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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1991 S4 Alfa Romeo Spider
Engine: Ford 302 V-8
Transmission: Borg Warner T-5 5-speed
Vehicle Weight: 49 pounds LESS than stock

Highlights

Engine: Rebuilt 1974 short block w/Sealed Power flat top pistons w/reliefs.
9.0:1 compression ratio to run regular gas.
Stock flat tappet cam for smooth idle, durability, reliability.
Comp Cams roller tip rockers.
Cobra valve covers.
Ford Racing aluminum water pump.
Edelbrock aluminum heads w/ 1.90" intake, 1.60" exhaust valves.
Edelbrock Performer aluminum intake manifold.
Edelbrock 600 cfm 4-bbl (Carter AFB).
1986 Mustang tube headers, cut and rewelded to fit chassis, HPC ceramic coated.
Thrush Turbo mufflers w/ twin side exhaust.
Mallory Unilite distributor w/flat cap.

Flywheel and Clutch: Billet steel flywheel, 10.5" diaphragm clutch,
hydraulically operated.

Transmission: 1986 Mustang World Class T-5. Rebuilt.
Shortened shift lever.

Steering: 1998 Toyota Corolla Power Rack and Pinion w/ Toyota
Power Steering Pump.

Radiator: 1994 Toyota Pickup w/modified top tank. Sucker fan is
Spal 14" high performance. Pusher fan is BMW 7-series.
Custom pressure tank.

Brakes: Stock 4-wheel discs w/Geo Metro booster for clearance.

Shocks: Bilstein front and rear.

Suspension: Rear: Poly bushings. 1" sway bar. Front: Adjustable upper
control arms, poly sway bar bushings.

Wheels and Tires: Panasport 15" X 7" w/ BF Goodrich 205/60R15 tires.

Hood: Clear Lexan.

Interior: New top. Seats recovered in vinyl w/ nylon seating surfaces.
New carpet. Power windows, power mirrors,
radio deleted, heater deleted.

Exterior: Good original white paint w/ a few dings. Car has always
been in the Phoenix area, so no rust anywhere.
Spare tire well still has shiny white paint.

I hope you like it!

Steve Julius
Senior Engineer, General Motors Corp (retired)
Automotive Instructor, Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona
 

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I like it! How does it perform? Does it have the Alfa differential? You ain't gonna fool anyone with that clear hood and huge air cleaner though...!

OT (slightly) - please tell us about the Geo Metro brake booster. Bolt in? That might be a source of replacement brake boosters for our cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I knew the weight thing was going to raise some eyebrows. A fully dressed Ford 302 is 200 pounds heavier than the Alfa. However, the engine now has aluminum heads, aluminum intake, and stainless headers, all of which were originally cast iron! In addition, I have removed a lot of weight from other places in the car. For example, gone are the knee crash pads and consoles from the interior, entire heater box and heater core, heavy ZF power steering box, idler arm and brackets, A/C compressor, condenser, receiver dryer, catalytic converter, front inner fender plastic liners, hood, and lots of little pieces like windshield washer pump and reservoir, and courtesy lights. Other pieces are lighter, e.g., the one piece driveshaft saves a bunch. I must admit, I was surprised, but pleased, when the weight came in lighter than stock.

I'll post some more photos later. -Steve
 

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I know some guys with black Spiders who will probably claim that this is still a slow WHITE Spider!!!!! :)

Murray???? Enrique????
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I like it! How does it perform? Does it have the Alfa differential? You ain't gonna fool anyone with that clear hood and huge air cleaner though...!

OT (slightly) - please tell us about the Geo Metro brake booster. Bolt in? That might be a source of replacement brake boosters for our cars.
You could say it is pretty fast. But I purposely didn't build a drag racer. This is a street car, and I want to be able to drive it anywhere, like the grocery store. The engine is pretty mild, partially because I don't want to twist the chassis into a pretzel. With the power steering, power brakes, and a clutch you can push with your hand, it is really very easy to drive. You can just tool around like a Honda Civic if you want, then make a bunch of noise and smoke tires if that's your wish. I am still running the Alfa differential, which is a 4:10 ratio. From what I've read, the differential is pretty strong IF you don't shock load it. I don't do 6 grand hole shots, or 1/4 mile runs with the car. I have been driving the car now for about a year, and haven't broken anything yet.

