Author Topic: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump  (Read 68614 times)

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Evan Bottcher

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Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« on: April 06, 2009, 09:42:12 PM »
Been a bit of chat about the selespeed and it's various failings - thought I'd share my experiences and limited knowledge.  Big disclaimer - this is mostly hearsay and information from forums so don't flame me for the inaccuracies.

Our selespeed has definitely let us down more times than I'd like *sigh*.  It's a 2000 model.  We've replaced the selespeed electric pump twice - this is a separate component from the actuator.  It makes the whirring noise when you open the driver's door and provides hydraulic pressure for the actuator to change gears and operate the clutch etc.  When it fails you no longer have pressure and you can't change gears - both times it happened when I wasn't driving, but I believe the gearbox failure red light flashes on the dash.  No warning, first time it failed in stop-start traffic on the citylink which was not fun.  I believe a genuine replacement is on the order of $1000 (can't remember if that's GST inc or not) for the part only.  Both times I've had it replaced with a reconditioned pump - $500-600 including fitting.  I think the dealers would tell us that they won't last very long - that might be true given we have replaced the pump twice in 50,000km.

The selespeed actuator is the part that's over $3000 to replace and is only available as a total replacement part including the accumulator.  I don't know a lot about it's functions but sounds like it's a big box of solenoids and switches that controls the hydraulic pressure to run the clutch and gearshift.  I have read on UK forums about folk over there who do recondition them, haven't followed that up yet as so far I haven't had a need (touch wood).  Bit shaky on the memory here but I think some of the symptoms of actuator failure include bunny hopping and jumping out of gear - particularly when the car is hot.  I'll put links to the UK forums at the end - lots to read about the actuator.

The accumulator is a component that stores hydraulic pressure produced by the pump.  Alfa do not sell the accumulator as a separate component new - only as part of the $3000+ actuator replacement.  I'm not sure of the exact symptoms when it wears out, but I imagine you would lack enough hydraulic pressure reserve to operate the system properly.  The accumulator on our car is currently under suspicion - on the diagnosis machine it shows that the pump is cutting in on every gearchange, so the accumulator probably isn't holding enough reserve pressure.  Going to try changing it after Easter for a good secondhand one and see if it improves the drive.  I'm wondering if the pump running so regularly has caused premature pump failure also.

Interestingly you can't buy the accumulator separately from Alfa, but you CAN buy the identical part from Fiat(!).  Isn't that the same company and even the same Australian distributor?  I found out on one of the UK forums.  There are none available in Australia but you can get them from Fiat parts dealers in the UK - about 50 pounds.  That's a lot better than $3000+ if that's the component that has failed...  I have the part number if anyone is interested.

Some links to selespeed info:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/
in particular the thread http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-147-156-and-gt/59454-selespeed-info.html (354 replies - bit of reading in there)

http://homepage.mac.com/paul_denyer/selespeed/
lots of technical and diagnosis information - can't help wondering if this is a copy of some official manual?

http://www.alfadiag.net/
this is a home-grown version of the official 'Examiner' software for diagnostics and running the selespeed calibration routines.  I bought this a couple of years ago and the right kind of USB connector and it seems to work quite well - provides lots of interesting graphs and information from inside the ECU also.

Please remember that much of this is hearsay and most of the internet is bullsh*t - I disclaim myself of all and any damage you do to yourself or to your car by reading the forum posts or using Alfadiag.  If any of the Alfa service managers are reading this I'll probably get sued, but these cars are now getting to the point (and price) where we need to be able to fix them ourselves.

I still quite like the system in concept and even the driving when it works properly.  I wouldn't buy one again though nosirreeee!!!  Ours isn't worth much cash any more and we don't depend on it as the 'main car' any more so I'm kinda enjoying trying to guess what's going to fail next and how much it's going to cost.  If it was still worth $15k I'd be getting rid of it in a flash!

cheers,
Evan.



« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 09:45:05 PM by Evan Bottcher »
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dehne

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 10:34:23 PM »
well, i can say u just saved me at least $3000 as i had the prob of not being able to change gears now i know is the pump and to any one who need the actuator i sourced some from the uk for $1900 new inc postage if ur interested  the come with a complete instruction manual so you can put it in ur self (yea right only if ur an proper alfamech)
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Evan Bottcher

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 10:56:31 PM »
I *hope* it's the pump for you - don't sue me if it's something more dire :-)
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alfagtv58

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 08:27:02 AM »
Great work Evan, perhaps we should sticky this.
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Jekyll and Hyde

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 06:42:00 PM »
Quote
Interestingly you can't buy the accumulator separately from Alfa, but you CAN buy the identical part from Fiat(!).  Isn't that the same company and even the same Australian distributor?  I found out on one of the UK forums.  There are none available in Australia but you can get them from Fiat parts dealers in the UK - about 50 pounds.  That's a lot better than $3000+ if that's the component that has failed...  I have the part number if anyone is interested

Hugh at Monza Motors/Alfpa Repairs can supply these locally if required...

dehne

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 10:50:07 PM »
at what price
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Kami

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 10:32:10 PM »
Interestingly you can't buy the accumulator separately from Alfa, but you CAN buy the identical part from Fiat(!).  Isn't that the same company and even the same Australian distributor?  I found out on one of the UK forums.  There are none available in Australia but you can get them from Fiat parts dealers in the UK - about 50 pounds.  That's a lot better than $3000+ if that's the component that has failed...  I have the part number if anyone is interested.

is it 100% identical? can you tell the part number please?

