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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Engine mount replacement for dummies

I spent my day on Sunday replacing the very sagged engine mounts in my 88 Graduate. I like to refer to myself as mechanically challenged, but was fortunate enough to have the assistance of a friend of mine who is a master mechanic. Insteady of him simply doing the job, he worked with me and showed me how to do the job.

I know there are other threads on replacing engine mounts, but I thought that by starting this thread on how I replaced the mounts, it may help someone else in the future when they decide to do this job themselves. I had been qouted $550 to have the mounts replaced.


Goal

My goal was to change the engine mounts without having to remove any of the intake system. My thought behind this was "if you dont touch it, you dont break it". Based on my mechanical history, I felt this was a smart choice

Tools needed
2 Jackstands, a descent hydraulic jack, Peice of wood 2"x4"x2', 13mm, 10mm, 11mm, 17mm socket, 13mm ring wrench, flat screwdriver, flashlight

Preparation
Start by jacking the car up fairly high. I placed the jackstands on the 2 jack points just behind the front wheels that the standard Alfa jack uses to lift the car, and 2 jackstands on the frame. Dont be shy about getting the car up high. You will be spending a fair amount of time under the car so a little extra space comes in handy,

Time to get down to business
Start by removing the oil pan guard if you have one. Mine had 4 13mm bolts that were easily removed with the socket.

While you are still inder the car, you should remove the 2 bottom nuts with the 10mm socket from the fan shroud. Jump to the top of the car and remove the 2 top nuts also. The fan shroud will slip backward fully exposing the fan blades. If you dont do this, you risk damaging the shroud from the fan blades putting pressure on it when you raise the engine.

Also remove the strap that holds on the radiator filler bottle. This is on the passenger side of the car at the front and a simple screwdriver loosens the strap. Lift the bottle up (carefully since there is a pipe attached to it) and place it the correct way up on the top of the engine. Hey if you look down you can see the dreaded passenger side engine mount.

Now to get to the mounts themselves

Driver Side mount
I started with the drivers side mount since I had to build up my courage and thought it good to tackle the easier one first. Place the piece of wood accros the entire oil pan and place the hydraulic jack off to the drivers side of the piece of wood, but dont start to lift the engine yet. Placing the jack off to one side will help lift maily on the side of the engine that you are changing the mount on.
Take a good look at the new mount_ _ _ you will get a good idea on where the botls etc go.
From the top of the car, you can access 2 of the 3 nuts that attach the mount to the engine block and 1 of the 2 bolts that attach the mount to the cars frame. You need to go underneath the car to undo the other 1 nut and bolt. I used the 13mm ring wrench to undo all these nuts and bolts since ratchet access was somewhat limited.
So now the engine mount is loose and held in place by the engines weight. Slowly start to lift the engine with the jack. Remember that when you are lifting the engine you not only have to take the old squashed mount out, but put the new not so squashed mount back in. Dont be shy, lift it . Mine lifted about 2 - 3" I guess.
Once the engine is up, simply pull of the old mount and slide the new one over the 3 studs that are attached to the engine block. This is pretty straightforward and you will see what I mean when you do it. Put the 3 nuts back on and insert the 2 bolts back into their respective holes. (you may need to lower the engine slightly to allign the bolts to the frame with their holes. Finger tighten the nuts and bolts at this time and lower the engine back down.

You have just replaced the your first Alfa Spider engine mount. Time to celebrate since you think you are are halfway there and it only took about 20 min. :D Whooooooa not so fast !!! the fun part is yet to come.

Passenger Side mount
This is the one that removes skin from your knuckles.

Bear with me as I try to explain this. Take a look at the mount on the car from the top. You will see there is a nasty looking bracket that goes up from the mount to the underside of the intake manifold and stuff. There is a 13mm nut and bolt that you have to remove that holds the intake bracket to the engine mount. Its a little tight to work in there since this is removed from the top of the car, but I was able to get in there are remove the nut and bolt with the 13mm socket.
Now get back under the car.... There are 6 bolts attaching the bracket to the intake that you need to loosen from underneath the car with a loooong extension on your ratchet. Good time to break out that flashlight so you can see what you are doing. As I recall you we a 10mm and 17mm socket here. Sounds difficult, bit it wasnt that bad. The bracket should now be loose, but you cant actually take it out yet since the intake and the engine mount keep it roughly in place.
Now this could be a good time to debate the merits of removing the intake system and giving yourself more room to work. Great for some of my more mechanical fellow Spider owners, but as I said I am mechanically challenged and the thought of removing the throttle linkage and all that intake stuff was tooooo much for me. "If I dont touch it... I cant break it". :)

Back to work.. So you have the bracket loose. Now go to the nuts and bolts on the mount itself. Same as the other side. You use the 13mm ring wrench and remove 2 of the 3 nuts and 1 of the 2 bolts that attach the mount to the frame from the top and remove the other nut and bolt from below. Not as easy as the driver side since space is limited, but it can be done with small turns on your wrench.

