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Hi,

Being zinc coated under the paint, most 164s look totally rust free from above. Have now started seeing implications of serious underside rust on a 1996 24v 164.

At the rear it seems that, once the original underseal starts to age enough to peel and then trap water, the wheel-arch liners stop being helpful and just hide the harm until it is seriously serious. These liners also seem to have been put on the care before the outer brake lines, making it old brake line removal first before wheel-arch liners = more issues.

Underneath I have just noticed bottom sill joint corrosion near both rear jacking points. At the front, on driver's side there is floorpan corrosion on the inside edge of the jacking point. Front subframe mostly fine, thanks to oil weeps but rear is flaking, despite repeated attempts to coat it with wax-based underseal.

Assuming the amount of rust I can see is trivial compared to the amount of rust on total, does anyone have any details of how bad things could be or any rust 'hot spots' for us to focus our minds on? Corrosion is th one thing that would make me consider junking a 24v 164 so any advice very much appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Rust tends to start above the rear window on the trailing edge of the roof.
I have seen rust starting on the front edge of the roof as well.
This was only only on one car, my 1991 164B.

One of the latest cars I recently acquired is so badly rusted that I will be parting it out as soon as possible to get rid of it.
I have no explanation except that it was standing under trees for several years and must have stayed wet most of the time.
That area (Ocala) is wetter than most areas around here.
This car was repainted and looks good except for the rust.

The entire trunk floor is rusted.
The hood front corners have expanded like wet cardboard due to rust.
The rear tail light areas are badly rusted.
Rust has started on the front roof edge.
 

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Classic rainwater rusting.

Alfa only dip galvanized the 164 body up to the belt line. Windshield, rear window, door window frame and roof panel are not galvanized. Weird but there you go.

Classic cause of windshield frame rust is hamfisted windshield replacers of whom there are legions.

I have just recently inspected my 164 for structural rust with my reliable mechanic (good friend also, should try to befriend a good lawyer, doctor and car mechanic if you can). My car has been driven year round in very challenging environmental conditions though always garaged both at home and at work.

The car was t boned in 1992 resulting in the right side doors, B pillar and a chunk of sill rail being cut out and new welded in. All rustproofed to body shop industry standard of the time, which was excellent.

In 2000 it rear ended an idiot who changed lanes right in front of my daughter with no warning and at slow speed. The driver was charged and his insurance paid to repair the hood, lights and bumper. No used hood could be sourced at the time.

Windshield surround and minor rust (small new metal let in to replace rusted metal cut from the fuel filler to C pillar door post area at the fender lip) repaired in around 2007 or so.

Front jack points are rusted beyond repair. Rear jack points still solid. Rust returning to the right rear fender below the filler flap and at the bottom rear corner of the right rear door, fender and door. Otherwise the car is solidly rust free. All the original chassis rails and suspension hard points are rock solid. 1992 repair was carried out to a very high standard (my shop is authorized for Porsche, Aston Martin and is the only Tesla authorized shop in my city). The car has proved to be as straight and solid as the day it rolled off the assembly line despite the repairs.

It is really too bad when these cars are left to rust because they generally don't if cared for adequately. I admit that repairing rust that does appear and repainting help prolong the body but the underside structure seems very durable without any repair or recoating at all. Keeping the underside dry is important.

I note we have discussed this topic before:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-168-1991-1995/480801-where-rust-proof-undercoat-164-a.html

Lots of sources support the assertion of partial galvanizing, including the original brochure issued for my car which boldly and inaccurately asserts a 100% galvanized steel body. Mind you it also asserts a stainless steel exhaust system which in reality was confined to the decorative muffler tips peeking out from under the rear bumper!
 

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I have been driving Alfas since high school back in 1980 and have owned many of them. Two things I can tell you is that they are biodegradable and ALFA stands for always leaking fluids allover. Yet somehow I just can't imagine life without one.
 

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I have been driving Alfas since high school back in 1980 and have owned many of them. Two things I can tell you is that they are biodegradable and ALFA stands for always leaking fluids allover. Yet somehow I just can't imagine life without one.
Yes, pre 1989 that was true enough. My 164 has done neither. The engine has never leaked any oil, nor has any other fluid emanated from beneath the car except for water from the AC drains and of course coolant when the cooling system developed cracks: aftermarket block heater corroded to failure, radiator tank gaskets leaked, expansion tank cracked, but all were at long service life points.

The bodywork has proved remarkable durable. Easily a match for my much younger SAAB Aero which has had two new fenders and a repaired windshield frame.
 

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I'm on my 7th Alfetta GTV and just bought my 2nd 164. I may part my 1st. Automatic with a great looking tan interior.
 
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