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Discussion Starter #1
Does any one know what year, make, model cars use this same transmission
or a 4 speed auto if it would fit?
Due to the small number of automatic spiders - this ZF trans must have already been produced and used in many other existing autos of the time and possibly a 4 speed unit would also just bolt up?
 

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The same three speed unit was used in BMW 3 series in the 80s (my parents have one, a 1984 model I think) and also in Volvos. My understanding is that they then moved to 4 speeds whilst the Alfas that used an auto box didn't evolve.

When I first got my Auto and found that the box ran out of gears to change up to I phoned a few experts with exactly the same question as you - would a nice 4 speed fit in? The answer I got was no, as they are a quite different shape and size.

Its a pity but I have got pretty used to the three speed now and enjoy it for what it is.

If anyone has any other ideas, though, I'd be happy to hear them too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1991alfa-spider-auto-trans-zf-3-speed

Thanks - for the info. All is fine withthe 3 speed auto for now - and i enjoy driving it -- was just thinking "in case" for the future
 

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the 3 speed is a great match for the alfa spiders.

i was pleasantly surprised.
 

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And you don't have to worry about leaking clutch master cylinders, slave cylinders or worn synchromesh on second gear:D
 

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And you also never have to worry about the ability to milk it home with one or more gears missing/broken like you can with a manual trans onnaconna an automatic will just **** the bed on the spot and require towing for anything defective in the torque converter, pump, valve body, clutch packs, bands, planetary gears, flex plate, restricted filter, or even if its low on fluid and you don't have any to top it up with. (which in short order will destroy the pump, converter, clutch packs, bands, planetary gears and valve body.....)

They're generally heavier than a manual too, so there's that power to weight ratio thing along with an associated bleed off of mpg.

Nope, unless you absolutely gotta due to physical limitations or just a sever lack of coordination, automatics are the worst transmissions you can pick.

But hey, my grandmother enjoyed not having to shift gears anymore in the last few years of her life after many decades of driving manual boxes, and once my mother got into her late 60's she opted for a slushbox too. :D
 

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OK:

I really, really, really, really dislike them and have been let down by them from many different manufacturers and build levels so many times its depressing to even think about.

C4's, C6's, FMX, TH 350's, TH 400's, etc, etc. I've had 'em all crap out on me.
Over the years I've been through a couple dozen torque converters, four or five clutch packs, a pile of band sets, 6 or 7 valve bodies, 9 flex plates, numerous pumps due to thier own failing or the other innards contaminating then destroying them, and three actual casings. (one C4 broke literally in half right behind the pump when I took it out of park and put it in drive at the grocery store, so not only did I need a tow, I lost all my frikkin ice cream sandwiches too)

Slushboxes suck.

That should about cover my thought process on them I believe :)
 

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"Slush-boxes":eek:

Now that takes us back to when most domestic cars were slow with horrible handling--and the automatic transmission.

Other items that were scorned--electric windows, electric seats, air conditioning, continental kits and power brakes.

They all added weight.:(
 

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Hmmm, there is a common theme here:

I have had an Alfa 164 auto, no problems 80,000 miles; LR Discovery auto no problems, 75,000 miles; Toyota Landcruiser auto no problems 95,000 miles; Nissan X-Trail auto no problems 80,000 miles; and currently a Hyundai Santa Fe auto at 75,000 miles. And of course the Spider but I'm not going to tempt fate by saying anything about that;)

Now Darren has had
C4's, C6's, FMX, TH 350's, TH 400's, etc, etc. I've had 'em all crap out on me
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Exactly what do you do to the poor things - blame them for being a little less quick than a manual and thrash the a**e off them? Put nitro in the tank for a bit more power? We need to know:eek:
 

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Yeah, could be operator error, ya know.

















I'll get me coat....
 

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Actually I wasn't that hard on them, or rather I wasn't abusive.
Most just died on thier own with nothing more than conventional/easy driving through thier life (my missus drives the cars too, some of them exclusively) while a few were used in a more performance orientated way and built up accordingly with high stall converters, shift kits, heavy duty clutch discs, etc.

Never any nitro or NOS, just normally asperated smallblock V8's with varying degrees of build up.

No matter. I've not owned an automatic since 1994 and likely the only one I'll see in the future will be the car I'll inherit from my mother. If the wife wants to keep it for herself then it'll be around, otherwise it'll be sold ASAP and the money rolled into something more important, like the spider :)
 

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3HP22 is the ZF model number. They were used from the late 70's on in a variety of European cars - Peugot (sic), VW, BMW, etc. Very common.

