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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a really funky one. I've had my '83 parked for several months now, and the other night I installed a new leather shift boot (at least, I tried to, until I realized I need a new retainer ring/clips.....now on order). While checking travel with the boot in place, I discovered something that truly baffles me: my gear-shift lever seems to be finding not 6, but 8 unique positions. Now I hadn't driven this car a lot before I parked it, but I really think I would have noticed this pretty quick. Perhaps I was just naturally going to the typical 1-3-5/2-4-R pattern and not really checking to see if I was missing an intermediate position somewhere, but that seems unlikely. I can't run the car to test the "new" positions right now as it's still sorta in pieces. I have no reason to suspect anyone ever dropped some crazy 7spd into this thing.....is there some sort of transmission failure that could make it appear that there's an extra set of gears?

Additionally, I notice the return-to-center thing on the shift lever moves with the lever a bit.....know how if you pop the lever out of gear it snaps to center? Well if I move the lever to one side and release, the "center" spot favors that side...the spring or whatever it is that returns the stick to center, shifts a little with the lever. Is this normal? I can't remember if it moved around before or not, never really paid much attention.

And one other strange thing I noticed: the clutch seems to move way too easily now. Before, it was pretty light for the first inch or so of travel, then stiffened up a bit. Now pressure is more consistent, but very light. I can easily push the pedal all the way to the floor with my hand. But there's no spring in the pedal system, correct? As I understand it, the clutch fork is the only thing making the pedal spring back to position, so I should be ok, right? Guess I'll find out when I try to drive the car....

You guys probably think I'm going nuts, and if I were anyone else I'd probably agree. :p
 

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Where the shift lever slips over the shift stub sticking out of the transmission there is a bolt and nut through the shift lever that is keyed into across the shift stub, that bolt has to be tight, or your shifting the lever will give you the symptoms of extra gears described. Sounds like your clutch hydraulic system has air from a slow leak, pumping a number of times may temporarily retore function, but if you were to just try to drive it as is, my guess is you'd immediately grind gears upon shifting
 

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dabigboy:

Rogerspeed is giving you good advice. Just to expand on his reply:

- Alfa didn't change the design of its gearshift levers between about 1959 and 1992 (or whenever they stopped making 115 spiders). But when they added that console in 1971 they made it look like the gearshift was coming out at a 45 degree angle. Actually, it comes out of the transmission vertically, but then bends back at 45 degrees. I describe all of this to explain why it seems like you have side-to-side play, but acutally, the lever is just rotating vertically where it clamps to the stub that comes out of the gearbox. Yea, you need to tighten the clamp bolt, and will probably have to remove your console to do it.

- Something has died in your clutch hydraulic system. If the force is that light, I doubt your clutch is disengaging when you push on the pedal. There is a little spring in the clutch MC, so even if the hydraulic lines were disconnected, the pedal would offer a little resistance on the downstroke, and then pop back up. Where is the fluid level in your clutch master cyl. reservoir? Are there any puddles under the slave cylinder?

Sorry, but you have some more work to do before that spider returns to the road!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yeah, that makes sense now about the lever.....I knew it came out vertically but I hadn't really considered how a little slop might affect things. I'm still not quite grokking how this could make the centering function shift around, unless the spring is actually outside of the transmission, connected to that bolt? Well I'll have a look at it tomorrow, thanks for the tip.

Alfajay, that's what's really weird about this clutch thing: not a drop of fluid anywhere under the car. I did check fluid level, actually the little crud filter net prevented me from being able to tell how much was in there (and I can't really see the fluid through the outside of the reservoir), so I added a *very* little bit of fluid and the fluid level came up over that filter screen pretty quick. So it was basically full to begin with. I tried pumping it a while also, no change. I didn't know about the spring in the master cylinder, that probably explains why I still have any pressure. My 280ZX doesn't have anything like that, lose hydraulic pressure and the pedal just falls to the floor.....so the Alfa kinda threw me off. I'm thinking I have a bad MC. Is that a pain to swap out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I think I found the source of my woes....after much pumping, a small puddle of clutch fluid appeared beneath the slave cylinder. :/

I also noticed a lot of air bubbles in the MC reservoir when I pumped the clutch, seems I have a rather nasty leak in the slave?
 

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Well I think I found the source of my woes....after much pumping, a small puddle of clutch fluid appeared beneath the slave cylinder. :/

I also noticed a lot of air bubbles in the MC reservoir when I pumped the clutch, seems I have a rather nasty leak in the slave?
Maybe....wipe everything all down with a clean, damp rag, and re pump while observing below (with a friend/enemy?). Then, you should be able to pinpoint exactly where the leak is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually I was able to get under the car enough last night to inspect the slave pretty good......the leak is at the slave piston, fluid is dripping from a puncture in the rubber boot. Btw, shouldn't there be a boot or cover of some sort over the piece that connects the slave to the fork? Seems odd to be able to look up into the tranny and have all that exposed to dust etc........
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys were right-on about the lever, that fixed it! The bolt was pretty tight, but apparently not tight enough. Only problem is I had the lever too far right, which I didn't discover until putting the console back together and having the lever tap the sides of the console opening in 5th/reverse...grrrrr! Managed to go in and adjust it without totally dismantling the console.....now it's perfect. :) Thanks!!!

Hopefully my slave cylinder and hose swap will be non-traumatic.....still don't have the hose off. Parts are on the way.............
 
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