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I'm 6'3'', 205 lbs (with rather "athletic" thighs) and I'm having clearance issues when it comes to shifting into 2nd gear and steering while in that gear. There is not adequate clearance between the steering wheel and shift knob and hard right turns are a challenge with my knuckles barely squeezing past my knee between the two. The car is equipped with a beautiful stock, wooden 15" wheel. Considering going to an aftermarket 13" wheel to buy an inch, but wondering what else there might be to consider, short of cutting down the stick or relocating the seat rails. For those of you thinking "what kind of idiot buys a car he can't fit in", here's the story... I bought the car over the web (yes, did a PPI, etc) and it is a fantastic vehicle in every right. The last Alfa I owned, back in 1981, was a 71' U.S. version Spider and I fit in it just fine. So though I never test drove this new car, I was confident I could fit in that model. Any chance the European versions had some differences in the seat layout? Thanks for the help.
 

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I'm 6'1" but slender at 165lbs. I too found my 81 US model Spider kinda uncomfortable but never with shifting or steering, just poorly aligned between pedals knees hips and back. I always felt my right knee was in the way. I solved the issue when I removed my center console. Now I did this mainly because mine was in really poor condition and it brought the interior appearance down a lot. I had seen other members who had done this and when I pulled mine out I discovered so much more room for my right leg. Plus I like the clean look of the junior that never came with a console in the first place. Just a thought and perhaps a solution if you're not dead set on absolute originality.
 

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And if you remove the console, as Steve88D suggests, you can loosen the pinch bolt at the base of the gearshift lever, and rotate it away from you. That will also free up some space. The gearshift lever can't be adjusted this way with the console in place as it will interfere with that trapezoid-shaped opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm 6'1" but slender at 165lbs. I too found my 81 US model Spider kinda uncomfortable but never with shifting or steering, just poorly aligned between pedals knees hips and back. I always felt my right knee was in the way. I solved the issue when I removed my center console. Now I did this mainly because mine was in really poor condition and it brought the interior appearance down a lot. I had seen other members who had done this and when I pulled mine out I discovered so much more room for my right leg. Plus I like the clean look of the junior that never came with a console in the first place. Just a thought and perhaps a solution if you're not dead set on absolute originality.
Thanks. very helpful options.
 

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Im curious....as a former Firebird owner, we had many who were taller who could buy aftermarket "seat extenders"...a piece of metal track with pre drilled holes for the seat to attach to, then these attached to the seat /floor attachment...to extend the seat further back on the tracks...
anyone manufactured such for the Alfas? shouldn't be that hard to make ?
 

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As many other tall Spider owners will likely agree my seat is already all the way to the rear, there is no more space to push it back any further. Even the idea of trying to install different seats although possibly more supportive and comfortable would be difficult because the physical space in the drivers area is very limiting. Plus seats have to be very low and close to the floor especially if you're tall in order to remain below/behind the windshield. It's a challenging problem but I think removing the console it the most effective solution. It's not simple cause you have to come up with solutions for mounting heater controls, switches, wiring and indicator lights, but it's doable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And if you remove the console, as Steve88D suggests, you can loosen the pinch bolt at the base of the gearshift lever, and rotate it away from you. That will also free up some space. The gearshift lever can't be adjusted this way with the console in place as it will interfere with that trapezoid-shaped opening.
Im curious....as a former Firebird owner, we had many who were taller who could buy aftermarket "seat extenders"...a piece of metal track with pre drilled holes for the seat to attach to, then these attached to the seat /floor attachment...to extend the seat further back on the tracks...
anyone manufactured such for the Alfas? shouldn't be that hard to make ?
I think you are right, but I was looking for a quicker, easier fix. If need be I'll go there. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
T
As many other tall Spider owners will likely agree my seat is already all the way to the rear, there is no more space to push it back any further. Even the idea of trying to install different seats although possibly more supportive and comfortable would be difficult because the physical space in the drivers area is very limiting. Plus seats have to be very low and close to the floor especially if you're tall in order to remain below/behind the windshield. It's a challenging problem but I think removing the console it the most effective solution. It's not simple cause you have to come up with solutions for mounting heater controls, switches, wiring and indicator lights, but it's doable.
Thanks for the input.
 

