I'm going to replace it with one from Classic Alfa. It should be here today so hopefully I can get it welded on this weekend. Yea I got pretty lucky with this car. My uncle owned it before me and maybe put two thousand miles on it in the 20 years he owned it. He bought it from his long time friend who had owned it for the 10 years prior. The engine had been rebuilt before (I just did it again) at some point prior to my uncle owning it and the floor boards have been patched with sheet metal and an acetylene torch. So my guess is that was a while ago. Other than that it runs great, looks pretty good though the 80's era paint re spray needs to come off and be redone correctly; but most people wouldn't even notice or care. I'm just kinda picky about paint and body.
Second, whoever told me to buy Victor Reinz gaskets instead of the ones provided by the “usual suspects” knew what they were talking about. These are just flimsy cutouts compared to the reinz ones that had bonded O rings on them next to the fluid passage holes. I wrecked my front cover gaskets when I changed my mind about rebuilding the engine after I put the front cover on:frown2:
Third, I received my new battery tray today also. Note the new one is not supplied wth the lower brace installed, though the photo on the supplier’s website shows it. Just FYI in case anyone is planning on doing this job also.
Hmm interesting. I’m pretty sure it was on the photo of the tray in the supplier’s catalog. I’ll look again. Thanks for the clarification. BTW, you had to change that frame rail? Yikes! That would be a project!
To be fair to my car, it only had minimal rust under the battery tray or throughout the body, the real issue was the raised rear floor behind the seats. It’s a double boxed construction and traps water.. rusts out taking the rear inner sills with it. It’s made of unobtainium and had to be reconstructed by “my guy”.. I chose him because he can make anything from sheet steel, frick’n artist
There was much older accident damage to the very front of the rail and radiator support which had been very, very poorly repaired (rivets, bondo, silastic).
In the end I decided to redo the body as it left Pininfarina, sans any patches or rusty untreated steel - it was taken completely apart on a jig and anything that had damage or rust was removed and replaced with OE metal or repro if OE unavailable (all sills and floors, etc.,) exactly as it had been originally fitted .. then media blasted, treated and sealed for life, everywhere.
Hilariously, those inner wheel arches were still bright shiny steel when we removed the rear clip.. never painted or protected, just hidden (except for their bottoms which were rusty as #uck)
We’re sitting and analysing where to add extra strength now.. gussets to the frame rails etc
I’m also mulling colour choices, which is hilarious given I’m colour blind
No apology necessary. I love seeing how others replace/ restore sheet metal. I like your jig idea! I used a rotisserie for a Bugeye and thought there must be a better way. I would love to restore one of these....just not this one. My last restoration took nine years. I want to drive this car! Finding a round tail body to restore could prove challenging though. Maybe I could do a Kam tail; like a series two. Are there more of them around? it would be just as fun.
I started with a home made rotisserie (could spin with one hand) but after being able to fully inspect and mull over it for a few years, I understood what really needed to be replaced and decided to change my philosophy from repair, to renew as per the factory (farina)
I gave the body and my huge collection of replacement panels to local metalworker (classic vehicles) and he built a precision jig with huge steel I-beams to keep everything in spec... he also loves everything Italian, so has the same motivation as me to save, improve her.
I have over nine years *restoring* this Duetto, most of that over analysing
There are a few threads in here about reinforcing the Duetto body.
1. The steering box and idler arm mounting tend to tear our if you do much vigorous AX or TT driving. There are threads for cutting and installing doublers in the right places. Remember that there are aluminum "things" in the engine bay sides, hidden by the outer wheel wheel sides. Often restorers that use chem dip to strip the old paint discover that the aluminum spacers have been dissolved by the strippers baths.
2. Most all the racers seam-weld all the seams in the engine bay. The spot welds really aren't enough to handle the stresses.
3. Alfas after the Duetto went to a 4-bolt lower A-arm mount. The factory made a front cross-member replacement for the Duetto that was made of heavier sheet metal and had the four-bolt mounts. There actually is a factory note about how to replace the original thinner two-bolt cross member. It's in here too, from a few years ago. I don't know if just using one from a later spider would serve the same, or even fit. These later cars also had thicker sheet metal on most all of the front section panels.
4.The trunk lid has a tendency to crack where the hinges bolt to it. Caused by too much flexing of the lid when a tail wind is blowing. There is a thread on reinforcing this too. (I actually wrote that one).
5. A lot of Spider (including Duetto?) owners have used a chassis brace that connects the steering box bolts in front to the rear ofd the car. I guess it's square tubing adds to the torsional stiffness, which otherwise is carried by the door sills. But the door sills are a three-piece welding that is really stiff already. (I can jack my Duetto up by any three of the four jack points, and still open or close either door). Brace is said to reduce "cowel shake" but I never saw a problem, even with my AX and TT thrashing. Reduces ground clearance a bit.
Thanks Robert. I plan to keep driving mine like Grandma Moses so hopefully won't need to do any structural mods. That's good info about the Aluminum bits. I don't know if I would find myself wanting to chem dip during a restoration, but if I did I wouldn't have have known that fact.
Ok i’m Ready to install the head! I came up with a question for you fine people however: some head gasket posts here on the BB mention sealing the rear of the gasket in some cases. Something about early blocks and later gasket combinations. Anyway I have a block dating to 1966 and the gasket I purchased from Spruell. It’s made by Victor Reinz. Does anybody have any more info about this discussion?