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Welcome to the board! I dig that name, meatpile. heh
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a few questions:

1) Is it possible to 'successfully' downshift into second?

2) Seat upholstery - do those caribou seats look great? I would like seat covers (or new seats)that look excellent, not that look like aftermarket seat covers.

3) Same question about the carpet kits from Caribou.

4) Anybody know how easy/hard it is to re-dye leather? I've got some leather door panels and a leather top boot from a 1978 spider that are in great shape, but they're camel colored. I want them to be black.

I've become obsessed with this thing. hehe.
 

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Down shifting into 2nd

Down shifting into 2nd, Yes this can be done. Push in the clutch, put the car in neutral. With the clutch in, control car speed with the heel of your foot and engine speed with the toe and when the two speeds meet slide it into 2nd. So the real answer is No. I bet you knew this already though. I in practice used my toe on the brake and heel on the gas and had little sucess until the trans was rebuilt. Second gear is a live with it or fork out the money deal. I lived with it until 1st started to go bad too. How bad is yours? wecome aboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My second gear never grinds escept when downshifting - and then it does it badly. I'll keep hoping I can learn to finesse it - not being able to downshift really sucks.
 

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you might try to change the trans fluid.

Quite a few people use Redline 75W-90 NS, which seems to work well with the style of syncro's in these boxes. We had a piece of garbage trans for our turbo Spider, and that helped quite a bit...

Just don't use modern synthetic trans oils, they will not make the syncros work at all.

Eric
 

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Mine has ground since I bought it. Learning to double clutch will pay off. You don't HAVE to heel and toe to downshift into second without grinding, you just have to learn a new rhythm to shifting.

Engage the clutch
shift into neutral
Let out the clutch
brake to slow down
blip the gas to raise the revs
engage the clutch and slide into second.

With practice it becomes second nature and the reward of slipping into second with no grind is worth it.

These freakin Alfas are the devil's work! Once you have one, you can't imagine being without.

Welcome to the AlfaBB, we just keep growing!!!
 

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Hey MP:

On the panels and tonneau cover, I suggest wiping them down thoroughly with Acetone to get them clean enough to eat off of them. Give a H2O wipe down. Let it thoroughly dry. Then use light coats of satin or flat black vinyl spray paint (plasticote) to get the desired finish. Its very durable and won't peel if done right. If you mess up, wipe it all off again with acetone and restart.

I have replaced my carpet with Caribou. Carpet was good, but was missing pieces beneath the dash on the sides. Ed was a pain in the *** to get those pieces out of him. Took for ever, but again carpet was inexpensive and looks nice. And again, Caribou customer service is the pits in my opinion.

I have not seen their seat covers. I had my seats done at a local upholstry shop as well as the door panels.

Synchro grind going into second is very very common. I had mine rebuilt locally with new synchros and its perfect on up or down shift now. Makes it so much more fun to drive not to have to wait to go into second.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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turbolarespider said:
you might try to change the trans fluid.

Quite a few people use Redline 75W-90 NS, which seems to work well with the style of syncro's in these boxes. We had a piece of garbage trans for our turbo Spider, and that helped quite a bit...

Just don't use modern synthetic trans oils, they will not make the syncros work at all.

Eric
The 2nd and 3rd synchros in my '88 spider were shot when I got the car 5 years ago. I have used the Redline Shockproof Synthetic for four years - and it pretty much made the grindy sounds dissapear.
I usally change it yearly to make sure there aren't any teeth sitting at the bottom of my gearbox. A month ago I got "lazy/cheap" and flushed/replaced the shockproof stuff with some 80/90 gear oil - whoa! Now all the grindies are back.
However - has anybody else had any experience with the Redline shockproof stuff?
 

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I put in 75/90 NS last year. I can't say that the grind is gone but the box definitely shifts smoother than before. I keep hoping for spontaneous remission but I think this gearbox has been too badly abused by prior owners.

Hey are you the guy with the rossored.com site?


DUH! I just noticed that ibndeed your name IS rossored.com! I thought it was just rossored.
 

