Tech Tips


Tech Tips

If you have a ( general ) problem or if you like to get a partnumber than please check first the more than 1200 pages thick SZ workshopmanual, the RZ supplement, the SZ partsbook, the body repair video, or the service manuals please. Copies available.

61.) LED modified rear lamps.
62.) A squeaky clutch pedal.
63.) SZ rear little leather box.
64.) Rheostat alternative / repair.
65.) Heater fan failure...... or Possibly NOT !!!
66.) Rear Spoiler.
67.) Air conditioning belt tensioning pulley


61.) LED modified rear lamps.

Replacement alternative LED lights SZ & RZ.
Leftside - LED // Rightside - original.

LedLights

The original lamp units behind the rear covers only produce poor light and tend to melt down over the years.

LedLights

Those lamp units are extremely hard to find and since several years not for sale anymore. But one of our members found an alternative, wich is even much better.
It are LED units to replace the original ones.

LedLights

LedLights

LedLights

LedLights

LedLights

The Lights a E-Marked and therefore probably legal in Europe and certainly in England.

LedLights

WIRING is easy.

LedLights

LedLights

While this is a "modification" as such, I feel that the look remains totally standard and it's adding the benefit of new LED lighting.
The light strength is slightly more powerful, and devided much better over the total surface.

LedLights

You can always easily revert to the old lights if needed.


62.) A squeaky clutch pedal.

This is not a real SZ / RZ problem ( also 75, Alfetta etc. ), but it is so common and annoying, that I would like to mention it anyhow in the Tech Tips.
I always have that problem resolved as follows: You start with a pair of thick papers to cover the floor and then you spray the clutch pedal mechanism and the associated spring well with WD-40. Then press several times in the clutch until it no longer squeaks.
If you're at it, you can also give the steering column slide shaft - for the lateral and axial adjustment of the steering wheel- also a spray with WD-40, so that everything there is functioning properly again as well.
Then you will leave the papers overnight to prevent pollution of the carpet.

A Dutch registry member found another solution and discribed it as follows:

It is the squeaking and creaking clutch pedal:
Really terribly irritating I found it, you felt it crunch also in the pedal. Sometimes it was just gone, but then it started again.
The problem is that the crank arm is pivoted to a shaft that is connected with a cotter pin in the bracket.
The crank has lateral play, causing it to twist in the shaft against the bracket (metal on metal). Grease does not help much.
I now have the problem resolved - and still functioning over a years period - with a plastic / teflon washer ( hardware strore, costs almost nothing) of approximately 1.5 mm thick.

clutch

By cutting a small strip of the ring, you can push it on to the shaft between the crank and the inside of the bracket. It takes some tinkering ( in the dark ), but the slack is gone.

clutch

The now sandwiched washer remains well in place if you give it some grease.

An extra advantage is that the pedal feels much smoother and tighter.

Shaft disassembly is also possible, but accessibility is bad so I prefered not to start with that option.


63.) SZ rear little leather box.

box

a.) At the rear bottom side from the SZ you can find a leather box to store some little things in.

This small storage box is fixed with but only two hidden screws.

It was not too firmly mounted, because it must also be able to be easily taken out again, to reach the pulse generator schould be something wrong with it.

Okee,..what did they do at ZAGATO,... you still can see it on that box:

Because they wanted to hide the screws, they made into the leather two small incisions of about 2 millimeters.

box

At those places were the screws (with a very small head) almost horizontally screwed through the leather of the plastic box.

If the screw was almost completely screwed into the box, they pulled the leather over the "head" from the screws and the screw got tightened the last turn with a small screwdriver to hide it completely under the leather.

People who do not know this will try to pull the box out somehow, to put it back later with the screws on another place as you can see in at the pictures below.

box

Screws - with a smaller head - do need to go trough the small cut in the leather at the green arrow.

box


b.) Another problem is that at several SZ's the little leather handle on the cover got lost. This "handle" has been mounted with a very short screw with a very wide head on it. It isn't a very secure way to mount this item. Best to check and to put also some glue between the leather handle and the cover before putting it back together again.

box

box


64.) Rheostat alternative ( little light dimmer / potentio meter ) / repair.

rheostat

This ( expensive little ) part often does not function properly.

Sometimes they spontaneously fallen apart behind the Kevlar panel, and if you are lucky the both halfs can be put together again with a piece of tape, to make this item function again.
And,...sometimes they will fall apart if you need to take out the kevlar panel for another reason.

rheostat

So if you need do that it will be best to put the steeringwheel in the most outer and lowest position to create some room.

Unscrew the black ringnuts from the rheostat and the dimmer knob.

Unscrew the 4 imbus bolts from the instrument panel.

rheostat

If you have the four screws removed ( sometimes you also have to make more room by unscrewing also the bolts from the panels sitting the left and right side ), you can pull the panel toward you,.. wiggle it a bit to the left and right, up and down and be careful near the spot where the dimmer is mounted on the panel otherwise you will pull it apart.

rheostat

To make it easier, you can remove the fuse box panel and push the instrument panel towards you from behind.

rheostat

Sometimes Zagato made a mistake in wiring correctely and they swapped the function from yellow and white wire somewhere in the cable tree. Than a "repair" can be simple,.... you have to swap the connectors,...so that yellow goes to white and white goes to yellow.

rheostat

rheostat

Another problem is that the sliding contact on the inside no longer makes good contact with the lower contact part. The best thing is to clean everything with contact spray and bend the sliding contacts towards the lower contact plate if necessary.

rheostat

Then properly attach the housing to each other and test whether everything works properly again.

