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Weaving a Spider's Web.
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Discussion Starter #1
I took the Spider in today for the Federal test, it passed :D

then it went through the Provincial test and failed :(

She failed because

both seat belts not retracting properly

4 tires worn out and weather cracked

vehicle pulls to the left (need alignment)

no reverse lights

both front rotors are pitted, pads are 40% worn

passenger side idler arm worn


This is what they printed as cause of failure.

I'll get new tires, no problems they were from 2000 but don't have many miles on them.
then alignment?

will they tell me if the side idler arm is worn then? what does this mean?


I'm sad to say Canadian tire did both tests and now I've heard they aren't the best at doing this. too late for me.

help, they have given me 2 weeks to comply. Can I fix the seat belt, grease it? it comes out fine, no wear but only goes back in part way and then just sits there till you lift it and then it retracts back in.
 

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re the seat belt retractors: don't oil or grease them. Try pulling the belts all the way out then blasting the retracting reel with compressed air to blow out accumulated dust & crud. If you don't have an air compressor perhaps one of those cans of compressed air used for cleaning dust out of computers would work.
 

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I took the Spider in today for the Federal test, it passed :D

then it went through the Provincial test and failed :(

She failed because

both seat belts not retracting properly

4 tires worn out and weather cracked

vehicle pulls to the left (need alignment)

no reverse lights

both front rotors are pitted, pads are 40% worn

passenger side idler arm worn


This is what they printed as cause of failure.

I'll get new tires, no problems they were from 2000 but don't have many miles on them.
then alignment?

will they tell me if the side idler arm is worn then? what does this mean?


I'm sad to say Canadian tire did both tests and now I've heard they aren't the best at doing this. too late for me.

help, they have given me 2 weeks to comply. Can I fix the seat belt, grease it? it comes out fine, no wear but only goes back in part way and then just sits there till you lift it and then it retracts back in.
Wow, they are really tough north of the border. My guess is the idler arm alignment problems are linked, it is probably a bad tie-rod end or track-rod end attached to the knuckle of idler arm box that is bad. The seatbelt retractor mechanism is complicated. Sometimes seatbelts bind because dirt on and/or "swelling" of the seatbelt material itself causing the seatbelt to become stuck as it winds up (spools). Although I could be wrong, what is it that the inspectors are testing? I don't think that the spider has belts that retract in case of an accident, just inertial restraints that keep the belts from extanding in case of an accident, so not retracting fully is not a safety issue. Maybe a dry silicon spray for the belts and then mechanism? Good luck
 

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for the short term you can spray the seat belt mechanism with WD40 although this is not recomemnded,and does not last long, it will get the belt to retract for a couple of months. I did that. I agree with the above, do not grease the mechanism. I sprayed silicon and so far it has lasted. I'm puzzled how they know that your idler arm is worn?
as far as the other things they are legit matters that should be taken care of.
 

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Here is some advice from Ontario. You do not need to go to Canadian Tire again. You are free to go to another garage that knows a bit about Alfa's. For the investment of a Provincial Safety check here in Ontario $50. Do the Tires and Brakes (though 40% should be fine) and take it in to another garage for a test. The report from Crappy Tire has no bearing, you paid for it, you can rip it up. All it is good for is to trap you in for a retest. You don't say, but I trust you passed the emission test?

Best Cnadian regards Elio
 

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Brownie

You might try N & M Sports Cars in North Van.

They are authorized to do Provincial testing, and have done some work on Alfas.

Steve at: 604-985-4840
 

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1966-2013
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Interesting that they'd come up with a very specific '40% worn' on the pads.

I presume they had the actual full thickness specs there to reference off and then pulled pads to measure, (as in you physically saw them do it), or was it one of thier 'highly trained certified technicians' simply eyeballing things and giving it the good ol' them look worn routine without actually having a clue. ('we've got over 50 years worth of experience', meaning they've got one guy who has managed to hang on for 20, 2 that have been around for 8, 3 that've been hanging about for 2 and the other 8 guys who've been there a year. Guess who gets to look at your stuff when the only truly experienced mechanic doesn't feel like messing with no durn inspection.....)

I'm kinda with Elio on the should be fine bit.

Unless you're racing, or have really screwed up rotors, the pads will normally go 3-4 years or more before they wear to the point of neccisary replacement.

This means that with 40% wear, you've got *gasp* only about 2 more years to deal with getting them swapped or they may get close to the point where they're actually worn out.


The seatbelts are inertia type (locking pawls that presvent extension during forward impact, or, if you're trying to lean forward to adjust the radio or see around the blindspot to your immediate left with the top up) and as already said, fully extending them, then blasting with compressed air followed by silicone spray will do you justice.

They aren't even that hard to remove if you want to get them up on a bench or something to get brighter light, more room and better vision on the project. (you can pop the covers off nice n easy if they are out of the car too, which let's you really get at stuff)

Depending on how often they get fully pulled out, you might even find that it's a simple case of the belt being twisted on the spool causing a little bit of bind.
 

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take it somewhere else........I wouldn't take my wheelbarrow to CT.Just a horrendous place for work and there are many many stories of grief from people who used them.

a private garage with testing equipment would be my next move.
 

