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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to All,

I am new to the forum as I recently acquired, for very short coin, a 1981 Spider. It’s a verified west coast car and that is the attraction as I am here in New England.

Being a pretty good wrench and I very much enjoy learning new autos and systems. The Alfa, though not yet sorted out, has already proved to meet that standard.

Being a proud new Alfa owner and looking to be a responsible caretaker I have been studying more than wrenching. I have ripped through as many manuals, papers, forums and any other source I can access to know the vehicle and it’s needs.

This is what I found about Frank:

1. It’s a 1980 build of the 1981 Spider
2. There was an engine swap. The engine code indicates that the plant is from ‘76 or ‘77 Alfetta.
3. The motor is stamped as a 2 liter.

Now you know why it’s the Franken-Alfa.

This weekend I am going to go through the tune procedures that have been so well documented by many generous owners, manuals, and, of course, the Master Wes. I plan to take my time and absorb and enjoy all of it.

So here are my questions. Well for now...

1. I took the cam cover off and the exhaust cam vernier looks as expected. However, the intake cam adjuster is foreign to me and my studying did not produce an answer. Take a look at the pic I attached. Any input you have on this system is appreciated.

2. I can’t believe, truly, how generous the AlfaBB members are with knowledge and experience. I have seen so many posts with scans of exploded parts diagrams posted by many. I have collected some documentation but such parts diagrams have alluded me. Can anyone inform me of where to acquire such a manual for any Alfa?

Happy to be here with you all. I look forward to contributing as I learn. But in the meantime thank you for your help.

Happymotoring
 

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Welcome!

It looks like the cam is from a later model VVT.

It is not uncommon for the build date and title to be off - it's just an Alfa thing.

There's virtually no difference between a '77 block and an '80 except the number. By 1980 the Spiders were pretty doggy performance wise. They may have swapped motors to get a bit more although a '77 wasn't exactly a rocket ship.

I would suggest getting the CarDisk CD (Centerline Alfa I think) which has a ton of useful info including the Alfa Parts Book which is where a lot of those exploded views come from.

Good luck - more pictures!
 

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1. I took the cam cover off and the exhaust cam vernier looks as expected. However, the intake cam adjuster is foreign to me and my studying did not produce an answer. Take a look at the pic I attached. Any input you have on this system is appreciated.

Happymotoring
Hi and first off a warm welcome to BB:)
Lets see a photo of your alfa (kind of an unwritten rule here;))

the intake cam you have has the mechanical VVT, came with the first L-jetronic cars. Some actually prefer it to the electronic VVT, but's that six of one and half dozen of t'other!

Later it was changed to electronic, solenoid operated VVT, with the solenoid on the front of the cam cover.

some info on the mechanicle VVT for you here:
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/306506-post2.html

yours is like this:
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/628026-post9.html
and electronic version is like this:
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/6675713-post14.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the links. I will definitely read up on the VVT.

I am happy to post a pic! The Alfa is in a small garage with not great point of view for a good shot. As soon as it comes out by push or power taking a photo will be the first order of business.

Thanks again.
 

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The mechanical VVT started with the 1980 Spiders.

Your block number might tell you its Alfetta. But it has been rebuilt as a Spider engine.

Two things so far point to this. One you have the VVT and two its in a spider. The Alfetta cranks were not drilled for the input bushing for the 105 series transmission.
 

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Welcome, looks like fun. You may also want to join the local alfa club, there may be actually face to face mentoring available there, which is handy sometimes. More pics would be good, the 80-81 spica cars are a bit of a black sheep even in spica circles, with unusual intake and air filter set up. Yours may be converted to an earlier spec already.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Vintage.

Thanks for chiming in. Spent a lovely day wrenching studying. This is what I learned:

1. Appears that the car originally had the single throttle body setup. The fresh air draw tube is located on the driver side.

2. However, the Spica setup is a T265. (Tough to read but my friend with better sight plucked off the model) with 4 throttle bodies and the 4 port gray air cleaner that looks like it came out of a Panzer.

I was going to attach images but hard from the iPad. Will post up a shot or two when I go in and use my laptop.

I love having a 3 day weekend. I’ll have more time on it tomorrow.

Watch for the shots I have. Will be posted soon.
 

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Vintage.

Thanks for chiming in. Spent a lovely day wrenching studying. This is what I learned:

1. Appears that the car originally had the single throttle body setup. The fresh air draw tube is located on the driver side.

2. However, the Spica setup is a T265. (Tough to read but my friend with better sight plucked off the model) with 4 throttle bodies and the 4 port gray air cleaner that looks like it came out of a Panzer...
That would make sense. The mono-whatever was the poorest performing of all the SPICA setups. I can imagine the fights the engineers had with the regulators over that one. Anyway, the 265 would make for much better performance.

Sounds like you have the right temperament for working on a SPICA. They are fascinating and an engineering marvel. Set up properly they can be a rock solid performer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
gprocket - Thanks for the encouragement!

To All -

As promised here are the shots of the Alfa. My friend sent them over as he took them on the day the car came home. It remains tucked in the garage for at least a few more days as I await some new valve shims.

As you can see it has a hardtop. I do have a frame but no canvas - yet!

Beyond that the body seems pretty good which was part of the reason I went through with the purchase.

I look forward to the day I get to drive it as well as work on it. When I do I will post more photos.

Have a good rest of the weekend.

Thanks to all that chimed in on this thread.
 

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