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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! I just bought my first Alfa (my friend always let me help with his so I was sold), and I would like to upgrade the clutch, the bite is right around where you first press the pedal, the zone is very small but the pedal feels proper. I live in a very stop and go heavy hill area, I would like to put something in that I would not really have to worry about grinding it down (even if 20 newbies tried to learn clutch ).


It is a black 1986 spider, with 43,000 on the odm, but according to the PO of over 20 years, he said "it should almost be 44,000"

Judging by the shape I would believe it. Photos to come!

Update: misread the odm its almost 49,5xx and the odm works just not my speed :thumbup1:

I was driving up hill and noticed the clutch did slip so that is going to get replaced, but I was wondering as written up top, what would be a good heavy duty replacement?

Also How do I know I have Bosch injection? The Air sensor is Bosch, but i could not tell what was written on the intake for a brand.

There is also a part that I am trying to figure out the name of so i can stop in-taking unregulated air. it is in-between the plastic pipe attached to what i believe is the afm (if unplugged the engine dies) and another plastic piece that goes to the intake. Will try for a photo tomorrow.
 

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Hello dicer82,

Welcome to the world of classic Alfa Romeo. Your 86 spider is Bosch electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition all the way. It is called Bosch Jetronic and is incredibly reliable. The worse problems you will likely ever have with it is poor ground electrical problems, but this is the fault of Alfa Romeo, not Bosch. Get in the habit of cleaning and tightening the ground wire connections on the car whenever you have a decent opportunity. You will be well served in the long run if you do so. This also includes quirky lighting problems in the rear lights and corner lights. Most of these quirky lighting problems end up being due to poor ground connections.

Your car looks very beautiful, but we would love to see more pictures including some interior shots. Congratulations!

There are 2 schools of thought on clutches for Alfas. For years Alfa used German made Sach clutch components and I am still a Sach fan. But Alfa later switched to another brand with which I am unfamiliar. I have read complaints about quality control with Sach clutches, so maybe this was the reason Alfa switched brands. But given economic considerations with auto makers, it might have just been a matter of getting a better price from a different supplier. Do a through search on this BB on clutch components and see if you can get a complete picture on Alfa clutches. I doubt that you really need a heavy duty clutch setup, and I don't know where you would get such a setup, but others on this BB will chime in with suggestions, I am sure.

Your unnamed air intake part sounds like it may be the flexible hose or a plastic plenum, I can't figure out from your description. But look at the IAP (International Auto Parts) on line catalogue and see if you can ID the part. Due to the age of your Alfa, air induction problems are pretty common with the old rubber and plastic parts developing cracks and holes. Replacements are available from IAP and other suppliers, just kind of expensive. I have an 88 quad and have replaced about half of my owh induction cross over parts.

Learn how to take close up photos and post them to your BB posts. It will help you greatly in asking questions and getting fast, factual answers.

Your best decision next to buying your Alfa was to join this BB. The folks on it are for the most part the nicest and most helpful bunch of people you could ever want to meet. You struck paydirt twice!
 

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Congratulations! Gorgeous car. Thanks for the pics - finally a newbie gets it right first time... ;)

Also How do I know I have Bosch injection? The Air sensor is Bosch, but i could not tell what was written on the intake for a brand.
Well, that pretty much proves it. As mentioned it came stock with L-Jetronic. If somebody had ripped that out and replaced it with something different, they would've replaced (or eliminated) the air sensor as well.
 

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Welcome to the BB. Thanks for the pictures - nice looking Spider!

Click on the link in my signature for a page of info about the L-jetronic system in your Spider. Don't be fooled by a label on one of the computers* that says "Motronic" (*there are two - one for ignition, one for fuel injection). Our cars are L-jetronic, the later Spiders ('90 - '94) have a single computer and that system is known as Motronic.

L-jet is very intolerant of intake air or vacuum leaks. All air entering the engine must pass through the Air Flow Meter (AFM). Any leaks are known as false air - unmetered - and that messed up the computer's calculations for fuel injection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome.

Here is a link to a page that will help you identify component names.
What's This Thing Underhood Component Identification in a 1986 Alfa Spider

It is on the website of one of the popular Alfa/Fiat parts in the US.

Mike
Thank you very much! It is the afm hose, centerline has that and a short hose? Never knew of this place. Did some testing today, sending unit is bad. So that is on the list. Did these cars come with fogs? Also, there is a broken mystery switch next to my cig lighter? Mirrors perhaps? So for the plethora of questions! There really isn't any alas out here, I think I might be the only one or of the few if that!
 

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Centerline and International Auto (IAP) are probably the 2 most well known suppliers. There are a few others also.

The AFM hoses tend to eventually crack in the bellows area and allow unmetered air in.

The cars didn't come with fog lights.

The switch does sound like its for the power mirrors.
 

