Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking it's time to post here, have a bit of fun and perhaps solicit some help along the way. Here's the story basics:
  1. A 79 GT ('Sprint Veloce') car; bought in '82, pulled off the road for ground up resto in '85. Everything was stripped from the car but the wires.
  2. The project remains unfinished, but we're making the last push this summer and fall. Covid has freed the time, so something redeemable has come of that dark cloud.
  3. In fits and starts over ~35 years, the car sits now with nice (if chipped by work over the years) paint, a fresh and hightly tweaked motor (that was fully together by '87), and full drive-train near complete.
  4. What remains is completing drive-train details and the entire interior including glass.
  5. Nearly everything was refreshed, down to buying new console switches, trim, rubber; everything. It was all available in those first years, though of course not now.
  6. Mechanically, it was given the complete steroid treatment and everything replaced that moves. 10.4 -1 pistons, wild 11.1 cams, oversize intake valves, full head treament with port/polish, Sammy Hale crankshaft, aluminum rear flywheel, springs, bars, Konis, Wes Ingram Spica rebuild, etc. etc.
  7. We've spent the last couple of weeks preparing engine for starting from fresh after 30+ years, and yesterday after much trial and tribulation with timing a new electronic distributor, fuel supply repairs. (front filter bowl had split), wiring, etc. we got it to run after 30+ years! (video to come, complete with lots of exhaust rattling).
  8. Engine rough and acting fuel starved after warming up, so renewing pressure sensor (after confirming bad), and what were fresh fuel filters that may have gotten thousands of miles of build-up in just minutes given that everything was sitting for years. I'm a bit of a Spica brown-belt from years ago and set things up and adjusted mixture, but it was still acting very lean and even starved after all the enrichments of Spica warm-up were done.
So here we are, determined to push through after what seems eons. 60 year old brothers, and a 20 year old son/nephew to whom this is sort of being bequeathed. We both know more about these cars than we should (total of 8 Alfas in 2 generations over the 80's), but some knowledge has grown rust and we're dealing with 30+ years of time and lots of mods. We are hoping we might get just a few nuggets of guidance here on things like smog preparations, electrics, shifter adjustments, etc.

We're very happy to see that these kinds of projects are supported out here and that many key parts are still available. This marque stands apart with the enthusiasm of its owners still.
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update
Thinking it's time to post here, have a bit of fun and perhaps solicit some help along the way. Here's the story basics:
  1. A 79 GT ('Sprint Veloce') car; bought in '82, pulled off the road for ground up resto in '85. Everything was stripped from the car but the wires.
  2. The project remains unfinished, but we're making the last push this summer and fall. Covid has freed the time, so something redeemable has come of that dark cloud.
  3. In fits and starts over ~35 years, the car sits now with nice (if chipped by work over the years) paint, a fresh and hightly tweaked motor (that was fully together by '87), and full drive-train near complete.
  4. What remains is completing drive-train details and the entire interior including glass.
  5. Nearly everything was refreshed, down to buying new console switches, trim, rubber; everything. It was all available in those first years, though of course not now.
  6. Mechanically, it was given the complete steroid treatment and everything replaced that moves. 10.4 -1 pistons, wild 11.1 cams, oversize intake valves, full head treament with port/polish, Sammy Hale crankshaft, aluminum rear flywheel, springs, bars, Konis, Wes Ingram Spica rebuild, etc. etc.
  7. We've spent the last couple of weeks preparing engine for starting from fresh after 30+ years, and yesterday after much trial and tribulation with timing a new electronic distributor, fuel supply repairs. (front filter bowl had split), wiring, etc. we got it to run after 30+ years! (video to come, complete with lots of exhaust rattling).
  8. Engine rough and acting fuel starved after warming up, so renewing pressure sensor (after confirming bad), and what were fresh fuel filters that may have gotten thousands of miles of build-up in just minutes given that everything was sitting for years. I'm a bit of a Spica brown-belt from years ago and set things up and adjusted mixture, but it was still acting very lean and even starved after all the enrichments of Spica warm-up were done.
So here we are, determined to push through after what seems eons. 60 year old brothers, and a 20 year old son/nephew to whom this is sort of being bequeathed. We both know more about these cars than we should (total of 8 Alfas in 2 generations over the 80's), but some knowledge has grown rust and we're dealing with 30+ years of time and lots of mods. We are hoping we might get just a few nuggets of guidance here on things like smog preparations, electrics, shifter adjustments, etc.

