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Hi.
I had taken the intake off my '86 Spider to replace the seized bellcrank and the rubber intake boots. All that went went until I attempted to reattach the support bracket that goes from the motor mount to the intake. The bracket has "sprung" rearward and there is no way on this earth I can line it up well enough to start the bolts.
Does anyone have any tips or tricks to get this thing lined up? Or, in the alternative, can I remove it entirely? Personally I like that option best, but I'm sure that would be improper.
Thanks
 

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Do NOT permenantly remove this bracket. It's purpose is to minimize Weber vibration, and to maintain the uniform function of the balance linkage.
I would figure out why or how it is sprung, and if necessary, remove it from the car to do required work to make it fit properly. Has it been removed and reinstalled backwards?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the reply....not sure what Weber vibration is involved as this thing is fuel injected. As to why it sprung itself, I say because it wanted too....nobody tweaked it or messed with it....pretty sure this is the first time it's been off...car only has 33,00 miles on it and everything looks original...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The only way I can see to solve my problem is to put the car on a lift, pull the lower bolt out [the one at the mount] secure the uppers and reinstall the lower. As this will be a monumental PITA since there's no room to work, I am doing my best to find another option. However, if 1 doesn't exist, it doesn't exist.
 

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If it's injected, I don't have an answer. You need a FI member to help. I hear this a lot with Weber car owners, and as I restore Webers, can answer the question for that application, but honestly have no idea about the FI strut. Sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ok...thanks anyway....is there a good source for a FSM?
Thanks
 

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...pull the lower bolt out [the one at the mount] secure the uppers and reinstall the lower.
Bingo!
On paper, the support should not have 'sprung' unless something is bent or the lower bushing has been compromised (oil contamination is sort of common). Removing the support would allow a thorough inspection and, if necessary, bushing replacement.
 

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Intake manifold bracket

Hi bfitz,
Not sure if I can help, but I will try. To begin with, the bracket you are referring to is secured at four locations. They are (from the top down):
1. Bottom side of intake manifold (1 bolt)
2. Fuel rail silent block mount/bush (1 nut on mount stud)
3. Bottom side of plenum (2 bolts)
4. Passenger motor mount (1 long horizontal bolt & nut)
Did you disconnect all of these?
If so, in what order?
You may have to reconnect them in exactly the reverse order. AFAIR, I could not remove that bracket from the motor mount without first removing all of the other items and connections. In my case, I unbolted the bracket from the top down (starting at the intake manifold) and could not get it to slide up and out of the motor mount until I had the fuel rail and plenum chamber both off.
Here is a good drawing that I plagiarized from someone else's post on the BB:
 

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Like most people trying to help bfitz241, all of my experience is with carbureted cars - I never knew the EFI cars even had a brace like this.

Looking at the drawing posted by Norseman50, it looks like there isn't a bushing at the bottom, where the brace attaches to the R motor mount, as there is on the carburetor braces. So an oil-soaked bushing seems unlikely. As Papajam theorized, something (brace or motor mount) could well be bent. Only further disassembly will determine what, and provide an opportunity to straighten it.

The cowboy way of "fixing" it would be to try to just bend it back into position. But, I'm not recommending that.
 

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Hi.
I had taken the intake off my '86 Spider to replace the seized bellcrank and the rubber intake boots. All that went went until I attempted to reattach the support bracket that goes from the motor mount to the intake. The bracket has "sprung" rearward and there is no way on this earth I can line it up well enough to start the bolts.
if it came off ("all went well") it should go back!

if you look at this photo
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/1010797-post2.html
I can easily see where getting the intake rubbers on wrong (possibly not fully seated, wrong rubbers maybe...?), wouldn't allow those two 17mm bolts to align

EDIT: no, you cannot leave it off your new intake rubbers would soon split, your bellcrank would wobble around affecting idle, and, it also acts as a mount/damper for the fuel rail
 

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I had a similar problem with my S3 when I first took my intake off. I had to do something like loosen the bottom bolt, pry it forward, and use and inspection mirror until it lined up. It was a bear! When I rebuilt the engine I made a permanent adjustment to it.

Be patient, you'll get it.
 

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One lesson I learned was to never tighten anything until I got everything in place and started .. I fought for a couple of days trying to line things up because I tightened as I went. After learning the lesson It is fairly easy to get everything back in place
 

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Discussion Starter #13
guess I'll loosen all the bolts and start again. It's not like it's bent, the **** holes are off just enough to prevent thread engagement. And as you know, there is NO room for your hands.
So far my experience with Alfas can be summed up as:
remove engine
remove interior
remove wiring harness and hydraulic system
change spark plug
reinstall all removed components [which will no longer fit]
they certainly made them hard to fix.

