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Discussion Starter #21
Nice GTV! Im sure you'll really enjoy it when its sorted.

Regarding the gearbox, i had the typical 2nd gear crunch, and rev matching aside i found using an additive called 'Slick 50' helped a fair bit. I took the car for a 20 mile run and the crunch became less and less prominent, especially when warmed up. It's not completely eradicated, but it is improved and when coupled with rev matching you can just forget about it. Of course, its not really recommended to use additives like this but since you'll probably need a rebuild sooner or later anyway you dont have much to lose.

Play in the steering is pretty common, the six tie rod ends can wear out and contribute. A worn out steering box can also be a culprit, a temporary solution is to experiment with removing shims on the Burman box or the adjustment screw on the ZF box, depending on which your car has installed. Low tyre pressures can also play a part, as well as alignment.

Hope you get on well with it!

Yousuf
Ah, so having common problems is a good thing, there tend to be solutions! It's the unique problems that are the real headache.. is this a sign of just age and wear or would changing fluids (even without additives) help?

From what little I have seen underneath, any rubber part I can see is very aged so that'll be the first thing to tackle before looking at the steering box I think :)
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Agree. They all have secrets at this age.
My '74, the steering was very worn and unstable when I hit the brakes at any speed over 50 MPH.
I had a local reputable tire center rebuild the front end.
I supplied them with Centerline's front end rebuild kit with the adjustable upper control arms.
Between parts and labor, I spent about $1500 but it was well worth it.
I also added Centerline's sport coils which lowered the car an inch and made it handle better.
Another secret I found was the previous owner had hung the
fuel pump right over the rear exhaust arch with a zip tie!
Anyway, keep us posted on your progress!

-Clark
Good morning Clark,

What was your decision process for the suspension work? For example, I see the Alfaholics Fast Road Suspension Rebuild Package Stage 1 set, how does that compared to centerline?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Wow, I have to admit that the rear coil spring does look broken - never seen that before! My guess is that this car spent a lot of time in a damp environment - not in California - and that corrosion killed the spring. I wouldn't drive it that way.



Brakes pulling to one side suggests a stuck caliper (or calipers).

The vague steering could be a lot of things, including a cracked steering box case. Steering is sort of important - again, I wouldn't drive it until this has been diagnosed and fixed.
Maybe it was just near the ocean? I just have no history on it though BHCC claimed it lived in California its entire life. Anyhow, almost doesn't matter. The other springs are ok, I dont see other broken bits and pieces but doing a full suspension rework is clearly necessary. As for steering box.. my hope it's just the ancient bushings so ill take that first.
 

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Maybe it was just near the ocean? I just have no history on it though BHCC claimed it lived in California its entire life. Anyhow, almost doesn't matter. The other springs are ok, I dont see other broken bits and pieces but doing a full suspension rework is clearly necessary. As for steering box.. my hope it's just the ancient bushings so ill take that first.
FWIW I did have a rear spring break in my very first Alfa, a 1750 Berlina. That was in Auckland so near the sea but the car was otherwise in good shape body and suspension.
 

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Ah, so having common problems is a good thing, there tend to be solutions! It's the unique problems that are the real headache.. is this a sign of just age and wear or would changing fluids (even without additives) help?

From what little I have seen underneath, any rubber part I can see is very aged so that'll be the first thing to tackle before looking at the steering box I think :)
You're right - synchros are bound to start going weak with age, as well as after hundreds of 'Italian' gearchanges! Changing the fluid would definitely help, I've heard good things about Redline oils.

Its defintely a good idea to sort all the tie rods and ball joints before messing with your steering box, as it might indeed be okay after all.

Yousuf
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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Another thought on the steering box, the Burman boxes tend to leak and all the oil drains out. It's worth topping up and seeing if that helps. Alfas are pretty nice when newish, a new set of front suspension bushings will help a ton.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
 

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My decision.
My GTV handling was sloppy and the car sat too high, in my opinion. I prefer lower riding cars with stiffer suspension and responsive steering and predictable behavior when I step on the brakes.
 

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Hi and welcome to our favorite money pit. I have an spider and love it! Stop do not judge your car on your own. Rich from Continental Motors is the best. Let him do a full assessment and start from there. He will work with you tell what you need and what you can defer. See you on one of our Northern California ClubRides My care is the black one. IMG_3299.jpg


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #32
The front end does look very odd, some strange things going on there. The indicators also look incorrect, neither Euro or US. It should look like this if it’s a non-US model.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/W9T-jUZsXsk/maxresdefault.jpg
The clear turn indicators look fine to me even if they are not stock. Even the hood crease line with is much larger radius I am ok with (it's unique!) but the bumper hanging too low makes the front look weird.

