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Discussion Starter #1
  • Hi 馃憢馃徏 people, just aquired 1987 A/R Spyder Graduate, I need some help.

  • The Fuel Gauge light stays on indicating low on fuel but fuel is plentiful.
  • Shifting ; clutch - or fly wheel seems to need attention. don鈥檛 go into gear nicely as it should. Any recommendations for Trans shop in Sarasota area?
  • Where in rear area interior space behind the front seats can I place/Secure stereo speakers? These were merely zip tied to the floor. Bad install. I want to do it right.
    if anyone knows of a compatible new stereo system that will fit, please advise.
    if anyone has new carpet set for this make, please advise. Thank you in advance, I know nothing about these cars but like it!


 

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Check the connections on the in tank fuel pump/fuel level float assembly - it's all on the top of the tank. There should be a rubber cover in the trunk floor (under the carpeting).
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When you say, 'doesn't go into gear nicely' do you mean every gear or specifically first & reverse gears? If every gear then I'd look at the clutch hydraulics. The slave cylinder should move about 1/2" with a full stroke of the pedal. If less then it might just need to be bled. Or it might be leaking...

If you have having difficulty with 'graunching' shifts it may be that the synchros are worn and unable to match the speeds of the spinning gears. Before condemning the synchros however it is worth draining the gearbox oil and refilling with the correct type. (hint: be sure you can access the fill plug before draining the oil...) Many modern gear oils are too slippery and thus prevent the synchros from being able to work properly. I use Redline 75-90 NS. Be sure to get the NS version.

If the trouble is getting into first from a standstill - this is sort of normal. There is no synchro for the shift from neutral into first (or reverse) . If you are sitting at a stop light in neutral with the clutch out (as you should) the gears will be spinning. When the light turns green if you try to quickly shift into first the spinning gears will crunch. The 'trick' is to move the shift lever partially into another gear (second or third) then move it into first. This uses the synchro of the other gear to stop the spinning gears for a nice shift into first. Alternatively, you'd have to push down the clutch pedal and wait a few seconds for the gears to stop spinning.

I can't help much with stereo systems.
 

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Every Spider I've seen (including my own) has rear speakers on either side of the rear parcel shelf. Mine are 5 1/2 inch speakers, and I think that is probably the max size that will fit. Of course holes need to be made in the shelf for the speaker, and I believe Alfa has a specific speaker grill that is flat on one edge to fit against the rear vertical panel - that's how tight it is back there. The PO of my car cut the grill of the generic speakers with tin snips to make them fit. If I were starting over, I would not cut the parcel shelf but look into small shelf speakers, and mount them to the shelf with velcro.
 

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When I did my rebuild, I just went without rear speakers. I only have speakers in the footwells, which I installed behind the carpet.
 

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So, regarding rear deck speakers. I updated my 91 spider stereo to an Alpine w/Bluetooth and mini amp under the dash. The standard size speakers are pretty limited both in the doors and the rear deck. For the rear deck I first made a cardboard template of the area behind the seats about 1 1/4鈥 above the factory deck. Then built a new 1/4鈥 plywood deck fitted to the shape of the interior at the back and just about 1 1/4鈥 high. Used a wood strip at the front and spacer blocks in center to hold the new deck at the right height. Carpet it, and it friction fits nice and tight behind the metal trim piece on the original deck. Leave the old deck in place. Then relocated the access panel for the relays a bit and now I can fit Alpine 6X9 ovals in the rear deck. Pics show the finished carpeted deck and a view under the fabricated deck showing spacer blocks that hold the new deck even and secure from flexing. It stays put very nicely, no rattles or squeaks, and isn鈥檛 really noticeable from stock unless the seats are flipped forward. Best part is, completely and easily reversible to stock and easy to lift out in 30 seconds or less if needed. Great sound from the new system. I also modified the front door panels to accept Alpine 5 1/4鈥 high quality speakers. This required shaping wood pieces to mount on top of the flat door speaker covers and the covering with vinyl before mounting the new speakers and grilles. That鈥檚 less reversible but worked out well. And before questions come in from the pics....yes I have a small none stock console in the car that came in it when I became the 4th owner. Also the black wires or tubes you see in the pics are the air lines to the pneumatic lumbar supports I added inside the seat backs
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Discussion Starter #6
Check the connections on the in tank fuel pump/fuel level float assembly - it's all on the top of the tank. There should be a rubber cover in the trunk floor (under the carpeting).
View attachment 1616972

When you say, 'doesn't go into gear nicely' do you mean every gear or specifically first & reverse gears? If every gear then I'd look at the clutch hydraulics. The slave cylinder should move about 1/2" with a full stroke of the pedal. If less then it might just need to be bled. Or it might be leaking...

