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Discussion Starter #1
Some pictures of the restoration as it stands.

(Dogga) Dave might know a little about cars, but he knows bugger-all about computers. So he asked me to post these images of the 102.

Cheers,
Wazza (ex syndicate member - came to my senses early in the piece).
 

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Great to see a RHD 102 Spider coming together. Who did the RHD conversion? Ruddspeed?
 

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Great to see a RHD 102 Spider coming together. Who did the RHD conversion? Ruddspeed?
I understand it was done by "Acme", a Wiley Coyote company.
 

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Hi Pete,

I have a LHD registered in Melbourne, these are rare cars in Australia so if you need any assistance from a reference car feel free to PM me. Will be great to have another on the road. Mine is not restored but has had paint.

Good luck.

Andrew
 

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Conversion was completed by the private importer in the early 70's who was a Fiat dealer.
He purchased the main parts from Alfa Romeo in Italy then set about butchering the dashboard and covering his poor work with padded vinyl. The dashboard you see has been hand made by a metal artist who learnt his trade with Mercedes Germany producing prototypes
The doors, sills, boot lid, boot floor, spare wheel well, underskirts front & rear have been hand made and the body placed upon a rotisserie for underbody repairs.
The carby's originally raised to miss the steering shaft were roughly done and great assistance from Don Peterson is allowing us to successfully correct this with good engineering.
Also many thanks to Jay Nuxoll for his assistance, both men forum experts on 102 Alfa's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Bob,

I've been doing my best to talk the guys into retaining the original steelies which have now been powder coated. Dave has bought new repro hubcaps.

However, there is still talk of buying wire wheels at an astronomical price.

Cheers,
Wazza
 

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Given that the car has been taken in several non-original directions anyway, I thought Dave was looking at the Dayton wheel option, which is not astronomical at all, and allows the use of much better, and less expensive, tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Don,

I think we are operating on different levels of financial capability, therefore the definition of pricing is relative.

Cheers,
Wazza
 

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Borrani... $12,000 +. = astronomical.
Dayton... $1,600 (I think).

Not so astronomical.

With the overall cost of the restoration, not even a rounding error. Plus. You'd save about $100 on each tire.

But we're all cheering for you!
 

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Excellent Job

Hooray for you, Dugga Dave
Your car looks absolutely beautiful, and the switch to RHD done well. A couple of notes, however, involve the paint. (1) 102/2000 Touring spiders have black motor compartments when they come from the factory, not the outside color. (2) 102/2000 Engines are black, not bare metal. The cast iron block itself painted a flat black, but the head, the valve covers and the cold air box black crinkle finish. (3) The dash on such cars are semi-flat black (and perhaps wisely to prevent sun refection) rather than the outside color. .

But, regardless, and who cares? The car is absolutely stunning and clearly well done. It will last now a long long time in Australian Alfa circles and generations in the future will always be referencing it by your name.

As for the problems of carburetor interference with the steering column I remember in my readings about older Alfa models somewhere how at least one of those earlier style engines were switched as to how it rotated while running, the exhaust and carburetor sides switched. The first mass produced series of Alfa with left had drive (LHD) was the 1900 after WWII. All previous were RHD. It must have been someone wanting to switch to LHD back when he switched the rotational direction. Might also have been because of the solid steering shafts of those days. At least on the 102/2000 spider there is no longer that terrible solid shaft pointed right at the drivers chest. While a 102/2000 engine is not all that complicated and could conceivably be modified to run with carburetors and exhaust switched (and the "pumpkin" in the rear differential turned over to still allow the drive train to have five forward gears as it should) just think of the work of creating a suitable cold air box etc. that would entail. It just makes us marvel all the more at the skill and great sense involved how you managed to switch from left hand drive done in this spectacular triumph of yours. Hooray again.

