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Spider S4 93 Giulietta Multi-Air 150hp 2016
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Discussion Starter #1
1660882


After our first Spider got crushed in a crash, now our new Spider got its hardtop this week. Makes a big difference.
I've ordered the original rear and middel hooks, because we failed in producing them with the necessary precision.. Even with the beautiful CAD drawing found on the net.

1660883

Problems discovered after taking the wraps off :
Some of you already gave me tips, but I wanted this time to give a general overview of the itches.
  • no water temperature gauge.
  • no odometer ( speedo ok )
  • steerings with lots of play
  • drive shaft noise with each gear change.

I've placed the items in order of urgency.

- The water temp sensor has no wire in it, and the brown wire is nowhere to be seen. Should I try tot find the exiting brown wire in one of the cluster plugs ? Why would one of the former tinkerers make this wire disappear ? I cannot drive an Alfa without seeing he rise of the coolant temp. Maybe I can install a separate gauge if the one in the cluster is dead ?

- I followed the odometer threads till the last line. In the history of the car I found that the odometer and tripmeter step motor had been repaired and cleaned in feb 2014, by a specialist workshop for 150 euro. So maybe I'll have a go.

- I remember that the steering of our first spider was wobbly and tried to follow tracks in the road. After changing to new tires it disappeared. This one has got new tires but it is a handful to make it go were you want. The PO did put a small beautiful Nardi wheel which reduced the play of course. For that reason maybe. I reinstalled the larger original wheel and with it the play increased. I'll have a look down under with someone at the wheel to see where the wiggle is.

-On the bridge I could wiggle the shaft a good inch, but I was told that this is normal. So I didn't go any further. The rubber disc is like new, and the middle bearing is OK, but the rubber around it is torn. I replaced this support piece 2 days before I had the accident with the first spider. When I release the clutch after changing gears I hear an unpleasant "klonk". If the problem lies inside the LS diff then I'll life with it. Until.

On the whole we are happy with this 160 K km Spider, because it is rust free and every suspension part has been replaced in its career. And it is red, and has a black interior.
 

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the water temp sensor wire has to be there....just makes no sense cutting it off!
I'll look at mine tomorrow and try follow it back and see where it enters the loom

with the car going all over the place, maybe it needs a correct alignment job....From experience I can say there is hardly anyone here in Germany who knows how to do it properly, so probably the same in Belgium....you'll need to find a classic alfa workshop, the modern alignment shops haven't a clue or don't care.........they only plug data into their computor and hope by turning things here and there, they can get it close....
Or check it yourself....at least to see if it is about right.

odometer will be either the tiny wires come loose or the stepper motor.
There was an interesting thread over on the UK forum about this:
Alfa Spider S4 - Instrument Cluster (Speedo / Odometer)...
I use a guy in Germany.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
with the car going all over the place, maybe it needs a correct alignment job....From experience I can say there is hardly anyone here in Germany who knows how to do it properly, so probably the same in Belgium....you'll need to find a classic alfa workshop, the modern alignment shops haven't a clue or don't care.........they only plug data into their computor and hope by turning things here and there, they can get it close....
Or check it yourself....at least to see if it is about right.

Hi Dom,
The alignment has been done, by a tire centre in Belgium. As you write, they tip tap in the computer and this page comes out of the printer, it is in french. Yes Belgium has french, flemish and german workshops.



1660907

No numbers for the rear, so they only checked the front wheels. Can you make anything out of this result ?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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If you have steering play it's probably not in the steering box. It's very common for these cars to have play in the idler arm, listen and feel for it while someone moves the wheel back and forth. Could also be wear in one of the many tie rods.

Most shops will mess up the alignment on an older Alfa: they don't know how to properly align a car with a steering box (the numbers come out right on the computer but the arm lengths are all messed up). Quick way to check: measure the length of the left and right outermost tie rods. The left rod H should be ~5mm shorter than the right rod G. If they're significantly different from this then they didn't align it right and you'll get bump steer and other steering weirdness.

1660909
 

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After our first Spider got crushed in a crash, now our new Spider got its hardtop this week. Makes a big difference.
I've ordered the original rear and middel hooks, because we failed in producing them with the necessary precision.. Even with the beautiful CAD drawing found on the net.
View attachment 1660883
Great project.
In regards to your CAD drawing for the Hardtop fastening -- was this supposed to be the fastener ON THE CAR ITSELF, or on the hardtop itself?
Thanks.
 

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Spider S4 93 Giulietta Multi-Air 150hp 2016
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Discussion Starter #6
If you have steering play it's probably not in the steering box. It's very common for these cars to have play in the idler arm, listen and feel for it while someone moves the wheel back and forth. Could also be wear in one of the many tie rods.

