Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
1974 Spider Veloce
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Alfa Community,

I'm a new member and the recent recipient of a 1974 Spider Veloce. I'm new to Alfa Romeo's but I have been an auto enthusiast for most of my life so working on cars is not new to me. The car is a one owner California car that has been sitting in a garage since 1987 but it appears to be complete and un-molested.
I'm going to use this thread to learn about Alfa's and to document the progress of getting the car in a running and driving condition. Please comment and give me some insight into what I have and problem areas that I should check out.

Here is a list of issues I've found so far:
-Drivers floor pan is rusted through and needs replacement
-Both rockers are rusted through and will need replacement
  • Parking brake isn't working
  • Front end drivers side has some collision damage
-Rear diff has signs of leakage
-Overall paint condition is not good
- Some electrical items not working but PO had removed fuses and unplugged a connector under the dash prior to lay up
-Tach and speedo are not testing at zero, is this normal or something that needs to be repaired? I only ask because both are at the same position so to me that indicates it might be a quirk of an Alfa.

My primary goal at this point is to get the mechanical items going prior to addressing the cosmetics. This will happen over many many months with long lapses in updates due to my job and life in general. I have a family and one other classic car that take priority over this car.

So far I have pulled the plugs on the engine and found that it turns over with no problems, that is the extent of my work so far. I need to get a fresh battery to further check it out and plan on doing a compression test once I get one.

Below are some pics of the car, let me know what you guys think and if you could give me an idea of the value of the car as it sits now and the potential value once its up and running in good condition.

1652932

1652933

1652934

1652935

1652936

1652940

1652937

1652938

1652939

DSC_0258.JPG
DSC_0262.JPG
DSC_0263.JPG
DSC_0264.JPG
DSC_0266.JPG
DSC_0275.JPG
DSC_0271.JPG
DSC_0274.JPG
DSC_0272.JPG
DSC_0278.JPG
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
347 Posts
Looks like a nice project!
As far as getting the engine going, make sure the oil doesn’t smell like gas, if it does then the spica pump needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Chances are, getting the engine running will be fairly easy. They’re pretty easy to get running, if you have a points distributor you may want to go ahead and replace those.

Looks nice though, you picked the same first Alfa picked!
 

·
Registered
1974 Alfa Romeo spider
Joined
·
127 Posts
First of all, Congratulations on your acquisition. There are some unique things about the 1974 models, so us 74 people need to stick together. As far as sheet metal, check out Wolf sheet metal. I plan on checking them out for some pieces that I need. Before you attempt to start the car, check out some of the threads in regard to the Spica FI system so you don't do any damage due to the extended time the car sat up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Congrats! I JUST started restoring a 74, - Cort is right, we should stick together and share parts lol! I know I am going to be replacing parts that aren't VERY nice so I expect to have some to pass on. That Spica looks VERY clean, maybe rebuilt? Def consider replacing metal panels rather than repair, it will look better. Check your oil for gas smell, if yes drain and refill, then check often to see if it returns.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
Keep in mind the sills are 3 layers and structural.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,788 Posts

·
Registered
1974 Spider Veloce
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the information so far. I have to investigate the rust in the rockers a bit further but I'm sure replacement is the solution, that will be a ways down the road.
The SPICA does look nice but I have no idea if the PO ever removed it, he was the only owner and drove it for about 14 years before parking it. Thats one item of the fuel system I have concerns about just because it hasn't been used for some time and I assume its a pricey item to have overhauled.
What is unique about the 74's? In my limited research I see that the bumpers are a couple year only item, what else?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
444 Posts
Congratulations on your '74 Spider. Go to WesIngram.com for Spica rebuild pricing. Lots of good information there also. He has about a 10 month lead time to get a rebuilt fuel injection pump. Sounds like you will need one as well as a rebuilt thermostatic actuator. Divotandtralee has an OVS kit available that you are probably also going to need.

Please keep us posted on your project.

- Drew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Welcome to S2 spider ownership. Its very satisfying working on the mechanics of these cars, very rewarding when you get something back to how it should be. However, in my opinion the best plan would be to get the structural metalwork done before the mechanics. Get the welding of the rockers* and the floor done. But here's the thing, once work starts on this unless you are lucky, other corrosion will be found. You dont want to finish up with a car that is mechanically operational, but is a death trap through corrosion.

*these we call sills, I dont have a clue why. Why are they called sills or rockers????:unsure:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alfajay

·
Registered
1974 Alfa Romeo spider
Joined
·
127 Posts
Thanks for the information so far. I have to investigate the rust in the rockers a bit further but I'm sure replacement is the solution, that will be a ways down the road.
The SPICA does look nice but I have no idea if the PO ever removed it, he was the only owner and drove it for about 14 years before parking it. Thats one item of the fuel system I have concerns about just because it hasn't been used for some time and I assume its a pricey item to have overhauled.
What is unique about the 74's? In my limited research I see that the bumpers are a couple year only item, what else?
The big unique thing is a 1 year only seatbelt interlock thing. If you get a wiring diagram make sure that it is for a 1974 car. Turning lemons into lemonade, you can take advantage of some of the features of it such as the relay for the starter which saves the ignition switch.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,681 Posts
dshawster said:
-Tach and speedo are not testing at zero, is this normal or something that needs to be repaired? I only ask because both are at the same position so to me that indicates it might be a quirk of an Alfa.
I think it is a quirk, yes. I say "I think" because the gauges differed a bit year-to-year - some gauges even have pegs at the 500 rpm and 10 mph levels, though I don't see that in your pictures. But honestly, even if this were a problem, it would be about #236 on your list.

