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I am looking for a Spider and came across a 1991 non-Veloce locally that drives very well other than lots of cowl shake, but has some problems that I could likely fix, and one oddity. It has steel wheels with plastic covers, which I expect, but they are 5-lug wheels. I thought all Spiders had 4-lug wheels--is that true?
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But Mad North-Northwest
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They were all four-lug wheels. Dollars to donuts those are just fake lug nuts on the hubcaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They were all four-lug wheels. Dollars to donuts those are just fake lug nuts on the hubcaps.
You are likely correct, and I need to have a closer look. The other things that need fixing--the clutch takeup is very low, the brakes are very sensitive, and there is a buzzing feeling on the accelerator pedal. Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Clutch could be air in the lines or a failed pivot weld. If the pedal is low compared to the brake probably the later. Clutch hydraulics seem to have a short life on these cars.

Buzzing in the accelerator is likely the mechanical linkage. At the right side of the crank arm that runs across the firewall, there is a rubber bushing to damp vibration. This mounts the pin that connects to the first linkage rod. Typically that bushing goes bad and flops around or you wind up with metal-on-metal. It's like a five dollar bushing but requires a little yoga to get the crank arm out of the car so you can replace it.
 

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Push hard and live
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For what it's worth...

When I see Alfas with weird mods that make no sense, I assume it goes deeper than the fuzzy dice, curb scrapers, and boom box in the trunk. It's not that I'm a stickler for perfect originality, but evidence that the current or previous owner is an idiot normally tells you that stuff you can't see has been "rigged" as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I confirmed that the lug nuts are part of the wheel covers, so that mystery is solved.
Gubi, thanks for the tips on the other issues. Otherwise the car seems original with no obvious weirdness. Based on what I could find on the forum, I suppose the sensitive brakes could be a reaction disk that has fallen out or perished. Any other typical causes of brake sensitivity?
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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They're just replacement hubcaps, Don.

Anyway, the brakes are just typical four wheel disks like any other car. Not sure what would make them overly sensitive. If someone replaced the booster and didn't properly adjust the booster rod length I suppose that could do it, but that's kind of an esoteric thing to suspect so I'm not sure I'd start there.
 

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Push hard and live
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Gubi

Although the hubcaps were nearly obvious, my learned wisdom says to read the signs.

Starting as a parts guy, we become observational psychologists very quickly. I could tell you stories you’d swear I made up.
 

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....we become observational psychologists very quickly....
yeah, the photo was bugging me.....not the 5 lugnuts per se, more the steering wheel on the wrong side

penny finally dropped
;)
 

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So, a question...

What wheels would be on the car that had the stuff to allow plastic hub caps to grip and stay on? Something about the rear makes me think the offset is wrong, also.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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There's "observational psychology" and there's "clinical paranoia," Don 😆

S4 non-Veloce came with steel wheels and plastic phonedial hubcaps. Someone just replaced the hubcaps with aftermarket. The stock hubcaps have been NLA for a long time.
 
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