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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to get some opinions for clutch replacement on my 1986 Alfa Spider Quadrifoglio. Would this be an extremely hard job to do myself, or should I leave it to my mechanic? I have a garage work space and a strong teenage son to help me.

I'd appreciate any opinions - thanks!
Steve
 

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Do you have a way to get the car up high enough - safely - to work underneath and remove the transmission? Or a hoist to remove the engine? Have you done similar (relatively major) mechanical work before?

It can be done (a strong teenage to lift things could help as long you don't mind if he hears curse words - perhaps you could learn them in Italian?).

What prompts you feel the need to change the clutch? What symptoms does the car exhibit?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, I don't really have a way to get the car up too high, other than some small ramps that I have.

I can tell the clutch is starting to slip. It's especially noticable when I step on the gas quickly at about 3K revs. The tach goes up nearly to redline, with no increased speed of the car.
 

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You will need to get the car high enough (safely) to lie underneath, lower the transmission and slide it out from under the car. Low ramps probably won't suffice. Some tall, sturdy jack stands will be needed. A transmission jack (or transmission adapter for a floor jack) would be well advised.
 

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Steve,

Check out #61 in the Spider FAQ at the top of the forum. It give step by step instruction.

IMO doing a clutch isn't technically hard to do it's just hard work. Laying on your back and lifting the weight of the trans is the hard work part. The rest is fairly simple and the parts are not all that heavy or easy to damamge.

If you can get the car high enough, the bell housing is approximately 14" tall, so that would be the minimum clearance you will need to the lowest piont of the car underneath.

I'm no fan of ramps but if that is what you have, see if it gets the chassis high enough.
 

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You can use a floor jack with a trans adapter to drop the trans once it's unbolted, but that understates the complexity of the project, especially if you don't have the car sitting high off the ground. Back when we were young, strong, and dumb, we used to just hoist the transes out onto or chest, then slowly roll it over onto the ground. Over 50 now, I'm not doing that any longer.
It's not an especially hard job, but you need a lot of tools, good shop space, equipment, and some understanding of what you're doing. It's not the first job I'd tackle as an Alfa novice.
Andrew
 

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clutch replace

I did my 88 QUAD last year, it was not that difficult..follow the instructions in the forum..the money you save will more than pay for a good set of jack stands
and any other tool you might need to make the job easier And your car be reliable...you get under, let your son do all the running back and forth to the tool box.
GO SLOW DO IT RIGHT IT WILL BE A BETTER JOB THAN ANY SO CALLED ALFA MECH. WILL DO, CAUS YOU CARE...
While you are there i'm sure there will be many other little things you will want to do..

Be TOUGH

Hal
 

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DO IT RIGHT IT WILL BE A BETTER JOB THAN ANY SO CALLED ALFA MECH. WILL DO...
Boy, if I wasn't such a nice guy, I'd have to say that's pretty effing insulting.
 

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Sorry Jim

I live in cape breton...You have to explain what ALFA ROMEO means to most of the mechanics in my world..

Hal
 

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No worries.

It's just that many current, and ex-professionals, who have taken their craft to levels of detail most folks don't even know exist, may be offended by your comment.
 

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I wish one of your many current, or ex-professionals would come to live or retire in my town, i'd keep them busy on my car for a couple of weeks....
Last mechanic that saw my car said and I quote" Its like a MGB isn't it...He looked puzzled as i cried and drove away...

Good Mechanics ROCK
 

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Hal, I had a similar experience with a service station mechanic here in Virginia with my first Alfa about 20 years ago. I had what turned out to be a loose sensor that was causing the car to run very rough. I limped/coasted into a gas station and asked for one of the mechanics. When he came out, saw the car and asked "which end is the engine?," I asked if he could call a flat bed for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all your input, guys!

Speaking of Alfa mechanics, mine here in Baltimore has to be among the best and most honest in the business. I won't name names (Paul), but this guy is the best mechanic I've worked with. And he works almost exclusively on Alfas.

While I'm tempted to stay tough, as Hal says (after all, the first thing I did when I got this car 6 years ago was to tear the head off and replace the head gasket and other stuff...), I'm not sure. It's just so darned expensive going to the shop.

I just might have to give D....F Bros the business!
Steve
 

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Steve - Everything you read here is absolutely true. Absent the size and weight of a transmission, a job like this is no different than any number of others you may face with this or any other car. Getting the car off the ground to a proper height is critical. Too low and you can imagine what will happen. Too high, on the other hand, can be equally problematic. I have done 5 clutches in my life, but none on my Alfa. Two Vegas (go ahead and laugh - I don't care as they weren't my cars) and three on Volvos. The first Volvo was the worst as my friend and I were in another friends garage pit, which was a couple of feet deep. We went in with our tools and the other friends pushed the car over us. They drank beer while we worked - hard - and transmissions are heavy, especially when your arms are tired. The others we did as Andrew describes - the trans comes out, onto your chest, and you slowly roll it onto the ground, making sure you start and end the project with ten fingers. So now I am 55, and when the clutch goes, someone else is going to do it.
 

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Working in parts supply I trip over quite a few "Italian car specialists". In a few cases the main qualification appears to be that the mechanic has a surname that ends with a vowel.
 
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