New owner 1974 GTV has no idea what he got himself into - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #31 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 08:33 PM
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Hi and welcome to our favorite money pit. I have an spider and love it! Stop do not judge your car on your own. Rich from Continental Motors is the best. Let him do a full assessment and start from there. He will work with you tell what you need and what you can defer. See you on one of our Northern California ClubRides My care is the black one. Name:  IMG_3299.jpg
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post #32 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aggie57 View Post
The front end does look very odd, some strange things going on there. The indicators also look incorrect, neither Euro or US. It should look like this if its a non-US model.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/W9T-jUZsXsk/maxresdefault.jpg
The clear turn indicators look fine to me even if they are not stock. Even the hood crease line with is much larger radius I am ok with (it's unique!) but the bumper hanging too low makes the front look weird.

I wonder if I can just drive it without the bumpers as a short/medium term solution? Would that be legal?
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post #33 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by archeologist View Post
Congratulations! And welcome.

Regarding the brakes pulling you might start with new rubber lines before rebuild the calipers. I was getting a pull when I braked in my Berlina and when I pulled off one hose it was so swelled that no fluid dripped out. A new set of hoses and it brakes nice and straight again.

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The brakes did not pull to one side or another (so no ceased calipers) but they did feel anemic, even compared to my 4Runner. I have to test what a full brake pedal application does, I was too gentle to the first time around. Maybe just doing the hoses is a good short term fix. If I change the wheels (15in), I could get a larger brake set I think?
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post #34 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aggie57 View Post
FWIW I did have a rear spring break in my very first Alfa, a 1750 Berlina. That was in Auckland so near the sea but the car was otherwise in good shape body and suspension.
How did you notice the spring was broken? I took a casual video with my phone under the side of the car and noticed something looked wrong with the spring and only the follow up photos let me identify the problem. Even though the spring is broken, it still sort of works.

With a complete suspension rework in my future, seized bolts and nuts are going to be my biggest headache coming up...
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post #35 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BH Classics View Post
Did that car have Blue plates at some point? Or did those plates come with the car?
The 7 digit suggests the plate is maybe up to a decade old so my guess is the previous owner had it. Maybe the car was not re-registered at that time? Or maybe that is when it was brought to the US? I simply don't know. By the way the oil gauge and everything else is labeled in Italian so it seems most likely that it was sold there originally.

As for the blue plate, is there a special significance to them beyond the look?
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post #36 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yousuf22 View Post
You're right - synchros are bound to start going weak with age, as well as after hundreds of 'Italian' gearchanges! Changing the fluid would definitely help, I've heard good things about Redline oils.

Its defintely a good idea to sort all the tie rods and ball joints before messing with your steering box, as it might indeed be okay after all.

Yousuf
I spoke to a local mechanic (Rich as mentioned by someone else in this thread later) and when I mentioned the second gear issue, both he and the other mechanic chuckled. I guess this is a very common issue.. Anyhow, he suggested to actually go into neutral first, then into second. Also to use a heavier fluid that would slow down the gears more quickly once disengaged.


The tie rods and ball joints I will definitely replace since I will be replacing the coils and dampeners for sure. Once that is done, I'll see how it handles before doing any further work =)
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post #37 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alfajay View Post
To paraphrase Groucho Marx: "who are you going to believe? BHCC or your own eyes?".
In my first email to them, I pointed out it could not be an original CA car as it has Weber carbs. It would be nice to know how long it has been in the country but there is no way to find out I guess..
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post #38 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by archeologist View Post
Another thought on the steering box, the Burman boxes tend to leak and all the oil drains out. It's worth topping up and seeing if that helps. Alfas are pretty nice when newish, a new set of front suspension bushings will help a ton.

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The box looks a bit damp and the tie rods below are all wet too so I'll definitely give that a shot. I will actually take it too Rich for a complete check up and replacing fluids on EVERYTHING so I have a clean starting point.
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post #39 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:33 AM
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No one has yet mentioned shocks, and there are always advocates of a "performance" suspension.
It should be recognized that with the 101s and 105s, Alfa designed the car to be as fast as possible over "B" roads in any weather. This explains the long-travel, compliant and well-controlled suspension. Thus, the incredible lean when cornering hard.
With modern "vintage" tires such as the Vreds with some 30% better adhesion, some firming of the suspension enhances handling--on the same roads.
But too firm and too low turns a miracle of handling into that of a contemporary British sportscar. Such as a Healey, MGTF or TR3. All of these I had as Daily Drivers. Also had as DDs 101, 105 and the Alfetta Sports Sedan. With a suspension for the track-days, but not for racing, they were too harsh for back roads.
The best for the latter was my last Super.
Koni Reds set half-firm up front and soft rear. Standard rate, but slightly lower springs at the rear. Dave Rugh recommended 500 # springs at the front also slightly lower. Remove the rear sway bar. A firmer one up front is not needed.
For rough roads, it was the best ever. My first 101 was purchased in 1965.
Hope this is not intrusive.

