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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good even guys. I was approached by a friend of mine who owns a 1958 Alfa Spyder 2000 Touring. It was originally owned by his father who had recently passed away and was in the proccess of restoring the car. To make a long story short. As with any of us, we would not think twice about going forward with the legacy of the car.

Ill get to the point. My friend took the car to a mechanic to get the engine rebuilt. 3 months later, the car is still sitting lifeless. Mentioned the oil pump. He had approached me with an oppurtunity to get the car running. Motor has all new internals but just wont turn over. Im honored to have the chance to work on this beautiful machine. I personally own a 2000 BMW 540i Sport and do all the work on it myself. I read until my eyes bleed on the repair job that I may be doing at the time. Just want the job done right.

Now as pertaining to the subject. I first want to apologize for not doing any research on the Spyder. I would rather take current suggestions from owners than trusting a post that I browsed by someone who doesnt know what they are talking about. How "user friendly" is the car when it comes to working on the mechanical aspect of the vehicle?

Any suggestions will not be taken lightly as I am not here to waste your guys time. I know the bmw forum Im a member of, questions can get redundant in a heartbeat. I know if I see another cooling system thread on the E39s, I will pull my hair out. But thats what makes a great forum. Everyone reaching out to help. With that said. I am off to do some research. Thank you for reading thru this long thread.
 

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The engine is a straight-forward unit, and all parts can be obtained, although at significant cost. When you say "won't turn over" do you mean the starter will not make it go around, or that it doesn't fire and make power while turning over under starter power?

You say it has "all new internals", but also seem to be telling us that the oil pump is bad. Of course, a bad oil pump won't keep the engine from turning over under starter power, or firing and running. It will just cause it to self-destruct not long after starting.

A 1958 102 04 was referred to as a "Roadster" by Alfa. Later models were sometimes called "Spiders". None were called "Spyders".

Where is the car located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The engine is a straight-forward unit, and all parts can be obtained, although at significant cost. When you say "won't turn over" do you mean the starter will not make it go around, or that it doesn't fire and make power while turning over under starter power?

You say it has "all new internals", but also seem to be telling us that the oil pump is bad. Of course, a bad oil pump won't keep the engine from turning over under starter power, or firing and running. It will just cause it to self-destruct not long after starting.

A 1958 102 04 was referred to as a "Roadster" by Alfa. Later models were sometimes called "Spiders". None were called "Spyders".

Where is the car located?
I apologize for the lack of information I had provided. I had been working all day and was dead tired.

After speaking with my friend he said the motor has been completely rebuilt. The mechanic has had it in his possesion for 8 months now and still hasnt got it running. As of right now I have no idea what I am getting myself into. Engine is in the car. Wiring I have no info on.

So basically its the blind leading the blind right now. He is taking the car back to his house sometime next week and I will be able to provide pictures and more info on the car.

The "Spider" is located in Indiana.

I misread his intentions on the car as well. He has put roughly $6000.00 into it and is not wanting to put much more into the car. He will be selling it when it is all said and done. I thought he wanted to keep it in the family. On his defense , the way the economy is these days, this may be his only option.

Thank you all again for your information you have provided. I have to consider this to be the best forum for the Alfa's. Within 24 hours, I have attained more info from a few of you than I would have ever imagined.
 

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I could overhaul 2 or 3 of these engines for $6,000, so am hoping this expenditure is for other things besides the power unit.

If the engine is correctly rebuilt, then it shouldn't be too hard to get it running. Post pictures and we'll make suggestions based upon what we see.

Also, see if you can determine exactly what parts were put into the "completely rebuilt" engine. There should be receipts.

We look forward to hearing more from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That would be fantastic. I will post pictures the moment I get my hands on some.
As for the $6k, Im sure there has to be more than just motor work. I could be wrong but he didnt mention anything about it having added a tremendous amout of HP or Torque. To me , that would be suicidal unless he has taken some advanced driving courses.
 

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Not suicidal. The 2000 engine, as delivered, is pretty anemic. Even the most radical mods would at best raise the power to weight ratio to something that other Alfas had normally. There are design issues with the 2000 engine that limit its output and lifetime. I can imagine a professional mechanic charging $6,000 to overhaul the engine if he put in all new stuff, but one might expect this to result in a running engine.

I lived in central Indiana when I sold my first 102 Roadster. The guy drove off in a snow storm headed to New Jersey. I always wondered if he made it.
 

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There are many recent rebuild threads you can read.

For 102 series engines (2000cc), Don's is by far the most documented, but I've recently completed mine and Jay (twoliterlover) is something of a world-authority on the subject, plus Franco, Ruedi, and many more experienced and hugely supportive owners.

For a novice 102 series mechanic you're in the right place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah I usually research myself before asking to keep you guys from seeing redundant questions or threads. I feel fairly confident that I am in the right spot. I have easily saved $4k alone in labor on my 540 thanks to a great forum. After looking at these cars, Im starting to really like the looks of these.
 

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a real 1958 is quite rare.

There were not many finished the first year although in 1959 there were quite a few. Only way to really know it is is actually a 1958 is to check chassis and engine numbers. On cars earlier than 1961 there is a plate on the firewall on the far passenger side with numbers for Autoteleo (chassis number) AR10204. _ _ _ _ _, and Motore (motor number) AR00204* _ _ _ _ _. After 1961 the plate will not have motor number stamped in. You should also compare those numbers for originality with the (1) the chassis number cut into the firewall center just above motor height, and (2) the engine number stamped on the machined front edge of the block itself just below the head and above and more to the right of the water pump.

Hardest part of overhauling a two liter engine now is the lack of shims, i.e. caps or "buttons" to adjust the overhead valves in the head. I shudder to say that I have seen one engine which the owner told me proudly had been adjusted by a fantastic Ford mechanic. The method he had used to increase valve clearance involved shortening valve stems by grinding the ends. To decrease clearance he cut valve seats deeper. Finally the buttons had deeper pockets than the valve top area remaining above the keepers. In running the car the buttons had been riding on the keepers and in cylinder one had finally come loose to free the valve to drop and get broken off by the piston. Since the solex carburetor arrangement involves a siamesed intake manifold the pieces from the swallowed exhaust valve in cylinder one also migrated to cylinder two. In fact the damage to the wall in cylinder two required fourth oversize pistons to repair.

But, actually the engine is quite basic. You must also be careful to get the crankshaft galleyways cleaned out so the oil can pass to all the rod bearings. I had a #4 rod bearing last less than 500 miles when I overlooked that.

I would be very happy to help you keep another two liter from the scrap heap. I suspect I can help on parts sources and give you any detailed advice as you proceed. Use e-mail directly so we don't waste the capacity of the board.
 
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