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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just picked up an 87 quad in pretty decent shape, but needs a few exterior cosmetics.

1. driver door sag - is there a simple DIY way of proping up the door again. To close it, I need to give it a bit of a lift, otherwise it only partially closes. if I don't lift it, and slam it, the interior door panel almosts pops off.

2. the black trim around the rear view mirrors are fading grey and looking an ugly chalky color and almost gummy. is there anything that can be done other than replacing them.

3. the rear spoiler is starting to fade a little, what are people doing to keep them looking good. I've hit small areas with car wax when waxing the paint, and it seems to look okay, but not sure I want to do this on the whole spoiler until I hear what others think or are doing.

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You need to inspect the pins in the hinge of the door. They are replaceable. There might be a how to in the FAQ at the top of the forum.

Which trim on the mirrors? Around the glass or the base?

The rear is black rubber? No wax then, just black rubber treatment.

Pics would help. We really like pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, didn't think to add pics.

I will check out the door hinge pins.

As for the mirrors, its the black band around the glass.

The spoiler on this car is the hard black plastic and not the earlier generation rubber.

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just picked up an 87 quad in pretty decent shape, but needs a few exterior cosmetics.
Wow, I wish that's all my Quad needed! Sounds like a good find and welcome to the BB. I know what you mean by the chalky mirrors, proper prep, mask and a coat of trim paint may be the best solution. I noticed in the auto parts store the other day that there is a black spray paint made for exterior trim. That's way down on my list...
 

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Examine the hinges to determine if the sag is due to worn hinge pins or misadjusted hinges. Also, there is a metal/rubber wedge type item on the lock pillar to guide the door into alignment as it closes. That item is also adjustable.

For the black plastic trim and rubber spoiler I use Turtle Wax 'Wet-n-Black' in a pump spray bottle (not a spray can). Squirt some on a rag and apply. For badly faded bits apply daily for a week then weekly for a month.
 

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I've used a product called "Bondo Restore Black" for faded black plastic. It's kind of a gloppy mess, but if you're careful, it works pretty well. I don't use the sponge applicator that comes with it. Rather, I bought a bunch of small foam paint brushes to apply it.
 

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Mask around the black of the mirrors and spoiler and spray with several light coats of SEP black bumper paint. They will look new again and require little or no maintenance. Use pinstripping tape to get really clean edges at the edges of the black areas to be sprayed and add a border of blue painter's tape attached to large sheets of brown paper to protect your car from overspray. Let me know how it turns out!
 

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I just "hiked" the drivers door on my 88 Quad this morning and now it closes with the same pleasing "thunk" as the passengers door.

Actually I have a little used passenger's side hing off another Alfa and as soon as I get it painted to match, I will replace the original drivers hinge with this like new passengers side hinge. The door hinges on our Alfa Spiders from many years back up to the last S4"s (as far as I know) are interchangeable. You just turn them upside down to move them over to the opposite side of the car. They are totally symetritical, so they can be used on either side.

This is how I "hiked" my door this morning. With the door panel off and all the front access plug hole covers removed (assuming they are still there to begin with), you can see the bolt heads through the access holes. There are 3 per hinge leaf on the door itself, 3 up and 3 down. Takes a 13 MM socket on a short extension. Open the door about 45 degrees and sit down by the rocker panel facing the inside of the door. Loosen up 2 of each 3 bolts in each leaf. Not too much, just enough to allow the door to move in relation to the leaf. Put your left knee under the outer bottom of the door. Pad the bottom edge of the door with a throw pillow, because that edge gets real uncomfortable real quick with the weight of the door resting on your knee. Now loosen the last bolt SLIGHTLT in each leaf, with the outer weight of the door firmly on your knee. Lift the outer edge slightly, watching the position of the bottom leaf in the door, in relation to the door itself. You should lift the door just enough to see a SLIGHT shift upward of the door in relation to the bottom leaf. Hold everything while you tighten down at least 1 bolt in each leaf real good. Now get back on your feet (if you still can - I am 68 so it is not easy for me) and go around and gently close the door and see what you have gained or lost. Getting the door just like you like it is just a process of repeating these gymnastics until you get it to shut like the passengers door.