Bob,
Avatar is the 68 Super, bought new.
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post #40 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Subtle View Post
No one has yet mentioned shocks, and there are always advocates of a "performance" suspension.
It should be recognized that with the 101s and 105s, Alfa designed the car to be as fast as possible over "B" roads in any weather. This explains the long-travel, compliant and well-controlled suspension. Thus, the incredible lean when cornering hard.
With modern "vintage" tires such as the Vreds with some 30% better adhesion, some firming of the suspension enhances handling--on the same roads.
But too firm and too low turns a miracle of handling into that of a contemporary British sportscar. Such as a Healey, MGTF or TR3. All of these I had as Daily Drivers. Also had as DDs 101, 105 and the Alfetta Sports Sedan. With a suspension for the track-days, but not for racing, they were too harsh for back roads.
The best for the latter was my last Super.
Koni Reds set half-firm up front and soft rear. Standard rate, but slightly lower springs at the rear. Dave Rugh recommended 500 # springs at the front also slightly lower. Remove the rear sway bar. A firmer one up front is not needed.
For rough roads, it was the best ever. My first 101 was purchased in 1965.
Hope this is not intrusive.
Thanks, this is actually what I am looking for, good advice on suspension. I see kits from centerline alfa, classic alfa, and alfaholics so trying to see what people's experience was with each and what gets you most bang for buck.

Same as you suggested, my default position would be to lower it slightly with modern dampeners and but not go with a track kit (alfaholics has a couple options there). I want to keep it compatible with potentially going to 15in wheels in the future too.
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post #41 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1978alfa View Post
My decision.
My GTV handling was sloppy and the car sat too high, in my opinion. I prefer lower riding cars with stiffer suspension and responsive steering and predictable behavior when I step on the brakes.
how did you chose one kit over another though?
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post #42 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Hi and welcome to our favorite money pit. I have an spider and love it! Stop do not judge your car on your own. Rich from Continental Motors is the best. Let him do a full assessment and start from there. He will work with you tell what you need and what you can defer. See you on one of our Northern California ClubRides My care is the black one. Attachment 1444090


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Hi Ken,

Excellent! Turns out I actually went by Rich's shop yesterday to chat and he did seem very knowledgeable. I will drop off the car there on Monday or Tuesday and go from there..

I'm definitely happy to have an experienced mechanic nearby, otherwise these projects would be too risky.
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post #43 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 09:16 AM
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"Ever"

15-inch alloys = good idea.

Old steel wheels could be fragile.

Bob,
Avatar is the 68 Super, bought new.
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post #44 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by evermore View Post
The 7 digit suggests the plate is maybe up to a decade old so my guess is the previous owner had it. Maybe the car was not re-registered at that time? Or maybe that is when it was brought to the US? I simply don't know. By the way the oil gauge and everything else is labeled in Italian so it seems most likely that it was sold there originally.

As for the blue plate, is there a special significance to them beyond the look?
Blue plates signifies when the car was first registered in California. The plates usually go with the car when it is sold. Blue plates were available in the 70s and 80s I believe, I'm sure a Google search would give you more info.

It is possible that it had older plates and someone replaced them.

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Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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post #45 of 259 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by evermore View Post
The brakes did not pull to one side or another (so no ceased calipers) but they did feel anemic, even compared to my 4Runner. I have to test what a full brake pedal application does, I was too gentle to the first time around. Maybe just doing the hoses is a good short term fix. If I change the wheels (15in), I could get a larger brake set I think?
Alfas have good brakes stock. A proper fluid flush, new semi metallic pads and new hoses should do wonders. It won't feel like a modern car but you should be able to lock up the tires.

Every time I have been driving my Alfa and get into our modern Mercedes my first brake application nearly puts me into the dash. Modern brakes are much more sensitive.

Regarding the second gear crunch, they all do that. Redline synthetic fluid (I forgot which variety, search on here) helps. But it's a design flaw they all have. Just part of the charm. Just shift into second slowly, and double clutch when downshifting and they'll go for years like that.

On my 73 Berlina the previous owner hot rodded it for racing and fast street driving. It was lowered, poly bushings in the wrong places, stiff springs, too much cam timing, etc. The closer to stock I get it the more I enjoy it. I do like the street Koni shocks, red I think. Yellow are too stiff for my taste. And as others have mentioned if you lower an Alfa too much the handling gets squirrely. Lots of people rave about the Alfaholics fast street package. Centerline springs are pretty stiff.

Lastly you can certainly run without a bumper, I have never had bumpers on my Berlina but plan to put the chrome ones on someday.

Ian Lomax - Current: 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano Platinum "racecar"
Past: 71, 74 Spiders, 2x 74 Berlina, 74 GTV, 76 Alfetta GT, 88 Milano 3.0, 164LS
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