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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
I am looking for some ideas about what to expect from an Alfa that was stored for a number of years.... The estimate is about 8 years.

I know the car was exceptionally maintained up to that point but was not stored ideally... ie. Sitting on tires which will now have large flat spots, doubt any fluids were dealt with... Basically parked and left in a garage.

What can I expect to have to do and spend to get this car back up to 100%... And what costs can I expect..

Thanks
 

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Parts deteriorate even from just sitting unused. Does the engine turn over (remove spark plugs and put the transmission in 4th gear - will it roll?)

I'd start by changing all fluids, drain the gas tank & add a few gallons of fresh fuel (S3's use 'regular' - no need for high octane), put in a good battery and see if it'll start.

Before driving it I would install new tires (8+ year old tires are not safe), rebuild the hydraulics (a car that won't start is a nuisance but a car that won't stop is dangerous), and inspect all suspension components carefully.

Since it wasn't prepped for storage the fuel injectors may need to be serviced. Our own Greg Gordon offers that at OK Injectors.
 

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even if the engine turns manually (see ghnl's instructions above) I would not start it before putting some light oil down the spark plug holes and let it soak a while (in 8 years the bores will be as dry as a bone), then turn it on the starter with the plugs still out (so there is no compression to work against).

Before turning it over, check the gas tank. If the car was stored with an almost empty or low gas tank, you might have rust in there. Take out the sender unit on top and inspect inside the tank with a torch - if it looks rusty you will need to clean it out before running all that junk through the system.

The fuel pump might have seized.
The clutch might have seized.
If the handbrake was left on that will have seized.
If the garage was dry you should get it to work again with a little thoughtful preparation. If it was a damp old barn, all sorts of things will need attending to.
 

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As for cost to resurrect - I hope you can get it cheap... Sometimes the most expensive Alfas are the cheap ones though.

If you don't have experience with old cars and particularly Alfas it'd be a good idea to contact a local Alfa club and solicit some help.

And don't forget to post some pictures. We likes pictures.
 

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the tire companies say to replace your tires after 5 years, no matter how good they look. Sounds like they would say that, they are in the business of selling tires. I had to use the original spare on my 86 Spider a few years ago. It was quite a bit more than 8 years old. I could barely take off from a stop. Although it looked good, especially for an old tire, it was rock hard and had almost zero grip.

The fuel system will probably be full of hurdles.

Plan on removing and cleaning every bit of it before trying anything. The in-tank pump sits just high enough it could still be in liquid but the stepped hose deserves inspection. Also the fuel gauge sending unit will probably need cleaning in order to function again. The fuel in the main pump has probably separated into sludge, varnish and what ever. the fuel lines may be clogged with sediment/varnish/sludge, injectors are anyones guess and the back pressure regulator or rather fuel pressure regulator could be gummed up to the point of non functioning.


Better to clean it all first and install a new fuel filter than to give it a shot and send who knows what downstream to wreck havoc.
 

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I would do what Eric suggests. Check to see if it turns over - but when the plugs are removed, pour in an ounce or two of oil in each cylinder for lubrication.
If it turns over, install new spark plugs. Change the fuel filter allowing all the fuel in the lines to drain. Drop the tank to drain it or try and pump it clean. Fill the tank with fresh fuel and add half a can of Seafoam (that you can get from Part Source or Canadian Tire). Getting the injectors professionaly cleaned soon after is not a bad idea, but there will be guys in the GTA that can do it (I used a shop in Burlington). Pull the air filter to make sure no critters have nested in the housing. Change the oil and filter. Fire it up. If it goes, let it run, but it may need tweaking following the L-Jetronic article found in the FAQ. Before driving the car I would change the gearbox and differential fluids. The first drive would be to get new tires.
 

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What is light oil?

Sorry for the noob question but I want to be sure.

Thanks!
 

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by light oil I meant a thin oil - a 5W30 oil, something like that.
But even a bit of 3-in-One would do, just to get something between the bores and the rings before you turn it over for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the tips.... As I expected in general with specifics to make sure it goes well. One thing I had thought about that I don't think anyone mentioned is internal rad rust or through the system.... Is this a potential problem.

I am still working through to see if this is a worthy project....
thanks all
 

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it is hard to guess these things. It would certainly have helped on the corrosion front if the water had a high percentage of antifreeze in it when it was stored (just dip your finger in the radiator water, if it tastes sweet, it will have antifreeze in it)
It is not so much the radiator that suffers water corrosion (which can be easily replaced, or refurbished), more the waterways inside the engine that fur up with gunge and restrict waterflow, and therefore cooling.

I guess it is all down to what the car might cost you to buy. More important is a good bodywork and interior (these are expensive to repair/replace) - mechanicals can be brought up to scratch with a bit of time, some cash and a decent workshop manual!

Maybe post a pic or two of the car and we can let you have a better idea of things. At the end of the day it comes down to the old saying: a picture is worth a thousand words:)
 

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Rad fluid is a good point that we all missed, perhaps except Eric who said change all fluids. It certainly wouldn't be a bad a idea to drain as much of the fluid as possible and refill before running the engine for the first time. I think just dumping the reservoir, pulling the rad drain plug and cracking the water pump bleeder will empty a good amount of the fluid. Soon after getting the car up and running, a full flush would be a good idea.
 

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Curious to see how things worked out, and what had to be "fixed" in the end. I'm looking at a simply situation with a 83 spider which as sat for 14 years, coolant was drained before, as it had a leak. It was inside a cool, dry garage. I assume all the fields, etc, need changing. Brake lines, etc., as well.
 

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by light oil I meant a thin oil - a 5W30 oil, something like that.
But even a bit of 3-in-One would do, just to get something between the bores and the rings before you turn it over for the first time.
Any of those will work, but I like good 'ol MMO, Marvel Mystery Oil.
 

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before i would even try the starter, soak the clys in oil is a great idea. but i would let it soak for a least 2-3 days..then... turn the motor over by hand, not all the way but a few degress one way then back the other way a little more each time.. til you get it going down a full stroke, this will ensure that the rings are loose and free to move( spark plugs out) but i still would not use the starter,, spin the motor over for at least5 mins, , then with the plugs out, stater motor will be fine.. all the rest of the post are on target.. just remove and re-seal/ reolace all the brake hydro parts.. might get away in just pulling them apart, cleaning, the relube with brake grease( you can get this stuff at most hydro parts shops) then fresh clean fluids ever were.
 

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if you are going to drain out the oil anyway.. atf fluid in the clys will work great..
 
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