Thanks for the help though
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One lesson I learned was to never tighten anything until I got everything in place and started .. I fought for a couple of days trying to line things up because I tightened as I went. After learning the lesson It is fairly easy to get everything back in place
you're probably 100% correct. The annoying part, is I have to loosen things I never touched.
Did you need to pull the idler arm to get your hand in there to reach the bottom bolt? Or could you reach around the engine cradle?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi bfitz,
Not sure if I can help, but I will try. To begin with, the bracket you are referring to is secured at four locations. They are (from the top down):
1. Bottom side of intake manifold (1 bolt)
2. Fuel rail silent block mount/bush (1 nut on mount stud)
3. Bottom side of plenum (2 bolts)
4. Passenger motor mount (1 long horizontal bolt & nut)
Did you disconnect all of these?
If so, in what order?
You may have to reconnect them in exactly the reverse order. AFAIR, I could not remove that bracket from the motor mount without first removing all of the other items and connections. In my case, I unbolted the bracket from the top down (starting at the intake manifold) and could not get it to slide up and out of the motor mount until I had the fuel rail and plenum chamber both off.
Here is a good drawing that I plagiarized from someone else's post on the BB:
That image is different from what I've got....mine is a stamped steel piece....it has all the same basic connections, just in a different shape
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I removed the plenum, and removed the rubber couplers, then reinstalled the plenum, attached the bracket loosely, would there be enough room to squeeze the rubbers in and attach them? That would let me move the plenum around enough, hopefully
 

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Hi bfitz,

I share your frustration. The bracket itself is pretty inflexible, so you need to try and move the other things around to get them to fit up to it.

I would connect the bottom of the bracket to the motor mount first. I would attack this from up above in the engine compartment. BTW, the coolant overflow reservoir and windshield washer bottle are out of the engine compartment, right?

Then I would connect the top hole of the bracket to the underside of the intake manifold with the single bolt. Hopefully your sump guard is already off. If not, remove it. I would place the 13mm bolt for the top bracket hole in a socket on the end of a very long extension (or two extensions) and thread it up from underneath the car. It might be easier with someone up above to help line up the bolt or bracket while you are aiming the long socket extension from below. If you are still having trouble getting good access from below, remove the three 17mm bolts that hold the idler arm bracket to the body so it (and the center steering arm) can be dropped down and out of your way.

The reason I attach the bracket end connections first, is the points where they attach are the least flexible, and they are governed entirely on how much flex/play the rubber motor mount bushes will allow (which isn't much). The plenum chamber has four hoses that allow a little more flexing, and the fuel rail hoses are the most forgiving/movable.

I would then attach the fuel rail anti vibration damper to the bracket. Do it from underneath the car with the securing nut inside a short socket at the end of a very long extension.

Finally comes the plenum chamber. I think the best way would be to get all four rubber intake hoses loosely attached and then try to muscle/move the entire plenum/hose assembly around to line it up with the two bushing rod holes in the bracket. You could do this with some kind of lever (2x4, breaker bar, piece of pipe, whatever) and once again I think an assistant would make thing easier. At this point I'm not sure if it will be easier to reach under there from the top once the plenum is in place, or if you will need to install the two bolts thru the bracket rod from below the car.

It's not going to be easy, but you will be so proud of yourself when you finish and it's done correctly!
 

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I never had any luck from below but I do understand the theory. I have pulled the distributor and laid it on top of the head with coil wire being the only wire removed.
This gives you more room to get your arm in there. I don't tighten anything until I get all the bolts in place .. This includes rubber hose clamps.
Putting the distributor back in you have to remove the cap to make sure the allignment notches on the shaft make the right connection, then snap the cap back on and connect the coil wire. I know I've done it this way at least a dozen times and It seems to work Ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
yes the wash and overflow bottles are out of the way.
Honestly, I didn't even try reaching through the back as there are so many hoses and wires, I didn't want to break any of them.
Now this sump guard....is that the wrought iron cage protecting the oil pan? How does that come off?
As for moving the plenum around on the manifolds....no go...wasted at least three hours with that, tried pry bars, ratchet straps.
The only way I see this working is remove all bolts from the bracket, start the bolts in the plenum, find out that the lower bolts will not line up....

I'm seriously considering cutting it in half, welding a slip junction on it, or two flanges [like Alfa should have] and getting on with my life.

Like I said,
Step 1: remove engine


I think Alfa saw that in a Ferrari manual and said, "Hey, we're Italian too"
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I would place the bolt for the top bracket hole in a socket on the end of a very long extension (or two extensions) and push the whole thing up from underneath the car.

this is how I got it apart....

I'm getting the feeling that I will have to pull the idler arm, the wrought iron cage, and all the bolts....probably the oil pan....

How did you drive the bottom one in and out? Definitely no room to swing a hammer and I have no doubt it will not come out without a tremendous fight.
 
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