Good Luck and let us know how all this works out. There may be an easier way, but if so I have not found it.

PS. Shuting the door and then loosing and retightening the bolts from the inside will NOT correct this situation. If you try this approach, the door will still hang low on it's hinge and you will have gained nothing. Tried that and it was a NO GO.

Robert Hill in Memphis TN
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Please post a few pics at varying distances so I know exactly were you are talking about.


So I need to remove the door panel - great, can't wait to breake door panel clips, etc. And then loosen the hinge bolts, prop up the door and tighten the screws.

Just so you don't get me wrong, I understand the sequence of tightening two of each and then the last of each, just wanted to make sure I understood the process.

So do I do the above or do I need to get a new hinge. Sounds like you just adjusted what you have and didn't change the hinge. Did I miss something.

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mcola,

Just posted a few pictures of the "door hiking" process. Regarding the replacement hinge. I am kind of anal about this Alfa, although you could not tell it to look at it. Despite promises from PO about the condition, (I bought it sight unseen from Seattle WA and had it shipped to Memphis TN. First I saw it in person was when it was unloaded from the transporter, and it was not a pretty sight. Apparently the pictures the PO sent were taken years ago when they bought it, not 6 years later when they sold it). Anyway, I have a laundry list of things which NEED to be repaired/replaced, and another list of things I WANT to do to it. I am coming along but it is a slow process. The repaint it so desperately needs will come last, after all the mechanical/external/interior upgrades are comleted.

Back to the hinge. I used to re-pin E Type Jag door hinges all the time. They are a steel/aluminum affair and wear their hinge pins fiercely. So I took a pair of Alfa hinges to a machine shop to have them repinned. That was almost 2 years ago and I still don't have them back yet. So I bought a little used passenger's side hinge off another Spider and will use it up-side down to replace the one I just "hiked". I was doing a re-installation of an alternative window lift mechanish poorly installed by the PO and while I was in there I just hiked the old hinge for the time being.

See my next post on the Engine Bling project I just comleted, if you want to see an anal personality at work. I used to be a lot more anal than I am now, BUT.... In 1988 I caught a Mississippi Air Guard C-130 Hercules flight from Memphis to FT Smith AR. The next morning that C-130 crashed in north MS doing touch and goes. Premature control cable failure. Everyone aboard was killed in the crash. After that I suddenly got a lot less anal about everything. Every day since that plane crash have been bonus days.

Good Luck, Robert Hill in Memphis TN
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm pretty picky also, just in some respects I can get a little frustrated and fall just short of perfection. But I'm going to try earning more patience on this car.

The crash... what a story and yes, everyday is a bonus and blessing.

As for the hinge, if adjusting with the existing hinge worked, why go back and change the hinge. Is that your analness (no offence, and not sure its even a word), or do you figure the lift you did won't last long. I don't want to make the job any more difficult than it has to be, and wouldn't want to have to do it twice.
 

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mcola,

No offence taken. I just figure that that slack is still in the hinge and only gravity is keeping things in place, along with the door striker and alignment block. I have had problems in the past with the alignment blocks breaking apart and falling out in pieces. These things are hard plastic where they should be made of solid rubber. I am guessing that any slack in the hinge pin is working every time you go over a washboard surface, and that the accompaning jiggle in the door is cracking and then breaking the alignment blocks. By my way of thinking, these alignment blocks should last forever. If they are not, then there are some up and down forces at work breaking them up.

Robert
 

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I wipe down the black trim with acetone

Works wonders on the spoiler, bumpers and mirrors on my 86 Quad. Been using it for years on my Alfa and 2 Volvo 940s. After you get the faded layer of plastic/rubber off, treat the surface with something like 303 Aerospace protectant or any one of the numerous black trim treatments.
 
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