That nasty crunching you hear when
shifting from first to second can be blamed on a worn
synchro mechanism. Due to the type of syncro used
in the Alfa Romeo transmission, synchro failure has
become the bane of this otherwise bulletproof design.
The type of lubricant used, frequency
of maintainance and driver abuse can rapidly accelerate
synchro wear. There are a total of six bearings supporting
the main and counter shafts in the Alfa Romeo transmission.
Other manufactures of the same vintage, most notably
BMW and Getrag, only had a total of four shaft bearings
and they were prone to catastrophic failures especially
when used in high performance driving conditions.
Actual gear wear in an Alfa transmission
is quite rare. When it does occur, it can usually
be traced back to longtime use with low lubricant
level or incorrect lubricant use rather than bearing
wear. Owing to the quality of the major components,
the majority of Alfa transmissions can be properly
rebuilt without replacing most of the bearings, gears,
forks, and shafts. Occasionally we run across a transmission
that is quite worn out, in that case I will recommend
finding another transmission to use as a donor transmission.
Parts costs vary depending on the condition of the
unit being rebuilt. Normal prices for parts can be
as low as $200.00 or as much as $1000.00 if the rebuild
requires synchros, selector rings, several gears,
shift forks and a bearing set. Re-bushings of gears
may also be required.
The cost to rebuild an average transmission that doesnt
require replacement of any gears, shift forks, or
bearing replacement generally runs around $600.00.