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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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A few Milano questions after a couple days of wrenching

I've got the week off, so I figured I'd use a couple days to tackle a few projects on the Milano that I've been meaning to get to. The first was ripping out the sagging headliner and getting it recovered. I was able to get it out easily enough and I'll take it to an upholstery shop tomorrow to have new fabric installed. Under the headliner in several spots were large bits of paper-backed fiberglass insulation like you'd find in a house with branding and other wording all in English. When I removed the rear seats to replace the shocks with Bllsteins, I found more of the insulation glued on top of the thick black insulation mat that I assume is from the factory. The factory mat had a semicircle cut on each side creating a "flap" that could be pulled down to access the shock tops. The fiberglass insulation can't be from the factory, right? Anyway, I ripped it all out and threw it in the trash.

Along with the shocks, I did all new poly Watts link bushings and that job went very smooth. Used the 10-ton Harbor Frieght press I bought last year to remove the trashed old bushings and press in the new ones -- worked a treat! Also did new front caster arm bushings in poly. I used locknuts on where the caster arm mounts to the body but I could't seem to get them torqued all the way down to factory spec (around 30 lb-ft if I remember right). After a while I realized I was probably just causing the arm adjustment to turn behind the wheel well -- darn! I can't tell anything has changed by looking at it, but I'll probably take it for an alignment tomorrow as I assume the caster is probably way off now.

I've heard the gas charge of the Bilsteins can affect ride height and while the rear end looks as it did before the install, the front of the car does look like it's been raised maybe an inch, even after pushing up and down on the front bumper to try to settle it. Maybe it'll settle after I get some miles on it. Anything else that would cause this?

Last edited by RoryJ; 10-27-2016 at 06:26 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 09:09 PM
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Congrats on the purchase and getting a few things done. I'm without a Milano these days but looking to pick one up, and one thing that popped up was the clutch pivot ball breaking due to lack of lubrication. Just wanted to suggest checking it and putting a dab of grease on it before it gets bad.

I had an alignment done on the Berlina today with a bit more caster and it drives great. A bit heavy, but way more stable. A good alignment is probably a great idea.

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 #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archeologist View Post
Congrats on the purchase and getting a few things done. I'm without a Milano these days but looking to pick one up, and one thing that popped up was the clutch pivot ball breaking due to lack of lubrication. Just wanted to suggest checking it and putting a dab of grease on it before it gets bad.

I had an alignment done on the Berlina today with a bit more caster and it drives great. A bit heavy, but way more stable. A good alignment is probably a great idea.
Thanks for the input! Will check out that pivot ball. I know the clutch was replaced before I bought the car 1500 miles ago, but this sounds like something that could be overlooked.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 05:13 AM
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I'm not sure what that insulation stuff would be, never seen it in any other car and (as you suspected) the tags being in English is a give away. Take a look at my website for what I did when I redid my headliner. Depending on what you get for an estimate, you may choose to do it yourself:

Alfa Milano Registry - Verde Headliner Refurb

You can also check out the other projects on the site to see if anything interests you!

Good luck,
Kevin

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 08:00 AM
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I didn't see any additional insulation when I restored my headliner. Are you sticking with the factory correct Recaro Avus material? Tough to find but it is still available.

- Craig
'77 Alfetta Sedan, '78 Sport Sedan, '87 Milano Verde
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I'm even more sure that this extra insulation must have been commissioned by the first owner (I'm the second owner). I've never seen fiberglass insulation used in any automotive application before from the factory, probably on account of it being pretty flammable. I will say the application was done very well -- definitely a professional job.

Sptsdn, my goal is to get the headliner back in the car within the next week, so I don't really have the time to track down the Recaro fabric. Plus I'm pretty sure I won't like the price! Kevin, your site is a great resource. I've seen the tech articles there including the one on headliner replacement. Going to bring a snippet of the original fabric down to an automotive upholstery supplier today to see what my options might be. I may end up doing this myself after all.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 12:07 PM
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I went with the generic headliner material from a local fabric chain shop that happened to be on sale, that along with the heavy duty adhesive set me back around $35-40 if I remember correctly.

Kevin

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I went with the generic headliner material from a local fabric chain shop that happened to be on sale, that along with the heavy duty adhesive set me back around $35-40 if I remember correctly.