We're very happy to see that these kinds of projects are supported out here and that many key parts are still available. This marque stands apart with the enthusiasm of its owners still.
Just a quick update. We're in fuel system hell. Engine started, but was clearly starving for fuel. Renewed a non-working fuel low pressure sensor, and yes the light doesn't go out. That was expected, but now half a day of electrical cleaning and re-terminating to finally get a full +12v at fuel pump, and we're still with the light. On to changing the rear filter which had been refreshed, but was from the original era and the available ones much shorter so we have to replace the hosing, which is no fun. Ugh, refreshing that which was refreshed 30+ years ago feels somehow a bit crazy. But that is these cars.....
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, fuel system hell continues, and we're hoping for comments, guidance, empathy, etc. To recap our actions:
  • Had to repair the front filter plastic bowl as its seam had opened some and was linking. We used some Seal All and while the results lack visual elegance, we got it sealed again.
  • Replaced the low fuel pressure warning sensor switch (after confirming bad)
  • Restored full +12v at pump (pump is new original Bosch 3 port; has sat for ~30 years)
  • Replaced all front 8mm hosing from rigid lines to Spica pump and front filter.
  • Replaced rear filter and rear fuel lines from tank to filter and filter to rigid tube. The hoses had to be cut to the new shorter filters.
  • We double checked all the connections at the pump for functional correctness.
Result: the &!&%%$ low pressure light is still ON!. Tests and observations we've made:
  • Inspected pressure/flow at front hoses, in front of filter, behind, and at Spica output. All seem fairly weak in pressure and flow rate, but they're seemingly equal so we don't think there is any issue with front filter or our bowl repair.
  • After all the steps above, we clamped off the fuel bypass outlet to see if we had a bypass stuck-open condition (per Wes Ingrams guide). This does not raise pressure and turn warning light off, but it does cause pump to get audibly blocked to near silence with just a few squeals of distress. Not logically expected at all and potentially very interesting.
We're now thinking that perhaps either the hose line or rigid line from the rear filter to the pump or the pump to engine bay is fully or partially blocked. Again, they sat empty for ~30 years. Maybe the rigid line got dented during other operations. The hosing is all fresh.

Our next experiment: pull the output and then the bypass hose from their terminations and see if we're getting the pressure/flow we'd expect. Then close and then open the rigid line up front and compare. We'd expect to see good pressure at pump output, very little at bypass and good pressure up front. It has become a confusing mess (including fuel releases and odors). Either the pump is starving for input, blocked for output, or is just weak; but the **** thing is brand new.

Any ideas, guidance, corrections to our diagnostic thinking would be very much appreciated and welcome. We're still determined, but 8+ hours work and still faulty is discouraging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I would definitely check pressure at the pump outlet first.. pump could be weak just from sitting all those years. Great to hear your renewed interest and progress!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Since Sammy did your crank I'm guessing that you're in Northern California somewhere. I would check the pressure right out of the fuel pump to make sure it is good. Have you tried blowing through the hard lines with compressed air to make sure they are clear. As I type this I realized that even if the supply line was partially blocked it should still make pressure but not have the volume that it needs. Are you sure you have the lines into the injection pump in the correct position?
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thought I should update this thread. Thanks to all who commented to this point. Work has continued in fits and starts, but we're getting very close.
  1. Fuel problems solved when we figured out the lines to front filter were backward. Dohh! A defective new fuel pressure warning switch did not help! All corrected in the end; 20lbs pressure at Spica does the trick.
  2. We've tuned Spica very thoroughly, and the engine runs really well and wants to go. The crazy cams are leaving the idle a bit lumpy, and seem to create a small rough spot at about 1500, but it's very smooth otherwise. Really, really anxious to get it on the road, and feel the real world results.
  3. We have a few things left, and with any luck we'll be rolling in Jan.
I've seen a lot around the forum about people replacing rear wheel bearings on these cars. Is noise the sign of trouble? Should we do them soon as a proactive measure? They were not part of the resto work.

