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those freakin' springs on the hand/park brake pads!

......my car was on a lift, up in the air (so, easy job methinks)
I was literally hanging off the little fat sob handbrake spring, my whole weight, feet off the ground, whilst my brother was trying to twist the end inwards to get it to locate.

(just consider Luigi at the factory, this thing is passing by on the conveyor belt, and his mate throws him a set of hand brake shoes...Hey Luigi, quick, fit these!)

Images of Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times:)
 

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those freakin' springs on the hand/park brake pads!

......my car was on a lift, up in the air (so, easy job methinks)
I was literally hanging off the little fat sob handbrake spring, my whole weight, feet off the ground, whilst my brother was trying to twist the end inwards to get it to locate.

(just consider Luigi at the factory, this thing is passing by on the conveyor belt, and his mate throws him a set of hand brake shoes...Hey Luigi, quick, fit these!)

Images of Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times:)
As I said previously... knowing the proper sequence is critical and noodling will get you there.. Leverage is a mechanic's most valuable helper..The only thing I would do different is try to attach both springs before locating the shoes and prying them apart to locate the adjuster before resorting to the bottom spring stretching on. PS I've never done it.https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0geJaTEzudc6rkArBRXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=ALFAS+pider+parking+brake&fr2=piv-web&fr=mcafee#id=1&vid=e4b14dba09bcfbfea6f86c22a2ea0961&action=view
 

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A couple spring to mind for me...
- Realising you've mixed up the 'long' and 'short' 105 handbrake cables, after the park brakes are reassembled.
- Replacing Milano/75 heater fan resistor unit, tucked beautifully in behind the heater unit.
- 105 steering column hub key which doesn't want to sit still when trying to install hub/wheel.
- realising that was just one tap, twist or lever too many...
 

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Worst pain the rear? Undoubtedly it’s setting crown wheel preload and crown/pinion depth and lash. Everything else in the rear is pretty simple!!!!😆
 

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Rear transmission mount is no picnic, but worst part is making your own tools.
 

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Sorry guys, but I enjoy working on my Alfa's. Patience is important. I watch videos or read articles here. Then I look at the job - I look at the parts and I imagine them off the car. Then I watch the videos again or re-read the article. Then I get all my tools together and begin the job. Yes, I'll admit that I sometimes wonder why I have to take so many other parts off to get to something simple. But it's okay, since it gives me time to reflect on the job I'm doing and what it'll do for my car.

I've worked on a lot of my own cars since high school. The GM stuff!!! Why do they put a socket only accessible bolt on the top front shock (of the 70's and early 80's cars)? If there's even a hint of rust on the threads (shock shaft), the bolt gets stuck and the shaft and bolt turn as one piece. There's a special tool they sell that holds the shaft (at the top), while you gain access to the bolt. A teenager barely has enough money to buy new shocks and has $0 left over for special tools!

Why does Chevy put the engine so far back that you can't get to the right rear plug - not even through the wheel well?

Why does Volvo put such a cheap blower motor in their 240 series cars, then bury it under everything in the dash, so a normal 1 hour job becomes a one or two day job with skinned knuckles!

Why does Infiniti install the starter on an M45 under all the suspension parts, so all the bolts except the last one is accessible? I couldn't figure it out, so I left it there with a flat spot.

Why does Chrysler install the entire front body of the car around the engine? It's by far the hardest car to get that huge 413 CI V8 out of - yes I did it and it was tough, with a lot of bouncing and pushing. Now imagine getting it back in! An all night event.

Why does Jaguar make nearly everything on their XJ series straight six an impossibility to access and fix. Open the hood on a mid 90's with the 4.0L straight six - there's no room under the hood to do anything!

Why does VW design their cars, so when you have to do a timing belt on a Jetta, the entire front end of the car needs to come off? Bumper, AC Condenser, radiator, etc.

Why does Toyota and Nissan put the knock sensor so low in their V6 engine so that everything on the top has to come out? Intake manifold, throttle body, etc. And while you're down there, you may as well change the coolant hose (that sits between the two heads).

Why does Mercedes put the transmission controller inside the transmission? I know that other manufacturers also do it, but aren't electronics (chips) suppose to stay cool? Isn't the inside of a transmission pretty hot? The wrong place for a computer, right?

Why does BMW place the oil separator on top of the valve cover (on E90's) and then glue them in, so you damage the plastic when trying to remove it?

Why does Hyundai put a cheap pot metal part in the steering column (of the Sonata), so at 70K miles it breaks causing a click and looseness in the steering wheel, but the part is buried in the steering column, so has to be dismantled?

Lastly, why does Tesla make cars that don't have a soul? And why are people buying them???? You can't work on one and if you get into an accident, your body shop can't get parts to fix it.

