I finally started taking apart the transmission. The main shaft has over 50 parts rotating around it – 1st – 5th gears, synchro hubs, synchro sleeves, bearings, etc.
This is where doubt started whether this would actually work again.
Common Alfa transmission wisdom indicates gear lightening for better shifting response and as a cure for a crunching 1-2 shift. It makes, sense, having less rotating mass and the accompanying reduced inertia would wear the syncros less. Better acceleration too, but me losing 20 lbs. would increase the car’s performance more.
This is a close-up of 1st gear and the worn synchronizer ring.
That wear is the cause of the crunching gears in 1-2 upshifts in the Alfa. You can see the wear in the triangle shaped shiny areas on the synchro ring. A new synchro ring has a rough surface. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what a synchro ring looked liked before I took this apart.