider wise I took my door panel off and disabled the window mechanism since the power didnt work...I used a small 1x2 to hold the window up when i wanted it up.. then one day I saw this funny looking tool in the glove box. hmm what is this for? Oh look an owners manual.. lol it is used to raise and lower the window if the power doesn't work.. ahh that is why there is a hole in the door panel.. oh well... someone mentioned changing the shift boot cover whatever... mine was falling apart. got a new one...
took the center console out and hey look at this switch the wires are pulled out.. what does this do ? ahh it is the window switch.. I wonder... )pushes wires back into the switch.. naw yes the window works! puts boot on re-installs console puts window mechanism back together.. yay power window and a new a new shifter boot. ! puts door panel back on.. nice..

Now to figure out the banging noise in the drive train.. I had someone replace that rubber donut thing but it still thuds somewhat when taking up drive from a stop... I wiggled the drive shaft at the diff end and there is play... sighs

But the joy and excitement I get when I drive either of these cars..:)

alfaloco 05-23-2019 12:42 PM

Passenger side motor mount is no fun at all on the Bosch injected Spiders! But overall, I think Alfas of this era make a lot of sense design-wise, and are no tougher than most others to work on. But read up first on the job, before you start wrenching, if you have questions. That's the best approach, IMO.

That's where this BB is so valuable. Hats off to all you contributors out there!

goats 05-23-2019 12:55 PM

ANYTHING at all on a 164 24V under the hood.

jthames 05-23-2019 12:56 PM

Finding the hood release cable once it comes off the release lever on an S4 Spider. Basically those knee bolsters get in the way of EVERYTHING.

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