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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it is official-the restoration of my Touring Spider #1115 is underway with the delivery of the body shell to the shop. I have been slowly amassing bits and pieces and information for this project for a couple of years now, so it is about time. The project is finally moving forward now that all "required" pieces are on hand thanks to the helpful assistance of Alfa BB members. Progress is likely to be a bit ponderous, but I will update periodically as it goes since I still have lots of questions, and possibly some new information to share.

Some info about the car: Manufactured on Dec. 14, 1959 according to Marco Fazio at CENTRO DOCUMENTAZIONE ALFA ROMEO, it was apparently originally sold in 1961, as that is how it is titled (California). The car was owned by my uncle as early as 1964, and he drove it as a daily driver for many years, and at some point installed a 2600 engine. The car was originally red (Alfa Rosa), but my uncle painted it the current light metallic blue in a successful attempt to reduce the number of speeding tickets he received. The car was parked in a garage in 1995 after experiencing an as-yet-to-be determined mechanical failure, where it remained until only a few years ago. It is my intention to return this classic to its original condition, with some mechanical improvements to improve reliability, as I do intend to drive the car once it is completed.

Steve
 

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Very nice project, I look forward to have some news.
Do you still have its original engine or will you leave the 2600 one ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Serge,
Yes, I have the complete original 2000 engine which will go back into the car. It had been sitting under a workbench in a garage for decades. Along with a complete overhaul, it will be upgraded a bit with higher compression and some other upgrades. I am hoping to convert to 9 mm valve stems so setting clearances will be less of an issue but I still need to determine how that can be done. Modifications to the radiator core support and hood will also need to be brought back to original.
 

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Looks like the rotisserie and hood fit the bill. Cool. Get the aircraft jack-stands yet? They're not expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Don,
Yes, both worked out nicely. The rotisserie needed a bit of grinding on the back end as the rear pickup point appears to be slightly forward (a mm or two) compared to yours, and the front end suspension pickup points do not cradle evenly across the front rotisserie mount, but this seems to be within the variability of the body fabrication. The hood actually does not fit great, but the shape and size does seem to match the original well, which also did not fit that well. So, it appears that, at least in this case, the hoods are interchangeable. On both hoods, the gaps are uneven, being tighter, for example, at the rear corners, with bigger gaps on the straight, long sections (see pics). This is an interesting contrast to the doors, which have tight/straight gaps, and the trunk lid, which has wide/straight gaps. I wonder, is this typical?
 

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My hood is shifted somewhat forward. This gives a slightly narrow gap along the front edge, but matching on the two sides and rear.

Did you do the longer rod trick on your 102 engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No aircraft stands yet. The shop does a lot of rotisserie work, so I have left it up to them to come up with a solution, although that option was discussed. The may choose to modify one of their existing setups. There is a 2600 currently at the shop as well, so the rotisserie might see quite a bit of action.

The 2600 engine will eventually be sold, once I have a chance to determine what happened to it originally and what its current condition is. This won't happen immediately as my project time is limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the longer rods, but all the engine parts are still in boxes waiting to get out. I still need to bore the cylinders and determine the thrust bearing thickness before I can assemble the bottom end. The crank is otherwise polished/balanced and ready to go. The head is another story.
 

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Surely if the 2600 fits, and works well, you have the best of both worlds. The better looking 2000 body, with the more interesting, and gruntier engine.
 

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In my opinion, the 2600 was a failed concept. More HP than the stock 2000, but much heavier sitting right on top of the front axle that already had heavyish steering. A not-very-modified 2000 can give nearly as much HP as a stock 2600 and be much nicer to drive. My car has the FNM 2300, which has the weight of the 2000 but nearly the HP of the 2600.

I would gleefully let that big 6 go to the highest bidder, and bolt on the right manifold, carbs, and cams to the 2000.

Have you noticed the OKP/Conrero manifold for sale on the BB? It can be had for a good price, and is the right road to using a couple of 40 or 45 DCOE's, plus some hotter cams.