Alfajojo

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 03:04:44 PM »
that brilliant, you may have saved me also

Gotta B Red

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 05:57:20 PM »
Hi Evan,
Is it possible to strip off all the selespeed stuff and turn it back to all manual? I realise a conventional clutch would need to be added.Perhaps a different G/Box housing also.
Has anyone done it? Seems to me, it may be a viable solution if there are no known major hurdles.
Cheers,
Andy 

dehne

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 07:23:34 PM »
I would not waste my time, the cost to change it you could but a manual anyway, 
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Gotta B Red

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 09:40:39 AM »
I was just thinking it may offer the poor selespeed owners an alternative.
It seems to me there is a significant and demonstrable market reluctance/resistance to buy used selespeeds. Quite justifiably in my view.

I understand the system has it's devotees, but I'm NOT one of them, if it were a viable option to strip off the selespeed kit not only would that increase the sales potential of those wishing to divest themselves of their selespeeds but those looking to buy would also realise an increase in the number of potential cars to buy, knowing or comforted by the fact that the selespeed liability is somewhat diminished.

Having watched a 2004 147GTA (111,000kms) Selespeed sell for 9,000 over the w/end. I wonder if that was a good buy or another can of worms.
In the used Alfa market there are certainly manuals on offer but there's a shitload of selespeeds too and although the buyer (me) may have found a colour combination or spec level and engine I like, only to didscover it's a selespeed ..... NEXT !
I won't even give them a second thought.
It's all very well to say it's too costly to convert, too prohibitive in view of the availability of manual variants.
For mine, it would be equally valid to say it's too costly to contemplate a selespeed,in view of the availability of manual variants.
Both statements are nothing more than bald assertion without the numbers to back them up. Selespeed component replacement costs are well known (and prohibitive too)
I cannot be the first to consider 'what if it wasn't a selespeed anymore' without changing vehicles completely,it must have crossed the minds of at least some owners.
So I'm putting the notion out there, just how costly could it be?
Cheers,
Andy

   

dehne

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 11:38:34 AM »
i can see your point, I have a sele and a manual and they both are great fun to drive, the sele did at one stage play up and it pissed me off, i had quotes to fix it and i was looking at thousands, I spoke to a few people and found out who know their alfa stuff and they told me all the things that I need to check and how to check them, the fix cost me $300 and 30mins of my time, as time has gone by the fixes have become easier and more specific when at the start they had to replace the whole system and now its just specific parts, I would buy another sele but I would do my reasearch on it first, if it has had and sele work, hopefully it had and the sele caseng was changed.
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Gotta B Red

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 09:37:06 AM »
Thanks Dehne,
Hundreds look better than thousands from my side of the ledger, somewhat reassuring but I'll still view the sele with some caution,for me it's a level of unnecessary complexity I can easily and comfortably do without.
Cheers,
Andy

pasey25

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 10:19:35 AM »


I understand the system has it's devotees, but I'm NOT one of them,

Hi Andy - interested to know why you're not a devotee? Are you a current/previous selespeed owner?

2005 147 GTA Monza Selespeed
2001 156 Monza Selespeed
1969 Lancia Fulvia 1.3s Coupe
2010 159 TI 2.4 Sportwagon

wankski

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Re: Selespeed Actuator / Accumulator / Pump
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 02:55:02 PM »
a few things here:

if the GTA over the w/e was running and in good nick, EPIC BUY OF THE CENTURY!

the GTA 6 speed sele is NOTHING like the std 5 speed. It is by all accounts a competent and reliable system, with a few parts shared with the f1 system in ferraris.

Sele to Manual conversion.

Not generally economically viable in Australia. While these have been done in the UK, parts are very cheap there and they have a healthy DIY attitude due to the fact that major repairs are worth more than their VAT & taxed cars...

While the sele is a synchro mesh design similar to a std manual, it is NOT a manual box. You cannot rip off the actuator and plumb in a std one. Different gearboxes. (evidence by external and internal slave differences) - add to the cost lifting a pedal box and fitting from a std manual and you're talking expensive... gearboxes here ain't cheap either. for every bargain sele, you can find an early 147 or 156 for not much more - so it makes not much sense...

JMO.

as to cost - you can go ahead and replace the entire actuator with a NEW not reco one from Ebspares UK for only around 800 quid. let's say 1500AUD all in. and that is indeed worst case senario. apart from that only the pump is left - and that's about 400 new from o/s or $200 for a local reco. By the way there are cheaper places if you search than EBspares...

again, that is meltdown scenario - and as mentioned here, you can repair and replace parts on these, fairly cheaply... i'd say fuse/relay, pump andactuator are by far the most replaced items, but even the electrovalves can be replaced! (around 80 quid each - there are three)