May I ask you for your thoughts? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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May I ask you for your thoughts?

Hello Alfa Enthusiasts

I am new to this forum and want to say hello to all of you.

I have been looking at a 1986 Alfa Spider Graduate with 86,000 Miles. The car is rust frees as far as body, A&B posts, rocker panels, and under carpet metal are concerned.

The engine runs fine (haven't driven it yet), no blue smoke from the exhaust, no obvious oil dripping underneath.

I am quite interested to consider buying it however, I would like you to give me some hints what I should look for or ask the owner beforehand. Of course, next time I visit the seller, I will ask if I can drive it and run it through all the gears, etc.

The car looks very nice, including the soft top, offered for $6,000.

Am looking forward to your thoughts.

Kind regards,
Hans
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 06:23 PM
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Welcome, Hans.

Rust is the biggest killer of our cars. They are mechanically fairly sturdy - if the seller can demonstrate regular maintenance (oil & coolant changes, valve clearance checks/adjustments, etc) that is a plus. It can get expensive to catch up on deferred maintenance.

It is difficult to price a car without seeing it & driving, etc. For $6,000 (US) I'd expect it to look good inside & out; start, drive & stop well and all accessories should work. It might not be a show car but it should be a very good 'driver'. I suggest contacting a local Alfa club. You may be able to find a knowledgeable member to help you check out the car. Plus they might know of good cars for sale.
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- - Eric
don't read this
~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:35 PM
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$6,000 the car should be in excellent shape inside and out.

Let us know what you decide.

Good luck.

Thanks

1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:51 PM
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It is 33 years old and it will require maintenance. Can you do it yourself or is there an Alfa mechanic near you?
The test drive is important. It would be good if someone who has driven a good Alfa Spider drives it and gives his (or her) opinion of it.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 09:54 PM
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Two things:
1. Make sure the gearbox shifts into 2nd gear easily, or you will be rebuilding or replacing it soon, and
2. Be aware that in 1986, there were three slightly different Spider models:
The Graduate was the base model, vinyl seats and top, manual window cranks.
The Veloce was the middle of the road model, with leather seats, a cloth top, and power windows.
The Quadrifoglio was the fancy model, with everything the Veloce had, but with special side skirts and a hard top.
The sticker prices for these models reflected their features, so condition being relative, a Quad should be worth more than a Veloce, which should be worth more than a Graduate.

Edward
'88 Quad - "Claudia"
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Hello Alfa Forum Colleagues
Many thanks for all your helpful advices. I will move forward accordingly with a test drive, exercising the second gear, etc.

To find somebody with Alfa knowledge in our little mountain town is rather slim. Nor have a ever seen another Spider on our streets.

Oh well, I will apply my common sense and if all checks out positive to see, if the seller is willing to lower the price.

Again, thank you all and have a nice 4th of July weekend.

Hans
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:26 AM
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Check for vibrations that occur at certain engine speeds or road speeds.
Drive on a bumpy road and check for clunks in the suspension.
Brake hard and listen for clunks and feel if it pulls to one side.
Listen for noises that appear when you are going around curves.
The car should accelerate cleanly to 6000 rpm with no hesitations.
Give it full gas at a moderate speed when going up hill to check for clutch slip.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500
2011 Jaguar XKR

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:36 AM
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Do you have any pictures to share?

Adam -- 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Good hint, Ed. Thank you, I will do that.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:10 AM
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Best of luck with your find! One word of caution about the "6000 RPM test."
The tachometers on an older Alfa are notoriously wonky. Trust your ears as well as your eyes. On my '88 6000 RPM's reads more like 4200.
Sometimes.....

One other thing. If you have never before driven a spider it will probably feel a little awkward to you when you first start out. But stick with it, you will learn to love it. "These are not like the other kids...."

Keeth Lawrence
1988 Spider Veloce
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:24 AM
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I have an ‚Äė82 with similar mileage, based on my experience, check the following:
- check that the stick shift can easily go into all gears without popping out. If it pops out of reverse or other gear, could be an indication of the state of the engine and tranny mounts. Not a show stopper... just to prepare you for the work.
- check the air con
- expect all bushings to be old. But take a look at the play in the steering.
- listen for ticking during idling to indicate valve tappet wear. Big job
- check the spare tire wheel well and rear right fender bottom ( below the battery)
- try the power windows up and down. Famous for slowness.
- usual check for oil leaks. Expect some but judge whether you want to deal with the tough ones

Good luck!
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:47 AM
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Spider purchase

Some good advice already. Iíll add my 2 cents. I work on so many 105ís Iím sick of them lol. Hereís a late night list of things I would expect to find on a 105 thatís just been sold cheap.
Front suspension
Top and bottom ball joints.
Inner lower control arm bushes.
Tie rod ends.
Idler box bushes.
Caster bushes.

Rear suspension.
Thrust washers missing.
Trunion bush worn.
Trailing arm bushes worn.

Check engine mounts, gearbox mount. Brake hoses. Hydraulic leaks. Universal joints tailshaft slider and front coupling.
Exhaust system integrity.

Rust rust rust and rust repairs.
Cracking in chassis close to where the steering stops are.

Function of gauges and all electrics including heater.
Compression and leak test on engine.
I could go on.
I see a lot of cars people have paid to much money for so just be careful and I can only recommend a proper check up.

Just my opinion but a coupe drives so much better than a spider.

Good luck.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you kindly for the additional hints. I better invest sufficient time to "play" with the car.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Regarding Adam's request to send some pictures, I tried it however, I have to have at least 10 posts before the forum accepts any pictures or links
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:09 AM
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Spider

If you reply to my reply then thatís one more reply. We want more alfista!
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