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Premium Member
1978 Alfa Spider, 15,XXX miles
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, just joined after buying a 1978 Spider at auction this past week. Car is remarkably sound and has just 15,200-ish original miles. Maybe not the soundest decision, but I drove it the 140 miles home rather than trailered it, with no issues. Looking forward to searching the forums for advice on cleaning up a few items and perhaps a few mods.

DRW
 

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57 Posts
Its a great decision, I have had my 77 since 2008 and it was my daily driver in CA for 4 years. Now its the sometimes car (too many to choose) but it always starts and runs without issue. I am now in NOVA but the car is in MA (still mine). I have rebuilt the motor and redone some of the electrical so I am familiar with many of the issues if you have questions. But joining this forum is the best thing you could have done!
 

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17,765 Posts
Welcome to the AlfaBB! It sounds like a great purchase. Too bad we can't see what it looks like. Oh, wait - we can! All you have to do is post some pictures. (we like pictures).

P.S. that is not a wish - it is a demand! (we like pictures)

P.P.S. The Mid-Atlantic Alfa Romeo Club cover southern Virginia. We haven't been as active as usual due to Covid but as that situation improves I am sure we'll get back to regular meetings and driving events. NC (chapter 31) Mid Atlantic AROC – Mid Atlantic Chapter site
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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1,608 Posts
Welcome to the AlfaBB! It sounds like a great purchase. Too bad we can't see what it looks like. Oh, wait - we can! All you have to do is post some pictures. (we like pictures).

P.S. that is not a wish - it is a demand! (we like pictures)

P.P.S. The Mid-Atlantic Alfa Romeo Club cover southern Virginia. We haven't been as active as usual due to Covid but as that situation improves I am sure we'll get back to regular meetings and driving events. NC (chapter 31) Mid Atlantic AROC – Mid Atlantic Chapter site
You beat me to it Eric. :LOL:
I think this is the guy I saw on Facebook and told him to join up.
Hey Don, go to the spider 105/115 forum and show us some pictures. You can ask a lot of questions there and there will be a lot of good answers

 

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Premium Member
1978 Alfa Spider, 15,XXX miles
Joined
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You beat me to it Eric. :LOL:
I think this is the guy I saw on Facebook and told him to join up.
Hey Don, go to the spider 105/115 forum and show us some pictures. You can ask a lot of questions there and there will be a lot of good answers

Yes, that was me! Thanks again, and I’ll put up sone pictures later today.

DRW
 

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Push hard and live
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11,028 Posts
Don,

I bought my 77 a couple of years ago. Long dormant, but it has come back far enough to be in regular use.

Depending upon your budget and preferences, I can offer my formula, listed below. Note, I’ve got a long association with Alfa’s, and had developed a disdain for the fat, wobbling, gutless 115 Spiders. My formula has returned my car closer to the joys of the earlier 105s.

Replace boat-anchor bumpers with earlier style. I bought my kit from Classic Alfa. I didn’t weigh the removed battering rams, but the combination of the two is certainly in the neighborhood of 100 lbs, or more.

Eibach variable rate springs, also from Classic Alfa.

Red Koni shocks, set on full soft.

Pirelli CN36 tires, 185/70-14. Quite probably the original tire type on your car. Transformative.

Many or most of the rubber suspension bushings will have worn, aged out, or gotten hard. I recommend you replace the four rear track rod bushings. Possibly the tee-bar bushing, but it can usually wait until later. Front suspension bushings should be inspected, but the castor rod bushings often need replacement. I recommend only rubber, original bushings, with the possible exception of the castor rods. Any bushing that transmits shock loads to your behind is better off in OE rubber. If you use Classic Alfa, ask for their “heavy duty” bushings. They’re not really heavy duty, they’re just better quality with better dimension accuracy.

Visit a good alignment shop and get their opinion on ball joints and the various steering links. Most of mine were shot by 65,000 miles.

Some people will recommend disconnecting the rear anti sway bar. I prefer it attached, but it’s a personal preference kind of thing.