Once you have the nuts and bolts off, its back to the jack time.. The wood stays across the entire oil pan and you place the jack closer to the passenger side of the oil pan. Slowly start to lift the engine again till you can remove the old engine mount out. Again.. My engine lifted about 2 -3", but you will have to judge that for yourself.
Back to the top of the car. The tricky part here is to get the mount off the 3 studs since that darned braket is in the way and snug up against the underside of the intake. A second pair of hands comes in really usefull about now to help manouver that bracket and I must confess to using the screwdriver as a sort of lever to get the mount off the studs. Now I dont mean pick up a crowbar and go nuts here, but a little subtle pressure helped a whole bunch since as I said the space is pretty limited down there. Once the mount was clear of the studs , I rolled it counter clockwise from the top of the car and pulled down to get the bracket out of the mount. 1 now unattached mount can be removed from the car.
For those so inclined, this would be a good time for a break for a cold beverage of your choice :D

Putting the new mount in is actually easier than taking the old mount out. Position the mount with the backet between the 2 lips and move it into position over the 3 studs attached to the engine block. You will understand what I mean when you do this. Nuts onto the 3 studs and the 2 bolts into the car frame. Remember you may need to lower the jack a bit to get the bolts lined up. Key her is to make small slow changes and that second pair of hands comes in really handy here. Once you have the bolts lined up and finger tightened, keep the jack in place. You may have difficulty getting the wrench onto one of the lower bolts it you remove the jack at this point.
Tighten the nuts and bolts on the mount and bolt the intake bracket back into place first from under the car to the underside of the intake (remember those 6 bolts) and then finally the bolt from the bracket to the engine mount. Tighten everything up to spec.

NOW you can remove the jack completely now.

Go to the drivers side and tighten down the nuts and bolts on the mount to spec. Replace the fan shroud and get that radiator bottle back in. Back under the car for last look around to see that everything is tight and looks good. Then you can replace the oil pan guard.

Now look at that for some clearance :D :D :D :D

So the whole job took me about 3 hours to complete and while some may find fault in the method or process that I used... it worked for this mechanical dummy. This is meant only as a guide on how I changed the mounts, and if we are lucky, some of our more mechanical fellow Alfa owners will add their input to this thread and provide a solid instruction base for a mechanical dummy like me trying to change their own engine mounts. Remeber to always use common sense and safety. I hope this helps someone in the future
 

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one other thing, disconnect the battery, the starter is quite close to the passenger side mount, a slip with a wrench could ruin your day. You are lucky, a po stripped one bolt on mine and replaced with an inch typw bolt, the head fit the wrench but bound up in another hole when put back in.
cliff
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chris.

A box wrench is what it is. Please excuse my foreign background. It was hard enough for me not to call it a "spanner" :D

Where I come from all wrenches are spanners
cheers
 

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ahhh.....crazy foreign people ;)

Spanner I know, but get more specific and I'm lost!

I was hoping it was some secret tool you'd stumbled across to make those nuts and bolts easier to get to!
 

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how much do you think you saved by doing it yourself? Is this one of those 1000 dollar jobs or something semi reasonable? This estimate would not take into account the joy you get from doing it yourself.

Hinchey
 

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hinchey said:
how much do you think you saved by doing it yourself? Is this one of those 1000 dollar jobs or something semi reasonable? This estimate would not take into account the joy you get from doing it yourself.

Hinchey

He said he had a $550 estimate. That's about what I've read on this forum from others, as well.

I wonder how much it would be to just have the passenger side mount replaced... since the driver's side one is reasonably easy...

Oh, what a GREAT thread. I'm definitely bookmarking this one for future use...
 

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Excellent write-up. Makes me wish I didn't have another 5 months of crappy weather ahead (no garage to work in) so that I could go out and tear some skin. Seriously, thanks for the instructions as other posts have detailed alot of remove/replace and your experience helps much.
 

