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Have you used poly bushes anywhere in your rear suspension, or engine/gearbox mounts?

Is the exhaust expanding due to heat and touching somewhere?

Just some thoughts.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #342
Have you used poly bushes anywhere in your rear suspension, or engine/gearbox mounts?

Nope....but this condition did not exist until just recently. No changes to suspension have been made since the car was built, at which point she ran fine.


Is the exhaust expanding due to heat and touching somewhere?

Nope.


Just some thoughts.
Pete
Thanks for responding Pete!

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Is the vibration constant at road speed or engine speed? I’ve fought with a heavy vibration at 30 to 40 mph regardless of what gear it’s in which points to something after the transmission. I went through the same rigmarole of pulling the drive line multiple times, getting it balanced, replace the U-joints, etc, etc. Finally, I replaced the unknown age giubo and the rubber center bearing carrier, and relubed the U-joints and the problem seems to be cured or as cured as anything gets in a 52 year old, 120,000 mile car. Also, check for wear between the centering “olive” at the end of the transmission output shaft and the socket it fits in on the driveshaft.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #344
Thanks Mike,

I think I finally got it figured out. The witness marks on the flanges on the rear section of the driveshaft were lined up, but I don't know that the shop referred to or used them. I clocked it 180 degrees, removed the gearbox cross member and lowered the gearbox a bit before raising it back up being careful not to put any side load on it.

I didn't get to go for a very long drive, or test her on the freeway but the significant low frequency oscillation seems to be gone and she seems much smoother.

Time will tell.

-tj in the Cruz Mountains

Is the vibration constant at road speed or engine speed? I’ve fought with a heavy vibration at 30 to 40 mph regardless of what gear it’s in which points to something after the transmission. I went through the same rigmarole of pulling the drive line multiple times, getting it balanced, replace the U-joints, etc, etc. Finally, I replaced the unknown age giubo and the rubber center bearing carrier, and relubed the U-joints and the problem seems to be cured or as cured as anything gets in a 52 year old, 120,000 mile car. Also, check for wear between the centering “olive” at the end of the transmission output shaft and the socket it fits in on the driveshaft.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #345
When I had my headliner installed I forgot to mark the location of the holes for the "oh **** handle" and do not recall the size fastener that holds the handle to the body. I am guessing it's a 6mm fine pitch but I'm wondering if any of y'all know for sure.

IMG_2274 by tjveloce, on Flickr

Ciao!

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Discussion Starter #347
Regarding my previous post regarding the size of the screw used to hold the "oh ****" handle to the body, my best guess is that all four are the same size, which is if memory serves, 5mm. For some reason the outside captive nuts seem to be missing from mine. It's too late to fix it now, so I've just installed the handle with the two (one on each side) that are present.

On to other matters, Renzo's been up on jack stands for the past week as I decided to change engine oil and filter, and transmission oil while replacing the ball joints on the track rod and tie rods. I also replaced the steering idler box with an updated part from Classic Alfa which has sealed bearings instead of the bronze bushing. There was a small amount of play in the original part which translated in to a larger amount at the steering wheel. With the new ball joints and idler box the steering is much improved, even though it was not bad prior.

I was also educated by Tom Sahines about the importance of using the right oil in the gearbox. I'd been running StaLube 85w/90 but Tom enlightened me that the gearboxes with the early style synchros (identified by the concentric grooves machined in them, and in the parts manual identified by the material from which they're made (molybdenum) need Shell Dentax. After pumping a couple quarts of Dentax in to the gearbox I must say that gearshifts feel "better" and the 2nd crunch that previously existed, is now gone.

Now to get the front end toe reset and replace the leaking rear brake calipers (which were already rebuilt once).

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Discussion Starter #348
This weekend I replaced the front sway bar bushings with new polyurethane parts from Performatek as well as the t-bar bushings. The t-bar is never fun to re-install and I found it necessary to remove the old bushings and install the new ones on the bench. Once you get one of the long bolts started the job gets a lot easier. I took her for a short drive and the difference is noticeable...turn in is crisper and the rear end tracks more accurately.

I stopped for a quick photo shoot at a local winery before returning home, where, on a whim, I decided to install the 15 inch wheels to see how they look. Haven't driven her with them yet.

Here's a few photos.

IMG_2426 by tjveloce, on Flickr

IMG_2428 by tjveloce, on Flickr

IMG_2432 by tjveloce, on Flickr

IMG_2434 by tjveloce, on Flickr

IMG_2437 by tjveloce, on Flickr

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Discussion Starter #350
Ever since I rebuilt Renzo her brakes have not been right. Before the accident in 2013 I never remembered the brake pedal being anything but firm, and with a suitably low amount of travel.Prior to reassembly I had the master cylinder and all four calipers rebuilt by a local shop. The brake booster that was in the car was not rebuilt and was reused.

Upon reassembly I could not get the brakes to bleed. I spent hours trying to get the system to build pressure. The master cylinder simply would not pump fluid. I took it back to the shop that rebuilt it and they tried to fix it, but it would still not build pressure. I installed another master cylinder from a friend. It had been sitting in a box on a shelf for years, and while it worked, it was sticky and would not release. Then I bought a new master cylinder from a reputable parts source here in the Bay Area. I was able to get the system bled properly but the pedal had excessive travel, and would "pump up" to firm after a couple of applications of the brake pedal (only to lose that firmness after not touching the pedal for even a short period of time. I also noticed that the rear brake calipers were leaking. I assumed that the symptom of "pumping up" was due to the leaking calipers and once I installed newly rebuilt rear calipers hoped the system would bleed properly.

