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Kindofa FYI.......My 79 getting body work done finally. We found a crack not caused by impact, middle of the car, just behind the door. curved and more of a 'tear'. Would this be 'typical' or indicate results of the twisting these cars go thruu without a solid top and 100K miles?
Davo..

ps.. got the nose done nicely, doing dings and two usual rust spots on front lower fender areas, filling in the body moulding holes, etc. Two weeks to final sand hopefully..
 

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How are the inner structural parts of the rocker? There are four pieces - the outer rocker panel (as seen in your photo), the inner sill (covered by carpeting) a middle sill and a 'backbone'. The backbone is a thicker piece of steel. The middle sill and backbone are inaccessable unless the rocker or inner sill are removed (cut out). It is doubtful Alfa ever applied any rustproofing to these inner parts.

See Wolf Steel sill discussion
 

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Hi Davo,

As mentioned, the crack could be from chassis strength loss due to rust. However, I think the basis Spider chassis is pretty strong. Assuming that cornering load stresses the chassis; my '76 has been an autocross car since 1983, sees a lot of chassis loading from very sticky tires, and doesn't have the cracks you describe. I was measuring well over 1 G cornering load 20 years ago, and the tires are a lot grippier now so the loads are even higher.

Kindofa FYI.......My 79 getting body work done finally. We found a crack not caused by impact, middle of the car, just behind the door. curved and more of a 'tear'. Would this be 'typical' or indicate results of the twisting these cars go thruu without a solid top and 100K miles?...
 

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It is doubtful Alfa ever applied any rustproofing to these inner parts.
RUSTPROOFING from the factory!?!? ***, are you KIDDING me! They came with rust from the factory. I know this for a fact. I just cut the sills out of my GTV.....

Rust, what rust:




The outer rocker panel did look all that bad. :-(


I don't know what the sill cover looks like on your car, but you can cut a hole in the top of the sill for inspection of the inner parts.




This can then be welded up and cover by the sill plate.
 

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I have a crack in the same place on my 79 spider, 155k miles. It has been there for years and does not seem to be getting any worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi guys... Thanks for the input, all good.. as usual..:))
It's a Colorado/NM car, very little rust overall. We drilled two inspection holes from the top.. on both sides... and it looks good inside... some surface rust we'll take care of.. The crack was invisible until they sanded that area down. When we cut the fender rust out, it was pretty localized to that area...and we treated the metal underneath.. My body guy Ben hopefully took a few pic's... They are welding up those fenders today. And... no similar crack on the other side.. So maybe like Ed, we're good to go.. Welder will clean up that one crack and finish up.
Car seems to be original black... Mostly original paint. The car took a hit on the right side sometime ago before me. Bad putty job on the door that we'll clean up. Engine and trunk black original too. There was a coat of 'blue' paint in the layers that seems to be a filler or primer coat..
SO... A full coat of epoxy primer will cover the car, Was tempted to weld and cover side lights and such like I did on the 74 GTV.. but time and $ and the goal of the project is to have a good basic reliable and attractive driver with this one. The body work went from repairing the bloody nose to...'what the hell'... lets go over the car and fix the small dings."
Keeping a flexible budget of 4-5K for everything and mostly my labor/knuckles on the mechanicals. I'll show that work later hopefully. I'm doing a 77 Spider in parallel... a clear sign of mental illness.... but fun to go back and forth with each car at different stages.
thanks again for the input. I enjoy all of the comments and help. I think this forum was the original Facebook.... AlfaBook... certainly most of the content is much more revelant than FB.... )
Pic's are the day I bought it and a week later of just cleaning it up.
 

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That means you drive your car the right way!!! Mine were cracked half way up the door jam and I had no rust. Can't wait to start cracking them again!!
 

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Got the same clean fracture on my 81 . ~ 85K miles . It was there when I got it 2 yrs ago and did not seem to have got worse until I repaired it a few months ago. No known bumps to this area. When I stripped the paint back it appeared to have been contoured with soft metal - lead loading? I got the impression that it was factory original and had been used to get the contour correct to line up with the door edge.
Anyone else come across this when stripping back in this area?
You can get a fair look into this area by taking the B pillar trim / carpet back.
Not entirely rust free , but mainly surface rust in this area - although I am sure there is more in the rocker sections proper:(
You cannot see from the pictures but the inside of the crack was clean and rust free.
IMG_0388a.JPG

IMGP1922a.JPG
rust inside panel behind right side door. crack just visible inside oval opening

IMGP1928a.jpg
back of door frame from inside B pillar area
 

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Mine is cracked too!

I took a look at my rocker panels today, and noticed that the driver's side also has a crack. It's hard to tell on the passenger's side since it's been re-painted in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well.. that's not good... :D.
And like mine... a grinder/sander will reveal all. Lots of twist on older convertible bodies. We welded up the two known rust areas on the fenders. Underneath was surprisingly clean, some surface rust that we treated and sprayed. Two areas with cracks were MIG'ed and the rockers are good.
I really empathize with east coast cars that will more likely have more surprises' under the paint. Just finishing dings and the passenger door needs to be redone, bad bondo from years ago.
 

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