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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Vancouver Members!

Hey there,

I was just wondering if there are any members here from Vancouver? My 78 Spider is coming to its new home next week from its native California (SoCal) and would like to meet some of you!

I'm positive that the headgasket is toast. Any recommendations as to where I can go to get it repaired? Thanks!

bcrdukes

1998 BMW M3
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:15 PM
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Vancouver Shops

There is an italian guy who runs a small shop on the south side of First Ave, between Boundary and Gilmore. I almost bought a 91' spider from him. He has been in the business for decades but only opened his shop in the last year or two. I kid you not, I think his name is Tony, or Frank.

Also, in North Vancouver N&M Automotive, owner is Nazar, never met him though.

You could always do it yourself, head gasket isn't that tough?

Ian Mac
'73 Spider - Rebuilding Engine
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Do you remember the name of the shop by any chance? The one on First Ave. And I see you have a 77 Spider! Neato!

1998 BMW M3
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 12:29 AM
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The people that work on Alfas are becoming quite scarce. Here's the breakdown:

Geo Clemente who is getting quite old and incidentally his former lawyer is suing him for work done on his wife's 164 - to cut a long story short, her wheel came off on a highway ...

N&M Motors is no more. Nizar passed away last year and I wouldn't have recommended him anyways.

Ferrari of Vancouver - they claim to have someone who works on Alfas ... I haven't used their services even though the rate is a reasonable $75.00/hr. and they'll charge you the book rate no matter what. You'll never get to deal directly with the mechanic which would count them out in my books.

Your best bet in Vancouver is FM Auto Repairs, 3816 East 1st Avenue, Burnaby BC (604) 298-8555. The owner is Franco Marascio and he deals with many of the local Alfas. I've had work done there. He is expensive to put it mildly and doesn't believe in replacing head gaskets. He favours a full engine rebuild which could easily run you up to 10k. At least that was what I was quoted when I went in for a new head gasket. He's impossible to get an estimate out of - I literally had to ask him half a dozen times which I found as irritating as he found me. That said he has a full time machinist in the shop and I've seen engines that they've worked on and they look spectacular!

I took my Alfa down to a company called Group 2 Motorsports in Seattle. They did my head gasket and had the head sent off to a machine shop they deal with. I haven't seen a drop of oil since I re-torqued the head a few hundred miles later. I've used them a few times now and if you're bringing your Spider up to Vancouver, I would pay them a visit first. They're a busy shop, a little slow, but very honest and much cheaper than any of the local alternatives.

1984 Alfa Spider Veloce - "Zingara"

Last edited by aftaab; 07-10-2008 at 12:32 AM.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks aftaab!

I've never heard of such absurity of anybody charging $10k for an engine rebuild. I understand replacing a headgasket isn't the solution as I'm sure there's more to it than just that. This Franco guy is out of his mind!

Edit: Has anybody gone to Wes Ingram directly? I see he's in Burlington.

1998 BMW M3

Last edited by bcrdukes; 07-10-2008 at 12:46 AM.
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 03:11 AM
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Wow, the best bet in Vancouver sounds like a place to avoid. Better to go with the dead guy. At least he won't do work that isn't needed, though he may be a little slow.

On Nord engines, cylinder heads generally need work before the long block. Valve guides and seals and head gaskets don't usually last as long as rings and bearings. Maybe it's just my enthusiastic driving style, but I've found that heads can need refreshing after 20,000-30,000 miles, while long blocks easily last more than 100,000 miles. (Yes, I'm that old)

I don't have experience with Group 2, but Wes Ingram has a superb reputation and is even closer to you than Seattle: Ingram Enterprises Inc. - Fuel Injection Specialists

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 06:21 AM
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N&M is open--Nizar's widow--Naz is still running the shop.

Bob,
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Avatar is the 69 Super, bought new.
Current Ride: 67 Super, bought in 2013: Red/Black, "Tuned" 2 L.
Daily drivers, beginning in 1965: 750 Spider, Giulia Spider, 105 Sprint GT, 101 Sprint, 69 Super, 79 Alfetta Sedan. Collectors beginning in 2006: 101 Spider, 101 Sprint. Both sold.
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 10:19 AM
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The quote may have been a way to get rid of me, like I said I did pester him for a ballpark figure which I feel I'm entitled to - budget not being unlimited and all that. The client that was in his shop nodding his head in agreement and piping in with a condescending: "It is an expensive hobby - these old cars you know ..." obviously wasn't burdened by anything as nonsensical as a budget.