I spent hours bleeding the system at least 6 times, 2 or 3 times with the 2 person method, bleeding at the master cylinder, and even reverse bleeding the system from each caliper with a pressure bleeder. No dice....the original symptom of an initially long travel soft pedal that came firm after a couple pumps persists.

There is no proportioning valve, and there are no leaks in the system. I have a brake booster being rebuilt, and a new master cylinder on the way from Classic Alfa but I have little faith that the booster is the root cause. I also loathe replacing the master cylinder...it's truly a gnarly job, but if it fixes the problem I'll be happy.

Grrrrr.

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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TJ,
If your pedal is “pumping up”, it’s about air in the system or pad knock-off. If it reoccurs within seconds even when stationary, it’s not pad knock-off, so it’s about trapped air.
A couple of suggestions:
- undo (loosen slightly) the fitting at the nose of the booster and gently pump to expel any air there before you bleed at the callipers. Retighten, of course. Saves time. Other makers of remote booster put a bleed screw there. This should achieve the same result as ‘bench bleeding’ the booster, which many on the BB recommend. Put plenty of rags under the booster nose too.
- some have reinstalled callipers on the wrong side of the rear axle. They physically fit, but if on the wrong side, the bleed screws sit at the bottom, not the top, and bleeding is less successful.
- some have reported using some Teflon plumbers tape on bleed screws has helped prevent sucking air past the threads when bleeding. I don’t quite understand this, if you tighten the screws before releasing the pedal, but I don’t dismiss the possibility.
- you said “no leaks”, but were you losing fluid still? Into the booster? Ask your rebuilder if the booster had fluid in it. That could have been your leak, and it wouldn’t be visible.
That’s it...out of ideas.
 

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TJ,
- some have reinstalled callipers on the wrong side of the rear axle. They physically fit, but if on the wrong side, the bleed screws sit at the bottom, not the top, and bleeding is less successful.
I agree with Ranz. I think you either have the LH caliper installed on the right side and the RH caliper installed on the LH side or two LH front calipers and one is installed on the right hand side or two RH calipers and one is installed on the LH side.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #353
Ranz-

Thanks for your thoughts.


TJ,
If your pedal is “pumping up”, it’s about air in the system or pad knock-off. If it reoccurs within seconds even when stationary, it’s not pad knock-off, so it’s about trapped air.

Agreed.


A couple of suggestions:
- undo (loosen slightly) the fitting at the nose of the booster and gently pump to expel any air there before you bleed at the callipers. Retighten, of course. Saves time. Other makers of remote booster put a bleed screw there. This should achieve the same result as ‘bench bleeding’ the booster, which many on the BB recommend. Put plenty of rags under the booster nose too.

Tried that.

- some have reinstalled callipers on the wrong side of the rear axle. They physically fit, but if on the wrong side, the bleed screws sit at the bottom, not the top, and bleeding is less successful.

Calipers are installed properly...all bleed screws are at the top.

- some have reported using some Teflon plumbers tape on bleed screws has helped prevent sucking air past the threads when bleeding. I don’t quite understand this, if you tighten the screws before releasing the pedal, but I don’t dismiss the possibility.

I used putty when reverse bleeding them but I've bled them several ways with the two person method and do not believe that air is getting back in to the calipers when I do. Logic would dictate that the air is not in the calipers. It also blows bubble free fluid from them, so this would not seem to be the cause.

- you said “no leaks”, but were you losing fluid still? Into the booster? Ask your rebuilder if the booster had fluid in it. That could have been your leak, and it wouldn’t be visible.

Not losing fluid. The booster appears to be working fine but I have another one being rebuilt now. I spoked with the builder about the symptoms and he does not believe the booster is the culprit. Hopefully we'll know soon.

I do have another MC coming Monday, and while I look forward to removing and installing a brake MC on this car as much as a visit to the dentist, I'm out of ideas.

That’s it...out of ideas.
Thanks again!

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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make sure you bleed it with the engine running so the booster pumps too. just a thought.
 

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Hi TJ

No affiliation of any nature to them but maybe this could be of help for your brakes bleeding issue:

https://www.alfastop.co.uk/cgi-bin/psProdDet.cgi?prod_code=9BRG136

Could be worth a try.

KR

Thomas .

PS: for me the 15' wheels look much nicer than the GTA's (this is my opinion and taste...you do not need to share it)
 

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Discussion Starter #356

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Discussion Starter #357
This evening I installed the new master cylinder from Classic Alfa. It was the 5th master cylinder I tried in the car, and it fixed the problem Exact same model Bonaldi master cylinder, but the only one that worked.

I poured brake fluid in it on the bench, installed it, used the two person method and the pedal came good in 10 minutes.

Finally.....

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Discussion Starter #358
Actually now I'm not so sure....the pedal is definitely more firm, but if you keep your foot on it, it seems to lose firmness. I'm wondering if I have a bad booster. I'm waiting for the brake shop to rebuild it. When it's done and installed every single major component will be new, or rebuilt. Hoping for the best.

-tj in the Cruz Mtns
 

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Hi TJ,

Wow, I thought you had it solved! If I may ask, are you using CA's BR074 master cylinder? And, I can't recall, did you also buy a new booster from CA? I'm wondering as my car originally had a booster (that was abandoned at some point long back) - as such, I bought both a new MC and booster from CA. Wondering if I'm about to head down the same path as you...

Thanks in advance! Chuck
 

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I wonder if you should just drive it, carefully, for a while as might vibrate some remaining air out?

Pete
 
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