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Thank you very much! It is the afm hose, centerline has that and a short hose? Never knew of this place. Did some testing today, sending unit is bad. So that is on the list. Did these cars come with fogs? Also, there is a broken mystery switch next to my cig lighter? Mirrors perhaps? So for the plethora of questions! There really isn't any alas out here, I think I might be the only one or of the few if that!
Yeah, that's the mirror switch, I think. It is on my '90 anyhow.

Didn't know about IAP? Probably don't know about Centerline and Vick Auto either? They all sell that part. You definitely NEED these guys - they make the parts situation on these cars extremely easy. I'm partial to Centerline since they're within walking distance of my office, but they're all good.

Centerline Alfa Romeo Parts & Accessories | HOME | [888] 750-ALFA

http://www.vickauto.com/newstore/

They all have copies of the factory service manuals available as well or you can get it on disk.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you all for everything and for a big welcome!!!!!


first two photos are a mystery as to what it is and the last one is a part of the throttle linkage, any idea for what it looks like i am missing in there or is it fine? Also I did a search and could not find where to find a paint code on the car, I like to decode everything when I get a car and I was told on the inside of the trunk lid upper right hand corner when opened, but not there???
 

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that part of the throttle is there on all spiders.......some spiders had a manual 'throttle hold' and then it would be used.
In that first & second photo, you see that rusty bolt with the green corrosion....that is an important ground point.....I'd remove that, wire brush it all clean and bolt it back with some copper grease.....saves trouble in the future!
Not sure what the electrical plug hanging there is for.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you! I have been updating things to look up on me list. I am going to swap the belt, plugs, wires, distributor cap, intake hose, clutch, flush the cooling system, figure out why it is running rough, hard to start at times and misfiring at times.
 

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Very exciting to have your first Alfa, isn't it? I picked up my 86 last June. The first thing I did was change out the plugs, cap and rotor, and instantly I had a better idle. But it wasn't until I changed the plug wires in September that I was able to start the car with out feathering the throttle. It would die after it started before I changed the wires, unless I worked the gas peddle. Now I can reach in and it will start.
 

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Welcome on board! It sounds like you're used to getting your hands dirty, and you know what to look for, so that's an advantage as an Alfa owner.
To your original question on the clutch, stock clutches are very durable under normal use. There are several points though you need to work on besides replacing the clutch assembly. There is a crank arm that the clutch master cylinder operates, and the weld that holds the shaft to the arm will eventually fail. The symptom is a clutch pedal that does not line up with the brake pedal, and difficulty shifting. Improved crank arms are available with better welds. Next, replace or rebuild the slave cylinder at the bellhousing. Add some grease to the actuator rod end and arm pivot while you're down there. But very important, replace the short hose that runs from the steel line to the slave cylinder. These hoses delaminate and peel on the inside diameter over time, resulting in high pedal effort and a failed pivot arm. Buy Speedbleeders also, for your clutch slave and brake calipers. They make bleeding the air out so much easier, because they're little check valves that allow the fluid and air bubbles to escape, but won't allow air to be sucked back in.
Keep us posted on how you progress! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Welcome on board! It sounds like you're used to getting your hands dirty, and you know what to look for, so that's an advantage as an Alfa owner.
To your original question on the clutch, stock clutches are very durable under normal use. There are several points though you need to work on besides replacing the clutch assembly. There is a crank arm that the clutch master cylinder operates, and the weld that holds the shaft to the arm will eventually fail. The symptom is a clutch pedal that does not line up with the brake pedal, and difficulty shifting. Improved crank arms are available with better welds. Next, replace or rebuild the slave cylinder at the bellhousing. Add some grease to the actuator rod end and arm pivot while you're down there. But very important, replace the short hose that runs from the steel line to the slave cylinder. These hoses delaminate and peel on the inside diameter over time, resulting in high pedal effort and a failed pivot arm. Buy Speedbleeders also, for your clutch slave and brake calipers. They make bleeding the air out so much easier, because they're little check valves that allow the fluid and air bubbles to escape, but won't allow air to be sucked back in.
Keep us posted on how you progress! Good luck.
Do you have a photo of the crank arm and know of where I can get an improved one? I have placed an order with centerline alfa and told them to send me everything for doing the clutch, if I am going to do it and i am there i might as well. Everything that has to do with the clutch will be new. If I repair anything I try to go with stock or upgrade, and also some preventative maintenance.
 

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The tapered lock pin secures the clutch pedal to the pivot arm. I don't think it gets replaced because it wears (but I could be wrong), but certainly in case it gets damaged or lost during removal. Its wedged in there tight and needs to be struck loose. Because of the direction that its oriented, removing it requires it to be struck inwards, so its done blindly.

Here is the instructions that will put what I said into perspective....

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/181063-broken-clutch-pivot.html
 
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