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1987 Alfa Romeo Spider
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I've been lurking for a little and am finally taking the plunge and joining the forums. Last year, my father passed away unexpectedly. He was the owner of a 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider. I have fond memories of taking rides in it as a kid, I've always loved that car and wanted to own it myself some day.

However, it's been parked in our garage collecting dust for over a decade, so I expect I'll have my work cut out for me to get it back to drive-able condition. Since I've returned home for a bit (college student, at home on account of the pandemic) I have some time to think about how to extricate the car from its imprisonment in the garage and get to a place where I can start working on it.

I don't have much experience working on cars besides really simple stuff like changing dead batteries and car tires, but I've always wanted to learn to work with my hands more, rather than my head, (perils of being an engineering student) and I'm eager to invest the time and money to get this car up and running again.
 

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Welcome to the BB. Sorry to hear your father has passed away.

Scroll on down to the Spider section and start reading/posting there. Don't neglect to post some photos - we like photos. They can be old photos of your Dad & his Alfa or the before photos of what you're starting with now.

Do you know why the car was parked for so long? Was there something wrong that never got diagnosed & fixed? Remove the spark plugs and see if the engine will turn. Put it in 4th gear and roll the car forwards. Air up the tires (plan to buy new tires before risking driving it on old, dry rubber) to make it easier to roll. Change all the fluids - oil, coolant, gas, etc. (Tip - be sure you can remove the transmission & differential fill plug before draining the old oil...). Next clean all electrical connections and obtain a new battery. If the gas wasn't prepared for storage it will likely be so stale that it may not run. And the fuel injectors will probably be clogged from sitting unused. There isn't anything you can put in the gas tank to clean then out. Best thing would be to remove them and send them out for proper cleaning. Plan to replace all the rubber fuel hoses - time will not have been kind to them, either.

Contact an Alfa club. It is almost a certainty that the members there will welcome you and be willing to help go through the car and get it road worthy (might have to wait for social distancing rules to be rescinded...). There is a list of clubs here: Chapters Search – AROC
 

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Registered
1987 Alfa Romeo Spider
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the BB. Sorry to hear your father has passed away.

Scroll on down to the Spider section and start reading/posting there. Don't neglect to post some photos - we like photos. They can be old photos of your Dad & his Alfa or the before photos of what you're starting with now.

Do you know why the car was parked for so long? Was there something wrong that never got diagnosed & fixed? Remove the spark plugs and see if the engine will turn. Put it in 4th gear and roll the car forwards. Air up the tires (plan to buy new tires before risking driving it on old, dry rubber) to make it easier to roll. Change all the fluids - oil, coolant, gas, etc. (Tip - be sure you can remove the transmission & differential fill plug before draining the old oil...). Next clean all electrical connections and obtain a new battery. If the gas wasn't prepared for storage it will likely be so stale that it may not run. And the fuel injectors will probably be clogged from sitting unused. There isn't anything you can put in the gas tank to clean then out. Best thing would be to remove them and send them out for proper cleaning. Plan to replace all the rubber fuel hoses - time will not have been kind to them, either.

Contact an Alfa club. It is almost a certainty that the members there will welcome you and be willing to help go through the car and get it road worthy (might have to wait for social distancing rules to be rescinded...). There is a list of clubs here: Chapters Search – AROC
Thank you so much for the advice! :) I really am starting from very little knowledge, so the starting points you gave me are very helpful.

I believe the car had issues of some sort with the electrical system (I've heard this is somewhat common on Alfas?), and fixing it was on the backburner, and then the car ended up buried in other things in the garage so my dad never got around to fixing things up. I remember getting rides in the car up until maybe kindergarten or first grade and then the car was put away. I unfortunately don't have much more info on what may have been wrong with it, much as I bugged my dad for info so I could take a stab at fixing it one day, he never said much.

I'll definitely reach out to some clubs once the quarantines get lifted! Right now the first thing I have to do is clear enough space in the garage to be able to walk around at least one side of it (other side is up against a wall, possibly too close to walk through) and see if the car can even be rolled out or if I'll have to jack it up somehow and put dollies of some sort under the wheels.

This might be a silly question, but if the tires are still serviceable enough to at least roll the car out of the garage, it won't hurt the mechanical bits to be putting the car in a neutral gear to roll it out right? I ask because I'm assuming all the fluids have dried up in the transmission and changing into a different gear will involve parts moving internally that are typically lubricated (or should I be adding fluid before I try changing gears to roll the car out of the garage?)
 
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