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1978 Spider
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm about to pull the pedal cluster to replace the booster...looking at the current pivot pin, the welds look pretty solid. I don't know if this is original, an upgraded replacement, or a re-welded or repaired original.

But from what I see on the backside, I see a pretty stout weld. Certainly a much stronger weld than what appears to be on the upgrade that Centerline, CA or Alfaholics is selling. Vicks offers one but no pictures?
 

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Well, if it ain't broke, then don't worry about it.

I have never had one of those parts fail, though I certainly believe that the welds can crack. I have no idea whether the failures were due to PO's regularly tromping on the clutch pedal, a batch of bad welds at Arese, or .... . But if the weld seems OK, I'd just reinstall the shaft/lever and get on with swapping out the booster.
 

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looks original and solid.
If the pedal box is coming out, then take out the pivot shaft and clean & grease it up.
You are missing a washer that keeps grunge and stuff out (that's why you can see that rusty color starting to take hold on the shaft behind the weld)...they get old then fall off!
I think it is felt, if not felt, then felt would be a good idea so you can wet it with a spot of oil on it once in a while.
pivot.jpg
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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So you've got two options replacing the booster:

1) Just replace the booster itself by loosening the brake MC, pulling it forwards, and working in the driver's footwell to remove the booster. This doesn't require hydraulic bleeding but more contortion and swearing

2) Pull the whole pedal box. This is IMO an easier way to do the job, but you need to disconnect/reconnect/bleed all the hydraulics. If you're due for a brake bleed anyway you might as well go this route, just be careful not to cross thread any fittings when you reassemble (get them fully in BY HAND first with the brake/clutch MCs loose so you can line them up properly.)

If you go route (2) I would strongly recommend replacing the clutch lever with an upgraded unit if you're planning on keeping the car. You can't tell if it's good by looking at it (they all look solid right up until they fail) and Alfa never actually fixed the problem...happened to me on my '91. It's one of those might-as-well-do-it jobs while you have the pedal box out so you don't have to ever worry about it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the whole thing is coming out. Brake and clutch lines already fully drained. Both systems needed full flushing anyway and the reservoirs pulled and DEEP cleaned. I'll have to figure out a felt washer replacement/alternative for the shaft.

Everyone says the pedal pads need to come off but the repair manuals I have don't say that. just remove the pedal box nuts/bolts and pull entire assembly out. Maybe they gotta be twisted just right coming out the firewall?

Unless there is something obviously wrong/worn on the pivot...I'm long past the "replace everything while you're in there" mentality. I can't tell you how many really old cars I have owned, did a particular job and bought every conceivable related replacement part just because "since I'm doing this anyway might as well do that too", only to find all that other stuff was still fine (not marginal/torn boots/cracked/etc) and probably good for many more years/decades...wasted $$$ that could have been spent better on things that really are failing/broken/marginally functional/"rigged"...

A $10 part that's hard to get to? Why not? A $100 part? Why am I replacing a perfectly functional part again?

My pivot pin welds "look" more substantial than those replacements. Upon removal things might look drastically different on the other side of the pivot arm.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Your call. New arm I got came with a felt washer, but I don't think that's really a critical seal. Just punch one out of thick felt or something: one of those felt pads for furniture legs to keep from scratching the floor is likely the right size/material.

If you replace the pivot arm then it's probably fine and would've lasted a lifetime. If you don't replace it it'll fail in three months. That's the way these cars work ?

The pedals are on opposite sides of the steering shaft. You need to remove the pedal pads to get a bit more clearance and also rotate the box as you remove it. It'll be pretty obvious once you're in the middle of it. Use a heat gun or hairdryer to soften them for removal. Then soak in really hot water to soften them before reinstall.
 

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Everyone says the pedal pads need to come off but the repair manuals I have don't say that. just remove the pedal box nuts/bolts and pull entire assembly out. Maybe they gotta be twisted just right coming out the firewall?
"Everyone" is usually right. Add my vote to those who say the pedal pads must come off.

In fact, even with the pads off, you will at some point decide that the two pedals just can't fit through that little hole. But if you like solving those bent wire puzzles, you may enjoy the challenge. Getting the pedals back through the hole seems harder than getting them out.

 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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But if you like solving those bent wire puzzles, you may enjoy the challenge.
:LOL:

It's not quite that bad, you'll figure it out. For various reasons I've had the pedal box on the GTV out three freakin' times in the past six months (one brake booster and 2X rebuilding the steering box) and it's not one of those jobs I fear.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you replace the pivot arm then it's probably fine and would've lasted a lifetime. If you don't replace it it'll fail in three months. That's the way these cars work ?
I appreciate the advice. If this was a $10K Alfa that I was for sure going to keep for many years I would certainly consider it. But the current state of affairs with this car...not going to sink unessential funds into it until I get it road worthy and start driving it regularly and get a better feel if this is a long term keeper or just a stepping stone.
 

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Years ago , I took my pedal box apart, cleaned the clutch pin shaft, drilled two small holes into the aluminum casing, tap to receive two zerk fittings so I can shoot a little grease into it every year
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Not a bad idea, but they generally don't fail by seizing in the housing. It's just the repeated rotational strain on the undersized section of shaft that's welded into the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not a bad idea, but they generally don't fail by seizing in the housing. It's just the repeated rotational strain on the undersized section of shaft that's welded into the arm.
so the end of the shaft that is fitted into the hole in the arm is ground/machined smaller? Why didn't they leave the shaft full diameter and drill the arm hole a little bigger and make that end of the shaft a little wider to accommodate the full diameter of the shaft?

I suppose you could add a bead of welding on the inside edge where the shaft and arm meet. But you would have to measure the gap and forego that felt washer and maybe do a little grinder touch up so the new weld doesn't bind with the pedal housing.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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so the end of the shaft that is fitted into the hole in the arm is ground/machined smaller? Why didn't they leave the shaft full diameter and drill the arm hole a little bigger and make that end of the shaft a little wider to accommodate the full diameter of the shaft?
Yeah, that's why people replace 'em with better ones :LOL: There are likely some photos around here that show the break pattern.

Adding an additional weld bead on the inside is how folks used to strengthen them. Nowadays you can just buy one that's already strengthened.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
That pin did not fail...the weld failed. The shaft is intact. clean up the old weld, press the pin back in, correctly aligned, and re-weld it with better penetration

Well I guess it depends if you have the equipment...for most I guess cheaper to buy a new one.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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That pin did not fail...the weld failed.
I mean, potato, potahto, it's a lousy design: there are ones where the pin broke too.

If you've got the welding skills, add a bead around the inside of the arm to reinforce yours and it'll probably be fine. My welds look like a cat barfed up molten metal, so I just bought a new one.
 

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if the shaft had a square end on it that fitted into a square hole the weld would never fail
:)
 

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They usually fail for 2 reasons.

One being the slave cylinder has partually rusted inside causeing extra force to be used then would be normal.

The other being were the clutch is worn enough that the pressure plate is sprung cause a heavy pedal. Thats creates a lot of extra pressure on the arm.

My first spider was a 73. It had a sprung pressure plate. But at the time I could not afford a clutch kit. So when the pin broke I got one at the dealer (alfa factory parts came with a 12/12,000 warranty) and replace it 7 times getting the replacement pin warrantied each time. By that time I could afford the clutch kit.

You do not have to undo the brake and clutch lines. Just disconnect the cylinders from the booster and move them out of the way.
 
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