If you have having difficulty with 'graunching' shifts it may be that the synchros are worn and unable to match the speeds of the spinning gears. Before condemning the synchros however it is worth draining the gearbox oil and refilling with the correct type. (hint: be sure you can access the fill plug before draining the oil...) Many modern gear oils are too slippery and thus prevent the synchros from being able to work properly. I use Redline 75-90 NS. Be sure to get the NS version.

If the trouble is getting into first from a standstill - this is sort of normal. There is no synchro for the shift from neutral into first (or reverse) . If you are sitting at a stop light in neutral with the clutch out (as you should) the gears will be spinning. When the light turns green if you try to quickly shift into first the spinning gears will crunch. The 'trick' is to move the shift lever partially into another gear (second or third) then move it into first. This uses the synchro of the other gear to stop the spinning gears for a nice shift into first. Alternatively, you'd have to push down the clutch pedal and wait a few seconds for the gears to stop spinning.

I can't help much with stereo systems.
 

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The Fuel Gauge light stays on indicating low on fuel but fuel is plentiful.
OK, yes, the warning light stays on. But, does the gauge pointer work OK?

If the gauge behaves normally, then the connections that ghnl shows are going to be tight and on the right terminals. Your problem isn't a bad connection - that would be the likely cause of the light NOT coming on. More likely something is amiss with the sending unit, causing it to indicate low fuel even when the float is high.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, yes, the warning light stays on. But, does the gauge pointer work OK?

If the gauge behaves normally, then the connections that ghnl shows are going to be tight and on the right terminals. Your problem isn't a bad connection - that would be the likely cause of the light NOT coming on. More likely something is amiss with the sending unit, causing it to indicate low fuel even when the float is high.
Ok, makes sense. Yes, the gauge operates normally except the light stays on. So I have a bad sending unit which is inside the tank correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In the floor.
Ok, thank you! I have to rebuild the entire rear floor piece which supports the carpet anyway, I am trying to locate the piece but not having any luck, I can rebuild it, the metal black strip is damaged as well, if I can at least find a new one of those would make the job easier.
 

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Ok, makes sense. Yes, the gauge operates normally except the light stays on. So I have a bad sending unit which is inside the tank correct?
Well, I wrote "More likely something is amiss with the sending unit". I sure can't diagnose your car with 100% certainty over the internet! The sender is inside the tank - it's the thing shown in ghnl's photo in post #2, secured to the tank with six, slotted-head screws. If you do buy a new sending unit, be sure to get a fresh gasket too.

My next step would be to disconnect the terminal on the sending unit that grounds that warning light (which wire & terminal is that? Well, it's the one that causes the light to go out when it is pulled. If instead, the gauge suddenly registers "F" or "E" when you pull a wire, that's the gauge wire.) Of course, do this when the tank is > 1/4 full, so the light should not be coming on. If pulling the right wire causes the light to go out, then yes, the sender is the problem.

But if no amount of wire disconnecting at the sender makes the light go out, then you have a short to ground somewhere upstream. Less likely, but possible.
 

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low fuel warning light is the black/white wire....
 

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Pink (or is it pink/white?) is the in-tank fuel pump.

Picture of what is inside there. Note the stepped hose. If you do remove the assembly, inspect the stepped hose. If it fails (cracks, loosens) the main pump will suck air when the fuel level is below ~ 1/2 full. And if you check the price of a new stepped hose be sure you are sitting down.

1617102


Not present in the photo is a filter sock that fits onto the bottom of the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I wrote "More likely something is amiss with the sending unit". I sure can't diagnose your car with 100% certainty over the internet! The sender is inside the tank - it's the thing shown in ghnl's photo in post #2, secured to the tank with six, slotted-head screws. If you do buy a new sending unit, be sure to get a fresh gasket too.