Yes, Wes Ingram is just south of the border and has an enormous reputation for engine rebuilds. Wrote the book on SPICA engines ... He'd be a good bet I'm sure, but I'd check his availability first. I'm sure there are other good shops that Alfisti could recommend.

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Originally Posted by bcrdukes View Post
Thanks aftaab!

I've never heard of such absurity of anybody charging $10k for an engine rebuild. I understand replacing a headgasket isn't the solution as I'm sure there's more to it than just that. This Franco guy is out of his mind!

Edit: Has anybody gone to Wes Ingram directly? I see he's in Burlington.

1984 Alfa Spider Veloce - "Zingara"
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 08:51 AM
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Who is Clemente's formal lawyer? I need to talk to him

Who is Clemente's formal lawyer? I need to talk to him
Quote:
Originally Posted by aftaab View Post

The people that work on Alfas are becoming quite scarce. Here's the breakdown:

Geo Clemente who is getting quite old and incidentally his former lawyer is suing him for work done on his wife's 164 - to cut a long story short, her wheel came off on a highway ...

N&M Motors is no more. Nizar passed away last year and I wouldn't have recommended him anyways.

Ferrari of Vancouver - they claim to have someone who works on Alfas ... I haven't used their services even though the rate is a reasonable $75.00/hr. and they'll charge you the book rate no matter what. You'll never get to deal directly with the mechanic which would count them out in my books.

Your best bet in Vancouver is FM Auto Repairs, 3816 East 1st Avenue, Burnaby BC (604) 298-8555. The owner is Franco Marascio and he deals with many of the local Alfas. I've had work done there. He is expensive to put it mildly and doesn't believe in replacing head gaskets. He favours a full engine rebuild which could easily run you up to 10k. At least that was what I was quoted when I went in for a new head gasket. He's impossible to get an estimate out of - I literally had to ask him half a dozen times which I found as irritating as he found me. That said he has a full time machinist in the shop and I've seen engines that they've worked on and they look spectacular!

I took my Alfa down to a company called Group 2 Motorsports in Seattle. They did my head gasket and had the head sent off to a machine shop they deal with. I haven't seen a drop of oil since I re-torqued the head a few hundred miles later. I've used them a few times now and if you're bringing your Spider up to Vancouver, I would pay them a visit first. They're a busy shop, a little slow, but very honest and much cheaper than any of the local alternatives.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 08:53 AM
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Who is Clemente's former lawyer? I need to talk to him. You won't believe what he did to my 94' 164LS.
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 10:34 AM
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Lawyer Name?

If he is really being sued, you should be able to find the records of it on line, these are public records. Typically you can search for defendent or plaintif names. I ran the name Geo Clemente through the BC Supreme Court and Provincial court database and couldn't find anything.

Ian Mac
'73 Spider - Rebuilding Engine
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 11:25 AM
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Well, he was hanging out in front of Franco's while his Duetto was getting worked on - so it came from the horse's mouth so to speak. Whether he did anything about the incident with his wife's car or not is beyond my knowledge or interest.

I've never dealt with Geo personally so I have no first hand experience of his work. I only mentioned it so that bcrdukes would avoid any potential problems with his Spider. I've recently had my head gasket replaced so I was happy to share my experiences. I really don't want to get involved in a Geo-bashing session here.

As I didn't find anyone I felt comfortable with locally I made arrangements to take my Spider to Seattle and to a shop that I had used prior to importing my car last year. Group 2 came highly recommended and based on my experiences with them since I can only say that they are people that I am more than happy to deal with despite the disadvantage in distance. That said if I was in a bind Franco would be my next choice.

1984 Alfa Spider Veloce - "Zingara"
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 11:29 AM
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Lawyer name?

I can't find anything on it. I'd love to talk to this lowyer because I don't think I have a choice but to sue this guy for what he did and didn't do. Unfortunately for me I have never seen anything worse in terms of bad workmanship, lousy customer care and incompetence. If anyone is interested in finding out more about this nightmare please email me and I will tell you a story that will scare you.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 11:56 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about your 164. I don't have any contact info. and if my memory serves me correctly, his first name is Mike which I realize is little to go on.

1984 Alfa Spider Veloce - "Zingara"
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 12:55 PM
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Lawyer name?

I will figure something out soon enough. I have no car and no other choice...it seems.
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