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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love this car. I grew up knowing it was the one thing I wasn't allowed to touch. It made me love it even more. He bought it brand new in 88 and he was the only owner. He used to joke how there was only one way I was getting that car...
6 years ago, at the age of 45, my father died riding his Moto Guzzi Daytona he rebuilt. It was right after I came home off active duty from the Marines. It was pretty heart breaking. Needless to say I covered his car up and put it in the garage. It's been dormant since. I'm ready to take it out now.
My question is pretty easy for all you Alfa heads out there. How do I prepare a car that was meticulously maintained it's entire existence for road worthiness again?
It only has 80,000 miles on it. Never seen any kind of salt or snow. Timing belt was changed EVERY year. Oil EVERY 3000 miles. Never had any kind of accident. Absolutely meticulous. But she's been garaged the last 6 years....I want to do this right.
Somebody please start me off somewhere. I live in Albany NY and not sure where to turn for this sort of thing.
All help is appreciated-
Pellegrino Adamo
[email protected]
 

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That story is very touching, you must have some very bittersweet feelings around the Verde.

I would recommend the following:

1) Change all fluids before starting the car - oil, transaxle lube, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Since the car has been sitting, I would pull the valve covers and suck out the old oil from the cam galleys and pour some fresh oil over the cams. It also wouldn't hurt to put an ounce of light oil down each cylinder and turn the engine over by hand a few times.

2) Check over all the rubber hoses and belts for obvious signs of cracking or deterioration, change as needed before starting car. Look at the tires and check for dry rot.

3) Spend an afternoon cleaning as many grounds and electrical contacts as you can find, this will pay big dividends in reliability once the car is up and running.

4) When you do start the car, disconnect the coil wire and crank the engine until you see some oil pressure on the gauge, then reconnect and let her fire. Check for leaks and road test the car.

5) Once the car is up and running, continue to pay attention to non-essential mechanical and cosmetic issues that may have been caused by sitting: lubricate the door seals, locks, hinges, sunroof tracks, etc. Check out the power windows for smooth operation. Condition the dash and interior plastic to prevent cracking. Ditto for exterior trim.

Good luck, this sounds like a wonderful project.
 

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Welcome to the BB, Pellegrino.

Joe's comments are spot on, and he's one alfista who certainly knows this particular model well. I'm sure your dad had literature and manuals, so I'd be sure to look for them. In addition, there's a great write-up on the Hi Performance Store web site: BOSCH L-JETRONIC FUEL INJECTION IDLE ADJUSTMENT, DIAGNOSTIC AND TUNE UP PAGE. Even though your car won't need much, the write-up is an excellent guide and will provide you with the understanding you are seeking.

A Verde, the top-of-the-line model in its day, so well-maintained over the years is not common. These cars are great performers in their own right, and given the sentimental value she holds for you, getting behind the wheel will always be special for you. I'm sure your dad will be smiling when you take her out for a first drive.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Updates and a couple of questions...

Thanks for the replies already folks. I knew that I would find people for sure on a site like this with the answers i seek. Owning these cars is a special thing and has tradition that comes with it...
I went to my uncle's house (my father's younger brother) this weekend to see the car. It's been in his garage for safekeeping for me. He's very happy that I'm finally going to get this vehicle going as well. I told him my plans of the things I wanted to do from your suggestions and we're planning to bring the vehicle to my friend's garage in Schenectady NY where they specialize in restoration and customizations of vehicles. I know they've had quite a few different types of cars in there but I'm sure this will be something new.
He did warn me of something only my father and his Alfa mechanic knew about. Something with the timing belt tensioner... there isn't one. My father used to run his car like this all the time he said. There was something he never liked about it because it didn't keep it tight the way he wanted it too. Does any of this sound familiar to you gentlemen? Any insight?
I'll be going up again with my camera today to knock the dust off the car and do a few other little things. I can say that I opened the driver's door and after 21 years it still has the same amazing smell I remember it always had.
The Recaro and MOMO interior just begging for me to sit down in it.
 

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He did warn me of something only my father and his Alfa mechanic knew about. Something with the timing belt tensioner... there isn't one. My father used to run his car like this all the time he said. There was something he never liked about it because it didn't keep it tight the way he wanted it too. Does any of this sound familiar to you gentlemen? Any insight?
That makes sense.

The original Alfa tensioner was hydraulic, and would leak. Alfa's replacement mechanical tensioner has a bad reputation for slipping. There was an aftermarket solution sold by Tom Zat of Alfa Heaven that replaced the Alfa tensioner with a static tensioner - that is probably what your father has installed. It uses the original bearing from the hydraulic tensioner. It works well, so it wouldn't be something I'd be concerned about, but you do have to check the belt more frequently than with a factory tensioner.
 

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That's a great story. My Dad brought home a Giulietta when he went to the War College in DC and I was hooked. He gave me that car and before he got sick he bought a 1980 240D brand new. I bought the car from the estate and still have it and been using it as my daily driver for the last 6 years. She's semi retired now that the GTV is finished but that car will always have a special place. Glad to here you are doing it the right way.
 

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To continue Joe's comments: Your Milano has an "Interference engine". If the valve timing gets too far out of spec, the pistons and valves interfere - with results that are usually catastrophic. That's why your dad changed the cam belt every year. The issue is further complicated by the fact that the belt wrap is marginal on the passenger side cam pulley. There are differing opinions regarding tensioners, but everyone agrees the belt must be maintained. I think someone on the BB talked about making Zat-type tensioners again; use the Search function to review. And, good luck with the car

That makes sense.

The original Alfa tensioner was hydraulic, and would leak. Alfa's replacement mechanical tensioner has a bad reputation for slipping. There was an aftermarket solution sold by Tom Zat of Alfa Heaven that replaced the Alfa tensioner with a static tensioner - that is probably what your father has installed. It uses the original bearing from the hydraulic tensioner. It works well, so it wouldn't be something I'd be concerned about, but you do have to check the belt more frequently than with a factory tensioner.
 
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