I just received a set of parts to re-build my S4 stops. I took some time to review as many threads on the topic as I could find and I have to admit it looks like a major struggle.
As a life-long shade tree mechanic two of the best lessons I've learned are when to stop, and when to not even start a task.
I think I'll live with my floppy doors for now but there's something about the challenge of a vexing task that keeps nagging at me. I suppose that is part of what keeps Alfisti motivated and buying Go Jo and band-aids.
Tight fit with the addition of crash impact reinforcements and power motors. Small hands and patience. There is a right and wrong direction to install the straps. They will bend like a pretzel if put in wrong so make note of their orientation.
These photos may help. The limit strap has two stages, the free travel stage while opening, and the hold stage when the lobes on the strap help prevent the door from closing while exiting the car.
Here are some instructions I posted elsewhere on how to replace these limit straps. I got favorable feedback, so I figured I'd post them here too you and others to use.
I did each door of my '87 Spider Quad last summer. I bought all my parts from Classic Alfa - Here is what I bought with part numbers, quantities are per door: 1 Check Strap (MI011), 2 Check Strap Rollers (MI022/1), 3 Check Strap Roller Pins (MI022/1) - 2 for the bracket in the door, 1 for the connecting point on the frame. All of the parts work for either the left or right doors.
I have electric windows and did not take out any window parts. It is very hard to angle the strap assembly to get the old one out and the new one in around all the parts inside the door, but with some trial and error it is possible. I suspect it is much easier with crank windows.
Here are some tips:
1. Take a picture of the bracket connections at the door and door frame before you take anything out and once it is out.
2. The door does not open far enough to see the bolts you need to take out to remove the strap. Use a mirror or phone's camera to see them.
3. Take the pin out on the door frame to detach the strap from the frame. Tie a string through the hole in the strap where tie pin was .
4. The bolts in the door into the bracket are in slots (not holes) in the door, so you only need to take one of them out and loosen the other one. I took out the bottom one and loosened the top one - that way, once I got the bracket out I know which side was the top. Mark the top once you get it out. You just have to try lots of different orientations to get the assembly out. If you or if you have someone with small, nimble hands, available to help, they might be more effective.
5. Take a picts of the old assembly to see which end of the new strap goes to the door and which goes to the frame as well as which side of the strap is the top vs. bottom. If the old assembly is too far gone to see the orientation, there are some reasonable picts online.
6. Use a pin punch to carefully remove the pins (Press the pointy end of the pin on the bottom of the bracket up to press the pin through the top of the bracket). Mine came out easily, but I've heard of people breaking the bracket. I considered putting a piece of wood between the bracket ears to ensure I did not bend or crack it as they tapped out the pins. Use some de-greaser or similar to cleanup the bracket. The new pins press through the bracket top through the rollers and to the bottom of the bracket - pointed side goes down (be careful pressing them back in too to avoid damaging bracket). You might need to take the bolt you loosened out of the bracket to do this disassembly/reassembly which is why you need to mark the top of the bracket.
7. One you have the unit reassembled, put the bolt loosely back in the hole on the top hole of the bracket (so you know the orientation) and take the string from the old strap and tie it to the new strap. You can now use this string to help pull the rebuilt assemble into the door, following the same route you used to get the prior one out. You will still need to do lots of twisting to get it through.
8. Once you get the bracket in place, tighten the top bolt and reinsert the bottom one. The add the pin in the door frame. - You are done!
This process took me about 2-2.5 hours per door, but 90% of the time was figuring out and twisting the assembly to get it in and out of the door. I did both doors, but with several weeks between the efforts because it is really frustrating getting the assembly in and out of the door. You will have this issue whether you go with the assembled unit or buy the pieces and rebuild it yourself.
Hopefully I remembered everything correctly, and this info is helpful.
Success. I used the Lowe’s Rollers (pic attached) with the Centerline straps. The extra tip that I can add is threading a string to pull the assembly through. It is tough and requires quite a bit of maneuvering but is doable. I for some reason could not clear the window motor on the drivers side. I removed the three nuts and was able to move the motor slightly to allow the strap assembly by.
Unfortunately, upon heading out for a drive this evening I have messed up the drivers side window. It went down very slow and will not come up. Any ideas on what I might have disturbed moving the window motor slightly and then putting it back?
Thank you. Feedback from this board is so helpful.
It sounds like you may have moved the guides for the glass or moved the motor position when you removed the 3 bolts you mentioned. not sure without seeing it. You might try raising and lowering it with the door panel off in order to see what is binding.
I changed my straps last week (87 with power windows). It was just as big a pain in the arse as I expected which it why it took me about 3 years to pull the parts off the shelf to finally do the job, and then only 1 hour to realize I should have left them there. Considering all the frustration and time fiddling to get them out and back in (twice on the first side because of incorrect assembly), it quickly became the job least worst doing for the little gain, especially doing the driver side and having the work left-handed. But fast forward 3+ hours, glad its done. I too used the rollers from Lowe's. I wish opening and closing the doors wasn't as firm. In talking about the job with another Alfisti after the fact, the easiest thing that could have been done was drill slightly larger holes in the rollers. I know some have talked about trying the shave the straps. The problem is you can't test the force until they are back in the car.
I did my '87 this winter. Karl's procedure is great. #3 (tying a string to the old one before removing) is sage advice. My window motors were unbolted at the time because they need to be re-cabled, and this helped. Also my son helped, as my ape arms and large hands were useless in reaching in there.
I used Centerline straps item DH395 (SPI 66-94) and rollers DH397. Of course you need 2 straps and 4 rollers. I reused all my pins, they were fine and just needed to be cleaned up with a little emery paper.
A few other tips: Treat the pins with PB Blaster before attempting to remove them. Very important to ensure the new rollers spin freely... I had to sand down the end of my rollers a bit as they were binding against the housings. Avoid petroleum grease as it can deteriorate the rubber (which is my theory why so many of our limit straps are decomposed)... I used silicone grease on mine. Definitely label the top of the assembly before fishing it back in, as it can turn over during the process. To facilitate pins going back in, wiggle them first to ensure the "splines" on the pin are in line with the grooves in the housings.
This all worked perfectly. Door function is normal, not too stiff or too loose. No need to shave the straps!