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I had just completed some work on my 86 Alfa and went to start engine to check coolant level and heard a loud "THWACK" no starter motion then the voltage went to zero and the dash lights went out. When i tried later again a faint click then the voltage gage went to zero. I looked through a number of posts but did not find a clear description for starter removal. Although i did find a post from UK for a carburetor equipped car. I looked through the access when the WW bottle is removed, you can see the starter to flywheel housing bolts,however it is crowded on an AC car. There is access from below however the steering linkage is in the way.
I decided to remove the plenum chamber of the intake manifold to provide access.
To start drain the coolant and dis-connect the battery.
The first photo shows the intake area at the start, I've marked the vacuum lines. Next loosen all the intake runners and the throttle housing clamps. Remove all vacuum lines( 3front , 1 rear) also the brake booster hose. The idle speed control hose and the bypass were removed at the rigid plastic inlet pipe but let on the pplenum.Also removed the three clamps/hoses on the left of picture, crankcase vent plus, so they could be easily moved. Next the twoo hoses for the throttle heat.
The next photo shows the hoses removed, the throttle switch connector and the cold start injector were removed later i had problems with both the throttle switch connector eventually loosened, but the cold start injector (plastic) was flexing so I removed the two 5mm socket head cap screws instead. The throttle linkage has been popped off. Next I had to locate the ground wire and fasteners on the bottom of the plenum. To provide access the coolant overflow tank was removed. The next photo shows improved access.
There are two 13mm capscrews tha hold the throttle linkage pivot to the plenum, the front one has the ground strap from the engine. The two 17mm cap screws holding the plenum to the bracket, thatis fastened to the engine and the motor mount area. The forward one is accessible from the front, the rear one will have to be accessed from the rear on manifold access is tight use a short ratchet. The plenum will lift off you have to move a hose slightly at the fender.
The next photo shows the bottom of the plenum showing the cap screw positions.
Now we finally have access to the starter motor, remove the black trigger wire and the 13mm nut to remove the main 12 volt leads. The next photo shows the starter motor, removing the bolts is more difficult sine two have 16mm heads and because of clearance can only be held with open end wrenches. All of the nuts are 13mm as is the head of the special body bolt, position top outside. I removed the bottom bolt from underneath, jack the car for access.
When i removed the starterI found out what the "THWACK" was, one tooth on the flywheel ring gear was removed and the starer motor nose was cracked through all the way around. These are shown in the next three photos. The starter was tight to the flywheel housing, there is no witness marks on the starter,housing or the spacer plate between them.
I brought the starter to EUROTECH Motors, they had not seen this type of failure.
I placed the car in gear and rolled to make sure the engine was free.
Has anyone had this type of failure? I am currently waiting for a rebuild starter and will install.
Another reason to remove the plenum was to clean the engine and the inner fender, in the photo showing the bracket you may see aluminum foil with rubber bands covering the runners and throttle opening, I also removed and cleaned all the boots and clamps.

Tom, New Jersey
86 Alfa Quad
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Starer Motor Removal 86 Quadrifoglio

To continue with the remaining photos. Also later i attempted to move the starter motor it was locked it freed up with the use of pump pliers, it was jammed.
The last photo is the one showing the bracket for the plenum, out of sequence,

Tom
New Jersey, 86 Quad.
 

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Ouch! especially when the sun is shining. My advice is, keep the course and remain patient, It is a sizable job, but while you are in there maybe new vacuum hoses at a minimum.

good luck
 

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check that inlet side motor mount too... it is a 'slightly' easier job to do now with the plenum removed.

Was the special starter shoulder bolt fitted?....and correctly, in the middle hole?

Pity about the broken flywheel tooth.
 

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Yes the special starter shoulder bolt was in the middle position. I mentioned it as on the outside position top. When I cleaned the gunk from the engine bay the motor mount appears OK.
 

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Could something possibly have gotten stuck between the starter bendix and the flywheel? A small nut.. or something
Is it just metal failure or fatigue// WOW !
You gotta replace the flywheel ring gear.. Which means pulling the transmission.. or engine and transmission.
You can buy just the ring gear and have it heated off and on.. or there are lots of flywheels out there. I have 3 if you need one free, but shipping is expensive.
 

