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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy all. I'm new to this forum since about a month ago when I bought an '85 GTV6. Knowing how folks like pics and progress threads, I figured I would start and maintain one to log my experience. The story starts earlier this year when I cleared out the garage and bit and sold my '01 911 Turbo:

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I bought this car a couple years ago with 26k miles on it in mint condition. After 2 years, and 4000 miles I realized that it was just too fast to enjoy on backroads without getting into serious trouble. On the highway, there was nothing better, but that's not what I was looking for. I wanted something that I could have some more fun in without getting arrested so I offered it to the local Porsche shop who bought it on the spot.

The replacement list was short and included a Lotus Esprit, BMW 2002tii, Datsun 510, Porsche 944 Turbo, or anything a bit older with character that caught my eye. After scouring the internet for a few months, bidding on a few cars here and there, I spotted a red GTV6 on BringaTrailer that sparked some good memories of drooling over these in my younger days. During the last 2 minutes of the auction I had to pull over on the shoulder of the PA Turnpike to bid but ended up winning. I think I spent a little too much, or as my friend puts it: "you bought early".

Fast forward ~2 weeks and the car arrived at a local shopping center with extra parts included. Here's my first glimpse with the original interior and boxed up carpeting tied down:

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Once off the truck, you can see the car is also packed with spares including a car cover, all sorts of books & manuals, and a few boxes of old parts:


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After a nice ~30 minute back road drive I arrived home and celebrated:

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And here she is with her new roommate:

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I spent the first evening poking around the car and making a list of upgrades, maintenance items, and other areas to address. It quickly spread to 2 pages but it's all small stuff, mostly cosmetic. I'll keep updating as I go and will definitely be asking a lot of questions as I go. Enjoy!
 

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Joe Elwell
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Welcome to GTV6 ownership and this board - it's a treasure trove of great advice, information, and friendly support. Thanks for the pix - always appreciated.
Joe
 

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And here she is with her new roommate:

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Nice stable. I used to an an Exige. It was a great car, but difficult to enjoy outside of a racetrack because the limits were so high. In contrast, once you master the gearchange, the GTV6 should be perfect for the winding roads of West Virginia. That is a very nice GTV6 you bought, and you got a good price on it as well.
 

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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heh, thanks. I'm actually in PA outside of Philadelphia. The plates are just alumni plates as I went to West Virginia University.
 

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As a Pitt grad - we can't all be perfect!

Looks like a really nice GTV6 in good hands. I grew up in York. Both ends of PA have a really great Alfa community and good driving roads for these things. Just don't go too crazy with modern tires. :)
 

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Congrats, watched that auction and good to see you here. I am not sure what the definition of crazy modern tires is but apart from still being 15” my car has very modern tires. You will have a blast either way. I think your car has dz102, which I found to be a bit squishy in the sidewall but ride well and reasonably capable on one of my gtv6.
 

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Congratulations, beautiful car. Could you tell me what size are those tires?

Thanks
Pino


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Welcome, and what an excellent addition to your stable!

I work on Porsches for a living, so I know what you mean with the 996TT, and as you can see from my signature I own two of the cars on your short list, and had them before I found my Copart GTV6. It took a bit of rehabilitation to get it going, but it has been my daily driver for the past four years and has been perfectly reliable. I actually cannot believe how much I still love the car, and therefore I need to pivot to my neglected German cars and get them up to snuff!
 

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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the comments. @Pino F , they are 205/55-R15's. @cda951 nice collection! @Mark_toro I still miss those back yard brawls between WVU and Pitt...seems so loooong ago.

Since I already wanted to try and find Euro bumpers, I decided to try tucking the bumpers as a 'hold over'. First thing was to remove the bumper and unbolt the bumper pistons. Based on some previous digging here, it looks like the recommended place to drill through the piston was on the sticker where it says '906'. While that worked fine, I eventually figured out that you should probably drill along the '906' line but directly in the middle of the two flange bolt holes. By doing so, you can remount the piston to the car with the newly drilled hole facing straight down which will drain water or debris that might get in there.

I also read that the fluid is under some pressure so you should wear face or eye protection. Out of caution I used a face shield but also repurposed an old Chinese food contain lid to act as the main shield.

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Once I drilled through, the container lid pretty much caught all the spray. Next thing I did was collapse the pistons as far as possible and re-bolt them to the car. With them in place, I snugged the bumper back onto the car and pushed it in as far as possible. After that was done, I made a mark on the compressed bumper piston where the bumper holes were (see sloppy X mark in the pic below). NOTE: On the picture below, the bumper piston isn't fully compressed so you have to imagine it pushed in another inch or so. The sloppy X mark is where the bumper hole location was. I measured it to be ~42mm from the flange except it was too close to the original oval hole to drill. Since there is plenty of room inside the front bumper, I extended the piston out a little and marked out a new 42mm mark. That became the center of the new hole I drilled.

