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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Alfisti,

I'm trying to solve my "popping out of reverse" issue on the '85 Spider Veloce. I've got the console removed in an attempt to adjust the shifter and I noticed the Shift Lever Seal and Washer were totally missing (the source of my last big oil leak).

I think I may see some improvement by twisting the shifter a bit but I thought while I'm under the car cleaning up all the nasty oil and crud I might as well check the transmission mount. With the transmission mounted I could shove it around a bit but it didn't seem loose. When driving the gear shifter was always pretty solid, not moving about when accelerating etc. but I can't determine if the mount itself is in need of replacement. I replaced the engine mounts around 800 miles ago so I know they're good.

I can tell that the shop that my dad used to replace the clutch and the transmission mount didn't do the best work as they obviously lost the washer and seal and upon close inspection they cut into the transmission when removing the old mount (I won't say who did the work but I will say they specialize in British Autos. That being said I know the mount is a replacement mount that was installed in 1999 around 9K miles ago.

IMG_7682.jpg IMG_7684.jpg

How would I know the mount itself is in need of repair? It's not impossible to replace, lots of threads on the subject all with great advice, but I don't want to go through the trouble, and risk damage, if the new mount has the same flexibility as the old one. I've attached a few photos and I'm hoping one of you will be able to confirm the mount is acceptable, or that it needs to be replaced. I've also heard of people adding a pieces of rubber hose into the opening to add a little extra rigidity to the stock mount.

In this photo I'm applying a decent amount of pressure in a twisting motion, I know the mount is not designed for twisting but I thought it might illustrate the health of the rubber in the bushing.

IMG_7716.JPG

Any advice on how rigid the transmission mount should be would be awesome. Tips on getting the car into reverse without hitting the console and having to hold the gear shifter is also very welcome.

Thanks in advance,

C
 

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20 years old - I would replace it. A mount as flexible as yours could definitely cause shifting problems. If the seal parts are not available new then Larry at Alfa Parts Exchange probably has good used ones.
 

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Jon Norman has the seal. The washer is dished a bit and very thin.
The mount is flexible when new but not super-flexible. Yes, if torn or twisty I'd replace. They're not the most fun to replace but if you have it off the car that's a big help.
Orient it properly per pics online, like on Centerline's website.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I was hoping to avoid replacing the trans mount but I just ordered from Classic Alfa, along with the gasket and washer.
 

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When you receive the new mount measure the OD as accurately as you can and compare it with the one that you remove. Some of us have tried to install slightly oversize mounts and have cracked the housing in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When you receive the new mount measure the OD as accurately as you can and compare it with the one that you remove. Some of us have tried to install slightly oversize mounts and have cracked the housing in the process.
Thanks Ed, that's one reason I'm not looking forward to doing the job.
 

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I just replaced the transmission mount on my 77 Spider last week. The new one was slightl larger than the old one, but still went in slowly by driving in with a correct size socket and hammer and applying heat to the housing multiple times during the process. No cracking of the housing. The old one was around 63.96 mm and the new was about 64.05 mm wide. I did sand down the entire new one with 500 grit to smooth it out a bit and get rid of any slight burrs in the mating surface- especially the leading edge.

1618093
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just replaced the transmission mount on my 77 Spider last week.
What size socket did you use? Did you have any issues with clearance around the mount? It looks like you got the rear of the trans to sit pretty low, my trans doesn't want to settle, probably because of the HD motor mounts I put in last year.

I've heard about using heat and the freezer. I'm glad to know sanding the new part is a viable option too, as that was one of my concerns.
 

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What size socket did you use? Did you have any issues with clearance around the mount? It looks like you got the rear of the trans to sit pretty low, my trans doesn't want to settle, probably because of the HD motor mounts I put in last year.

I've heard about using heat and the freezer. I'm glad to know sanding the new part is a viable option too, as that was one of my concerns.
Sorry- I don't remember the socket size. I just grabbed what looked right and held it against the new one. Used the socket to drive the old out as well with heat again applied to the casing. The old one came out easier than the new went in for sure.

No issues with space to work around the mount. I loosened the two engine mounts a little that I had just installed so that helped.

I found the heat helped the most. You could tell it wasn't going in any further after a few minutes and the casing was cool to the touch again. Probably heated it 10 times during the entire install. I did put the new mount in the freezer for a couple days but didn't find that helped very much as it warmed up quickly.
 

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IMO you don't need to freeze the bushing to get it in if it is right. I did a several without heating or freezing anything. Then I got one that was too big and I froze it and pressed it in and the housing cracked as soon as the temperatures equalized, A big gear puller will provide sufficient force to remove & install them if they are the right size.
 

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Centerline says they measure each bushing and have the oversized ones machined down.
 

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“Tips on getting the car into reverse without hitting the console and having to hold the gear shifter is also very welcome.”

That says to me that your trans is hanging too low at the back, and/or bouncing up and down too much, creating interference between the lever and the console...which does indeed point to a sagging rear mount....so the good news is you should solve the lot in one go.
Press on. Or out.
 

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Popping out of reverse can also be caused by the shifter fork being bent. Most of the time this happens from backing up as fast as you can and also backing up steep hills on a continuous bases.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My original plan was to remove the console and go for a test drive, if it stays in reverse then I can rule out the transmission/shifter fork etc. That plan was derailed when I discovered the Gear Shifter was missing the Gasket and Washer and of course now I'm replacing the Trans Mount. I still plan to go for a test drive before re-assembling the console.

That being said the car has done most its miles on hilly terrain.
 

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If you want to make it easy (easier) on yourself, buy a two arm puller along with a pipe cap from home depot or lowes. The cap is just about the right size and the idea came from someone else here on the BB. I think I had to file just a bit off. The puller will not only remove the old one but push the new one in. Hammering on it in either direction can cause it to twist a bit and get stuck. Not good. Sometimes they slide right out, most of the time they don't.

While you're at it, check the Guibo and carrier bearing. Both can cause issues and probably haven't been replaced in 20 years. You don't want that Guibo shredding itself while driving.
 

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The rubber ring and washer are just there to keep the 3 metal plates from rattling. Its the inner boot that keeps the oil from running down the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the suggestions, I appreciate it.

I cleaned the tubes and replaced the washers/spacers (one side at a time) and the reverse lock out seems fine too. I did noticed when I row through the gears 2nd and 3rd land along the same plane but Reverse lands almost 1/2 an inch lower. Not sure if that's normal for the S3 Spider.

I thought the Gasket and Washer might lift the gear lever slightly, which could help with the console. On other posts, folks commented their gear lever was bolted on too high, resulting in contact with console in 3rd and 5th.

Ideally this will all be sorted in a few days.
 
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