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Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquired a 1978 Spider with roughly 180,000 miles. It consumes and leaks oil. It has compression issues also. It runs, but is kinda rough.

Instead of rebuilding, I am wanting to swap the engine with a NON-ALFA (Sorry) engine. Either a 4 or 6 cylinder. I've heard about Nissan, Mazda, Ford and Chevrolet engines being swapped into Spiders.

What is the easiest conversion to perform? Are there any kits available for these conversions?

This car is going to be a daily driver for me. I would like a little more pep with the new engine, but reliability is essentially what I'm looking for.

Would love to hear from some experienced Alfa owners what conversion they would do if they were in my place....or why they wouldn't....Thanks!
 

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2.5L V6 Alfa engines are cheap and you can buy conversion parts from Larry at APE. Do a search and you will find details. There is also a good thread on a Ford V8 transplant.
 

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A proper rebuild of your Alfa engine will provide the additional power and reliability you are seeking. A properly executed non-Alfa engine transplant may satisfy you, but the car will be considered a bastard by Alfisti, possibly loose value, and be more difficult to sell unless your engine swap is to something truly exceptional.

My opinion only. Others may differ...

I recently acquired a 1978 Spider with roughly 180,000 miles. It consumes and leaks oil. It has compression issues also. It runs, but is kinda rough.

Instead of rebuilding, I am wanting to swap the engine with a NON-ALFA (Sorry) engine. Either a 4 or 6 cylinder. I've heard about Nissan, Mazda, Ford and Chevrolet engines being swapped into Spiders.

What is the easiest conversion to perform? Are there any kits available for these conversions?

This car is going to be a daily driver for me. I would like a little more pep with the new engine, but reliability is essentially what I'm looking for.

Would love to hear from some experienced Alfa owners what conversion they would do if they were in my place....or why they wouldn't....Thanks!
 

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I recently acquired a 1978 Spider with roughly 180,000 miles. It consumes and leaks oil. It has compression issues also. It runs, but is kinda rough.

Instead of rebuilding, I am wanting to swap the engine with a NON-ALFA (Sorry) engine. Either a 4 or 6 cylinder. I've heard about Nissan, Mazda, Ford and Chevrolet engines being swapped into Spiders.

What is the easiest conversion to perform? Are there any kits available for these conversions?

This car is going to be a daily driver for me. I would like a little more pep with the new engine, but reliability is essentially what I'm looking for.

Would love to hear from some experienced Alfa owners what conversion they would do if they were in my place....or why they wouldn't....Thanks!
My only advice is if you are swapping a non-Alfa engine, go big or go home. There's no reason to swap unless you are shooting for substantially more power than is reasonably available from an Alfa engine and drivetrain. Even then, an Alfa 6 with forced induction could provide far more power than is reasonable for these cars. Sounds like you are not planning on a monster, so stick with Alfa. The Alfa engines are plenty reliable when properly sorted.

A Japanese engine may be reliable, but all of the conversion headaches could make it a questionable daily.
 

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A Japanese engine may be reliable, but all of the conversion headaches could make it a questionable daily (driver).
Right - those were my thoughts. Engine conversions are fun "science fair" projects, but seldom practical for someone seeking reliability, economy, and completion within their lifetime.

As others have written, you can rebuild your Alfa engine for far less money, time, headache than doing even a "simple" Alfa V6 --> Alfa spider conversion using Larry Dickman's kit. If you really need Corvette performance, just buy a Corvette.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input guys.

It seems like I should just rebuild the engine. Are there any posts here that have detailed instructions for rebuilding the Alfa 4 cylinder? I looked around, but did not find any?

Any of you guys know if there are any complete rebuild kits out there? If so, are they any good?

Thanks
 

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You can buy a set of factory manuals on cardisk. The section on engine building is excellent. There is also a good book by Jim Kartalamakis on building powerful Alfa motors. It is easy to get 150 HP out of a 2L motor and a few of us have built engines that make a good bit more. There are lots of posts and threads on the subject. The search function is your friend.
 
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