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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I bought another driver/project, after daily perusals of non-driving projects I just realize I don't have time for, not that I have time for this one.  

It's a 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta coupe with no rust.  No, really.  Seriously.  Come on - I'm not kidding.  It's a California car, that some buddies bought, flew out from Colorado, got it running and went through a bunch of it over two days, and drove it back, with very minimal issues.  Their adventure is a real story in and of itself.  

Before I get into it as it sits - what's the goal?  Well, make some period-ish sports purpose mods and run it in the Silver Summit Classic Car adventure.  Lower, stiffer, larger wheels, more/better lighting, better sounds and maybe a bit more power and reliability.  When I'm done playing with it, it will likely be listed for sale, but I'm not sure how long I want to play with it yet!

Anyway, it's a Mille Miglia edition - one of 500 (oooohhh, aaaaahhh, rare - but not really valuable) that amounts to some extra badging and spoilers, I think.  It has the venerable dual overhead cam 8 Valve all alloy Alfa 4 cylinder, in 2 liter iteration.  The SPICA injection is still there and still functioning surprisingly well.  The transmission sifts well and easily (once warmed up a bit), and the suspension and brakes are in, again - surprisingly good condition.  The shocks were swapped from the parts car at the time of this car's resurrection, because they were Konis, and in good shape.  They aren't bad at all.  Many of the rubber bushings look poor, but no clunks or rattles, other than from the exhaust that looks like it's been welded together from about 20 different (emphasis on different) pieces.  It starts and runs easily, almost all of the things in it work, so it's got what I call, good bones.  

First order of business, because it broke down on me the day after I bought it, is a new starter.  The solenoid is hanging up and it keeps the starter spinning, even if I turn the key off sometimes.  I can turn the key off and back on quick and shock it into closing, but it definitely needs replaced.  Ordered and on the way from Timbuktoo.  I have also ordered a full set of polyurethane bushings, as most of the important ones look cracked and frayed, and an exhaust leak melted the De Dion rear axle bushing on the drive back from Cali.  The two guys that brought it back bought a bushing that was close from a parts store, and (literally) whittled it to fit in the parking lot and that's what's in there now.  I really, really like a firm, taut chassis (that many of my passengers think is too stiff) but I'm on a budget with this one, so I'll try to find some GTV6 torsion bars and springs that are stiffer than the 4 cyl versions, but not really sporting, and add some Bilsteins and maybe a bigger sway bar.

It came with new rubber brake hoses, but I think I am going to go with braided stainless steel brake hoses.  I've used them on most of my builds over the years, and really like the increase in feel it gives.  

In the interest of sound, and sanity - I will build a 2.25" mandrel bent exhaust with a resonator and a turbo muffler to make the Alfa sound like a European sports car, and maybe free up 5 or 6 horsepower.  I like the SPICA injection (evn though I'm not familiar with it), and have read enough reviews on the stock airbox to know that it is a very good design that shouldn't be messed with.   So, likely, I will mess with it.  Sidedraft carbs or ITBs sound awesome - and I would like some of that sound but not to lose the benefit of the airbox, so there could easily be some ugly husbandry of intakes.  

Cosmetics is usually the last of my worries, and that will be the case here as well.  I'll throw in some H4 and H1 headlights, because I sell them, and it just isn't smart to use sealed beams on anything driven in the dark, IMO.  I will also add some extra driving and fog lights to give a little rally flair as well as function.  I dislike USA market bumpers on most Euro cars from the 70s, and while these aren't awful, I think they will have to go away.  Maybe some Camaro bumpers modded to fit, or just a tube bumper/light bar in the front or something.  Have to see what I find.  



Anyway, here she is:









 

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Nice car. It will look great without the big ugly bumpers. Be careful with the exhaust size. My Spider made 144 HP at the wheels with a 2" system. 2.25" is IMO the upper limit for a high output motor that makes good torque at 3000 rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - I've built a bunch of exhausts for 1.6-2.4L engines over the years, all in the 80-160hp range, so I don't think 2.25" is too big, but slightly optimistic. If I have time and the funds for this project allow, I would like to do some cams to help out, but we'll see. Likely, it will just be to free up what's there and make is sound like a proper European sports car without being obnoxious. Appreciate the input, and like your GT500 - I had one for a brief time.
 

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I travel to Fort Collins, usually twice/year to see my son. I would like to see your car if we can arrange it.
 

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Nice find! Did you say H4s?

I’m looking to replace a broken H4 on my alfetta. Please PM me price and contact info if you do have any for sale. Love your MM!
 

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Nice Sprint Veloce - enjoy! Based on collector car ethic now influencing value of these cars and performance too, I'd say keep the Spica system. I like to call it the "8-track Tape" of fuel injection which often gets spectators going. I just had exhaust work done on my 79. Had a nice red Thrush Glasspack installed as mid resonator with an original, hard to find ANSA Marmitte rear section. Sounds incredibly great, not real noisy unless its at full throttle, high revs. I also like the wheels your car came with. Are they 14"? If you're considering parting with them I might be interested. Here's my car with boy racer previous owner installed rims.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great looking Alfetta. I love the term "8-track of fuel injections." I am going to steal that and use it! Accurate and funny.

I wasn't really clear on my mention of sidedrafts/ITBs - I would very much like to keep the SPICA if possible, but I will be modifying the stock airbox or building my own to get that intake howl that I love - I've experienced it on a number of VWs I've built and other cars, of course, so really just after the sound, while not losing any power if possible by losing the stock airbox which is well regarded. My only real concern is if I swap in cams, I will have incorrect fueling for the engine without getting the pump re'mapped' (familiar with this from the Porsche 911 MFI side of things needing a new 3D cam made).