I'd say live with it. These cars are what they are, manual or automatic. Both have their plusses and minuses, but don't expect the Auto to be popular among purists.

I do wish the auto had a "sport" mode, but again, the Alfa Spider of this era is what it is. An auto transmission barely hinders its "performance", if at all.
 

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or even if its low on fluid and you don't have any to top it up with
Is there any way to gauge when it might be in need of oil?
Yes, I know the dipstick is there and I do check it and I have just had to top it up (mine has a slight leak at one of the pipe unions). But are there any warning signs that might make themselves seen/heard/felt/smelled before the litany of disasters that Darren listed might occur - will it be slow to change or smell of overheating or get stuck in one gear or whatever?
 

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Auto boxes can fail in any number of ways and exhibit any number of symptoms. However, delayed engagement and/or engine revs between shifts/delayed shifts are sure signs that something is amiss.

Changing the fluid is key in an autoboxes longevity and should be changed while the fluid still smells like fresh ATF. If the fluid smells burned or varnished it may already be too late. Changing the fluid at this point may result in earlier gearbox failure as the detergents in the fresh fluid can break loose internal deposits that can plug up the tiny orifices.

If the engine has overheated, an ATF change is recommended as the gearbox will have overheated as well.
 

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Not to hijack the thread, but while we are on the subject of longevity, does anyone have a recommendation for service for the Spider auto, for those of us with them?

I think flushes are a bad idea (forces dirt further into trans), and I know some mechanics are hesitant to change fluid in older auto trans. And according to the S4 workshop manual (going from memory here) the auto box has 5-6 quarts total capacity, and a "change" is 1-1.5 quarts, which to me, is not a change. I suppose one could change the fluid ten times and be satisfied. Or drop the pan and replace the filter, but I think that's only a couple quarts there.

Better yet, if the fluid is pink and smells clean and new, is it time to change it (if the owner doesn't know when it was last changes ((mine, according to records has only 10K miles, but possibly 10 years on it)). Probably time for a change - but the box ain't broke, so I don't want to mess it up.
 

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When I got mine it had 38,000KM on the clock (ca. 24,000 miles) but the speedo was working intermittently (mainly in the off mode:rolleyes:). I think the mileage is probably nearer 45,000 given the feel of the car and the condition of the mechanical parts I can see.

There was absolutely no history with the car so I assumed the worst and got the garage to change all fluids - brake fluid, engine oil, coolant, power steering and auto transmission fluid.
The auto box works fine and the fluid still looks a good colour/texture 8,000 miles later so I don't think any gunge was dislodged. The garage didn't mention any concerns about the possibility of that happening (but then they didn't know a number of things about the Spider that they should have done, being an Alfa specialist. Like the fuses and relays getting wet was due to failed scuttle drain hoses).

The handbook that came with the car is for a manual version and is naturally silent on the recommended interval for auto box fluid changes so it would be good to know how often it should be done.
 

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I'm putting my 91 Spider Veloce auto in for its MOT (the UK annual vehicle condition check) shortly and I've asked the garage to look at my gearbox with a view to servicing or replacing it with an exchange box.

The inhibitor switch is not working as it should and I sometimes cannot start the car when it is in “Park” mode. It does start, however, when I shift the lever to one of the drive positions, so it's not fatal but nor is it vastly safe, and it suggests that various parts are worn.

If it is a relatively simple swap with the cognate BMW or Peugeot gearbox, I'd imagine exchange (with a warranty) would be the more economical step than a strip down and rebuild. Does anybody have experience of a swap or know how similar an "Alfa" ZF box is to the others?

Also, while the gearbox is out, we might need to look at the speedo/odometer drive as it seems to come and on and off as it pleases. I tend to drive with a Tom Tom attached so a working speedo is not essential, but it offends me when things aren't working:(.

Peter
 

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I'm putting my 91 Spider Veloce auto in for its MOT (the UK annual vehicle condition check) shortly and I've asked the garage to look at my gearbox with a view to servicing or replacing it with an exchange box.
an alfa box with ca. 50K km is advertised here in Germany, if push comes to shove...just check it is the same.
Not cheap but these things never are!
Original Alfa Romeo Typ 105 Automatikgetriebe / ZF Getriebe 1043000060 - Willkommen in unserem Online-Shop

BMW 3HP auto boxes (all with over 100k, no guarentees etc) trade between 3-500 in germany. Can't imagine it is a drop in fit though.

Anglospider might know of a place to overhaul your box in the UK as he has had an automatic.
 
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