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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I've been enjoying the snot out of 'Rosa', our '82 GTV6 (Balocco SE). When I got her the 2nd synchro seemed weak, but I switched transaxle oil to Redline 75W90NS and it greatly improved the upshifts.

To make a long question short: Is there a reliable technique to downshift into 2nd without the 'crunch'?

I'm trying to pay close attention to my downshifts; but it's still "hit or miss" - sometimes the downshift is smooth and direct, other times it's a total "CRUNCH" - and I can't seem to find the defining factor.

I.e. Double-clutch vs straight into gear doesn't yield consistent results - in fact, it seems more like to go smoothly if I DON'T double clutch on the downshift. Matching rpm's is also less likely to be successful, but I'm still practicing with the rev-sounds to better match them up.

For the most part it seems if I just shift "moderately" - not too quick, but also not too slowly - it goes well.

Any advice?

Thank you,
- Art

PS - The Hemmings Concourse at Saratoga Springs, NY is this weekend. Alfa is a featured marque. Anyone going? Forecast is brilliant. I'm taking Rosa to the $20 lawn show on Saturday. The Invitational Concourse on Sunday isn't for my hard driven cars.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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The answer is to double clutch your downshifts. If this makes it worse then you're double clutching wrong. Lots of info out there about proper technique if you search.

Beyond that, not much you can do to improve downshifting beyond rebuilding the transmission or lightening the gears.
 

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Beyond that, not much you can do to improve downshifting beyond rebuilding the transmission or lightening the gears.
And/or installing a lightweight clutch friction disc. I have all of the above plus lightened flywheels and shifting is sweet.
 

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No matter how bad your syncros are, if you double clutch properly, it will shift just fine. I wrote an explanation here down near the bottom the this article: Alfa Romeo Guibo, Driveshaft, Clutch Technical Troubleshooting Article

Greg,
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Agreed. Fiat 500's (the 50's version) had crash boxes. Maybe Italians just figure people should learn to change gear in them. My sister had two....
 

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Synchros have a much easier time slowing the gear set than trying to speed it up.
So the synchos job is easier when shifting to a higher gear and more difficult when shifting to a lower gear.
So on that note, when double clutching a down change, over revving for the lower gear is less of an issue than under revving. But getting the revs matched perfectly is obviously ideal.
I had the clutch cable break in my first car, a FIAT 132, and still managed to drive 70 odd Km back to my parents house without being able to use the clutch at all. And all without 1 single crunch. I was lucky that most of the driving was highway work, but even when going thru towns, I was fine. Got lucky that I never had to stop and get going again. Never could get 5th, tho........

My current daily driver has a Tremec T56 6 speed. When stone cold, second gear syncho is very reluctant to down shift, even tho it doesn't crunch, it just won't let me select the gear. A double clutch (not real easy in the car because of the pedal layout) helps enormously!
 

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A lousy rhyme if I may:

"Double-clutch and take it slow,

That's really all you need to know."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you gentlemen,
I'll school myself on double clutching then.. thanks for that link. I just don't know the car THAT well yet, but will spend more time.. I'll search on YouTube also, must be something there, make sure I understand the technique fully.

I had the clutch cable break in my first car, a FIAT 132, and still managed to drive 70 odd Km back to my parents house without being able to use the clutch at all. And all without 1 single crunch. I was lucky that most of the driving was highway work, but even when going thru towns, I was fine. Got lucky that I never had to stop and get going again.
\

:thumbup: Yep, a good example of how much time you can spend with a car and how well you can get to know it. Same thing happened to me in my Euro 1970 Escort. That was an awesome little car I knew so well that clutchless shifting was not a problem whatsoever… I was only 5km from home, but made it just fine.

Thanks again,
- Art
 

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I have been driving Alfettas since 1980 and I can tell you that double clutching is mandatory for driving any Alfa when downshifting to second. Never had a grind even with crappy sincros.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have been driving Alfettas since 1980 and I can tell you that double clutching is mandatory for driving any Alfa when downshifting to second. Never had a grind even with crappy sincros.
Thanks all,
I had her out yesterday and things went much much better. I'm taking a bit more time during the 2nd downshift and focussing on improving my technique.
Cheers!
- Art
 

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At a slight risk of hijack... I had my synchros all replaced and the care drove beautifully for a couple of months. Now though, second is REALLY crunchy when cold - even double-clutching results in a warning grumble up through the lever or a straight-up crunch. Occasionally I have to skip the gear altogether.

But once the car has been running for just a few minutes - less than five - it becomes "new synchro" smooth again.

Do I just need new fluids?
 

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You might try ATF in the transmission as the 164's do, if the materials are compatible otherwise. Stays thin even when cold. Works fine in those cars for many thousands of miles. Have 172k miles on my 91S, and the gearbox is still very smooth through all the gears.
 

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Richard Jemison
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Lube

You might try ATF in the transmission as the 164's do,
Absolutely NOT! Totally different syncro package!

I suggest you change to Redline 75-90 NS in the TA. It is the CORRECT formulation for these balk-ring syncros. Other GL5 or EP lubes are too slippery for the syncros to work. And when cold and viscous the problem is worse!

Sound familiar?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My synchro's certainly benefitted from a better TA oil….

Hey all,
I've been enjoying the snot out of 'Rosa', our '82 GTV6 (Balocco SE). When I got her the 2nd synchro seemed weak, but I switched transaxle oil to Redline 75W90NS and it greatly improved the upshifts.
 

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"Absolutely NOT! Totally different syncro package!"

Lol, I did say "if the materials are compatible otherwise" Evidently they are not, although I do know of one guy who did use it successfully for years.

One thing we used to do in these older cars, going up in the gears when it was pretty cold out, was to shift from first to third (you could do this without trouble), and then quickly double clutch back to second. Then after accelerating in second, going back to third and up. Worked well for the first few cold starts. Not needed after that when things were warmed. I mean, let's face it, no one is going to be in a hurry going up through the lower gears in these older Alfas anyway. They are not dragsters.

Practice your double clutching, it becomes fun, esp if you can manage to use the brake at the same time.
 

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ATF would probably work fine if the Tranny didn't have to share it's fluid with the differential. I fortunately don't need to drive the car when it's cold, but if I need to I change gears with great care. until warm. Good tranny fluid is a must.
 

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"ATF would probably work fine if the Tranny didn't have to share it's fluid with the differential"

The 164 transmission and diff share the same ATF fluid, works very well.
 

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Good point. The Alfetta gearbox relies on Alfa's ancient gearbox setup, while I look at the 164 as modern engineering. I am not an expert on this, just going on experience of owning both cars and the 164 is millenniums ahead of the Alfetta. I drive my 164 and it's just another car. By comparison the Alfetta is a dinosaur. Yet, what a fun car.
 
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