There’s a whole world of possibilities for the engine. Even up at 4,700 MSL, the total driving experience is joyous enough I’m happy with a stock engine.

Enjoy!
 

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Premium Member
1978 Alfa Spider, 15,XXX miles
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Don,

I bought my 77 a couple of years ago. Long dormant, but it has come back far enough to be in regular use.

Depending upon your budget and preferences, I can offer my formula, listed below. Note, I’ve got a long association with Alfa’s, and had developed a disdain for the fat, wobbling, gutless 115 Spiders. My formula has returned my car closer to the joys of the earlier 105s.

Replace boat-anchor bumpers with earlier style. I bought my kit from Classic Alfa. I didn’t weigh the removed battering rams, but the combination of the two is certainly in the neighborhood of 100 lbs, or more.

Eibach variable rate springs, also from Classic Alfa.

Red Koni shocks, set on full soft.

Pirelli CN36 tires, 185/70-14. Quite probably the original tire type on your car. Transformative.

Many or most of the rubber suspension bushings will have worn, aged out, or gotten hard. I recommend you replace the four rear track rod bushings. Possibly the tee-bar bushing, but it can usually wait until later. Front suspension bushings should be inspected, but the castor rod bushings often need replacement. I recommend only rubber, original bushings, with the possible exception of the castor rods. Any bushing that transmits shock loads to your behind is better off in OE rubber. If you use Classic Alfa, ask for their “heavy duty” bushings. They’re not really heavy duty, they’re just better quality with better dimension accuracy.

Visit a good alignment shop and get their opinion on ball joints and the various steering links. Most of mine were shot by 65,000 miles.

Some people will recommend disconnecting the rear anti sway bar. I prefer it attached, but it’s a personal preference kind of thing.

There’s a whole world of possibilities for the engine. Even up at 4,700 MSL, the total driving experience is joyous enough I’m happy with a stock engine.

Enjoy!
Don,

Thanks for your detailed post. While I have a few cars to feed, I’m committed to bringing this Alfa around to original spec, if not somewhat more modern and improved. I saw the Classic Alfa bumper upgrade and was immediately intrigued. I’ve been a purist with some cars, and I’m not looking to restore to concours, but would an upgrade like this be perceived as a negative, long-term?

Regarding tires, that’s been my main search on the forum. I drove the car home but was a bit white-knuckled worrying about the tires. Plenty of tread, but the sidewalls were questionable. It is fitted with Kumho P205/60 R14 tires, a size not available on Tirerack.com. I’ll look into your recommendation.

Speaking of white-knuckled, the car has no seat belts. I felt naked driving, especially on the interstate. The boxes of spare parts included what looks like 2 complete sets of belts, though used and pretty much trashed. I assume there is something original or aftermarket available...

I will check out condition of bushings, etc. this week. I’ve gone with poly bushings on other cars but will look into the original rubber. I also saw some upgraded front and rear sway bar kits that look promising.

Again, thanks so much for your input!

DRW
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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1,608 Posts
Don,

Thanks for your detailed post. While I have a few cars to feed, I’m committed to bringing this Alfa around to original spec, if not somewhat more modern and improved. I saw the Classic Alfa bumper upgrade and was immediately intrigued. I’ve been a purist with some cars, and I’m not looking to restore to concours, but would an upgrade like this be perceived as a negative, long-term?

Regarding tires, that’s been my main search on the forum. I drove the car home but was a bit white-knuckled worrying about the tires. Plenty of tread, but the sidewalls were questionable. It is fitted with Kumho P205/60 R14 tires, a size not available on Tirerack.com. I’ll look into your recommendation.

Speaking of white-knuckled, the car has no seat belts. I felt naked driving, especially on the interstate. The boxes of spare parts included what looks like 2 complete sets of belts, though used and pretty much trashed. I assume there is something original or aftermarket available...

I will check out condition of bushings, etc. this week. I’ve gone with poly bushings on other cars but will look into the original rubber. I also saw some upgraded front and rear sway bar kits that look promising.

Again, thanks so much for your input!

DRW
Check the parts wanted/for sale section for the seat belts. Post a want ad there.
 
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