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Just got my Alfa one week ago. Pretty soild '69 SPICA roundtail. No show car, but tight body, good motor. Runs much better than the last Alfa I had, a 76 spider which gave me no end of troubles, but which I loved dearly. I drove this car back from St Louis (a two hr drive in 90 deg heat). SHe ran great. Did about 80MPH most of the way. At one point she even hit 100 going up hill. I know that these spedometers can be inaccurate, but judging by the surrounding vehicles we weren't far off.

I have many things I will need to do on this car, hopefully none this year (already spent too much!)

I Already put a low price set of mags on it which I think update the car well. Unfortunately the wheel caps won't fit over the oil caps on the front wheels. Anyone run into this? Any solutions?

I will need a transmisison rebuild before I can let my wife drive it- the syncros are done. I understand that more solid syncro can be put in when I do this. On my last car I had the transmission rebuilt after the housing cracked (apparently it had been mounted with "american bolts", and at that time I regularly drove the car at 85 MPH for hours on end...). After the rebuild, the transmission never regained its previous fluidity - any hints on what makes a great tranny rebuild? For me the playfulness of the car is severely hampered by a poor transmission.

I want to consider modernizing the car by putting on a high flow catalytic converter. Passed the headers, the exhaust doesn't look stock, so I thought I might get a local muffler shop to weld in a Magnaflow or other low priced high flow catalyst. I had thought of converting to E-85 for lower emissions, but have since been warned against the corrosive nature of the fuel. So this is my token for the environment (and part of my argument for us driving to work daily in the Alfa rather than our ULEV 2002 Mini). Anyone ever done this to a roundtail? Is it blasphemy? Will it screw up the exhaust tone? Do I need to compensate by removing the muffler that is there now? (the car is VERY loud at full throttle - fun but probably a bit irritating to neighbours at 6:30 every am).

I think the car is plenty powerful, but It sounds like from the blogs here that an electric fan may be a good switch early on, and that electronic ignition may make it a bit more "bullet proof".

Another thing that I'd like to do is tighten up the rattles (soft top clips rattle at every bump, and this car doesn't seem to have the rubber straps that keep the top from bouncing) that make the car feel less buttoned down than it actually is. Any good answers for this?

Thanks

Rumi
 

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IAP sells the straps that keep the top from rattling. In fact, I just ordered a pair. You need a total of two. In your case, you might also need the part that goes on top that also helps hold the boot cover in place.
Check to see if these chrome parts are still bolted in place and if its just the rubber straps that have broken loose underneath. I'll post that part number of the chrome part when I get a chance to dig up my catalogue.

Catalog # Description Price Quantity Total
36007 Strap, Convertible Top $17.95 (2) $35.90
 

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Just got my Alfa one week ago.
That's a very nice looking Spider.

I understand that more solid syncro can be put in...
I'm not sure about 'more solid synchros' but I've read that some will lighten the gears. That gives the synchros less mass to work against. However, a properly rebuilt gearbox used with a modicum of care should last a long while without going to all the expense of lightening the gears. Just shift with finesse, not brute force!

I want to consider modernizing the car by putting on a high flow catalytic converter.
I wouldn't think a round tail would need (or ever had) a catalytic converter. Perhaps you mean a less restrictive exhaust system?
 

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Ah, molto bella! I'm just a little envious.

I live about 2.5 hours east of St. Louis. I'm really glad I didn't know such a beautiful vehicle was for sale in the area. I'm really trying to save some money this year.

Tim
 

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A real beauty! To each his own, but I would never change that beautiful green, especially when there are so many red ones out there that it really stands out.
 

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I will need a transmisison rebuild before I can let my wife drive it- the syncros are done. I understand that more solid syncro can be put in when I do this. On my last car I had the transmission rebuilt after the housing cracked (apparently it had been mounted with "american bolts", and at that time I regularly drove the car at 85 MPH for hours on end...). After the rebuild, the transmission never regained its previous fluidity - any hints on what makes a great tranny rebuild? For me the playfulness of the car is severely hampered by a poor transmission.
Beautiful Spider!

Wrt the transmission rebuild, it's not that complex, but one thing I would strongly recommend is having the gears lightened while you have it apart. It will add about $85 per gear to the cost of the rebuild, but the result is a box that will shift like butter, not require double clutching, and the synchros will last much, much longer.

HTH,

bs
 

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Very nice car. I would avoid the E-85. I guess you could put a cat on but I your best bet is to spend you money on a reuilt SPICA pump and electronic ignition and then keep the car in perfect tune. They are pretty clean cars when up to spec and you'll get close to 30 mpg is you drive to save gas.

A agree with the rest: Keep the green (the world has enough red Alfas), rebuild the trans with lightened gears and drive it every day!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all for the replies. really make a newby to the site feel welcome (and proud!) I will take the advice:
leave the color- i'll likely get a refresh in two years.

Switch to electronic ignition - I'm trying to find a pertronix system for my distributor. The car looks like it has the "rarer distributor' that won't fit the MR-LS1 they offer on the website. If anyone has any advice on this -ie change distributor etc... please let me know.

Get the transmission rebuilt with lightened gears. Shifting like butter is excatly what i wanted to hear...

By the way, I bought the car from California and had if shipped to Alfa House in St louis for a thorough going over before finalizing the sale. There was no car on sale in St Louis!

Thanks again,

Rumi
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Speaking of which, have you guys seen the beige '67 duetto on sale right now on e-bay? OK, so its clearly not original, but is't gorgeous!!!
 

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Very pretty car. Love the wheels, what kind are they?
Do not put a cat on the car, it shouldn't of come with one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very pretty car. Love the wheels, what kind are they?
Do not put a cat on the car, it shouldn't of come with one.
The wheels are "liquid metal" 15" mags. Very inexpensive at Discount tire direct. Bolt right on, but nospace for the center caps on the front wheels because of the oil cap! I'm still trying to figure this out, and am waiting for a different type of cap from discount tire direct. It was suggested that If I put a 1cm spacer i might have more space for the cap, but that this would affect how the car handles. Any thoughts. I know the obvious thought is to put mags made for an alfa on a classic alfa. My dream wheels are the Momo vegas that were original options for the car. I don't think I'll be seeing those for a couple of years though.

AS far as a catalyst goes, sounds like the sensible thing to do is leave things alone. (Arden at Alfa house almost had a heart attackk when i even mentioned it!). As far as exhaust options, I saw a not from a member saying that the Magnaflow system gives a real nice balance between quietness around town and great sounds when the throttle is opened up. Any thoughts?
 
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