Your description of the exhaust is exactly what I want. A restrained but noticeable burble at idle and lower rpms/throttle opening, with more of a snarl at higher rpms and throttle openings. Over the years I've built lots of exhausts for VW & Toyota projects, and love the simple resonator and turbo muffler in most situations. The only video I can find of one of them is from a VW Fox wagon when I tested it - worked great but was just a touch on the aggressive side, so (after the video) I added a resonated exhaust tip and it took the edge off.


The 14" wheels are Ronals, with brand new tires, other than the trip back from California. I'd be happy to sell them to you as soon as I have replacements lined up. My wheel supplier JUST told me that we are going to be selling the 15x7 version of the 14" Ronal wheel come end of December, so likely that is what I will run, but I would consider some sort of a trade for your wheels, depending on size/offset, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hell, I'll be selling the perfectly good red Koni's off this car as well, to replace with Bilsteins, so if anyone wants those, let me know. I will need to pull it in soon to do the

1. Lowering
2. Upgraded springs/torsions
3. Poly bushings
4. Brake hoses
5. Front sway bar
6. Downpipe-back exhaust
7. Exhaust manifold welded
8. Airbox modification
 

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SPICA is ITB. Look in the airbox and you'll also see the tuned trumpet length.

Have fun, I'll look forward to your build.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
SPICA is ITB. Look in the airbox and you'll also see the tuned trumpet length.

Have fun, I'll look forward to your build.
I know - I've use the SPICA ITBs on other projects! That's why it's easy to capitalize on the great sound they can make!
 

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There is an ABB member who is currently working on a Megasquirt implementation using the stock SPICA ITB's. He will have a much wider range of cams to choose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Megasquirt would be awesome, and I have one built sitting on the shelf, but I really want to keep this a simpler project than that - simple bolt ons and such, being my first driver Alfa. I hope to get a Milano or GTV6 at some point later.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
OK, so most of the exhaust pieces have arrived - the euro manifolds and down pipes, straight and mandrel bends, center resonator.  Also the GTV6 front torsion bars and yellow Konis, Poly bushings for all the suspension.  Front 1" Addco sway bar on the way.

I sold the bumpers, so these need to come off, and I have an idea to modify the pump to make it work with bigger cams than it is supposed to, stock.  We'll see.  



Glued on the door trim piece, and the door seals arrived.  Need to pull it in the garage and plug away at it!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, so here are a couple pictures - poor, I know, but I was in a hurry.  Plan on starting on the Alfa on Sunday to make some serious disassembly process.  



Here are pics of the bushings, exhaust parts, GTV6 torsion bars, front Koni shocks, and....

Um, yes, those are vintage aluminum tumblers (glasses).  Perfect cheap velocity stacks.  







 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, it took longer to get quality time in the garage with the Alfa, but today I was able to sink my teeth into it some more.

I pulled the Watts linkage off the rear suspension to replace the old rubber bushings with some Polyurethane ones I got. The old bushings came out so easily, I was almost startled when the first one fell out when I put a little tap on it with a hammer and socket. I don't have a hydraulic press anymore, so was concerned I wouldn't be able to get them out - that was NOT the case.






Pressing in the poly bushings pretty easily using the vice. I greased the bushings using synthetic grease, but it sealed the bushings to the housings so well they would push back out after a little bit because there was compressed air in the middle between the bushing halves!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I also pulled the front hub assemblies to do the big/vented rotor & caliper upgrade, as I plan to make the car capable of mountain canyon runs and track days.

Here is a comparison of the original solid Alfetta Rotors next to the Fiat 500 Abarth vented rotors. Larger, and internally vented - more braking power and lots more fade resistance. I'll be using Volvo 240 Turbo 4 piston calipers as well. The centers of the Fiat rotors will need to be opened up to fit the Alfa hub, and a small (1/4" I believe) spacer to get the hub exactly where it was before, but with this rotor with a different hat offset.

Huge thanks to tomhenneka and his thread here: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/suspension-steering-brakes-wheels-tires/209552-fiat-500-abarth-rotors-volvo-240-calipers-alfetta.html



 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also had to remove the bumpers to finally get them shipped out - and that meant removing the headlights to get at the side bolts for the front, and the interior panels in the rear to remove those side bolts.

I was going to use one the passenger side high beam headlight hole as a cold air intake to the SPICA airbox, but it doesn't look like that's feasible without a lot more work. We'll see. At least I can replace the headlights with much better H4 & H1 units now.

I pulled the exhaust manifold, which was cracked (likely due to a partially plugged exhaust) and had to remove the air conditioning compressor and bracket with the alternator to do so, which was really a pain. I couldn't get the lower bolt of the bracket out, because the radiator was in the way, so I had to pull the radiator. The top retaining bolt has a captive nut on the front hood support panel. Unfortunately, it was no longer captive, and just spun around, and we couldn't get to the nut to try and hold it in place any better, so we cut the bolt head off, and got the radiator out. Then, we were able to get the remainder of the bolt unscrewed - we'll see how we can make the nut captive again, and still allow it to move around a bit as designed to allow some fitment of the radiator. Since I pulled the AC compressor, I decided to pull the rest of the system that was easily removable. The condenser, hoses and drier in the engine bay all came out. SO much more room around the engine and in the bay now, and probably 55-65 lbs less weight on the nose. To say nothing of the bumpers being gone as well.



 
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