Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia Forum

Technical => 160 Series (90, 75, 164 Sedans) => Topic started by: Beatle on November 09, 2007, 05:18:55 PM

Title: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Beatle on November 09, 2007, 05:18:55 PM
The tranny in my relatively new (to me) 164 seems to change just a tad too smoothly and I suspect it may be a warning that it's not the best.  The car has 177thousandish KMs and seems to have been well serviced its whole life.  The tranny also seems to be a little slow getting drive when transiting from reverse into forward gears.

The 'problems' are very subtle and I have no other 164 experience against which to judge the transmission operation, so maybe they are all like this ?

Otherwise, it changes well under hard acceleration and changes down nicely when slowing.

Any comments or recommendations gladly accepted.  What's a good fluid to service the transmission with ?

Thanks,
Title: Re: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Evan Bottcher on November 13, 2007, 06:56:48 PM
*bump* - anybody got experience with 164 transmissions?
Title: Re: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Doug Gould on November 14, 2007, 07:38:58 PM
I had 2 164's. I found that regular fluid changes helped a lot. I changed annually (or maybe a bit more frequently). I tried additives, but I'm unconvinced. I think it uses Dexron II and not Dexron III (it is important regardless of what the bottle might say). I think the owners manual will tell you. Its a simple & strong gearbox (and I think one of the best I've driven). Its also used in SAAB 900 & a couple of BMW's. Adjustment of the kick down cable is absolutely critical. Its easy to do and I forget the details, but I think you are looking for about 3mm of slack in the cable with the accelerator pedal untouched.

When I needed work done on one (rebuilt the governor), I figured that there are more auto SAAB's than Alfa's, so i took mine to Sewdish Prestige in Oakleigh. They have a guy who's good on the ZF A/T. I'd try them if you need to, but I reckon new fluid & checking the kick down cable will do it.

Note that you need to completely drain the system - including torque converter. There is a procedure for this that I forget, but I think its basically drain the A/T, and disconnect the return line to the cooler. Then you eitherr start the car and pump more out or fill the A/T and start the car and wait until the fluid looks clean. A bit of help from Google should get you the right proc. There used to be a very good 164 homepage and there is a very active group of 164 owners on the Richard welty (krusty) run Alfa Bulletin Board.

Touching on fluids reminds me that I got much better brake feel using DOT3 and not DOT4 fluid and the QFM pads from Race Brakes are definitely the ones to use.

Doug Gould
Title: Re: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Beatle on November 14, 2007, 11:03:49 PM
Thanks Doug,

I'll give it a go.
Title: Re: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Beatle on November 14, 2007, 11:18:58 PM
I've also received these:

http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/forum2/DCForumID2/4758.html
http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/forum2/DCForumID2/4634.html

 and:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-168-1991-1995/31913-alfa-164-automatic-transmission-repair-16-01-a.html
Title: Re: 164 Tranny - Who's the Guru ?
Post by: Doug Gould on November 15, 2007, 07:32:07 PM
This is the site you need:
http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/

It links to Richard welty's Alfa Digest. I had a governor fail and it left me in no doubt that there was something wrong. Stick to the easy cheap stuff first. I did try synthetic ATF and I think its a bit better, but my recollection is that for the cost its better to use Dexron II and change it regularly.

Doug