New to Alfas..looking for an education.... - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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New to Alfas..looking for an education....

Hi All,

Well, just in the process of picking up an 81 Spider....a long parked, non running version

I'm totally new to Alfas and to be honest with you, I'm taking a lot of ribbing from my Brit Car Forum Family having just added an "oddball" to my stable...

It will be joining a bunch of old Triumphs that I have currently...these include a 1959 TR3A, 1960 TR3A, 1968 TR250, 1973 TR6 and an injected 1981 TR8.

As I'm waiting for the car to arrive from the west coast (purchased from a friend who's told me about it for the past 15 years) I have been trying to do a little research, doing a little reading and watching a few YouTube videos. I'm pretty excited to get it, dig into it and at least get it back on the road.

As an 81, I'm assuming that this is a mechanically injected car (Spica)? I guess that is my first official question...the reason I ask is the video I'm watching on the Spica pump indicates that it was used up to 1979...from what I've read, it seems that the electronic (Bosch) injection started in 1982...

That's all for now...going to browse around a bit to find out some info on parts availability/suppliers and what shop manuals are best...I like to do all my own work when I can

That's it for now

Cheers
Tush
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 05:16 PM
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Tush understands...welcome, buddy! I know you from the 6-pack forums and your awesome YouTube channel. You, sir, are a true car-guy.

I can't wait to see how you like the spider's seating position. It's different

It's a great car, and the engine sound is amazing. Yours being an 81 is the last Spica car, but it's got a single intake plenum instead of the individual throttle bodies- someone else can be more descriptive. It's the least desirable set up due to it's strangled emissions situation, and it's harder to get some of those parts. If you don't have emissions testing where you are, you can easily go for a Weber setup. No Strombergs here!

86 spider Veloce
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi John,

Thanks for the reply and the kind words :-)

I'm looking forward to see if I even fit in the car! I've never even sat in one before. But, I did the same thing with the TR3's...I bought two of them before sitting in one. That worked out ok!

Yeah, I'll have to figure out this whole mechanical injection thingy....why not right? So far I've worked on SU's, ZS's and Weber DCOE's...I just happen to have a set of old Italian Weber DCOE 42 8's kicking around ...maybe it was meant to be!

Any suppliers that you can recommend? Been on a couple already to see what's available...

I think coming from the TRiumph side of things, I've been totally spoiled with the supplier base.

I'll be sure to post a YouTube video on my channel once I get the car.

Cheers
Tush
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:06 PM
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Any suppliers that you can recommend? Been on a coupe already to see what's available...
Welcome.

Here's a long list for various things:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/gues...lier-list.html

I've been using Classic Alfa primarily lately.

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:10 PM
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The BB has a very good technical section and supplier listing. I do like your Triumph collection especially the TR250. I hope the Spider you are getting is not a basket case. Not sure were you live, but hopefully their is Alfa owners nearby that can help or bring beer.

Richard
76 Alfetta GTV gone to rust haven, 89 Spider the red graduate, 86 GTV6 on wish list
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:19 PM
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The brit car guys ARE spoiled with availability of parts compared to the Alfas, but you can still find a lot of the common stuff. You won't have any issues getting it running again due to lack of parts, that's for sure. Mostly, the NLA stuff is a few cosmetic things. Some guys are using 3D printers to print wire harness tie downs, etc to great effect.

Your secret barn looks to be full right now- are you going to push one of the Capri's out behind?

Seating position is, arms straight out, knees up against the lower dash. It's (Alfas) made for people with long arms, and short legs it seems. I didn't think I fit in either my Alfa or my TR6, but I got used to the different seating issues. There's a process to entering the 6 that I have to follow, that's for sure!

There's a couple of books by Pat Braden that you should look into picking up. They cover a lot of aspects of Alfa ownership in general, not just spiders.

86 spider Veloce
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

I think the car I'm getting is in pretty good shape...BC car, garage stored, less than 60000 Kms since new...I was trying to post a pic of the engine bay but this forum won't let me post pics until I reach 10 posts...funny, just starting here and I have well over 10 000 posts in 6-Pack...I feel like (and am) a Newbie again!