Good luck, Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rear Suspension Question

With the body off to the shop, I have been looking into the nice pile of parts I have to work with. While I take a break from trying to separate the brake pistons from the wheel cylinders, the rear suspension poses an interesting question. Most of us understand that the 102 is not a race car, but I wonder if the standard silent blocks on the rear suspension could benefit from some stiffening. On this car, both on the trailing arms and on the triangle, the silent blocks were reinforced some time ago (back in the 1990s?) by adding washers retained with screws and nuts to help limit side-to-side movement. So some thought was given even back then. As an alternative, urethane is clearly unacceptable, but AlfaStop offers a stiffer version (Product Code 1RS133A) which might be a good compromise. Does anyone have experience with these stiffer bushings or an opinion on the subject?
 

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Steve,

Best to replace all that with stock bushings, make sure no bolts or holes are worn, and a set of red Konis. The ride is perfect, and all the handling you can use. The latter is limited by the tires.

Save yourself a lot of time and terror. Buy all new brake cylinders. You'll thank me later.
 

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On this car, both on the trailing arms and on the triangle, the silent blocks were reinforced some time ago (back in the 1990s?) by adding washers retained with screws and nuts to help limit side-to-side movement. So some thought was given even back then.
Maybe, maybe not. Another possibility is that somebody had to make do with whatever was available at the time (i.e. improvise for fixing a problem) before we had the Internet to exchange information about best practices and/or supply and demand.

Like Don, I'd go with stock repro bushings available from many sources. These cars were designed as "grand touring cars", not racers. They are relatively heavy and have a fairly soft suspension for a comfortable if not luxurious high-speed and long-distance rides on mediocre roads. In my opinion, stiffer bushings may be of use on track cars where the surface is glass-smooth -- and I would argue stiffer suspensions would bounce the car and make it lose road contact on regular roads.
 

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Steve,

The trailing arm bushings are a ROYAL PITA to get out. I had custom drifts made for driving them out and in, and even those suffered under the maximum pressure I had to apply via the hydraulic press. On some, I had to resort to cutting out the rubber, then using a hacksaw to cut the bushing wall before it would come loose. I would have saved time if I'd tried that on all of them to begin with, but wasted a lot of motion attempting to press them out. I wouldn't be at all surprised if your bushings got shot, and either the PO couldn't find replacements or couldn't get them out so improvised. My first 102 back in about 1971 had a shot trailing arm bushing, and it would dodge left and right upon application or reduction in power.
 

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Blowtorch was used. I was eventually able to press out 2 of the 4. My earlier point was that I would have finished more quickly had I just skipped the efforts with torch and press and gone straight to the hack saw. Of course, the two that came out with the press fooled me into thinking the other two would be equally easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not what I was expecting

I took a moment to begin the removal of the bushings on the rear control arms. They are not reinforced as I thought, but are a multi-piece assembly: three rubber pieces held together with the washers/screws with a somewhat floating center shaft and 52mm outer sleeve. Ruedi might be right about their origins. In any case, thank you Don and Ruedi for your opinions; stock bushings will be ordered. New brake castings are on order as well, since I can only tolerate so much terror, and my time is very limited as well.
 

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The OE bushings are a typical metal shell filled with rubber and a center tube for the bolt. Not multi-pieces floating around. Yours looks like a workaround of sorts..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Progress has been slow.

Today I spent some time temporarily reinstalling the rear bumper to take a closer look at fitment. When it was initially removed, my original observation was that the bumper tip brackets had been cut away and the mounting holes in the quarter panels had been covered up with body filler. There was also a small dent in the center of the bumper, like it had been backed into a post. My original plan was to obtain reproduction bumpers from the Harrington Group, so I would not need to worry about these details. However, since I am attempting to keep the car as Italian as possible, I decided to keep the original bumpers and work through their issues.

With the bumper reinstalled, I found that there is poor alignment with the hole in the quarter panel and the location where the missing bumper tip bracket used to be. The bumper does not reach far enough to adequately reach the mounting holes on each side. Also, the damage from the dent in the bumper center appears that it may be more extensive. I suspect the bumper has been flattened somewhat over the span between the main mounting brackets because its shape does not accurately follow the contour of the car body, but is closer to the body near the bumper center. For example, with a 1 1/4-inch (32 mm) bumper-body clearance at the outer bumper bracket center, the bumper-body spacing inboard near the license plate assembly is only 5/8-inch (16 mm). Is this normal? I would suspect that these values would be more similar.

Can someone confirm what typical measurements in these two locations should be? Also, what is a typical distance from the bumper end to the center of the end mounting assembly (how far in from the bumper tip is the mount) and bumper end spacing to the body? I would like to get this part correct before plating.
 

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