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Discussion Starter #1
It's a 1988 Spider and I somehow cannot get the rear case split. It hangs up when it is almost clear (at least that's the way it feels). It was in third gear when I began splitting it. It will go back together and I have taken it back into neutral and then back into third and tried again (several times).

I'll attach a couple pictures (taken with my cell phone, so I apologize for the quality). The first is just before trying to pull it apart, and the second is as far as it'll go.

Suggestions?
 

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shift mechanism

I think you need to remove the shift mechanism before the end case will come off. If you unbolt the two vents it is possible to remove the mechanism without splitting it. Keep good records of the position of the shims on the vents as these align the mechanism in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Ssharpe.

The service manual omits that detail. It just says the transmission should be in third gear and then the case will slip off.

I'll give your method a try. And thanks for the heads-up on the shims.

I suppose that reassembling it will require this deviation from the book as well.
 

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I think that you don't need to remove the shifter mechanism. Maybe you just have slightly bent studs and the threads are catching on the aluminum housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think that you don't need to remove the shifter mechanism. Maybe you just have slightly bent studs and the threads are catching on the aluminum housing.
No, it's not the studs. I can pull it clear of the studs by a quarter inch or so. It is hanging up inside, and it feels as if it is on a shifting fork (but I can't really see what it is). This transmission has evidence of past work, so maybe something is out of adjustment?

I just want to inspect it, replace a few synchro parts and seals before reassembling the car. The car was not running when I acquired it. If I pull the shift mechanism, will I make reassembly more challenging? Or is it pretty straightforward?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I went with Ssharpe's advice, and it came off nicely.

I separately bagged and labeled the fittings along with their respective shims.

By the end of the evening, the case was split and both halves had been thoroughly cleaned with carb-cleaner. I'll finish inspecting the innards today. So far the inner workings appear to be in surprisingly good condition -- probably because there is ample evidence that someone in the recent past went through it (and may have replaced parts).

I will freshen the synchro for second gear and replace seals at the minimum.

Thanks for the help.
 

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recommended mods

If your going as far as stripping it down to get to the synchro on 2nd gear why not consider the mods recommended by this bulletin board. I have just rebuilt mine over the winter and did both the first gear synchro mod and the lightening of the gears. Thanks to all those contributors
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If your going as far as stripping it down to get to the synchro on 2nd gear why not consider the mods recommended by this bulletin board. I have just rebuilt mine over the winter and did both the first gear synchro mod and the lightening of the gears. Thanks to all those contributors
Steve
Wow, those lightened gears are gorgeous, Ssharpe.

I just came in from a careful inspection of the innards of mine. I cleaned everything and used a strong magnifying glass.

Verdict: it appears to be in excellent shape. As I mentioned earlier, someone had previously been in this one, and it doesn't appear to be many miles back. (This car was last licensed in 2009, but I suspect it hasn't been running for longer than that.) The teeth on the synchro sleeves are sharp and show no wear -- even second looks fine. And the synchro rings appear very fresh. In fact, one appears to still have some paint on it. So, I'm going to button it up, replace seals and give it a try as is. I ordered parts a few minutes ago.

But in the future I'd love to do a lightened box such as yours. Coupled with a lightened (or aluminum) flywheel, it would introduce more fun into the driving experience, we are told. Right now I just want to get the car on the road and find out what it feels like driving an Alfa (I never have).
Larry
 

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While its apart, inspect the dog teeth closely. These are the dark teeth that the bronze shift ring couples to. Often they are rounded badly in second especially, third sometimes fourth and fifth almost never. There are a few posts in the "First Gear Fix" thread on how to pull them off and replace. Or just shuffle the fifth gear one onto the second gear.

Machining the gears for lightening is not easy - the gears are case hardened, so it takes carbide drills, which themselves are a bit brittle in hard metal. The result is really nice though!

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #12
While its apart, inspect the dog teeth closely. These are the dark teeth that the bronze shift ring couples to. Often they are rounded badly in second especially, third sometimes fourth and fifth almost never. There are a few posts in the "First Gear Fix" thread on how to pull them off and replace. Or just shuffle the fifth gear one onto the second gear.

Machining the gears for lightening is not easy - the gears are case hardened, so it takes carbide drills, which themselves are a bit brittle in hard metal. The result is really nice though!
Robert, thanks for the final "heads-up" before buttoning up the gearbox. I did look at all the dog teeth with a strong light and magnifying glass -- and they all appeared to be either like new or excellent. But, with your gentle warning I'll give it another careful look before leaving it as is. I'll wait to do the first-gear-fix, but did learn from that post by re-reading it just now. Good ideas on how to protect that input shaft seal (I was planning on wrapping the splines with masking tape, but that may not offer enough protection).

And it answered a question I had about seals on the shift rods (mine is a later box and has none).

Thanks again,
Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, Robert, you were right.

You gave me a subtle hint that I needed to look super carefully before pronouncing the innards fine and dandy.

I have just come in from giving it a second look with a really strong light and magnifying glass. (I brought in the 500 watt halogen shop light this time.)

Yep, the dog gear on second has two chipped teeth and rounding issues as well. I just got off the phone placing an order for a replacement from APE. Which means that while I'm tearing into it, I really ought to change out the parts recommended in the tech section on Centerline's site.

So, like the rest of this project, the gear box is eating money now. I thought there might be one little area where I'd get by on the cheap. And I'm anxious to see if this thing will ever run again. Oh well, keeps me out of the bars.
 

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While you're pulling dog teeth, be sure to get the few bits from a fifth gear to change tie first gear syncro innards. Just make all five gears look the same. Second (and first) always wears the most because it and its counter gear have the most inertia to sync.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, Robert. I'll take your advice and do the first-gear-fix as long as I'm into it. I'll call Larry at APE first thing Monday and have him add those parts to the order.

This follows everything else I've encountered with this rebuild: in for a dime, in for a dollar. When will it end!
 

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Ok, Robert. I'll take your advice and do the first-gear-fix as long as I'm into it. I'll call Larry at APE first thing Monday and have him add those parts to the order.
You can actually do the first-gear thing without replacing the dog set, tho doing that is better. Other than that, its only three little pieces...

This follows everything else I've encountered with this rebuild: in for a dime, in for a dollar. When will it end!
It ends at the bottom of your wallet.
;)
Robert
 
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