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Trained (ex)Professional, , 1953-2018 RIP,
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I'll take a stab at the reverse lights.
First, check fuse #4; replace as necessary.
Under the car attached to the rightside frame rail opposite the gearbox are the two wires for the reverse lights. Disconnect the wires, turn on the ignition and see if the white wire has battery voltage. If not, there's a power feed problem. If there is power, connect the white wire to the second wire (red) and check the reverse lights. If they're on, the reverse light switch in the bellhousing is suspect. If the lights still don't work, the problem lies after the reverse light switch; burned out bulbs/poor connection(s) perhaps.
 

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Reverse Lights

To further what Jim said, when I purchased my 93, the reverse lights did not work. I replaced the bulbs (small money) and in the process fully cleaned the sockets, wire connections, etc.

I also replaced the fuse even if it "looked" okay. Reverse lights have worked ever since.

-Rob
(first major snow is on its way.....)
 

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Weaving a Spider's Web.
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Discussion Starter #11
Good stuff :D Thank you, I've lots to do now.

I'm glad to hear I don't have to take her back to CT. I'll just swallow the $116. bucks and spend another $100 somewhere else.

Tires first and then an alignment, they won't do an alignment if I need an idler arm will they?

Does anyone know if I have a time limit on getting this stuff done? CT said I only had 2 weeks to complete all the work. Is that their limit? or BC's limit? I have looked at the CVSA web site and they don't say anything about this.

Elio, I don't have to do aircare for emissions, for the first year.
 

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I believe the 2 week "ultimatum" is specific to CT. I believe that the 2 week window is THEIR time limit. In that period, if you do the stuff they listed to rectify, they are supposed to give you the Safety Certificate, usually at no additional cost.

If you are going to have an alignment you should have the idler arm.

If you can let me know what pats are required, I have a completer Idler/steering linkage assy from a "southern" car in excellent condition that I could ship to you express from Ontario.

PM me and I can give you my ph # if this helps and we can work something out.

Shipment within Canada is only a couple of days.......

Elio
 

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About the 'two week limit' - I don't know the Canadian law but in these parts a car that fails its initial inspection can be repaired and brought back for re-inspection to the same inspection shop without additonal fees within that 2 week time period.

I also supect (as in I don't know but am guessing) that such a failure without a subsequent re-inspection (i.e. passing) would be reported to "the authorities". You are certainly free to get the car inspected elsewheres but you'll have to pay the inspection fee a second time.

re: alignment - although any alignment shop could do the job (it's not that difficult) not many alignment shops will have ever done an Alfa Spider. And there is a specific method outlined in the shop manual.

I suggest you find a shop that will let you talk to the mechanic that actually does the job. And only proceed if he/she is willing to follow the shop manual's procedure.
 

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Premium Member
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Brownie

Don Nimi at PDM Racing does competent alignment and suspension work.

His shop is close to Metrotown.

Phone: 604-430-4512

Are you a member of our Italian Car Club?

Bob
 

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Trained (ex)Professional, , 1953-2018 RIP,
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As far as the idler arm being bad, I'd suspect one (or more) tierod ends first. In all my years working on Alfas, I've seen only two idler arms that needed to be rebushed (yours could be the third though).
 

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I almost agree with Jim on the idler arm. I have never seen any 105/115 with worn idler arm, EXCEPT for the S4 Spiders. I have encountered three S4s with worn/loose idler arm (including my current ride:() so far. I think this is due to the increased stress resulted from addition of the hydrauric assist (power steering I mean:p) and maybe the added weight (both sprung and unsprung). It's easy to tell if you can put the car on the lift or on a pair of ramps (I would not do this when the car is on a jack or jack stands simply for the sake of safety!!). Just crawl under the car, grab the idler arm (the ARM itself) and jiggle it to see if there's any play between the arm and its aluminum housing. You can check for the play in other steering components (tie-rod ends for instance) this way too.
 

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Weaving a Spider's Web.
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1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I believe the 2 week "ultimatum" is specific to CT. I believe that the 2 week window is THEIR time limit. In that period, if you do the stuff they listed to rectify, they are supposed to give you the Safety Certificate, usually at no additional cost.

If you are going to have an alignment you should have the idler arm.

If you can let me know what pats are required, I have a completer Idler/steering linkage assy from a "southern" car in excellent condition that I could ship to you express from Ontario.

PM me and I can give you my ph # if this helps and we can work something out.

Shipment within Canada is only a couple of days.......

Elio
Thanks Elio, I'll take the spider in for new tires this week and then get the idler arm checked out, if it turns out I really do need one I'll send you a pm.
 

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Weaving a Spider's Web.
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1,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Brownie

Don Nimi at PDM Racing does competent alignment and suspension work.

His shop is close to Metrotown.

Phone: 604-430-4512

Are you a member of our Italian Car Club?

Bob

thanks for the info Bob, I am not a member of the club but would like to be. :)




A huge thanks to all of you, I've got lots of info on fixing her up, once the snow stops. I spun out driving her home on Sat, not a good feeling, everyone else managed to stop in time and I didn't get hit. whew, scary though, I must have hit black ice under the snow. Spider is safe and sound in the garage.
 

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Sure enough--we meet for drinks and dinner once a month--usually on the second monday of each month.

I'm not sure about December.

Then there are a number of tours through may until late September.:)
 

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I had the same problem with one of the seats belts on my 72. it would not go in. the fix was to wash the belts, a ton of grime came out and then the belts were super soft and would role up easy. I took it out to clean it. the belt is very tight so it is kinda hard to clean. I used compressed air to drive the sopy water in to the belt and to dry.
 
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