The Geo Metro booster was necessary because the stock one would be partly inside the valve cover! (And the stock ZF power steering box would have been inside the #8 exhaust port). The Geo Metro one is not a direct bolt on either. Even as small as it is, 6" diameter, I had to move it toward the side of the car with an adapter box. There is less power assist than before, but much better than no assist you find in many hotrods.

Steve
 

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Interesting!! What is the 'front-to-rear' weight distribution?...Ed K.
[btw: I've seen this car somewhere before on the web]
 

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thsta the cleanest job i have ever seen:):) a question the toyota steering rack? how did you do it? thanks
 

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Who laid up the hood, and can I have the car when you die?

And how sharp would one of these rigs be on top of that smallblock, but under a transparent hood scoop?

TWM induction ITB's for Ford V8's.
(granted one would have to go programmable EFI, but hey, that's not neccisarily a bad thing)

 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't know the F/R weight distribution. However, before I started the project, the front of the car, measured at the high point of the wheel well, was one inch higher than the rear. Now the car sits dead level. If anyone would like to buy me an aluminum block, I'm sure I can improve the ratio :)

The steering rack and pinion was a necessary part of the conversion because of the location of the original ZF box. The Toyota R&P is now mounted to the rear of the front crossmember. I sectioned the crossmember and TIG welded in a plate to bolt in the R&P. I chose the Toyota unit because it mounts on the center tube with rubber bushings that allowed me to rotate the box to any position. It also is perfect because the inner tie rod position is exactly the same as the original pitman arm and idler arm. The tie rods are the same length, and are attached in the same place as original. The geometry is unchanged. The tie rods themselves are now half Alfa and half Toyota. Because of clearance to the inner end of the lower control arm, I had to leave the two dust boots off the rack. On a power R&P, they are there just to keep dust and water from getting in past the rack seals. Since this is a fair weather car, I don't care. It's one of the compromises I had to make. It was pretty easy to run a rod from the pinion to the steering column. One of the u-joints in that rod is half Alfa/half Toyota. I'm real pleased with the result. Just the right amount of assist, and is easy to park.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Holy crap, Tifosi! That would be unbelievable on the car. My guess is that intake costs almost as much as it did for me to do the whole project.

The hood is a big grin. The inspiration was a Ferrari F40 that I saw at a show. A friend works in a plastics shop, and he gave me a piece of 1/8" Lexan for free. It cuts like butter. I put door edge molding around it, and is held in place with hood pins. How did I get the curve right? The stuff is so flexible that it just sits in the perimeter perfectly. I just adjusted the rubber noogies on the sides, and added one under the front center. The center of the Lexan just barely touches the plug wires. The hood is one of everybody's favorite parts of the conversion, and it took me two days to complete! It does flutter a little at 70 mph, but can't go anywhere. Actually, I only run that hood for shows, otherwise it sits on my guest bed. If I had a chance to redo it, I'd probably go with 3/16" material. But free was good. -Steve
 

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Do you ever take the beast out to the Cars and Coffee events? It would really be neat to see the beast in action.
 

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do you have any photos of the toyota r/p? frame mounts.. etc. thanks
 

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msiert.;). you just might want to watch out for this white spider..:rolleyes:;).....it might suck that nice 'black' paint off you car..:eek::eek::eek::eek::D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, here are a few more photos. I have several hundred I took during the conversion, but I don't want to bore you guys with too many. However, it appears that I never took any of just the crossmember with the rack installed. I'll try to get a photo later, but the rack is buried between the crossmember and the lower part of the bellhousing.

I have no illusions that this car would make a great race car, in fact Murray's probably would take me in the corners. It's just a fun daily driver that no one else has done (successfully), as far as I know. It is fun to have hundreds of foot pounds of torque :)

Steve
 

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... be kind of cool to get those valve covers to say.... ALFA ROMEO...:):):)
 
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