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I'd recommend that you don't downshift into second or first at all. There's really no need to. The second gear is a pretty stout piece of metal and the Alfa (er . . . I mean Porche) syncros aren't really up to the long term job of spinning up that heavy gear. You could try a fluid change, but if it's worn, it's worn.

As a side note on Caribou, I delt with them once and won't deal with them ever again. From the time of order to when I got the item, it was way over 2 months. I returned it the next day (for poor fit and substandard materials - very thin flimsy vinyl). I never got a refund nor even an acknowledgement from numerous phone calls (the owner was always out and the phone answerer had no clue), fax'd letters, and emails. Not even a "screw you." I was out almost $200. Draw your own conclusions, but don't say you haven't been warned.

As far as the re-dying goes, I think I'd stay away from the vinyl paints. I think it would kill the feel and smell of the leather. Probably the best thing to do would be to take them to maybe a saddlemaker/leather shop who could give you advice on the practicality of a re-dye job. I'll bet it'll be rather expensive though. I'd do some surfing on the web to see how hard it is to re-dye yourself or what the general cost may be as well as what kind of results you might expect.

Here's a site with very specific recommendations, products, and a how to do it:

http://www.ferrariclub.com/faq/leatherdye.html
http://www.jag-lovers.org/xjlovers/xjfaq/leatherredye.htm
 

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Paradiso said:
I put in 75/90 NS last year. I can't say that the grind is gone but the box definitely shifts smoother than before. I keep hoping for spontaneous remission but I think this gearbox has been too badly abused by prior owners.

Hey are you the guy with the rossored.com site?


DUH! I just noticed that ibndeed your name IS rossored.com! I thought it was just rossored.
75/90NS is not the same stuff. NS means "Non-Synthetic" as far as I can remember. The stuff I used is thin - almost like water! And is creamy blue in color like liquid laundry detergent. Wierd stuff - but claims to have the lubricating properties of a 90/120 weight oil.

Yes - I am the RossoRed.com guy. Need to get back to adding more stuff to the site.
I'm going to expand it to cover pre-'75 GTV's as well, as I just convinced my best friend to purchase a race-ready '72 GTV with Sperry Engine!
 

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Okay, you sent me to the Redline site to investigate!
The NS means that no friction modifiers have been added ("No Slip"??)
I saw the shockproof that you're talking about.
Do you think its worth draining the gearbox (such a pain in the ***) to switch.
 

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Hey Cupp:

I have tried the carpet re-dye without success. Seems to rub off and not penetrate making for a mess.

Hey RT:

Great article from the ferrariclub on re-dying seats. I added that to my favorites if I ever get a 91 or newer with the troublesome leather seats. Maybe a way to keep them looking factory fresh. I agree with you on the feel and smell on the vinyl spray finish. Comes out looking nice, but just not the same as the original. I utilized the vinyl spray to freshen up a Fiat Spider that I sold. However, my Alfa deserved the new upholstry and I replaced it all.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Ah yes, I stand corrected!!!

According to my business partner - who was one of the Process Engineers who designed Mobil One synthetic motor oil -
All oils have different compositions that can in fact ract with each other- causing a loss in lubricity, or change the characteristics of the oil at operating temperatures for the worse.
Considering the visible differences in the "NS" formulation from the Shockproof stuff - I would definitely "flush" the transmission first.
Pain in the *** - but I'm not going to take any chances with my transmission to save $10 - 20.
My mechanic advisor has made the estimation that the "thinner" properties of the Shockproof stuff is allowing the sychros to move into action faster (or stop moving faster) - which makes sense, as the common problem with our transmissions is the heavy, over-engineered gears keep wanting to spin - and then "crunch"!
I'd love to get the TZ close-ratio gearset from Intl-auto. Have you seen the killer roller bearings on them?
 

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A short time after I purchased my Spider, I replaced the fluids with Redline GL5. I had a small synchro issue with 2nd and it cleared up the crunch. However - and as I have had confirmed by others - the Redline will promote even the smallest leak.

I will return the box to Shell Spirax as soon as I can find a dealer. Redline is nice but now I see a single leak that I am not sure I had before. The car is too clean to allow a leak on the underside to remain unresloved. A winter project!
 
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