Replace your slave cylinder plus bonus Beta update!

While messing with the Lancia and knowing I had some upcoming work on the Alfetta, I took the latter down to the garage in exchange for the former, which I took to Custom Alignment for some new tires and then up to Jaan for final resolution on the rough running and lack of power (more on that later). When I got back to the garage a couple of weeks back just to fire the Alfetta up and take it around the block a bit, the clutch dropped straight to the floor. Sure enough, there was a puddle under the rear of the car (transaxle in the back means the slave is back there too). So I continued on my star-crossed seatbelt installation and left the rest for later.

I picked up a new slave from Alfa Parts for about $67. While this is more than some other vendors charge, I’d read some things which led me to doubt the quality of the cheaper parts, plus I’m all about supporting local vendors, especially those that can get a part to me by Friday when I order on Thursday afternoon.

Alfetta - new slave cylinder

Anyway, in spite of having to remove the exhaust center section and unbolt the shift linkage and crossmember supporting the transaxle to give some clearance, unbolting and pulling out the slave was fairly straightforward. Since you can’t access the flexible line at the end of the slave to undo it, you just disconnect it at the other end where it is accessible. Push the piston back into the cylinder, pull the assembly out, and slip in the new one (with a new hose if yours is old & cracked). Don’t forget to grease the pivot on the end of the rod where it contacts the clutch arm. As in the picture above, don’t bolt the slave down just yet since you’ll need to rotate it in its mount so the bleed nipple points up to release any air bubbles. Once you have it all bled, button everything up and you should be set. This whole operation is best done with the tail of the car up in the air so any air bubbles are forced up and out the bleed nipple.

Sadly, I was not as successful with the beta. After doing several cost-effective repairs, I realized I was tired of trying to figure out the problem, especially since I’d never had a chance to bond with the car by having fun driving it. Last Thursday I finally picked it up (and paid my bill, which was not inexpensive but worth it), and now it runs beautifully, although it needs an exhaust to be 100%. Diagnosis was timing retarded by 10 degrees, minor issue with the rotor, but most importantly, the poly fuel line I’d bought from Aircraft Spruce collapsed a little bit at each place I’d clamped the rubber flexible line around it, and the clamps holding it to the body inside the car. This created an overall restriction that didn’t allow the car to go over about 58mph. Anyway, lesson learned… next up is the exhaust, then finishing the carpet cleaning, getting the interior back in and doing the strut inserts. All in time for the Concours de LeMons.

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