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I installed a 360 mm wheel in place of the 390 or 400 mm stock Personal wheel and it is a big improvement. I am 6'3" 190 lbs. The hub also puts the wheel a bit closer to your chest which also helps with shifter clearance. I find it much more comfortable. Check the board there are a couple of threads about "lowering" the gas pedal for an extra inch or so, but I haven't tried that yet. I have to have the seat back reclined somewhat or the top of my head is above the windshield.
Firebirds and Mustangs had actual leg room for the back seat, so you could encroach on that. Spiders, not so much. I remember my 101 Spider as having more leg room, but I was 50 years more flexible then so...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I installed a 360 mm wheel in place of the 390 or 400 mm stock Personal wheel and it is a big improvement. I am 6'3" 190 lbs. The hub also puts the wheel a bit closer to your chest which also helps with shifter clearance. I find it much more comfortable. Check the board there are a couple of threads about "lowering" the gas pedal for an extra inch or so, but I haven't tried that yet. I have to have the seat back reclined somewhat or the top of my head is above the windshield.
Firebirds and Mustangs had actual leg room for the back seat, so you could encroach on that. Spiders, not so much. I remember my 101 Spider as having more leg room, but I was 50 years more flexible then so...
Thanks for the help. I figured that the steering wheel diameter reduction would give me a bit more relief, but I never considered the hub helping with the fore/aft clearance. Great stuff. i had a 63' and 65' spider as well. I think the absence of the console helped too. Cheers
 

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You can get rid of the console and then you can bend the shifter any way you want
 

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Check this thread for what looks to be a simple gas pedal mod, which will result in a bit more leg room.
 

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Check this thread for what looks to be a simple gas pedal mod, which will result in a bit more leg room.
I did this, so I could stretch my right leg more..., I think it gave about 1 to 1.5 more inches....to get pedals more in line...it helps on accelerator side...which is closer..
 

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I'm only 5-8 but found the closeness and angle of the gas pedal straining my R knee on long drives. Had Stewart Jr. at APC revise the pedal for a couple more inches and a much more comfortable posture. I'm not sure exactly what he had to do, but someone on the BB may have the specifics. HTH.

David O'D
Laguna CA
 

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I cut an inch or two from the top of the gas pedal and drilled new mounting holes to move it away a little.
 

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I'm 6'3'', 205 lbs (with rather "athletic" thighs) and I'm having clearance issues when it comes to shifting into 2nd gear and steering while in that gear. There is not adequate clearance between the steering wheel and shift knob and hard right turns are a challenge with my knuckles barely squeezing past my knee between the two. The car is equipped with a beautiful stock, wooden 15" wheel. Considering going to an aftermarket 13" wheel to buy an inch, but wondering what else there might be to consider, short of cutting down the stick or relocating the seat rails. For those of you thinking "what kind of idiot buys a car he can't fit in", here's the story... I bought the car over the web (yes, did a PPI, etc) and it is a fantastic vehicle in every right. The last Alfa I owned, back in 1981, was a 71' U.S. version Spider and I fit in it just fine. So though I never test drove this new car, I was confident I could fit in that model. Any chance the European versions had some differences in the seat layout? Thanks for the help.
I also have a '81 Spider (us version). The gear stick is clamped to the selectorshaft exiting the top of the gearbox with a 6mm bolt. If you remove the console and the boots over the gearbox you caunscrew that bolt a couple of turns then rotate the stick towards the passsenger side giving yourself some more leg clearance. Removing the console is not to difficult and it presents an opportunity to spray the console with a vinyl spray which refreshes the interior.
 

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I did it 10 years ago and I don't remember that. It must have appeared to be the best way of moving it when I planned the mod.
 

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I have a '87 US Spider Quadrifoglio, and also "suffer" from a high gas pedal and the shift lever hitting my knee in 2nd.
So two questions:

1. Bending/moving the shift lever away may make it hit the console opening. Can it be bent away half way up (between the 'box and the shifter knob), to clear the console?
Has anyone tried that?

2. The main problem with the gas pedal is that the travel is way to long (about 3 1/2" vs 2 1/4" in my modern car). I thought of effectively shortening the lever on the throttle spindle by reinstalling the linkage ball joint closer to the axis of rotation.
Has anyone tried that?
 
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