Will I notice the difference with headers? - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #31 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 04:24 PM
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One option would be to sell this car and buy an earlier Spider with the better from factory exhaust manifold ...
Pete

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post #32 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrencedesigns View Post
Having spent 15 years racing Formula Vee, Formula Ford, and Formula Atlantic, I still live for the torque induced "power to the ground" exit from the corner.
The car already has upgraded springs and shocks. Feels fine to me. Which in my thinking means that it keeps up with me.
Certainly not an average Joe then!
So, just invoke the 'tinker rule'. This rule states that anyone, anywhere, can tinker with anything they choose whether it needs tinkering with or not.

My personal experience with our 1989 S3 Spider was the stock exhaust manifold cracked at one of the downpipe studs. I replaced the manifold with a pre-1975 two-piece Alfa manifold. The new downpipe had an O2 fitting and a freeflow cat was fitted.
And in a word, WOW! The phycological performance gain was off the charts!! The actual performance gain was, well, I thought from then on that the car felt slower at times. Of course, I've zero supporting data here; it was just a 'feeling'.
My thought for this lack of performance increase was the Bosch L-Jetronic EFI system. While it was (is) a pretty darn good analog system, it was designed to run within a very strict set of values. It is not sophisticated enough to adjust fueling outside of it's programed values. Changing exhaust backpressure may have been outside of the value for which the L-Jet could compensate. Hence, too lean a mixture at larger throttle openings.

If you do decide to tinker, please let us know!

Jim

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post #33 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Papajam...once again, you provide the level headed, unemotional, voice of logic and reason. I think you are on to something there. It seems that these cars were always designed as an integrated system, and if you touch here, you effect there!
And I am going to admit some of my issue is cosmetic. When the PO had to replace the headers here, he bought a used manifold from alfaparts.
#4 had a crack and the repair weld is ugly. And the manifold has surface rust.
So I am going to pull it off, grind down the weld, repaint the stock manifold and put it back on.
If I can sell the headers it will go a long way towards getting new carpets in the car and that will make my wife happy!

Anyone need some headers?
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Keeth Lawrence
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post #34 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 12:19 PM
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L-Jetronic can cope with significant improvements to engine efficiency. Rich Hanning posted his experiences about a year ago. He replaced the stock manifold with the two piece type, he changed pistons to Motronics and he changed camshafts to a pair of Richard Jemison's performance cams. He did not modify L-jetronic in any way and it controlled the Air Fuel Ratio correctly to produce a significant gain in torque and horsepower. He posted about it here: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...firmation.html
There is a very high probability that L-jet will work very well with your headers but there is only one way to be absolutely sure

Ed Prytherch
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post #35 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by papajam View Post
So, just invoke the 'tinker rule'. This rule states that anyone, anywhere, can tinker with anything they choose whether it needs tinkering with or not.
I am so glad to hear the Tinker Rule is an officially recognized thing!

1967 1600 Spider
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post #36 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 12:56 PM
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Is there no way you can smog check or otherwise get permission to run anything but the original exhaust manifold?

In NZ you can get engineers certification approval for modifications. Yes it costs money and time but once done the car is legal again, with the mods.

I watch a lot of American hot rod building shows and it appears that you can do anything ... ??
Pete

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post #37 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 01:12 PM
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Sorry to be Johnny Raincloud again Ed but you're comparing apples to cheez-its.
This thread is about changing only ONE component; the headers. L-Jet simply can not compensate enough.
Now, throw in a set of cams too so that the intake breathes better, the L-Jet will increase fueling based on the increased airflow through the AFM. Result? More umph.
This is why bolting on a single component can (and often does) result in disappointment. It takes a thought out package to produce a good package.

Jim

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post #38 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 04:55 PM
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Jim,
Improving the scavenging will allow more fresh fuel/air into the combustion chamber in place of the residual exhaust gasses. Improved scavenging will result in more air flow during the overlap period and L-Jet will add fuel to compensate. These two things will result in more torque.

Ed Prytherch
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post #39 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 10:57 PM
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Let me dispel the rumor that you will fail a California Smog test with a header. I have have had no problem passing smog over the past eight years. Wait, I take that back, I once failed a smog test because I did not have that **** timing pointer and was instructed to go to the state referee and get it smogged there. The State Referee went over that engine for an hour with two trainees. He noticed the header and he also noticed I do not have a stock air box. I Fabricated a new air box as the original was 1/4 of inch away from the header and got hot. The new one is now 6 inches away from the header and double the air inlet opening. In the end, the State Referee passed it as he said, it ran clean, I had that emissions canister in the right front fender, and I do not need a timing pointer. Go figure.

As for can you feel the difference with just a header mod? I say no, but that cast iron one on the series three just doesn't look right.

Randall
86 Spider (Slick)
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post #40 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 11:56 PM
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Cool, bolt the bloody header on!
Pete

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post #41 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle View Post
Jim,
Improving the scavenging will allow more fresh fuel/air into the combustion chamber in place of the residual exhaust gasses. Improved scavenging will result in more air flow during the overlap period and L-Jet will add fuel to compensate. These two things will result in more torque.
Sorry, forgot to reply to this.
@alfaparticle,
Please read this thread for an explanation.

Jim

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post #42 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
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Let me dispel the rumor that you will fail a California Smog test with a header. I have have had no problem passing smog over the past eight years.
So they might pass you on the visual inspection, but that doesn't mean they should. It depends if the smog guy notices and wants to make a thing about it, but headers without an EO testing number are not smog compliant. It really depends who you're dealing with whether they pass you or not.

Now, if you put on the two-piece cast manifold from an S4 and modified the downtubes you'd almost certainly pass the visual provided you still have a CA cat converter: no smog guy is going to know the difference in the cast manifolds. But again, this would technically not be legal.

Tom

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post #43 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 11:17 AM
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So are you allowed to put mag wheels on a car, or any mods at all?

Surely what comes out of the exhaust is what matters, not the make and model of the extractors or muffler for example ... ?
Pete

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post #44 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 11:30 AM
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Cosmetic mods are no issue. But any engine or ECU stuff that potentially affects emissions is regulated. I don’t recall all the details but it’s pretty comprehensive. You’d think it would just be based on the results of the emissions test, but I guess the concern is people gaming the system.

For pre-1976 cars there are no restrictions. For more modern cars you can get aftermarket components that have been tested and certified. But no company bothers doing that for our old Alfas.

It can be a pain. At the end of the day, though, we have like 10x the cars on the road as we did in the 60s when the air quality was already crap. If you want to see what CA would be like without the smog laws just look at China.

Tom

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post #45 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-05-2018, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubi View Post
At the end of the day, though, we have like 10x the cars on the road as we did in the 60s when the air quality was already crap. If you want to see what CA would be like without the smog laws just look at China.
Good stuff and thank god we have made improvements! Pete

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