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Discussion Starter #1
I'm finally getting around to playing with my car and taking care of a few things that needed attention.

The car is an 84 spider with 71k miles. It just got its new antique plate this year (which made me a little sad...). I've owned the car since 1993 (with 43K miles) after purchasing it from my brother. My bro bought the car in mid 1986 from a Tampa Mercedes dealer (15K miles). I have all receipts since 1986 and the car is amazingly, completely rust free.

I retired the end on May after 32 years of federal service as a combat systems engineer for the Navy, Going into retirement, the Alfa was waiting for me to get after a pesky leaking head gasket and pulling brake caliper among other things.

Well the summer ended up a fairly busy time, followed by my oldest Son's wedding in September and the holiday, etc, etc.

I got around to tackling the head gasket back in November, after letting the car sit since last Feb. (how time flies). All went back together fine except for dropping the tensioner wedge into the sump (don't ask, just stoopid on my part). I hunted the wedge with lights and magnets to no avail. Screw it. I'll get it out of the sump later.

I source a tensioner wedge from Spruell and continued with the assembly. Amazingly, the car started and ran great, spare the fact I went through a half a tank of gas in a mile. Turns out the fuel hose to the cold start injector had a small cut and was spraying fuel all over the motor at a very alarming 40PSI rate.

I had the car towed back to the house as I knew it would be a lot easier repair at home than in the rain at the local grocery store parking lot. One home, I pulled the fuel rail and replaced the offending hose. The hose was replace about 3 years ago when I sent the rail off to have the injectors cleaned. My guess is the hose got chafed during reassembly, as I had left the CS Injector connected to the rail (along with the rest of the injectors) during removal.

Anyway, hose replaced and the car is running great but boy, my brakes are making noise! I noticed lots of brake dust on the passenger side front wheel. Cool, another project! I cut to the chase and ordered new pads and calipers for the front, along with new hoses. The rotors were still around 12mm with no lip so no need to replace.

I got the calipers and pads on yesterday so the car no longer sings when I turn or stop.
Today, I took the car to the hobby shop for new oil/filter. While on the lift, I pulled the oil pan and found the tensioner wedge (whew!). I was hoping it might be on the magnetic drain plug, but with all the baffles in the pan, I'm not surprised it wasn't there.

Anyway, All better and ready to go! I still have a few more items to go but nothing that will keep me from enjoying the car, given a little cooperation from the weather. I need to replace the tires as they were last put on the car in 2002. I still have lots of tread but the age concerns me....

Oh well, that's about it. Time to screw something else up!
 

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Don,

Congrats on retirement. This is what retirement is for - to work on and drive an Alfa Romeo spider. What else could you have been working towards for all those years?

If you ever want to get wild and crazy with those brakes, consider installing a set of R-1 Concepts custom rotors. They come in several configurations but what I bought are the Zink plated, cross drilled and diamond cut sloted rotors. I do not drive my 88 quad anywhere near aggressive enough to need such superior braking. But the zink plated rotors never rust and look so good through the slots in the wheels. Just for further grins, while you are at it you can clean and paint your calipers, Some like the red calipers like Ferrari has used at times, but silver, gold, and occasionally blue seem to be popular as well.

Nice weekend project to spend a little money and dress up the spider.

Congrats, Robert in Memphis TN.
PS - I retired June 30 with 32 years of Fed service as civilian employee of the Coast Guard. (after 23 years of Navy and CG service in uniform)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I enjoy the car but it tends to get overcome by other things...like three boys in college, a house that's too big and gulf front rental condos that don't seem to have an off season anymore (not that I'm complaining!).

I also have a 2004 350z roadster, 2000 Boxster S anda 1999 BMW M Roadster to keep me hopping. I keep our Navy hobby shop in business with my bay rentals. My boys each have cars (3 more) plus my beater 2000 grand cherokee that I use for the condos and pulling wave runners...
Sometime, I just can't get the Alfa out of the garage as our driveway is its own traffic jam!
 
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