So, I'll take the mechanical work that my Alfa Spiders need - things that I can fix while I'm on the road (or side of the road). Things that I understand how they work, so if I don't have the right part, I can rig it up so I can get my car home or to a friendly shop! And, I get the bonus of being able to drive a mechanical masterpiece! A car that puts me in touch with the road. A car that lets me experience driving how it was meant to be - open air, all the aromas of the area I'm driving, the warm sun on my body, the wind blowing by me, the feeling of openness and freedom, the sounds of that twin cam four with the mechanical whirling and the exhaust singing! This is what we love about our cars and why we won't settle for anything less!
 

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Spider Door stays and Milano starters hands down,

Door stays may be easy to replace on a car with manual window regulators, but the job gets ridiculously complicated on those with motorized regulators. I use a father/son team of professional mechanics with more than 75 years combined experience on Alfas for stuff I don't want to tackle. They basically refused to replace the driver's door stay on my 91 Veloce. I took a look myself since there would be no need to crawl around on the floor with limited access to nuts and bolts. They were right--it's just too much work for something that should be simple.

As far as Milano starters, it should not be necessary to remove the exhaust manifold, release the motor mounts, jack up the engine, struggle for an hour trying to line up the holes on the housing while balancing a heavy starter in one hand, attach and torque the unit basically impossible because of the ratchet extension needed, set the engine back on the mounts and torque them, reinstall the exhaust manifold while somehow balancing the entire exhaust system to align the manifold and torquing the nuts (again iffy at best for those on the bottom side) so that there are no leaks.
 

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Autobroker, you have obviously been down the road, maybe the same one I have!

That post almost brought me to tears, my man... I could hear Pavarotti singing Verdi in the background, with a choir :grin2:

I'm with you man, some of the toughest jobs I've ever done were not on an Alfa. One exception being my S4 Spider's RH motor mount (hats off to my son Mike for getting those little bolts started up there).

Saluti...
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well, according to a couple of previous posts all you need is to be patient, study the parts, learn their relationships and then simply do the job. A simple, straightforward, task that mainly involves understanding some cosmic facts that just are incomprehensible to the unenlightened.

As a life-long wrench turner I'm skeptical but perhaps a lucky few truly possess the Secret Knowledge.
 

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Over this past winter I swapped out my 2L cylinder head for a new one. It took me three weeks of pounding, pulling, prying, shaking, soaking and lifting to get the old cylinder head off. Ruined two spark plug holes and a cylinder head removal tool in the process.

Another dandy I remember is trying to change a universal joint in my BMW E34’s steering in situ. Trying to slip a 2”-long u-joint into the 1.5”-long gap between two splined rods took several days.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: doing that same cylinder head swap, the brass coolant bleed screw was seized in the coolant manifold. I broke an extractor and cracked the manifold trying to remove it. Extracting the broken extractor took hours. In the end, a grinding bit on a Dremel did it. Fixing the cracked manifold was relatively easy (Dremel out the crack, fill it with JB putty, sand and run a tap through the hole — it’s holding up well).
 

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Try to do ANYthing on a modern Audi and this is your life. Five systems need to be removed or disassembled to get to the one you're working on. So frustrating.
Yeah, and just try and figure out what light bulbs to use to replace burned out taillights......that Audi was fun to drive, but GOOD riddance!
 

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I think the comments I made were to guide not instruct and not to be made a "cosmic" recipe for a great aberration. I don't claim to know anything... and usually get set straight by those who do.
 

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Try to do ANYthing on a modern Audi and this is your life. Five systems need to be removed or disassembled to get to the one you're working on. So frustrating.
Agree! I have an ‘08 S6 with a V10. You can’t reach anything in there.

According to my mechanic (no, I don’t turn wrenches on the V10 myself), most repairs start with:

Step 1: put the car into ‘service position’ (photo below of a similar Audi, not mine, in "service position")

That, apparently, is a 4-hour job. So that’s ~$400 just to get a look at the problem.

That car is for sale. I will miss it, but also not.

 

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A couple spring to mind for me...
- Realising you've mixed up the 'long' and 'short' 105 handbrake cables, after the park brakes are reassembled.
- Replacing Milano/75 heater fan resistor unit, tucked beautifully in behind the heater unit.
- 105 steering column hub key which doesn't want to sit still when trying to install hub/wheel.
- realising that was just one tap, twist or lever too many...

@Ranz The last 2 — ugh. Re #3, Why does that key ALWAYS fall down into the column? Thank goodness for U-joint in the later ones and long magnet wands. Re #4, that’s why I had to pull my steering wheel in the first place....
 

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Not a worthy story compared to some of the tough jobs mentioned but I pretty much know what size of wrench to grab for most of the work that can be done short of rebuilding anything in the drive line.

Really don't need a lot of tools to do a majority of work, really a Firestone station can work on an Alfa after all it just another car.
 

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I feel like anybody complaining about working on a 105/115 Alfa has never worked on a German car built in the last 20 years. I won't claim I haven't been frustrated or made mistakes, but these are very user friendly cars to work on.
 
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