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After drilling the hole, I enlarged it with a dremel, welded the piston and outer housing together, hit the whole thing with a wire wheel, and finally primed and painted it. While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I stopped to admire how good the car looks without a bumper!

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Back to the bracket:

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After remounting everything (as a precaution I chased all the mounting bolt holes to clean up some of the corrosion), Here's how the front looks:


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I'm suddenly starting to rethink chasing euro bumpers since it looks so good already. Anyhow, it's getting late so the rear bumper will follow shortly along with one or two other items.
 

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Joe Elwell
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Excellent job - you've definitely compressed yours more than mine is (I bought it that way), and it looks fantastic.

Also, I really appreciate you documented this so well - keep these pieces coming!!

Joe
 

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I agree 100%-- it looks so much better, and your photos/documentation is excellent. The rear bumper will no doubt turn out just as nice. With the work you put into this modification, I can fully understand why you might want to rethink the Euro bumper conversion. It's relatively easy to do, but there's details to chase as well as hardware (meaning there's more to it than just the bumpers). And you have to first find a set... ;)
 

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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I didn’t have time to post before a work trip so here’s a teaser. This is how far the bumper will go in with simply compressing the piston. There are two spots of interference which I have to figure out since I want to try and get the bumper all the into the car. One problem are the metal tow hooks and the other is the spare tire wheel. I think I can solve both with precision cutting of the lower bumper. Not sure if I’m going to do that yet. Stay tuned.

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Looking good... but on each side, where the big flat head bolt slides through that long slot, is there enough slot left to allow the bumper to move further inward?
 

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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I’m not at home yet, but from what I remember, there is still plenty of room in that slot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Managed to find some time over the weekend to work on the rear bumpers some more. As the picture above shows, this is as far as I can push the rear bumper in before it starts hitting parts of the car. You can see the rear bumpers could be compressed even further or I could drill additional holes like I did on the fronts if needed.

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@alfaloco, you asked about more space in the bumper slot. This pic shows where the bumper is with it pushed all the way in. As you can see I'm only halfway through the travel!

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Regarding the interference, here are the 3 spots (2 light duty tow hooks, + spare tire well)

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A skilled craftsman with the right tools could notch out the bumper to to clear the spare tire well and easily resolve the tow hook interference a couple of ways. I decided I'm not a skilled craftsman so I opted to just keep the rear bumper at this position. I tried removing the lowest part of the rear bumper to see if that would allow me to push it in further. After remounting the bumper without that piece, it looked way too weird to consider. It also didn't allow any more inward movement so it was a lose-lose.

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Off came the bumper for about the 10th time:

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The measurement for the rear piston when the bumper is pushed in is as shown below. I made a mark at 60mm which is easy to remember. Then I pulled the piston out and cleaned up the surface for welding and pushed the bumper back in until is aligned with the 60mm. I also took care to make sure the hole is aligned properly with respect to the flange.

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After some welding, grinding, and painting, here is the new bumper:

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The paint just dried tonight so I didn't have a chance to remount the bumper yet. Final photos and a before/after will be posted soon.
 

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1985 GTV6
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As some of you also may have seen from the auction, the car came with it's original interior which was in generally very good condition:

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The only problems are: (1) a noticeable tear on the one front seat cushion, (2) a tearing seam on the other front seat, and (3) some pretty big sun fading on a front seat. Here's a larger pic of the tear:

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I'm still undecided on whether I'm keeping the leather or going to put the original back in. I'm leaning towards the original cloth spec and, as such, had it repaired at a local upholstery shop. I think they did a very good job considering the tear was so apparent. Here is how they look now (sun fading is obvious!)

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On closer inspection, it's still hard to see the repair:

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While it's not 100% OEM, I'm very happy with the repair. And unless you were specifically looking for it, you wouldn't ever notice the black thread, or the way the lines in the material don't quite remain perfectly aligned.

Lastly, I don't think there is much I can do about sun faded seat since dying it would just darken the stripes too. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on whether the cloth or leather seats would be better long term? For reference, this is the leather:

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I'm with you 100% on the rear bumper, for practical reasons. A) It looks much better than stock, since it's not protruding out there a country mile from the car body, and B) To go any further would involve irreversible modifications with a smoke wrench, for very little improvement in my opinion. So, I would stop where you're at now also, if it were my car.

On the seats, it's preference. Leather is nice, yes, and looks so rich but the pinstripe cloth also looks classy and is cooler in the summer, warmer in cold weather. And cloth takes no maintenance, unlike leather. As to the sun fading, you could get those areas recovered with the new matching material Zinhead posted. Or, somewhat riskier, you can buy spray cloth dyes, and you could try masking off the center pinstriped cushions, and color the side bolsters. Then, since the light pinstripes "should" take more black color to darken than the black background, you could lightly mist on the black dye and look at the effect. If it looks like the pinstripes want to darken too much, then back off. If not, then mist on a bit more until the background doesn't look so faded. Just a thought...
 

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The cloth seats hold you better for spirited driving. Pretty much a personal call, nice repair job. Am sure you could sell them.
 
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