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It looks like the tooth broke off while the starter was turning. It jammed in between the bendix and the ring gear forcing the noise of the starter outward. Causing the nose of the starter to break.

The teeth on the starter look very worn where the starter engages into the flywheel.

The ring gear needs to be replaced.
 

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Jim,
That is a plausible explanation for the failure, I removed the flywheel inspection plate to see if any pieces cold be seen. There isn't much clearance between the bell housing and the flywheel, could not see anything.
My current plan is to replace the starter and use the car as I am planning to attend the Alfamiglia at the last week in June. I have read the post on trans removal and I don't have enough time. Also if I take out trans it will need attention for second gear (notchy) and the reverse idler that I crashed last fall. It has to be held in reverse currently as it pops out otherwise. I don't have any experience with ALfa trans , I have rebuilt Saab 900 trans.
 

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If the 900 trans of the late 80's to early 90's were the engine sits on top of the trans. If you can rebuild one of those and get it right you can easily rebuild an Alfa trans.
 

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I decided to replace the starter and the flywheel ring gear. I proceeded to place the Alfa on for jack stands and went through the dis-assembly of thedrive shaft and removal of the trans as listed in the FAQ index. I did not have a problem with the center U-joint bolts. I found that pro quality open end wrenches are much tighter than craftsman and the like, also my son was able to break them loose you only have the standard 8" long open end wrench. THe removal of the trans went fairly smoothly, I had un-bolted the fan shroud and dropped the exhaust system and used the Harbor freight trans jack. Next removed the flywheel but first marked the position of timing pin on the floor pan. It took a few days to locate the flywheel ring gear , in Michigan, and more time in shippig. In the mean time i disassembled the trans cases , cleaned everything and inspected the gears and synchros. Since I did not have the special gear or bearing splitters I did not dis-assemble the main shaft or the counter shaft. The gears ,synchros, dog points all appeared ok. I took the spit trans cases to Eurotec Motors and discusses with Paul. The reverse gear dropout was probably caused by the sliding gear wear the other two gears that form the reverse action appeared very good.The action for the second gear synchro was good, since i did not dis-assemble the main shaftIi could not check the intenal hubs and synchros. I purchased a new sliding reverse gear from DiFatta Bros. I reassembled the trans using Loctite 518 for the sealant adhesive on the cases joints. After reading vatious articles including those posted on the BB decided to use REDLINE Mt-90 trans oil this is a GL4 spec. I filled checking fill after the first qt., it required about 3-4 ounces less than 2 qts. At this time I also replace the trans mount the 1 1/2 " pipe cap described on the BB works very well I used a 3 lb hand sledge with support to remove and replace. I did not take pictures of the spit trans, dumb, I am attaching photos of the small sliding reverse gear and the old flywheel ring gear. The new ring gear is thicker (wider) than the old I measured .405" versus .340" for the old. On the old ring gear you can see the under cut on one side. The wear pattern on the ring gear is similar in two places 180 deg. apart.
The installation of the flywheel and clutch went without problem, the lightening holes in the side of the flywheel are handy for a bar to aide in torquing flywheel capscrews to 81 ft-lbs. The trans went in without too much trouble ,engage 3rd so you can align the trans and clutch splines. Replacing the starter was easier since I removed the intake plenum, I had difficulty re-installing the plenum since I cleaned all the boots and clamps and did not place the boots in the same position much time later and some rubber lubricant all was tightened. The linkage bracket was another problem with limited access even with the coolant overflow tank removed, only can use one arm, eventually I placed a stud in the rear mount hole and could hold it in position while starting the cap screw. Eventually all was assembled. I had the usual issues with the interior assembly finding holes for trim screws and pushing wiring harness back.
After all this effort the car starts fine and the trans stays in reverse. I drove to the 2016 convention participated in the autocross without any issues. Jim thank you for your comments forcing me to look closely at the hardware. The next time I have an issue with a trans I will not be reluctant to tackle it.
 

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Your welcome. If you have a question all you have to do is ask.
 
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