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I have a brake leak somewhere in a 91 Spider. My brakes suddenly became mushy and weak one day and my master cylinder is now almost empty, but I cant find the leak. I've followed all lines to each caliper and nothing. The master cylinder is clean too. Where else could it be?

Also, I jacked the car up and looked at the clutch linkage where it attaches to the arm the fingers are attached to. There is a rubber boot leaking nasty brown/orange fluid (may have once been clutch fluid). I pulled it out and cleaned it best I could, now when the car is running and the clutch is disengaged there is a terrible sounding rumbling (almost grinding) sound coming from the clutch area. Is this rubber boot supposed to be full of fluid?

Last one, I have this annoying vibration from the drivetrain when I take off from a stop. I've been told to look at the driveshaft bushings. I looked at them today and they seem in good shape (no cracks, excessive wear, etc) but the driveshaft itself has a lot of play in the center loop. I can grab it and move it approx. 1 inch in all directions. Did someone forget a piece when it was apart or what? Is that normal?

Thanks for the pending help.
 

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Brake fluid could be leaking past the rear seal on the master cylinder and filling up the brake booster. Take the two bolts holding the master cylinder to the brake booster, pull it back a little and see if you see fluid.

The clutch slave cylinder boot should not be full of fluid. Sounds like something like the clutch fork off it's track or the throw-out bearing is really bad.

As far as the driveshaft vibration check:

1. U joints tight and lubed
2. Driveshaft center bearing worn. There is normally a little play in the center bearing support. Check for deterioration in the rubber. Bearing should not feel rough.
3. Check the rear transmission support bushing. If the rubber support is soft, when you put torque on the drivetrain when starting off, it allows the transmission to move and create a crunching sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Roadtrip. I'll have a look tomorrow and I appreciate you giving me a starting point. If anyone else has had similiar experiences then feel free to post. Thx!
 

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U-joints

I recently removed my drivetrain and found the center support bearing sound, but thought the u-joints required replacing.

I pulled all the c-clips and tried to drive the u-joints out using the conventional tool I had used on US vehicles. However, in the case of the spider driveshaft, the neck of the old u-joint seats solidly against the yoke of the shaft before the u-joint cap pops out of the yoke.

Is there another way to drive out and replace the u-joints?
 

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Fledgling:

Not sure about the spider UJ, but from experience with UJs from british cars:

You should be able to push the UJ knuckle about half way out of the yoke. This should expose about 1cm of the needle bearing carrier on the out side of the yoke. Grab the exposed part of the carrier in a vice and rip it out, leaving the knuckle still trapped inside the yoke. Then repeat on the other side. You should now have enough wriggle room to get the knuckle out of the yoke.

I've never done this on the spider's UJs, but just assumed that would be how it was done. Proceed at your own risk. Never heard of a special tool for doing this!

Caveman, if the support bearing doofer looks or feels loose, I think it's too loose even if the rubber looks ok. It should be very hard indeed to induce any side to side or up and down movement in that thing. There's another thread somewhere about it.

Also, I agree that your brake master cylinder is tired, your clutch slave has had it, and you probably misaligned the clutch fork when you were messing with the slave cylinder, so no need to panic.

Dan.
 

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Be VERY careful when changing U-Joints. Alfa driveshaft yokes are fairly soft and can bend if you start hammering on them. If in doubt, take it up to a auto machine shop and let them do with with the proper tools and presses. It's a lot cheaper than trying to fix a buggered up driveshaft yoke.
 

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Thanks for the information and assistance. I have a machine shop at my disposal. I will keep the warnings in mind when I'm working the UJ's.

Will pass on any lessons I learn.

THX!
 
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