Also, should we look at valve lash now or after some miles just to be safe? I know we got them right on rebuild, but wondering if they wander as these motors settle in.

Any opinions out there on the best paint chip repair offerings? 30 years has meant some chips and we're hoping we can repair those without big section repaints which are not in the budget.

Thank you again for the previous inputs.
 

·
Registered
1979 Alfetta MM
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
Rear bearings, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If there’s no play or noise I’d leave it alone. 275k on a Milano and they are fine, never replaced them on race Alfetta either. They are a long lasting item.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Leave the rear wheel bearings alone until they have a problem. One of the originals on my car now has 240K miles on it and is still good. The other went about 175K miles and then got wobbly and was replaced. They can be VERY difficult to swap out.
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Leave the rear wheel bearings alone until they have a problem. One of the originals on my car now has 240K miles on it and is still good. The other went about 175K miles and then got wobbly and was replaced. They can be VERY difficult to swap out.
Thanks so much for essentially confirming our thoughts; These bearings should last a while and these only have ~60k on them.
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thinking it's time to share some photos, perhaps out of a bit of pride. We're so close now; just 3-4 more days work. We've been reconditioning everything that goes back on car; this will be in better than new shape in many ways.

Something that might create some envy: a completely NOS crack-free dashboard. Just one of the items we bought in 80's. Anyway, here's a look at some of it....

That front triangle got polished to death, and a vintage full ceramic badge.
1665256

These tail lenses received much polishing, new gaskets, screw gaskets, and anti-corrosion paint on screw heads. We're getting a bit nutty here and there.
1665258



Engine bay looking nice. That motor is uprated significantly; 10.4 pistons, 11.1 cams, oversized valves, Dan Marvin prepared head, Sammy Hale crankshaft and balanced, up-tuned Ingram Spica, Euro headers.
1665259
1665260


Here's the pristine NOS dash (p.s. we always loved the GT dash layout). Those are fresh horn buttons.
1665261


Even gets new console switches.
1665262


Rear glass took all of 4 people to get in
1665263


Anyway, that's enough for now I'm sure.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, almost forgot. Wanted to give a couple of product recommendations for things that have helped us out here a great deal.
  • Car Guys Plastic Restorer; very effective with plastic, rubber, and vinyl in restoring luster and suppleness. The benefits are palpable. You need to wipe it a couple of times to avoid excess shine, but it makes everything look and more importantly feel better and less aged.
  • Sugru Moldable Glue. So many uses; adhesive, sealer, putty. Shapes easily, adheres and dries to a perfect pliancy. Plugged fender holes, filled rubber gaps, made custom grommets. A restoration dream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Wow! Looking so very nice! I so admire you for such a complete restoration, and so beautifully done. Thanks for the recommendations. Learning something every day. The Sugru stuff is new to me - thanks! Does it really work to patch holes in the fenders and engine compartment? To what diameter? And how do you finish it... sanding? Keep those recommendations coming!
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow! Looking so very nice! I so admire you for such a complete restoration, and so beautifully done. Thanks for the recommendations. Learning something every day. The Sugru stuff is new to me - thanks! Does it really work to patch holes in the fenders and engine compartment? To what diameter? And how do you finish it... sanding? Keep those recommendations coming!
Thanks for the compliments. Sugru is amazing! Patches holes perfectly, to a half inch or more effectively. You can shape it very smoothly for 1/2 hour. We filled a trim rubber gap of 3/4 inch and you can barely tell it's there; can be sculpted to look very good. And it has pretty strong adhesive strength and stays stiff, but lightly pliable when dry. Miracle stuff. We're going to use it to make a sort of small knob on the door jamb next to push on the door open switch. Perfect grommet maker. Spend a bit of time getting use to how it smoothes and fills and you'll wonder how you ever did without it.