Kevin
That sounds about right. Just visited the upholstery supply shop local to me and bought two yards of black foam-backed headliner with a nice texture to it. Cost about $14/yard. They didn't have enough on hand, so they have a fresh roll coming in tomorrow. A can of 3M 80 adhesive was $14 at Home Depot and the can says it's recommended for headliners with high heat resistance. Also bought a wire brush attachment for a drill to clean up the old hardboard.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-28-2016, 02:18 PM
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That sounds closer! Make sure to use the right adhesive. Whatever the stuff I had in the pics held up for many years very well, never started to come loose. I since replaced it with a non-sunroof version when I filled mine in, used the same procedures and it worked great. I think I just used a stiff wire brush by hand instead of with the drill, that worked well to get the orange goo off.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for the headliner link, redden!

I have my headliner out replacing my sunroof seal at the moment. Gonna do the headliner repair!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:32 AM
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After a while I realized I was probably just causing the arm adjustment to turn behind the wheel well -- darn! I can't tell anything has changed by looking at it, but I'll probably take it for an alignment tomorrow as I assume the caster is probably way off now.
there is a wrench flat ground on the end of the bar (bushing end). need to hold that while tightening the nut - or will do just as you experienced. for sure needs alignment now - in all honesty, probably needed it anyway. always a good thing to do when working on the front end. btw, remind the alignment guys about the wrench flat as well.
good luck w the car.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 10:19 AM
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We owned a 78 Alfetta sedan which when we first got it from the PO, had such a high setting for castor, you could hardly turn the steering wheel when going slow, ie, parking the car. That was one of the reasons the PO was selling, wife hated parking the car.

First thing I did was back the castor off quite a ways and that cured the problem, the steering nice but not too light at all. Someone at the factory had sure screwed up the alignment since new since the car had only 20k miles on it, having never had an alignment since delivery.

Wish the 164s had that front suspension.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 10:30 AM
Del
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"The fiberglass insulation can't be from the factory, right? Anyway, I ripped it all out and threw it in the trash"

Maybe the PO had tried an Ansa rear muffler on that car and got so annoyed with the persistent and irritating drone at certain engine rpms that he tried to quiet it down a little with the insulation. That's exactly what we did with our Milano after we had tried the Ansa. I bought marine sound dampening liner to install in the trunk and rear seat bulkhead. Alas, it didn't help much, so off came the Ansa, and was sold to someone else who probably had poor hearing, lol.

Went back to the factory muffler for best results.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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@barboncino105 Thanks for the tip, the flat is on the other side of the body (wheelwell side)? Sounds like you'd need two people to tighten this up then? I don't see any flat on the engine side, just a threaded rod.
@Del I don't know how much good fiberglass building insulation would do for sound deadening. If anything, I guess it would help to insulate the car from exhaust heat? Anyway, looking forward to seeing if there's any difference now -- the car has a stock muffler (as in genuine Alfa -- part number and all) that's in great shape, but the car's always been a smidge too quiet for my taste.
@kredden I finished up the headliner today (well, I still have a couple grab handles to install -- getting dark earlier these days and I couldn't see well enough by 6pm). Your tutorial was invaluable, so thanks for posting it on your site. I too found the job to be easier than expected -- I think the toughest part was wrangling the headliner in and out of the car. I only made two changes from your procedure. The first was that after experiencing quite a bit of difficulty in getting the foam backing to come off the edges of the headliner where it would wrap around the sides, I just left the foam intact and glued it down. I didn't have any difficulty in installing the headliner back in the car this way. It appears the factory didn't remove the foam either, seeing as how I had to removed orange dried-up foam from the edges of my headliner after I removed it.

The second was I just pushed all the lights through their respective holes in the backing board after removing their metal trim from the board. I left everything completely wired up this way. Then, I repeated the procedure to reinstall.

On my car, the original material is still adhering pretty well to the sunroof panel, so I think I'll just leave well enough alone for now. The two headliners blend relatively well and I never use my sunroof anyway (not a fan). In fact, the plug was pulled to the motor when I started upper console disassembly. I suspect it's probably not working properly and the original owner's mechanic just yanked the connection.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:34 PM
Del
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More noise doesn't make the car faster, lol. We didn't find a suitable substitute for the stock muffler. Everything else had that irritating drone at cruising rpm. Just rev the engine up a little more, sounds nice then.

Have to chuckle, as I remember when I used to autocross my Downton Cooper S. People complained that the car didn't make racy sounds, the car having the stock straight through muffler which made the car rather quiet even at full throttle. Still won the trophies.

Nice work on the car. Sounds like you had little/no trouble with the headliner. Friend of mine has a very low mileage pristine Verde which also needs the headliner replaced. Hope he has as little trouble. That car is simply great otherwise.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6

Last edited by Del; 10-29-2016 at 08:44 PM.
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