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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Alfisti,

I think I need a new Giubo and Support/Bearing and I'd like to get your opinion on which one to buy and how many extra bits I might need to complete the job. I've read many threads on the subject but none discuss the various options and extra bits associated with a Driveshaft R&R.

I have a '85 Spider Veloce with aprox 90K miles. I can see some cracks on the Giubo and I can move the Support around a bit. I wouldn't say it's loose or wobbly but from what I understand my worn Trans Mount likely stressed the Giubo and the Support Bearing enough that they should be replaced (Trans Mount replaced less than 100 miles ago). I will likely pull the Driveshaft (after making reference marks) and will bring it to a Driveshaft Shop, along with the correct parts, to remove/install the bearings, U-Joints and to do a balance.

The questions I have are:

Which Giubo do folks suggest? There are a dozen options including OEM, and HD/Upgraded/Pirelli versions at the regular parts dealers not to mention the Spruell reinforced versions (overkill for my stock S3).

What other parts do I need beside the obvious: Giubo, Support, Bearing, U-Joints (x2). Do I also need to purchase new Seal Ring, Plug and Bushing, Bearing Ring etc. I see they are available from Classic Alfa and a few others but I can't tell if these are re-usable or perishable items you should replace when you've got it all apart.

At present I'm leaning towards the HD Giubo, HD Support and HD Bearing from Classic Alfa, but with the economy in the tank, and my stock spider, I'm not sure it's necessary to spend the extra money on the HD version of these parts.

I'm also curious if about my Rear Transmission Seal, I think it may be leaking a bit but I'm afraid of this job snowballing and may just leave that for next year.

Should I be worried about going to a non-Alfa shop to press the bearings etc? I'm in the Bay Area around 50 miles from a few reputable Alfa shops... should I just bite the bullet and bring the driveshaft to them?

Thanks in advance for your awesome suggestions.

C
 

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If your car drives smoothly with no driveshaft wobbles, imbalance, vibration or odd noises....I personally would leave it be:)

For sure, if you can see cracks in the guibo, then OK replace that. On a road car, I'd go for a good quality stock part from a reputed alfa supplier.

the centre carrier can obviously move fairly easily if you grab it, as it sits in a soft rubber mount......but if you wobble it around and it makes a noise (clack), then I'd say the bearing needs replacement.

What I would do is pump grease into the sliding joint, because it has likely not been done in a while and it should be done every 4k or so.

But if you still want to rip into it, then others here who have done it will give advise (ie. where to actually get the correct size UJs etc)...you'll need to find a shop that can balance a complete alfa prop etc.
 

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Be wary of ancient, self destructing giubos, they can cause lots of damage if they fail at the wrong time. None of the rubber parts on our cars was intended to last 50 years. But surface cracks are normal, it's when they start tearing deeply that you should be concerned.

My GTV came complete with a seized u-joint and driveline vibrations 12 years ago. I replaced everything with a kit from a US supplier. Got both shafts balanced (hard to find a shop that will do the front one). Vibrated like hell. Back to the shop. Rebalanced. Still vibrated. Repeat. He then found out the u-joints were moving slightly. I took them apart, they were about .010 undersize when measuring the width of the bare cross. Reassembled, shimming the caps. Still vibrated. Found a second shop. Rebalanced the rear shaft, couldn't do the front. Guess what. They found u-joints in the proper size. Replaced. I supplied them with a gearbox output shaft so they could balance both. Took the shafts home. Went to install them, the marks they put on the shafts only allowed me to put two bolts in: they'd balanced the shafts 90 degrees out of sync. Back. They corrected.

Where I stand after 12 years: it still vibrates a bit at highway speed. A club member spoke to a third shop who does balancing. After discussing with them, the issue could be with the repro donut I installed. Next I'm going to try a vintage Pirelli giubo just to see. And waiting for the third shop to set up to balance the front shaft,

Moral #1: don't disturb sleeping dogs.
Moral #2: buy the best parts available.

U-joints: measure them and compare them with the originals before installation.
Support: I don't think there is a choice. This is the part I've had no issue with (I think)
Bearing: There is a lot of no-name or counterfeit crap out there. Buy only a reputable brand from a known source. Overall, avoid Amazon. At work, we bought Timken wheel bearings in original black and orange boxes for $26. Purchasing thought we were saving money as usual price is around $40 and list is $56. Turned out to be counterfeit junk, available on Alibaba for $4 complete with the Timken box.
Giubo: here's the culprit. Spruell doesn't have the German ones anymore (they were a Mercedes part), he sells a basic repro for $25 or upgraded for $50. Classic Alfa sells the basic one for £27,50, can it be the same thing?
I would avoid the heavy duty, stiffer parts unless you are racing.
Wonder if we would have more luck at Krispy Kream.
 

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An advantage of the Mercedes type Giubo sold by Spruell is that it is much easier to remove and install as it does not have to be compressed. It is also much stronger. I think that it is worth the premium.
I agree about not replacing the U-joints or center support unless they are causing vibration.
 
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I had a vibration on my 89 Veloce around 2000 rpm. The center bearing holder rubber was torn, and the shaft had a lot of play within the holder. After reading horror stories about failed guibos, I replaced that as well while the shaft was out. I used Centerline Alfa for parts. They offer two versions of the guibo, and I went with the more expensive one which appears exactly like the one I pulled from the car in terms of its construction, and Centeline calls it an OEM part. I haven't taken the car on the road yet since the repair (its snowing today in Vermont!) so we'll see if that fixed the vibration.......
 

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Spruell doesn't sell the German one anymore.

Catalog engineering could allow us to find the proper part number. My measurements on a loose Pirelli giubo are:
6 x 12 mm bolts
47 mm thickness
ca 110 mm bolt circle.
 

