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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have the car yet but will get it this weekend.
Non-running 91 with 88k miles, same owner since 1994, sitting for the last 3 years.


My plan is to have it towed home (about 3-4 miles) then:
  • quick wash of exterior (dusty)
  • possibly clean engine bay with chemical or steam. may get it running first.
  • drain engine oil and remove filter
  • assuming engine looks ok, new oil and filter. For now ordered 10w40 and a Mann filter.
  • Remove spark plugs. Do an engine compression test.
  • Install new plugs (BP7ES)
  • Drain and flush coolant
  • Flush out old brake fluid, install new, bleed. Not sure if clutch uses same fluid/circuit or if its separate - looks like the latter from the photo.
  • Inspect condition of brakes, tires, bushings, driveshaft.
  • Oh yes, needs a new battery too.
  • Move on to interior/exterior
So some questions I have from writing the above:
- recommended coolant?
- recommended brake fluid, DOT3 or 4?
- what size is the brake fluid cap? I have a power bleeder with vw/audi cap, looks to be the same?
- recommended power steering fluid?
- whats the battery size? any decent Costco/walmart/autozone options?
 

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Remove valve cover and look for timing chain slop and wear into the aluminum housing; re-tension timing chain. Both of my Spiders had slop in the timing chains. Check the valve tappet clearances.
 

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[*]possibly clean engine bay with chemical or steam. may get it running first.
definitely get it running first, or you'll never know what sensor has been boogered up by the water;)!
Both brake and clutch fluid is Dot 4.
Power steering fluid is ATF, DexronII/III whatever is available (auto trans fluid)

If, later on, you get around to transmission fluid change, throw out whats in there and replace with Redline 75W/90 NS (make sure its the NS stuff)
 

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Both my 91 and 85 had rust particles in the fuel tank; the 91 was well cared for by the original owner. Inside the trunk, carefully remove the combination level sensor/tank fuel pump and use a flashlight. If tank fuel pump is missing the filter sock, probably rust particles in that pump and the downstream main fuel pump (under car). Fuel filter is located downstream of main fuel pump. May have to replace both pumps but at least now the main fuel pump is pretty cheap versus past. To remove rust particles in tank will require removing tank from inside trunk; not a bad job unless full of gasoline. Be careful on all these inspections.

Probably need to replace all fuel hoses; supply and return to tank. There are several small pieces between the hard lines under the car, trunk, and engine compartment.

Get a factory workshop manual.
 

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Congrats on purchase. These are fun cars and you'll have a blast fixing it up.

As far as first steps all new fluids including gas is a good first step. Make sure it can stop before it can go. :)

And most importantly - clean every ground and fuse. From battery strap on. Be fastidious in this. It will pay dividends.

I'd keep water off engine for now. Cleaning it up will be the cherry on top of the sundae.

Really you are in the most fun part of this process. Take your time. It will run. Just go around and get to know your new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, so I told my son, there's two ways we can go about this. A) Be methodical and take everything apart, yadda yadda yadda. B) Put the new battery in, make sure it has oil and fuel, and fire it up. Based on the seller's recollection that it ran when they jump started it last year, combined with the impatience of an 11 year old (oh, who are we kidding - I wanted to drive it...) we opted for B. Got a new battery at Costco, oil was dirty but there, and after about 6-8 cranks it fired right up. We went for a gentle ride down the street (after making sure brakes were working). Clutch take-up is a little high but works fine, grinding from 3 to 2 as is common on these cars (see, I'm learning!)

Back home, removed the plugs, checked compression.
From left to right viewed from the drivers side, 130/125/122/120. Put in new BP7 plugs.

Went to change the oil today. T12 on the drain plug, some sludge on the plug but no shavings.
Got the filter off with a screwdriver as I didn't have that size filter wrench and there's no room for a strap.
Filter is Italian, part 46805830, by Sogeri Filtration SpA.

New Bosch filter does not fit the space to install from the bottom, nor from the top. Dimensions are quite different from the Italian filter, though the gasket and threaded part look the same. Do I have the wrong filter?
It's a Bosch 72137WS, same as a Bosch 3402.
 

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Congrats on getting it going. That was a fast restoration! Looks amazing.