My next step would be to disconnect the terminal on the sending unit that grounds that warning light (which wire & terminal is that? Well, it's the one that causes the light to go out when it is pulled. If instead, the gauge suddenly registers "F" or "E" when you pull a wire, that's the gauge wire.) Of course, do this when the tank is > 1/4 full, so the light should not be coming on. If pulling the right wire causes the light to go out, then yes, the sender is the problem.

But if no amount of wire disconnecting at the sender makes the light go out, then you have a short to ground somewhere upstream. Less likely, but possible.
Thank you Sir, I will troubleshoot it that exact way, this week!
 

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Be careful. The 1990 and up have more room for bigger speakers due to the different engine management they went to in 1990.
 

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IMHO..I know you're enthusiastic to get some rocking tunes in your new ride...BUT (isn't there's always a but!!) you need to be spending your money first on getting the mechanics sorted FIRST!!! especially the clutch/transmission issue (gas level can wait, drive-by milage..but be sure odo is fairly accurate, LOL, she's Italian you know!!. I'd find another Alfa owner and let them drive the car for comparison and advice..Alfa's have always been "glitchy" in first 2 second shifts (shift slow and double-clutch down) and first will grind unless bumped to 3rd to get the gears spinning. I grew up in SRQ in the 50's and always like to check out my old car haunts when I visit..On my last trip, I.ran across a Ferrari man, who seemed very friendly (if I assume is approached gently!! LOL) ( Luciano's Master Auto Tech) I don't think I can afford Luc's shop rate but he could be a great source of info if asked with Italian respect. Classic cars (past Model A's and flathead Fords) have pretty much become a DYI endeavor due to high shop rates and potentially hit/miss repairs done by individuals not familiar with the car. Alfa's can be very reliable when sorted, but like airplanes, many interreacting systems need to be maintained. Don't want to be negative, but you need to keep perspective. Welcome to the BB, there's a wealth of knowledge here..you can have a super fun driver if you approach her logically..wishing you the best. Here's my youtube video on my clutch repair which the PO gave up on the car after replacing the clutch twice (by a well-meaning but not Alfa knowledgeable) mechanic.
Keep posting after you post ten times you can PM..hollar at me if I can help!! Ciao Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pink (or is it pink/white?) is the in-tank fuel pump.

Picture of what is inside there. Note the stepped hose. If you do remove the assembly, inspect the stepped hose. If it fails (cracks, loosens) the main pump will suck air when the fuel level is below ~ 1/2 full. And if you check the price of a new stepped hose be sure you are sitting down.

View attachment 1617102

Not present in the photo is a filter sock that fits onto the bottom of the pump.
Ok. 馃
IMHO..I know you're enthusiastic to get some rocking tunes in your new ride...BUT (isn't there's always a but!!) you need to be spending your money first on getting the mechanics sorted FIRST!!! especially the clutch/transmission issue (gas level can wait, drive-by milage..but be sure odo is fairly accurate, LOL, she's Italian you know!!. I'd find another Alfa owner and let them drive the car for comparison and advice..Alfa's have always been "glitchy" in first 2 second shifts (shift slow and double-clutch down) and first will grind unless bumped to 3rd to get the gears spinning. I grew up in SRQ in the 50's and always like to check out my old car haunts when I visit..On my last trip, I.ran across a Ferrari man, who seemed very friendly (if I assume is approached gently!! LOL) ( Luciano's Master Auto Tech) I don't think I can afford Luc's shop rate but he could be a great source of info if asked with Italian respect. Classic cars (past Model A's and flathead Fords) have pretty much become a DYI endeavor due to high shop rates and potentially hit/miss repairs done by individuals not familiar with the car. Alfa's can be very reliable when sorted, but like airplanes, many interreacting systems need to be maintained. Don't want to be negative, but you need to keep perspective. Welcome to the BB, there's a wealth of knowledge here..you can have a super fun driver if you approach her logically..wishing you the best. Here's my youtube video on my clutch repair which the PO gave up on the car after replacing the clutch twice (by a well-meaning but not Alfa knowledgeable) mechanic.
Keep posting after you post ten times you can PM..hollar at me if I can help!! Ciao Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well. Does anyone l ow what the metal strip on the rear floor board is called? And where I can possible order one? It houses small nuts and bolts on its underside which the rear floor carpet screws onto. The under side is slotted so the screws can slide. I will attach a picture of it if I figure out how to post pictures on here.
thanks.
 
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