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Dave:

Did your 88 have AC? Mine does and I need to replace the passenger side mount. I'm considering taking out the AC to get to the engine mount. The AC is nonfunctional anyway. Did you work around your AC or don't you have it?

mark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Mark.
My 88 has the A/C and I didnt have to remove it to do the job.

As I said, my goal was to replace the mounts without touching anything that I could break. :D

You mention that you have to replace the passenger mount. I would highly recommend changing both mounts. They are relatively inexpensive and the difference I feel when driving my car is remarkable. Plus I would not like to come back around and have to do the other mount at a later date.

Good luck with the job

Cheers
 

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Great thread

Thanks for the thread. I followed it and did my mounts today. They were shot. The drivers side was broken and the passender was sagging bad. Only two hiccups: the Driver's side mount i ordered had the bolt holes in the wrong place. It looked as if the plate was flipped when welded together. I emailed Spruell to ask them to send another. Hopefully it comes early this week.

Second was a cross threaded nut on one of the block studs on the passenger side. I was able to use a coupld washers and then tighten it down enough to grip without twisting off. I will have to check it periodically to make sure it hasnt backed out.

Pics of old vs new mounts below.

Phil
 

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Why did you wait so long for the cold beverage of your choice. This is at least as fun as Frisbee Golf, which mandates a cold beverage before starting, and one - at least - after each stage. Otherwise, great job and instructions!
 

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I did my motor mounts last year, as indicated the passenger side is the tougher one to do. I decided to remove the intake plenum etc. so I would have more room and while I was at it changed out the intake runners and clamps. With these cars once you are in a nasty place you may as well take care of other issues so you don't have to go back anytime soon. Funny how that works, I can't begin to describe how many things I have either fixed or replaced while doing something else. Once the skin is off your knuckles its only a matter of a little more blood.
 

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This is an excellent description of the process - great thread! One observation I would make for those attempting this procedure is that they consider doing the passenger side first. Why? Because there is more "give" with the old mount on the driver side than there is when it is replaced with a new one. The little extra "give" makes it easier to work on the passenger mount, which is the harder one to change...

Best regards,
 

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I emailed Spruell to ask them to send another. Hopefully it comes early this week.
Update: Spruell did send a new base to the mount... turns out the mount bases (plate that bolts to car) are not interchangeable, but are mirror images from drivers to passenger's sides that cannot be rotated to correct. This took a good while to explain (and convince) on the phone, but we eventually worked it out and she sent the correct part. The bases were probably switched when the billet sleeves were installed... my guess.

The car handles great now, shifts better, corners better, no fan rub, reduced vibrations, less pull durring acceleration on a straight away, BIG difference. Highly recommend replacing these... even if it is a bit of a knuckle buster.
 

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Skunked by the engine mount

I tried to replace the passenger side mount yesterday on my 91 spider. Got all the nuts and bolts off the mount, but got stuck on trying to loosen that intake bracket that is supported by the mount! :mad: It was around 9pm and I decided to punt...whats dumber than a "dummy" (don't answer that :) ).

The problem was that I had two bolts that I could see holding the intake bracket (not the 6 that was mentioned in this thread - great thread, btw) , but I couldn't get the wrench on there because the A/C hose was in the way. Also, I tried to move the radiator bottle out of the way, but had no slack in the hoses to put it out of the way.

Anyone try it on a '91+ and succeed without taking stuff off?
 

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I tried to replace the passenger side mount yesterday on my 91 spider. Got all the nuts and bolts off the mount, but got stuck on trying to loosen that intake bracket that is supported by the mount! :mad: It was around 9pm and I decided to punt...whats dumber than a "dummy" (don't answer that :) ).

The problem was that I had two bolts that I could see holding the intake bracket (not the 6 that was mentioned in this thread - great thread, btw) , but I couldn't get the wrench on there because the A/C hose was in the way. Also, I tried to move the radiator bottle out of the way, but had no slack in the hoses to put it out of the way.

Anyone try it on a '91+ and succeed without taking stuff off?
Which raises the question: How different is the Motronic plenum and mount from the L-Jet? :confused:
 

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Anyone try it on a '91+ and succeed without taking stuff off?
I changed them out on my '91 last year following the "dummies" method.

No doubt, the passenger side is a major PIA, but can be done.

What bolts cant you get off? Picture?

Vin
 

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Vin, there's no way for me to take a picture of it, but its the bolts are where that intake bracket attaches near or on the intake manifold.

I finally broke down and took it to Santos here in LA and he says that they take the manifold off when they do it. Does your '91 have A/C?
 
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