As for oil filter - yes, it takes some thinking. A standard Purolator or Fram will fit fine.

The Supertech filters sold by Walmart aren't quite as tall and fit nicely.

A previous owner on mine had bent sheet metal back right near where engine filter sits.

You might have to remove the air intake and air flow sensor (be delicate its fragile - set it aside on dry ground). Then there are 3 bolts holding its pan on - remove those.

It shouldn't be this difficult but sometimes it is. Then you should have access.

If that doesn't work go to Walmart and get their filter. It is a good quality filter.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, but far from done :)
I did a search and removed the air filter assembly, was able to get the Bosch filter on that way.
Wondering about torque for the oil plug, and filter (I used my finely calibrated hand for now).

Looking up that Italian part number, it seems to be a filter for a GTV6. Clearly wrong for this car, I suspect the foreign shop that last worked on it prefers those so they can slide in from underneath without having to remove the air filter assembly.
 

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Thanks, but far from done :)
I did a search and removed the air filter assembly, was able to get the Bosch filter on that way.
Wondering about torque for the oil plug, and filter (I used my finely calibrated hand for now).

Looking up that Italian part number, it seems to be a filter for a GTV6. Clearly wrong for this car, I suspect the foreign shop that last worked on it prefers those so they can slide in from underneath without having to remove the air filter assembly.
Correct, you have to remove the air filter assembly to install really any of the larger style oil filters.
 

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Congrats on the find! Make the boy do a lot of the work. Trust me, they are naturals. Just like with phones and computers :wink2:

-I always remove the AFM and airbox when I remove the oil filter, in order to reach it properly. There are short and long versions; I pick the longer versions almost always, although I have a spare Bosch shorter version that I used last September. I usually use a Baldwin like Centerline Alfa sells, A) because it's larger capacity and it has an anti-drain back valve, and B) it's orange. Like the original Alfa units were :nerd:

I like Pentosin DOT4. Good German fluid. Most euro cars from the 80's and 90's use the same cap size, so your pressure bleeder will work. I used one for years. Last year I switched to a vacuum bleeder, and I like it way better, especially when installing new master or slave units.

-Your compression #s seem low, but I'll bet that they come up the more you drive her. They are all even, and that's good. You did compression check hot or warm, right? Opened the throttle while cranking, and crank until the needle stops rising?

Have fun!
John
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Congrats on the find! Make the boy do a lot of the work. Trust me, they are naturals. Just like with phones and computers :wink2:
-Your compression #s seem low, but I'll bet that they come up the more you drive her. They are all even, and that's good. You did compression check hot or warm, right? Opened the throttle while cranking, and crank until the needle stops rising?

Have fun!
John
You are totally right, he's very capable. Here he is, with a shout out to my dearly departed grandfather who taught me a lot about cars and made this spark plug "installer" tool which is in my son's hands, and which I've used for the past 30 years and will continue to use.

I did compression check mostly cold (had only driven it a mile). Disconnected coil wire, no throttle, crank until the needle stops yes.

 

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I did compression check mostly cold (had only driven it a mile). Disconnected coil wire, no throttle, crank until the needle stops yes.
no throttle means the compression readings have little to no use.

do it again, this time hot engine, all sparkplugs removed (so the engine turns quick and you save your battery;)), and with full throttle (the dry test)
There will be a difference!

Then repeat the test, after squirting a few drops of oil down each plug hole (the wet test)

Post results here.
 

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All spark plugs were removed, yes. I've been doing compression tests like this my whole life.
On a fuel injected car, why would full throttle have an influence on the compression numbers?
whether fuel injected or carbs, you have a throttle flap that allows air into the combustion chambers at WOT....something to do with reduced pressure.... lack thereof..?

Dunno, it is how it is done and it does make a difference.

try it, unless you are happy with the readings you got:)

just one (of many!) happy alfisti here, after we pointed out try it again, this time WOT;yes, it is a carbed car in this case.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/16928025-post6.html
 

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Great find danix, congratulations! I just bought home an 86 Graduate Sunday but don't have the owners manual so I'll be saving your thread for all the good suggestions on oil changes and whatever else I can glean.
 

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