Incidentally, I once put my third member differential "pumpkin" upside down in my spider and had to take it back out and turn it over when discovered I had five reverse gears and only one forward. In the early days working on my Alfa was always a learning experience without dealers or even parts books. I've had my beautiful spider for over fifty years, and it always seemed to be work in progress to keep it in shape. Yours look ever so much better. It was my daily driver up to 1990, and I still haven't put all the pieces on it since the last paint job. I can only comment to you, Dave, that wire wheels are nice, but come at great price and take some modification of front axle stubs if you finally rob some 1900 to get them. The ones with shiny polished rims are even more noticeable, but all 102/2000 spiders are already beautiful without them.
 

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Jay,

I discussed the color choices re dash, engine bay, etc with Dave. Wives were allowed in the voting, and given the traditional weighting, they prevailed.

The car does look good, doesn't it? I'm awash in envy that we don't have his "panel beater" in my neighborhood.
 

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Thank you fellows for your encouraging words re the Aussie 102. I have just returned from Phoenix therefore am late in my response regarding your effort to assistance our project.
When we solve the problem of the rear carby touching the steering shaft i will send photo's to assist any other maniac that decides to switch from LHD to RHD a path that is turning my hair grey.
 

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How about a supercharger?

Dave,
At about the mid century mark there was a fellow in Pennsylvania who developed the "Judson" supercharger that fit the 190 SL Mercedes, Triumph, MG etc etc., in fact all the popular sports cars of the day. It hung on the intake side with internal vans spun by the motion of the fan belt and a single Zenith downdraft carb -- working well with a double pulley on the fan and an idler to tighten its separate belt. I often considered putting one on a two liter in my early wild days when I hated the solex carbs that I blamed for the lack of the wonderful performance of the first two liter I drove that once was the factory demonstrator. However, I now believe that had been deviously fitted with a spare Sportiva engine by the sales force at the factory who did not want to be showing prospective buyers cars with less than Alfa's legendary performance. That would would solve your carburetor problem and give you room for the steering shaft. And, by the way the MG devotees have developed a nice little supercharger for that car which could be adapted easily. And, as another thought, since the spider steering shaft has already two universal joints, why not run it down steeper and then almost horizontal with yet a third universal joint? I suspect the filter system would clear and even the rear of the cold air box. What a delightful venture you are pursuing. Congratulations again.
 

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Thanks for your thoughts Jay and the detail of the Judson supercharger. I considered the steeper positioning of the steering shaft but will see how the existing modification turns out upon receipt of the altered shaft from the engineer.
Actually both my partners in the restoration are Alfa men and love to race. If I provide them with a supercharger on the 102 they may succumb to the great temptations of the red line fever and bend our good bodywork.
Jay what a great photo from above of you and your beautiful 102 Spider.

One question, what spark plug & points gap do you recommend for our car??
 

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Spark Plugs, gaps

Dave,
I've tried every plug brand and still like NGK PB7ES best. However, every other Alfa owner I know has his own preferred kind. You should look out that it be in the right heat range. One of the cars going from my garage to Holland has a piston with a hole burned into it from the wrong heat range plug. Also be aware that the threads on some plugs are cut sharper than others. I prefer the thread edges slightly rounded. The plug gap I use is 0.55 to 0.65 mm which I translate to 25 thousandths (inches)and the distributor gap is 0.35 to 0.4 mm which I also translate to 16 thousandths. I guess you did not get any shop manual from me when I sent you the parts book. Attached are pages 12 and 13 from that book concerning tuning. Also attached is what come from Glenn's Manual printed in 1965, one of the very first books on Alfa I was able to buy. The reference there are to champion plugs BUT DO NOT USE WHAT IS RECOMMENDED.
 

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Thanks Jay for your invaluable information now in my file. The plugs were obtained in Phoenix from Auto Zone on special order. Their computer listed the 1960 102 2 litre Spider.
They supplied Pulstar plugs with plasma core ( be 1h 10 ) price US$ 15-00 each and upon opening the box a slip of paper confirms your gap sizes.
 
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