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Discussion Starter #1
When I first got my Spider, I was nervous about changing the air filter. Now, after replacing the water pump and alternator (had to pull the radiator to do that job), and today pulling the rear muffler in favor of a straight pipe, I have gained a certain level of confidence in my mechanicalling skills. I'm not quite ready for the head gasket job, but I feel that I can hack the maintenance and small-to-medium issues that come up.

I just have to remember that there is not much I can do that will ruin the car, and not much I can do that a _good_ mechanic can't fix. The worst I can do is fail.

Of course, every time I replace a bit of old hose I just HAVE to take it for a "test drive". There are worse things than being forced to drive an Alfa.

-Phil
 

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What do you think about the straight pipe? Too loud? Any more feeling of power? Am thinking of cutting out my converter and muffler too but have not gotten up the guts to do it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not sure, but it seems like there is a touch more power in the 2500rpm range than there was. It is not too loud, but the muffler that came off had a couple of small holes in it, so my sound level is about the same. The tone is nice, a little deeper and more resonant.

It was not too hard to do, but I sure did get dirty! Three bolts holding the pipe to pipe and one for the hanging bracket.

-Phil
 

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When I first got my Spider, I was nervous about changing the air filter. Now, after replacing the water pump and alternator (had to pull the radiator to do that job), and today pulling the rear muffler in favor of a straight pipe, I have gained a certain level of confidence in my mechanicalling skills. I'm not quite ready for the head gasket job, but I feel that I can hack the maintenance and small-to-medium issues that come up.

I just have to remember that there is not much I can do that will ruin the car, and not much I can do that a _good_ mechanic can't fix. The worst I can do is fail.

Of course, every time I replace a bit of old hose I just HAVE to take it for a "test drive". There are worse things than being forced to drive an Alfa.

-Phil
There's plenty you can do to ruin your car, but not much that cubic dollars and a good mechanic can't fix!

Seriously, good attitude! Stick with it! For the high risk jobs, just exercise a little care, and you'll be fine. Head gasket - don't pop the liners, don't drop the chain..

bs
 

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That's probably how everyone started....one thing here another there, pretty soon your rebuilding engines and trannys!:D
I haven't done a head gasket by myself....yet. I'm in the middle of a 164S waterpump/tensioner/belt job right now. Actually I have a father-in-law, brothers-in-laws and good Alfa friends that can do this stuff in their sleep so I have a big advantage, if I screw it up too bad I just call in the experts and they can bail me out!!!;)

.
 

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It's like the Mob: You try to break away, they pull you back in.....
 

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Congratulations, Phil, and welcome to the club.

I would caution you, though, against overconfidence. Every time I start feeling like I can do anything, something happens to really test my faith!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the kind words.

I am going slow, so I don't temp fate and get in too far over my head. Having been a homeowner for several years I know that every job takes twice as long and will cost twice as much as expected. I am also studying the shop manual and the Alfa Bible to learn the car as much as possible. This board is an incredible resource and has already saved my, er, sanity a few times.

Tailpipe: I think I need to replace the hanging bracket (rubber) with a metal piece. I took her for a nice spin today and after getter her all hot and bothered she started rattling in the rear, mostly when slowing down (she doesn't like slowing down once you get her going).

Next project will be taking off the front air dam thingie to remove those hideous licence place brackets.

-Phil
 
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