Rear Suspension Straps - '83 Spider - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Rear Suspension Straps - '83 Spider

Anybody have any experience replacing these canvas straps? One of mine died and the other is dying.

Do's, don'ts, tips, tricks, etc.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 09:50 AM
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Do learn the proper Italian swear words. (hand motion is critical)

Do apply penetrating oil (PB Blaster, Kroil or a 50/50 mix of acetone & ATF) daily for a week or so before trying to remove the bolts/screws. Despite doing so, have a supply of sharp drill bits handy.

See: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/sus...k-removal.html

- - Eric
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 10:37 AM
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You can do all of the stuff Eric suggested and wait a week. OR, you can use the proper tool for breaking corroded screws lose. The tool below is the tool to use so that you can remove fasteners without having to drill them out.


https://www.homedepot.com/p/TEKTON-3...2905/205674679


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 10:46 AM
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Replace the bump stops with the straps...since you have to remove those bolts anyway.
Loosen the rear lugnuts. Jack up the rear, place jackstands under the rear lifting points. Remove rear wheels. Then place jack under diff to raise axle off of the straps, but not the entire car off of the stands.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 11:16 AM
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Drill out the OLD straps at the joint on the frame between the flat washers(1in x 2in). This way you can remove them and it gives an easier access to the screws which will more than likely be rusty. PB-Blast them for a while a long while, be careful not to break them, be patient,and find replacement screws. They are the 4 hardest screws to remove. Once this is done it's very easy.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 01:14 AM
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the tool Brian shows (impact driver) will remove almost any screw providing a PO has not boogered up the head already in a previous 'failed' attempt.

...you do need some space to get a good solid whack with a hammer (and a proper big hammer, not some itsy bitsy tack hammer)

If the screw head however has been boogered, the 'australian' drill-out-straps method is well proven....its usually going thru the block that the shank of the screws have seized solid, less so where they screw into the chassis.
photos here:
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/993624-post23.html

ps: best way not to become a DPO, is to use anti seize when putting them back

Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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OK. I have enough of a delusion of grandeur to attempt this. I do have a long history of winning over frozen bolts (back to my MG and E30 days).

QUESTION: No one has mentioned using an impact gun (air or battery). Is this due to the potential for analiating the phillips screw head?

QUESTION: Preferred sources for straps/hardware? If I'm going to lose skin, blood and sanity over this repair; I only want to do it once.

Thanks!

PS Any other repairs suggested as long as I'm in that part of the car? Rear shocks/bushings/etc.?

Last edited by blkzoe; 10-15-2018 at 04:06 AM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 06:48 AM
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A power tool is harder to control that a hand tool. The impact that I suggested is the way to do. When stricken with a hammer, the force of the blow keeps the driver seated in the screw and turns the screw at the same time. Repeated blows with the hammer are usually sufficient to losen the screw.

I think everyone carries the same parts. I haven't seen an OE looking set of straps in a very long time.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 07:26 AM
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I have a good assortment of impact drivers, bits and various sized hammers. None of them were successful in removing the screws that pass through the alloy block. I picked out the remnants of strap that were between the block and the body then cut the screws. The pieces of the screws that were in the body then came out by hand. To get the parts of the screws that went through the alloy block I employed my 20 ton hydraulic press.

On re-assembly I slathered the screws with anti-seize. I later read someone's good idea to cover the screw shanks with a length of heat shrink tube to prevent the dissimilar metals galvanic action that fuses them together.
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
I have a good assortment of impact drivers, bits and various sized hammers. None of them were successful in removing the screws that pass through the alloy block. I picked out the remnants of strap that were between the block and the body then cut the screws. The pieces of the screws that were in the body then came out by hand. To get the parts of the screws that went through the alloy block I employed my 20 ton hydraulic press.

On re-assembly I slathered the screws with anti-seize. I later read someone's good idea to cover the screw shanks with a length of heat shrink tube to prevent the dissimilar metals galvanic action that fuses them together.
Are there threads in the Al block, or is it just pass through?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 09:55 AM
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No threads in alloy block.

- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
Mebane, North Carolina


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 10:25 AM
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Bad bolts on an e30 are nowhere near as bad as could be on a 40year old alfa. Then again, I'm in California.

I got all my suspension parts through Centerline. Prices were fair, service was great- especially when I needed spacers days before an event.
Build a relationship with a vendors.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 06:02 PM
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Ya, this is tough job. I actually was able to use an air-driven impact driver with a large Phillips head. Just takes a firm and steady hand, and lots of hours pre-soaking in PB Blaster. Upon replacement, I also wrapped the new bolt shafts in shrink film to try to prevent further corrosion.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 04:10 PM
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I did it in the past. Followings are the related articles in my blog:

http://onboroalfa.blogspot.com/2018/...right.html?m=1

http://onboroalfa.blogspot.com/2018/...-left.html?m=1

http://onboroalfa.blogspot.com/2018/...ement.html?m=1

Takeshi
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
Do learn the proper Italian swear words. (hand motion is critical)
Good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderserie4 View Post
ps: best way not to become a DPO, is to use anti seize when putting them back
Dead Previous Owner...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blkzoe View Post
I do have a long history of winning over frozen bolts (back to my MG and E30 days).
Cheers for old MGs and E30s! My son and I are refurbishing a tired '86 es now.


Invaluable thread. I'll be attempting this very thing soon. Thanks for posting.

1967 1600 Spider

Last edited by Vivace; 10-19-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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