Most shops will mess up the alignment on an older Alfa: they don't know how to properly align a car with a steering box (the numbers come out right on the computer but the arm lengths are all messed up). Quick way to check: measure the length of the left and right outermost tie rods. The left rod H should be ~5mm shorter than the right rod G. If they're significantly different from this then they didn't align it right and you'll get bump steer and other steering weirdness.

View attachment 1660909
Thanks Tom. I'll try to measure as you said.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Great project.
In regards to your CAD drawing for the Hardtop fastening -- was this supposed to be the fastener ON THE CAR ITSELF, or on the hardtop itself?
Thanks.
Stasha,
This is only part of the drawing, shown are the fasteners that go on the car. Those on the hardtop are simple hooks, for now I use two pair of sturdy cable ties. The windows clasps prevent the hardtop from sliding forward, and the rear fasteners prevent it from sliding backwards, and hooks in the middle keep the hardtop pressed against the cars body.
All six are needed to be safe.
 

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Stasha,
This is only part of the drawing, shown are the fasteners that go on the car. Those on the hardtop are simple hooks, for now I use two pair of sturdy cable ties. The windows clasps prevent the hardtop from sliding forward, and the rear fasteners prevent it from sliding backwards, and hooks in the middle keep the hardtop pressed against the cars body.
All six are needed to be safe.
Thanks for the info.
SO, THERE ARE REAR FASTENERS ALSO? Are these on the two chrome strips at the forwardmost part of the rear trunk deck?
Thank you again.
 

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water temp gauge:
another thing you could do is just lay a new wire from the loom to the sender...

the brown wire for that sender comes from pin #5 of the brown connector (A) on the pair of short harnesses coming out the back of the instrument cluster
monopod loom.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
water temp gauge:
another thing you could do is just lay a new wire from the loom to the sender...

the brown wire for that sender comes from pin #5 of the brown connector (A) on the pair of short harnesses coming out the back of the instrument cluster
View attachment 1661005
exactly what I need. I'll dive under the dash and look for the brown connector and the brown wire.
 

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There is an adjustment at the top of your steering box to remove play if you decide that the problem is indeed your steering box. I just had to do this on my 87 spider.
 

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the S4 has power steering.
there is no section in the WSM dealing with adjustment like there is on the normal ZF box.....making me think, better not to touch it!
 

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Your alignment specs do not look too bad too me. Did they check the idler arm and the drag link for play/looseness when they did the alignment?
Regarding the drive train noise, you said you heat it when you change gears. Is it noisy when you have the clutch pedal depressed or not depressed. I have heard noises like that from loose/worn out pilot shaft bearings in the transmission.
Also, another thing that will make the car drift around is the rear trailing arm bushings being worn out.
If you get on a good smooth road, try accelerating and decelerating and see if it pulls one way accelerating and the opposite way on deceleration, If it does, you have a problem with those bushings.
If you need a picture of the brown wire coming out of the harness, see photo. On one of mine, it seems to be coming out of the harness as it comes over from the right fender area at the firewall and turns down for about 100mm. It may be hanging down there.
1661081
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Greg. When I change gears and release the clutch and step on the accelerator, then I hear a "klonk" somewhere behind me. The rubber disc is ok, the middle bearing also, but not the rubber around it. When I turn the transmission shaft I hear the same "klonk". I have a short video of it, this is the youtube link. It is public.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Huraaah, the brown coolant temp gauge wire has been found. As shown on the picture of Greg, the wire was tucked away behing the coolant expansion bottle, hidden inside a black harness. Happy.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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So the play you've got there is pretty normal and is just typical play in the differential spider gears. Everyone on here who has driveline clunks always thinks they've got noise in the differential and +95% of the time it turns out to be somewhere in the driveshaft, or maybe the trailing arm bushings if they're really bad.

There are two u-joints and a splined, extending section in the driveshaft. Grab each of these on both sides and try to twist: there should be no play. The splined section of the driveshaft has the only grease fitting on the car and should be greased once in a while. If it goes dry it'll wear and then start clunking.

You will also get clunks if the transmission mount or center driveshaft rubber support are worn. Alfa transmission mounts seem to have a short life.

For the trailing arms/trunnion bushings, get the car going like 15-20kph down the road, take your hands off the wheel, and go on and off the throttle. If you can steer the car left and right with the throttle then you've got worn bushings in the rear axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tom - We closely went through the drive shaft from engine to diff and found only the rubber of the center support worn. We already replaced it one day in my first spider. I tried to save some money and ordered only the support without the bearing. Stupid me !! We had a hell of a time to get the bearing out of the old support, and we did use nevertheless a new bearing. So another hellish pushing to get it back in the support. Next time I'll order the support with the bearing pre-installed. Yes, thats 15 euros more.
 

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Try greasing the driveshaft. That usually gets the clunk to go away from me.

Good luck,

Vin
 
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