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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car: Veloce Spider 1991
Clutch: Original with 25k miles
Issue:Having problems down-shifting into second gear it seems a little stiff and occasionally grinds. Shifting up evrything is perfect and downshifting is fine until i hit 2nd. Is there a simple solution or do i need to call my alfa mechanic? Let me know, Thanks! :)
 

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1991 164L
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Don't downshift into 2nd gear when doing normal or abnormal driving as you have a 3-2 syncro ring going back if clutch is working correctly. If bad ring tranny has to be disassembled to replace it.
 

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Yes, there is. Double-clutching... :cool:
 

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Steven - Second gear syncros are notoriously weak on Alfas. It's the first one to wear out as the transmission ages. The fix is a transmission overhaul and replacing the syncro mech. Most people just live with it by not downshifting into second, or double clutching the downshift. Try not to grind the shift, however. That just wears the dog gears more. Also, when at a stop, touch 4th before you put the gear lever in first gear. That'll prevent a slight crunch there as well and help preserve first gear.

You might also do a search on the forum here, for the different kinds of oils to use. Don't know what you have in your gearbox, but oil can make a difference.
 

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Roadtrip is absolutely correct on the type of oil used in the gearbox making a difference. Please give this post a read for a bit more info.
I changed to 40 weight shortly after writing that post.
 

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I have seen recommended Red Line 75W90NS, the NS stands for “non slippery”
But i would also like to know what Papajam has been using with success - as 40 weight and 75 weight are certainly different.
 

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Trained (ex)Professional, , 1953-2018 RIP
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I use Valvoline VR1 Racing 40 weight engine oil. Part number is VV229.

SS4,
Engine oil and gear oil weights are not measured on the same scale. A look at this viscosity chart shows that a 40 weight engine oil is about equal in viscosity to an 85-90 gear oil.
 

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can't find that one in europe, shame - as the VR1 racing engine oil you are using in the gearbox is simply designated SAE 40 on Valvoline's website, what is that? a 10W/40, a 15W/40 in engine oil terms?
 

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10W/40 and 15W/40 are examples of multi-grade oils. These oils contain viscosity index improvers that changes the oils' viscosity depending on temperature. Using 10W/40 as an example, this oil has a viscosity of 10 in the Winter (the 10W part) and a 40 viscosity in summer.

A straight weight oil, like SAE 40, contains no viscosity index improvers so it will thicken as temperature drops and thin out as the temp rises.

More about this in this link.
 

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1988 Spider Veloce
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I had the same problem with my '88 veloce (Alfa transmissions are notorious for their "second gear grind") Here are some things I found on this list that actually made it a lot better.
1. Change the oil - it really matters which kind you use (I have Shell Spirax)
2. Double clutch
3. Before you start driving, put it in 4th and let the clutch come up once or twice. I can't explain exactly what it does, but it really helps! Thanks to whomever on the list for that advice.

Great Alfa weather here in Michigan!
 

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10W/40 and 15W/40 are examples of multi-grade oils. These oils contain viscosity index improvers that changes the oils' viscosity depending on temperature. Using 10W/40 as an example, this oil has a viscosity of 10 in the Winter (the 10W part) and a 40 viscosity in summer.

A straight weight oil, like SAE 40, contains no viscosity index improvers so it will thicken as temperature drops and thin out as the temp rises.

More about this in this link.
Hi Jim,
this is the valvoline available in europe: they call it 0W/40 synpower - do you think this is the same as a straight 40 grade? would this be a non slippery oil? they call it 229, though not VV229 and don't call it VR1 racing, as the US version is called
Valvoline ÖL SYNPOWER 0W40 1L Motoröl: Amazon.de: Auto & Motorrad
Cheers, Dominic
 

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Nah, that's not it, Dom. It won't be 10w40 or 0w40 or 10/40 or anything else. Just 40W.

I tried searching European sites a little to no avail. The only thing I could find is this Castrol that is supposed to be for vintage vehicles (older than our cars). I don't know anything about it. Demon Tweeks in the UK has it:

Castrol XXL40 Classic Engine Oil | Engine Oil | Oils & Lubricants | Motorsport Shop | Demon Tweeks

Is it possible they don't sell the stuff in Europe? I just can't find it but then my ability to search European sites is limited.

Here in America, every Auto parts store has several brands of it (often a cheapo house brand too) and even gas stations sometimes have it.

Maybe try a basic auto parts store? Places that sell truck oil surely must have it. Have no idea what the terminology would be in German, but in America I've heard it referred to as "straight weight", "single weight", "striaght grade", "single grade" and "mono-grade".

Here, I found this on Valvoline Europe's site so the DO have it:

HD - Valvoline

you want the 40W or 50W mono-grade.

Try calling one of these distributors. See if they can tell you where to buy it:

Details - Valvoline
 

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thanks GV! yeah here it is called straight or single weight (as opposed to "Multi" weight)

I will find it, so thanks for the ideas!
as Jim say it should be almost honey thick..........umm! Honey! Now we have some great 'natiural' honey in this part of the woods :)
 

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Yeah, I've always heard good things about German girls.
 

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SS4, You might try LIQUI MOLY which is a german produst
They have gear oil GL-5 SAE 75W90 it is recommended for late Alfa Transmissions.

I agree fully with the use of "straight" 40 weight oil in the trans in concept. However if you plan to drive the car in cold weather, it will take a long time to "warm up". As such your shifting wnen cold will be problematic..the oil becomes quite thick at lower temperature.

I note that IAP has begun carrying LIQUI MOLY German lubricants and does not presently carry RedLine anymore.

Ciao for now, Elio
 

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Did I just miss it or did no one mention the Alfa pause between shifts? A slight hesitation as you move the shifter from gear to gear will usually make shifts smoother and eliminate the need to double clutch. Ask my kids how many times I reminded them of that when teaching them to drive Alfas. On second thought, spare me the embarrassment.
 

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Man, what a difference

Well, I just went the 40W (Castrol HD) route last week and MAN, WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

I've been struggling a bit to find the right combo. I'd tried (and commented here) several different gear oils - Shell, Amsoil, Redline, etc.- and bled the slave cylinder over and over. If I was precise with my double-clutching, used the "Alfa Pause", etc. to perfection I was fine. But occasionally (maybe once every 100 shifts, which ends up being a couple times a day) I'd make a small mistake and get a grind. This was getting worse, not better.

I had been considering my options for a rebuild and after reading this thread (and several before it, though this is the one that tipped it) I tried some Castrol HD 40W. All I can say is WOW. It's like I already did the rebuild. Grinding is completely gone - haven't tried to be ham-fisted with it to MAKE it grind, but with my normal, skillfull (and modest! ;)) driving, I haven't had a single grind yet. Good stuff.

Still a bit nervous about longevity with motor oil rather than gear oil in there, but since I was headed for a rebuild anyhow I didn't see that I had much to lose beyond some more parts expense on a rebuild. We'll see how it goes.

Chris
 

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Still a bit nervous about longevity with motor oil rather than gear oil in there,...
Don't know if it'll ease your nerves any Chris but I put probably a few 100k miles on a number of gearboxes in my personal cars, with one used box having some 75k put on it after changing to engine oil, without issue.

Be sure to change the oil again in a few hundred miles so as to flush out the remaining old, slippery stuff.
 
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