Bonus recommendation; there's a pretty obscure gear oil that makes Alfa gearboxes behave significantly better. It's called Swepco. I learned about it in the 80s, and you can feel a dramatic improvement over other oils in smoothness of shifts, resistance to syncro crunch (won't cure syncro cancer), and just overall feel. Very expensive, but worth it IMHO. Swepco gear oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Do you have Euro bumpers for the car? They would look great on this example.
Are you planning on covering up all those ovals on the hood insulation with paint or something?
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Do you have Euro bumpers for the car? They would look great on this example.
Are you planning on covering up all those ovals on the hood insulation with paint or something?
We do have bumpers, but they're not Euro. There was a guy in CA who was creating fiberglass aftermarket bumpers for the U.S. cars in the 80's, and we have his. The profile is pretty bulky and close to the original bumpers, but we've painted them nicely and they should look good on the car. Their virtue is that they weigh maybe 5lbs a piece vs. the 60 to 70lbs of the factory bumpers.

Really, our goal with this car has not been to restore to any purist image of original, but just to be faithful to most of the original design, and to extract as much added performance and quality as we could reasonably afford. For instance, we just spent 3 days on ensuring a good headliner install, and reupholstered the interiors of the the roof pillars with better-than-factory material.

We're not really worried about the aesthetics of the hood insulation; we've pasted Dynamat all over the car to quiet it down; we may upholster over the hood stuff some day, but the engine side of the engine bay has been our prime focus in looks. Our biggest challenge aesthetically from here will be repairing all the chips in the paint that happened over the 30 years of work and relocations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Keep it going! And keep the pics coming! I’m very interested in what you did for the roof pillars. In the same position as you... the original vinyl is worthless. I was able to keep the originals to use as templates, but not sure what I’m going to use. Would love to learn from you!

i’m also interested in your experiences with dynamat. I‘ve bought enough for the cabin, and intend to do the trunk and roof also. Did you do the same? And do you have a sense as to whether you over-did, under-did or just-right-did the sound suppression?

Here’s to getting it on the road in 2021!
 

·
Registered
79 Alfetta GT (Sprint Veloce)
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Keep it going! And keep the pics coming! I’m very interested in what you did for the roof pillars. In the same position as you... the original vinyl is worthless. I was able to keep the originals to use as templates, but not sure what I’m going to use. Would love to learn from you!

i’m also interested in your experiences with dynamat. I‘ve bought enough for the cabin, and intend to do the trunk and roof also. Did you do the same? And do you have a sense as to whether you over-did, under-did or just-right-did the sound suppression?

Here’s to getting it on the road in 2021!
We dynamatted the firewall, inside the doors and rear window panels, around the propshaft tube, and up the wheel wells. Also wheel wells in the trunk and some on the trunk floor. Nothing up on the roof, but we did renew the foam up there with better, higher density stuff and more of it.

As to effectiveness, I should be able to report back on that soon enough. We have to get the door glass and front seats in this week and it's ready to drive to the exhaust shop for a pluggable catalyst (we're in CA) and some other exhaust mods. Then bumpers and final sorting and we're on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,479 Posts
We do have bumpers, but they're not Euro. There was a guy in CA who was creating fiberglass aftermarket bumpers for the U.S. cars in the 80's, and we have his. The profile is pretty bulky and close to the original bumpers, but we've painted them nicely and they should look good on the car. Their virtue is that they weigh maybe 5lbs a piece vs. the 60 to 70lbs of the factory bumpers.
These were made by Shankle and are nearly unobtanium.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top