Intro and new to me Spider - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Intro and new to me Spider

Hello all. I have purchased for next to nothing a 1987 Spider Graduate. Its pretty odd and has had a few questionable things done to it. I found it at a local Alfa dealer who had it parked out side for almost 2 years. I rescued it I tend to do that to Italian things. Anyway, my long love of Alfa has finally brought this little one to my door.

She was extremely dirty and full of water when I brought it home today. The top won't close properly. The front bumper was ripped on by the lot attendant at some point. But here is the very odd part. It was fit with an automatic transmission. Why... I have NO idea.

The car has 50k miles on it. I am the 4th owner. The body turns out to be extremely straight, zero rust that I can find, and literally 2 small dents. The plan is to repair, restore and update it. Every year we have an Italian/French car show that I attend every year. Always wanted to show up in my own car, so the plan is to have it ready by fathers day.

Anyway. I have a few things that I am looking for if someone has some leads or direction to point. I need either a new front bumper or the left side of it. I also need some wheels as it has a HIDEOUS set of 15's that are simply... indescribably terrible.

I look forward to sharing my journey with it.
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Last edited by JB Alfa; 12-06-2018 at 08:39 PM.
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 08:53 AM
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Congrats on the purchase and welcome to the forum.
It looks great and will look even better with the bumper and a better set of wheels.
Not sure if you know this, but you have something really interesting. One of the previous owners put the motor and trans from an S4 (91-94) into an S3 (83-89).
This may be a one of a kind Spider as no S3 were offered in automatic.
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'87 Quadrifoglio
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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 08:57 AM
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I stand corrected. Having looked again, you have an S3 motor with some S4 fuel injection and related equipment installed and an automatic trans mated to it.
Having said that, you will need to be careful sourcing info and advice as you have out of the ordinary things going on.
Does it run? It definitely needs a cooling fan.

Mike

'87 Quadrifoglio
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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 11:36 AM
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Mike,
I think that is a proper S4 engine, probably transplanted from a 1991-on automatic S4 with some S3 add-ons like the fan pulley and the one piece USA manifold.

it has the motronic AFM, the IAV (no AAV) and the electronic VVT (w/o the electronic circuitboard gizmo on the front), later cable driven throttle, etc

the rest under the hood is all S3 (radiator, expansion bottle, windscreen washer bottle, etc)

as it has no fan, we hope it has an electric pusher fan fitted in front of the radiator?


yep, and those Ninja wheels are fairly horrid.....but keep them on till you get it running well.

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 #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 12:42 PM
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Somebody went to a bit of work to get this transplant done! Safe to assume it has the Motronic system complete, including the ECU. But it could use improved cooling, like you said, but that IS a series 4 motor alright.

Who woulda thunk??? I wonder what rear axle ratio it has? Better yet, the fusebox??

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Lexington, KY USA
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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the insight sirs! I have been furiously trying to figure out what was done to it. I have ripped out the entire interior etc to get a handle on the transplant.

Here is what I have found. Relocated relays under the back tray. Electric pusher fan on the front. Car starts up and runs a champ... like really nicely.

The insulation was completely soaked through and fallen apart, I have stripped it all out of the car. Here is the progress for the day.
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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 05:55 PM
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Congratulations on the vehicle.

Talk about custom!

An S3 with an automatic transmission.

Looking forward to reading about your progress with the car.

Thanks

1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium
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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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S4 Motronic motor was standard for MY1990 cars (actually made in 1989)
Could you please share a VIN of your car or chassis number.


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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 07:47 PM
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Will you look at that tranny tunnel? Did the PO cut out the OEM tunnel and graft in the console mount and E brake section from an automatic S4? Sure looks like it, right down to the patch plate over the gear lever opening. Well I'll be...

And this is a Graduate, too. Very nice seats and interior. You are doing the right thing by stripping out all the wet stuff and replacing.

A very unique Series 3 Spider.

PS-- Watch for a set of wheels you like on the Classified section here. Lots of wheels being sold at good prices. The 15" phone dial wheels from an S4 are usually priced right, and they'd look nice on that black Spider.

alfaloco
Lexington, KY USA

Last edited by alfaloco; 12-07-2018 at 07:52 PM.
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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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VIN is ZARBA5647H1045591

The interior was actually really lucky. If it was leather it would have been ruined by the water etc. I started it up today after ripping out all the extra wiring etc just to make sure it would. Started right up. Took some video of it running.

Put a space heater inside of it to help dry out any of residual moisture. I think I will peal off the old sound deadening while I am at it and lay down some dynamat.
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post #11 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 02:50 AM
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MY90 spiders (sometimes called S3.5 series) had the S4 engine, yes, but the rest of the engine bay in the spider above (anciliaries et al) is pure S3, so MY89 or earlier.

A series S3.5 engine bay is identical to S4, except it has no power steering box and no airbag sensors.
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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 #12 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 04:22 AM
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Wow!

Somebody spent a lot of time on this conversion!

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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Honey, this is the last thing I have to do, then I'm finished. It'll just be a minute.
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post #13 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Alfa View Post
VIN is ZARBA5647H1045591
This comes up as a 1987 USA market Spider Graduate.
The original engine type number, located on the left side bellhousing flange under the cylinder #4 exhaust pipe, is 01544. The 1990 and up Motronic engine type number is 01588.
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Jim

Series 2 USA 1750 GTV (in Series 1 European clothing)
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post #14 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papajam View Post
This comes up as a 1987 USA market Spider Graduate.
The original engine type number, located on the left side bellhousing flange under the cylinder #4 exhaust pipe, is 01544. The 1990 and up Motronic engine type number is 01588.

Engine reads 1588 on the bell housing. So that would be the S4 Engine. The exhaust manifold has a 1544 on it which suggests the exhaust is the S3. Lines up with what was suggested earlier. Good sleuthing gents!
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post #15 of 75 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Got a bit more work done today.

Stipped off the insulation on the hood which was crumbling badly. Then turned my attention inside and stripped out the damaged sound deadening material.

Then some general clean up.
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