Listen to Top Down's advice (post #9): make sure the corrosion can be fixed within your budget before spending money on the mechanicals. These mid-70's Alfa corroded at an amazing rate and major rocker panel repairs can get costly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Congratulations a 74 is a winner
Check the rust yes, but most likely it's so easy and inexpensive to get this running and driving , you can drive it and decide what you want to do
An easy suggestion is get rid of that top ring of add-on molding people used to get at PepBoys It drives me crazy when I see that on an Alfa
 

·
Registered
1974 Spider Veloce
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions! In regards to the rockers/sills ( as @Top Down calls them) I still plan on getting the car mechanically sound before addressing them. For a few reasons most being that in a project like this you need something to keep you motivated and getting the car running and driving will motivate me to get the rest of the car in a better condition. If I addressed the rotted rockers first I would surely lose interest in the project quickly since I would not have the experience of driving the car to motivate me. Keep in mind this car is non-running and I have no idea how one of these drives or handles.

I have managed to get some work done on the car while waiting on parts for my other classic. I did a compression test on the engine to get an idea of the condition and the results are below:

#1 150 psi
#2 60 psi
#3 120 psi
#4 150 psi

Not the most encouraging #'s by any means and not what I was hoping for. I did a leak down test on the #2 cylinder and the air is blowing by the rings into the crankcase (no air coming from the intake or exhaust). Given the age of the engine and how long it was sitting ( 33 years) I'm not getting too worked up at this point and will get the engine running to see if the rings are stuck and will work themselves free. I have poured some marvel mystery oil in each cylinder to help clean things up and will give them a couple days to do their thing and then re-do the compression test.

The PO emptied the gas tank before lay-up and the inside of the tank is pungent and in need of cleaning. I pulled the sending unit which was not moving freely, some penetrating oil loosened everything up, and then I decided to pull the tank, a visual of the interior showed varnished-fuel and rust. To be honest I thought the tank would be easy to pull after seeing it would come out of the trunk area but as others know it was not that easy! I eventually got it out after some maneuvering.
Right now that is where I'm at in this project, I'm planning on getting the fuel system sorted before attempting to start the car. I need to replace the fuel lines by the tank and then test the fuel supply pump.
I received some parts for my other classic and will be focusing on getting them installed so I can get it driving to free up space on my lift for the Alfa!
1653242

1653243

1653244
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
965 Posts
Golden Lodge spark plugs...previous owner was a perfectionist ! They are hard to come by these days.
Great project car, not far gone like many of this age are. Work through it system by system.
Plenty of info and expertise to be found here, so keep the updates coming !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
At this point I wouldnt be to worried about those compression reading:

#1 150 psi
#2 60 psi
#3 120 psi
#4 150 psi

With a car parked up, not running, there will always be some valves in the open position. The slightest bit of tarnish or surface blemish ( I wont say rust) will stop that valve from seating properly, giving you the readings you have. If you run the test again with oil down the bores, see what readings you get then, if they are still low, then it will be valve seats. Unless you have the manifolds off it would be difficult to tell from a leak down test.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
511 Posts
In an earlier post somebody mentioned Wolf steel panels for repair panels.... My advise would be: Don't! The inner, middle and outer sills, as well as the various sill repair sections offered by the usual suspects such as Classic Alfa and Alfaholics from the UK are true factory fit, and will make replacing them a lot easier as going with a cheaper version with a bad fit.
Nice car! Enjoy!
 

·
Premium Member
1974 Spider
Joined
·
48 Posts
I'm restoring a '74 Spider as well. It needed the floor pans on both sides replaced but they said the sills were OK.
I needed a new gas tank and fuel sending unit which wasn't too big of a deal if you have to go that route.
Yours looks to be in much shape starting off than mine was. I've had a lot of work done (it's still going on) and will be glad to pass on any info I garnered so far from the forum members and the local mechanics, etc. who've worked on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Make sure it can stop, steer, and not catch on fire. Then, drive it a bit to see if you enjoy it and want to invest more time & money in the car.

At that point you can decide a 99 point concours car, or to walk away completely. Most of us end up somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

Look at the valuations for number 1, 2, 3, 4, (& 5) condition cars. It helps keep costs in perspective, especially if you plan on selling. If you are in it for the fun of the hobby, then go crazy!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,705 Posts
As Jim illuded, the outer rocker is cosmetic, it's the inner and middle rockers that create a structural tube. Before you spent time and money on mechanicals I'd get under the car and look carefully at the inner rocker at the front of the car. If it's rotted and especially if the jack point is bent or missing you are in for a costly tricky repair. If it's really bad it is a safety issue and you don't want to be driving it. If it's primarily the outer rocker that's fairly straightforward but note that you will need to cut and replace the bottom sections of the fenders as well.

Get your panels from Classic Alfa or Alfaholics - you want the best quality especially if this is your first rodeo with an Alfa.

Btw, my guess is that your inner rocker will be fine but best not to assume.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top