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I can see some cracks on the Giubo and I can move the Support around a bit. I wouldn't say it's loose or wobbly but from what I understand my worn Trans Mount likely stressed the
Good thread! Lots of great opinions already offered, but I'll throw in my own:

Of course, without seeing it / touching it, I can only speculate. But your center support bearing sounds OK to me. They do move around a bit, even when new.

As spiderserie4 said, if the U joints aren't giving your problems, then you probably shouldn't mess with them. True, they don't last forever and you'll be "in there" anyways while changing the guibo. But given the difficulties of sourcing the proper replacements, maybe you should let this sleeping dog lie.

If the giubo is cracked, then yes, it probably should be replaced. I installed a Mercedes giubo from Spruell a few years ago and it works great. Disappointed to hear that they no longer carry them. For a street car, even the OE giubo performs well as long as it is fresh. So, whatever Spruell, Centerline or CA now sells as a premium joint would be a good choice.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Another opinion...

I think OE quality parts are perfectly fine for a street car, and often going to HD or stiffer rubber parts leads to unintended consequences.

On my Berlina a PO had installed a poly rear trans mount. The car had a vibration at 4000 RPM that I couldn't figure out. Once I pulled that out the vibration went away.

On a 74 Spider I recently returned to the road the guibo only had minor cracks, but the center support was badly cracked and torn and letting the drives haft move a lot, causing a nasty vibration on the highway. It's worth inspecting more closely when you can when the drives haft is loose and can be moved around more. Personally I would go ahead and replace the center support and bearing while you're in there. They are 35? years old now, rubber just doesn't age that well.

When I replaced the center bearing on my Spider driveshaft I didn't balance it afterwards and had no issues. Just mark the two halves to be safe.

If the u-joints aren't loose I would lube them and leave them.

Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk
 

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Catalog engineering could allow us to find the proper part number. My measurements on a loose Pirelli giubo are:
6 x 12 mm bolts
47 mm thickness
ca 110 mm bolt circle.
Corrected values:
46 mm thickness
bolt circle 109 mm dia measured from a used giubo (quite tricky to measure)
bolt circle 101 mm measured from the output yoke (with some geometry)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info everyone. I'm going to do some test drives and take a closer look at the Support/Bearing but I'm leaning towards the OEM Giubo GB031 from Classic Alfa saving me quite a bit of $ and time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, so I believe my center bearing support needs replacing. On a test drive I could feel a shudder/vibration, near the parking brake, when accelerating from a stop and occasionally when up shifting. I decided to put the Go Pro to good use and shoot a few videos showing the Giubo, the Support/Bearing and the Driveshaft/Rear End. The drives shaft/U-Joints don't show any troubling signs (mostly a blur) but you can clearly see the Center Bearing bouncing around inside the worn out support.

Giubo-Center_Bearing-Driveshaft

So, I know I need a Bearing, Support and the Giubo but what I don't know is if I also need the Seal Ring #3, Plug #4 and Bushing #5 etc. (please see attached exploded view). I don't think I will bother with the U-Joints unless I can afford to have an Alfa Specialist like Jon in Berkley do the work. If I just do the center bearing/support I may take driveshaft to local shop.

Driveshaft Parts.jpeg

While we're at it here's a video showing how much play I have in the differential. I'm not sure if this is normal, I need to change the gear oil and I would guess it's running low based on all the gear oil around the pumpkin.

Differential Video

Thanks,

C
 

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Hey... that's the way to capture the sound of an Alfa. It made me feel I was out for a drive. Thanks a lot, it cheers up a very great and wet day.

What you describe does point towards the bearing. I've always replaced them myself with normal tools, no press. It's just a matter of marking the output flange position in relation to the shaft, then hold the support and tap the nose of the shaft out (don't mess up the thread!). Hou may be able top cut the rubber and use a three jaw puller to push the shaft out of the bearing. First time I reassembled one, I ground down the OD of the old bearing, and I used it to seat the new bearing in the support using a large bench vise.

You normally don't need to change the other parts. Unless you beat the s*** out of your Alfa for the past 300,000 miles.

I would not worry about some backlash in the diff. It always sounds worse than it is, once you measure the actual play. Keep the oil level safe and whenever you have access to an Alfa specialist, have their opinion. Excessive play in a final drive will result in misaligned gears which would quickly start to whine. As long as you don't hear anything abnormal... have faith.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey... that's the way to capture the sound of an Alfa. It made me feel I was out for a drive. Thanks a lot, it cheers up a very great and wet day.
Thanks Yves! I'm glad you liked the video. I plan to do a better drive video sometime this week.

I appreciate your feedback on replacing the bearing. I'm still not sure if I need to order the Seal Ring #3, Plug #4 and Bushing #5. Did you replace them when you did your center bearing?

I checked the oil in the diff after I posted the videos. Didn't see anything dripping out but when I tried the allen wrench trick, I discovered, it is in fact full of gear oil. I'm going to replace the main lower gasket before replacing the oil. I'm not sure I know how to check the play in the Diff, I don't think its making any whining noises.

Cheers!
 

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If the bushing does not look worn I would leave it. I would check the onion-shaped end of the transmission drive (part marked in red in diagram) for wear. That's the part that fits into the bushing, and if its grease has dried up, it could wear unevenly and end up causing vibration issues, possibly damaging the guibo in the process. The rubber seal is there to retain the grease around the 'onion', and if it seems solid and pliable, I'd be inclined to leave it. Be sure to grease this part well before reassembly. I don't know what the 'plug' is - I never saw one when I had my guibo and shaft out of the car.
1622057
 
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