Ha ha John, trust me, I'm a little worried about storage! I have room in storage where I took the 250 out....so, I'm ok temporarily ....

Cheers
Tush
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 08:05 PM
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For the effort of getting you past 10 posts...

Thoughts- I'm strangely interested in what Les thinks about your Alfa.

- Check out these YouTube vids. That Alfa sound...you MUST use your webers.
Ed Prytherch:

You have the same basic engine as he does. Search for his thread on his trials and tribulations on here, with his engine.

Vintage Customs: https://www.youtube.com/user/vintagecustoms
For an Alfa shop owner's perspective on vintage Alfa's in general. Some Spider content. Info on your gearbox and webers, among lots of other stuff. Like University motors.

Another series 2 (what you have) well recorded video. His is an early model, not sure if it's Spica.


Enjoy,
John
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 08:35 PM
Welcome to Alfa World! Your #1 tool in your toolbox is this forum. Lots of info and lots of folks ready to help. Next I'd get Pat Braden's book as noted. Then I would get a Cardisk - excellent resource.

If your car has the mono valve SPICA it is not representative of the breed - actually the low point in the Spider's 28 year run. But that's easily corrected. Well perhaps not easy but doable (think Webers). Join your local AR club and get a ride in a tuned Spider to see what they are really capable of.

Get your ten in and post pictures!
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 09:08 PM
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Welcome to the club.

The Spica system is not bad. As others have said the 80/81 model year is the worse. But its mainly due the the single plenum intake. If the injection pump is good. Then the easiest way to get it running good is put a 1979 or earlier intake with the airbox that goes with it. I fixed many 80/81 Spiders this way back in the day.

If the injection pump is bad. Them Wes Ingram can rebuild it to an earlier model pump for better performance. The cost of having the injection pump rebuilt and changing over to Webers is about the same. Especially if your buying the carbs new and going with the euro intake and airbox.

The Spica system when it first came out preform just under what Weber carbs would due. While getting you fuel milage on the highway in the low 20's.

You want to get Roadtrips Spica write up and Wes Ingrams book.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm glad I started off with the least desirable model

Thanks for all the replies guys. I am sure I will have lots of questions once I dig into it. I would love initially just to get it running before thinking about other mods. So, if the Spica is functional, I will most likely stick with that for a while.

When I get it, the first thing I will do is a general overall inspection of hydraulics/brakes/bushings etc along with a complete fluid and filter changes (Spica filter included).

Ill order a few books as suggested and continue to surf the web for more info...I don't expect the car to arrive before August 5th so I have a little time to at least learn where to start.

Cheers
Tush
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 08:27 AM
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Well, I'm glad I started off with the least desirable model
It's only the least desirable of the SPICA cars. The S3 models (like mine) are the least desirable of all.

Rich

'85 Spider Veloce
'17 Giulia Ti Sport
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 09:20 AM
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I think the late S2's with the rubber bumpers are the least desirable. However, with money you can fix that by retrofitting the European bumpers and installing cams, headers, and either Webers or a hot Spica. Then it looks and runs like an early S2 which is the second most desirable of the series.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I think the late S2's with the rubber bumpers are the least desirable. However, with money you can fix that by retrofitting the European bumpers and installing cams, headers, and either Webers or a hot Spica. Then it looks and runs like an early S2 which is the second most desirable of the series.
Yeah, pretty much the same in the Triumph TR6 community as well....earlier, chrome bumper cars are generally more desirable from an appearance standpoint....the earlier cars are also more desirable due to the lack of emissions controls that were starting to be added in the early 70's and were fully blown by 76 although the performance really didn't change much on the North American models during this period.

Cheers
Tush
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 12:23 PM
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For any SPICA fuel injection questions, contact Wes Ingram Ingram Enterprises, Inc. || Home Page He's the master of SPICA injection pumps and is also the only place that rebuilds them (possibly in the world.) He has a SPICA fuel injection manual that is outstanding and worth the reasonable price.
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