***IF YOU ARE UNLUCKY,THE RHEOSTAT CAN NO LONGER BE REPAIRED !***

As almost everything for our cars those items are since several years not available anymore, but a registermember found an alternative.

rheostat

The Ferrari 348 and F355 rheostat #134406 is the same model as on ours Alfa Romeo ES30 ( REA Milano MLX-01 ).

rheostat

The part with knob and connections are different, so you have to swap them with those of the original models. Nothing very difficult.

rheostat

These Ferrari's parts are very expensive new, but maybe you can find a used one.


65.) Heater fan failure...... or Possibly NOT!!!

This is a problem that can occur on Alfa Romeo 75's (Milano) as well as SZ & RZ's. To replace the heater fan requires removal of the complete heater unit, which in turn means complete removal of the dashboard and centre console.

What causes the failure?

The heaterbox is situated under the dash behind the centre console. If you look upwards from either footwell you can see the outlets that direct air onto the feet.

DRIVERíS SIDE

heaterfan

PASSENGER's side

heaterfan

Occasionally, one of the semi-circular flaps can fall out when altering the position control. It can then fall inside the heaterbox and become caught up in the fan. If you hear a rattling / vibrating noise from the heater fan, then switch off the fan straight away. If you are lucky you will prevent the fan from becoming jammed and burning out.

heaterfan

You should be able to fish out the lost plastic flap from the heater box with your fingers or long nose pliers. (After switching off the car of course!). You may well then find that the flap is damaged or bowed. This is often caused by many years of hot air flowing over them and is what causes them to become detached in the first place.

When putting the flaps back it is good practice to straighten and strengthen them. Do this by glueing a small sheet of aluminium or kevlar across them.

heaterfan

Be careful not to make the repair too heavy otherwise the flaps will not open properly anymore.

If you have been UNLUCKY then the flap will have jammed the fan and even when the bits are removed the fan will not work. If this is the case, you have one chance left before you have to remove the dash.

This is if the heater fan resistor has burnt out instead of the fan motor. The fan speed resistor is not meant to act as a fuse, but if you are lucky it has melted and opened the circuit before the fan motor has overheated and melted internally.

The fan speed resistor is approximately the size of a matchbox and hidden in the heater box on the driverís side. It is in fact a circuit board with wire coil resistors. It will have four wires going to it: a large red wire and smaller purple, grey and yellow.

To locate the resistor, remove the driverís side centre console carpet panel. It is held in place with one brown plastic plug. Remove the plug and wriggle the panel out.

heaterfan

You will then be able to see the resistor pack. It is held in position with a metal spring clip. Prize this off with a small screwdriver, being careful to catch it as it pings off. Then inspect the circuit board.

heaterfan

Alfa have used a few different styles over the years, ( see the pictures below ) but they essentially all work in the same manner. If you are unable to locate a replacement, ( Not available from Alfa Romeo for many years ) then you can repair yours using a 30 Amp fuse.

heaterfan

You will see the metal coils that act as different resistors to control the various speeds. You will also find a metal bridge between two poles on the board (In the red box in the picture). This joins the positive feed between the resistor and the full speed output. You will likely find that this is what has melted / burned out, thus cutting off power to the fan motor.

heaterfan

You can repair this by soldering a 30Amp fuse across the poles as shown in the top picture and by the blue arrow in the bottom picture. After which, in the future, if the fan becomes jammed, the fuse will blow before the fan motor burns out.


If you will make that repair / mod., than please send me some more pictures to visualize this techtip a bit more !!!


66.) Rear Spoiler.

The spoilers came in different types. The first spoilers were moderately detailed and had a massive inside, later you got hollow ones.

spoiler

A.) But there was also a difference in mounting them during production.

To take off the spoiler you need to remove the rear luggage belts, the speakershelf and the interior trim from the inside of the C-pillars.
You will find 2 big holes at each side.

I found out that there are spoilers attached by 4 long bolts going from the inside out into the spoiler.

But,...much better and easier to install are the versions wich have 4 threaded ends screwed into the spoiler.

spoiler

Someone can hold the spoiler at the outside during installing. The threaded ends are on the right spot and will dive into the big outside holes. At the inside things are tightened simply by nuts. Wich can be done easier than the bolted solution, because working space in those tight corners is very limited.

spoiler

This works muchs easier and prevents a lot of fiddeling around to stick in the blind bolts from the inside trough the holes into the spoiler etc.
In the past I had conversion kits with the right size of threaded ends etc. But an easy mod to get done by yourself.

B.) If the spoiler is off, than it is a good idear to spray some rustprevention stuff into those big holes. The C-pillars are "famous" because of rusting at the bottom outside above the rubber trim etc.

C.) As soon as you install the spoiler again, take care of enough sealant to be put under the spoiler to close those big holes at each side, otherwise water can easily enter the C-pillars with all the nasty consequences to go with that.


67.) Air conditioning belt tensioning pulley

airco

A part rarely checked is the air conditioning belt tensioning pulley. This part can often have excessive play due to bearing wear.
The original part 60534564 is no longer available.
The solution is to replace the bearing using SKF bearing part number: SKF 63004 2Rs C3.
The original bearing is pressed into the pulley and swaged over from behind. To replace the bearing either you require a large press to push it out and expand the swaging, or you need to machine or grind off the swaging first and press it out with less force.

airco

The new bearing then should be mounted using green Loctite. If any of the swaging is left, then it can be re-peened back over just to be sure, but it does not appear essential and a test for over 300Km has been carried out satisfactorily.
The swaging is on the back of the pulley and so cannot be seen once refitted to the car.


If you have any TechTips that can be used for Alfa Romeo SZ or RZ, I am intrested to know about that.
Please email me if you have a special Tip or solution for a problem,..thanks,...Ed.

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