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1979 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,

1979 Spider Veloce here with obvious rust percolating above all four corners of the rocker. Thing is, the rockers look ok. I am not in a position to do anything about this at the moment but I was curious to know what y'all thought about the underside of this particular car. The deformations in front of both rear rockers look to me like someone jacked up the car wrong, but perhaps a more trained eye could tell better. Please forgive the inconsistencies in camera angle, I'm taking them from a cold concrete floor with a phone.

Here's the front passenger rocker:
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Underneath passenger side front:
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Right side rocker between the front and rear:
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Rear passenger side:
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And underneath rear passenger side with a cameo:
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And now the worst one, driver's side rear:
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And under the driver's side rear:
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Driver's side rocker:
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Driver's side front:
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1979 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #3
Here's a shot of the rear from last year when I put a stinger pipe on it since the rear muffler was welded poorly by a previous owner and fell of on me while I was driving it:

To my mind that's a clean undercarriage given the age.
1662400
 

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1979 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #4
Lastly, a shot of the wheel well. First time I've ever looked under the spare wheel. I'd say about 80% of that is grime that can be scraped with the rest being surface rust that is just starting to flake in one spot.
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I seeing a lot of bondo in pictures 4 and 6. Unless that's car polish in the cracks.
 

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1979 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #7
I seeing a lot of bondo in pictures 4 and 6. Unless that's car polish in the cracks.
It's got rock chip film and there's definitely some polish/wax in the edges of it that's been illuminated by the flash.

On that subject, though, the vertical cracks that seem to line up with the front of the doors. Are those "factory?" I always wondered.
 

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Looks to me like rust under (recent?) paint. Unlikely to be related to improper jacking. Unfortunately, to know the extent of the rust the paint would need to be stripped off. And even then, a general guide is to triple what is visible to estimate what is actually present. Then double it...

The sills/rockers & floors make up the main structural strength of the Spider's unibody. Proper repairs there are needed to maintain that strength.
 

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1979 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #9
My guess is the paint is original just based on how many rock chips and door dings it has. I have no concrete evidence of this, however.

Edit: unless you mean the black undercoating. No idea about the origin of that.

Unlikely to be related to improper jacking
Even under the driver's side rear? That looks like someone jacked it up really wrong. Maybe the depth of it doesn't come through in the picture but on the right hand side of the picture there's a hockey puck sized dent that I'm not sure what else could have caused it other than improper jacking. Perhaps my imagination is not developed enough...

I'd be inclined to agree with the front sections but since I was taking pictures I figured I'd take them of all four corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess the question I posed was whether or not the rust was causing by improper jacking. It's entirely possible the driver's side rear was improperly jacked and despite that, the rust showing through the paint wasn't caused by it at all.
 

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It doesn’t look too bad as far as Spider rust goes. Most S2’s have filler in the front rockers. Highly unlikely the rust has gotten into the middle sills, replacing the outer rockers isn’t a very difficult task. All the full replacement panels are available new for reasonable prices.
 

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The horizontal white line just below the rockers is not factory, and the seams below the leading edge of the doors seem to have filler at the top of the seam. Seems like it has been repaired previously. Have you tried magnets along the rockers, bottoms of the fenders, wheel lips etc. May give you a better idea of the extent of any prior repairs and whether bondo was used only on the seams of new metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is awesome info! I haven't tried magnets but I will. I'd say it's very unlikely the whole car was painted but it's certainly possible there was local rust repair done. My brother currently has the stack of receipts from the previous owner that I want to look through. Could be the repairs were not very good or were done a long time ago and are failing. Sadly, as previously stated I'm not in a position to repair this right now but I'd like to keep track of it.
 

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The spare tyre well looks pretty sound...a wire brushing and some stone chip applied will keep that tidy. I put 3 strips of closed cell foam in mine, 120 degrees apart, so that there is some air moving under the tyre, and so that it isn't sitting there rubbing on the surface all day long.

As for the sills...the drain hoses for the well the top sits in drain down into the area of the sills, behind the trailing edge of the door. If these get gunged up or filled with stonechip/undersealer, then any water will collect in there and rot them out.

The sills take a load of abuse with stone chips, jacking etc, so it's no wonder the paint chips or cracks letting in moisture, and starting the rot occurring.

Jacking points themselves look pretty sound, at least in the pics.

Rear end is tidy too - I wish my control arms were that spotless !

Is there some sediment in fuel filter ? ( I realise that's picking the fly sh*t out of the pepper...)
 

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Sorry to say that looks classic ‘filled over rust’ stuff. The inner sills may be Ok but you really need to get those outer areas all stripped down and see what you’ve got. I’d suspect bondo in some abundance.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So a magnet sticks all the way across both rockers. Seems slightly less "sticky" right over all four corners of the rockers but all four corners also have the plastic rock chip film on them and the magnet I used wasn't particularly strong. The leading edge of the hood also has the film and it felt similar, so it seems like it's at least mostly metal under the paint.
 

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on the spare tire well, do this.. brush it all the way down to bare steel.. and rust/ scale that you might fine,, this works well.. vinegar and flower paste( the flower it just to hold the vinegar in place so it can do its work removing the rust/scale.. just mix in the the flower into the vinegar untill you get a nice runny paste,, aply this to any rusty/scale areas. let sit overnight.. then rinse with hot water.. if you want baking soda with the hot water.. dry it well.. now paint it with por 15 2 coats will be good... then before you place the spare tire into the nice clean well,, bet some hard rubber blocks this size 1 inch wide x 4 inch long x 3/4 to 1 inch high.. glue these to the bottom of wheel well at 90 degrees to each other.. let sit, so what ever you used to glue the hard rubber block into place will stick well.. now you can put your spare tire back into the well.. what you just did is raise the spare tire off the steel floor and can let air water etc. to circulate around and not get trapped by the rubber sidewall on the tire.. easy to keep clean, and it will never rust out the spare tire well...
 

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and what i just posted should be a ' sticky '
 
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