I wonder if I can just drive it without the bumpers as a short/medium term solution? Would that be legal?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Congratulations! And welcome.

Regarding the brakes pulling you might start with new rubber lines before rebuild the calipers. I was getting a pull when I braked in my Berlina and when I pulled off one hose it was so swelled that no fluid dripped out. A new set of hoses and it brakes nice and straight again.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
The brakes did not pull to one side or another (so no ceased calipers) but they did feel anemic, even compared to my 4Runner. I have to test what a full brake pedal application does, I was too gentle to the first time around. Maybe just doing the hoses is a good short term fix. If I change the wheels (15in), I could get a larger brake set I think?
 

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Discussion Starter #34
FWIW I did have a rear spring break in my very first Alfa, a 1750 Berlina. That was in Auckland so near the sea but the car was otherwise in good shape body and suspension.
How did you notice the spring was broken? I took a casual video with my phone under the side of the car and noticed something looked wrong with the spring and only the follow up photos let me identify the problem. Even though the spring is broken, it still sort of works.

With a complete suspension rework in my future, seized bolts and nuts are going to be my biggest headache coming up...
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Did that car have Blue plates at some point? Or did those plates come with the car?
The 7 digit suggests the plate is maybe up to a decade old so my guess is the previous owner had it. Maybe the car was not re-registered at that time? Or maybe that is when it was brought to the US? I simply don't know. By the way the oil gauge and everything else is labeled in Italian so it seems most likely that it was sold there originally.

As for the blue plate, is there a special significance to them beyond the look?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
You're right - synchros are bound to start going weak with age, as well as after hundreds of 'Italian' gearchanges! Changing the fluid would definitely help, I've heard good things about Redline oils.

Its defintely a good idea to sort all the tie rods and ball joints before messing with your steering box, as it might indeed be okay after all.

Yousuf
I spoke to a local mechanic (Rich as mentioned by someone else in this thread later) and when I mentioned the second gear issue, both he and the other mechanic chuckled. I guess this is a very common issue.. Anyhow, he suggested to actually go into neutral first, then into second. Also to use a heavier fluid that would slow down the gears more quickly once disengaged.


The tie rods and ball joints I will definitely replace since I will be replacing the coils and dampeners for sure. Once that is done, I'll see how it handles before doing any further work =)
 

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Discussion Starter #37
To paraphrase Groucho Marx: "who are you going to believe? BHCC or your own eyes?".
In my first email to them, I pointed out it could not be an original CA car as it has Weber carbs. It would be nice to know how long it has been in the country but there is no way to find out I guess..
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Another thought on the steering box, the Burman boxes tend to leak and all the oil drains out. It's worth topping up and seeing if that helps. Alfas are pretty nice when newish, a new set of front suspension bushings will help a ton.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
The box looks a bit damp and the tie rods below are all wet too so I'll definitely give that a shot. I will actually take it too Rich for a complete check up and replacing fluids on EVERYTHING so I have a clean starting point.
 

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No one has yet mentioned shocks, and there are always advocates of a "performance" suspension.
It should be recognized that with the 101s and 105s, Alfa designed the car to be as fast as possible over "B" roads in any weather. This explains the long-travel, compliant and well-controlled suspension. Thus, the incredible lean when cornering hard.
With modern "vintage" tires such as the Vreds with some 30% better adhesion, some firming of the suspension enhances handling--on the same roads.
But too firm and too low turns a miracle of handling into that of a contemporary British sportscar. Such as a Healey, MGTF or TR3. All of these I had as Daily Drivers. Also had as DDs 101, 105 and the Alfetta Sports Sedan. With a suspension for the track-days, but not for racing, they were too harsh for back roads.
The best for the latter was my last Super.
Koni Reds set half-firm up front and soft rear. Standard rate, but slightly lower springs at the rear. Dave Rugh recommended 500 # springs at the front also slightly lower. Remove the rear sway bar. A firmer one up front is not needed.
For rough roads, it was the best ever. My first 101 was purchased in 1965.
Hope this is not intrusive.
:) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #40
No one has yet mentioned shocks, and there are always advocates of a "performance" suspension.
It should be recognized that with the 101s and 105s, Alfa designed the car to be as fast as possible over "B" roads in any weather. This explains the long-travel, compliant and well-controlled suspension. Thus, the incredible lean when cornering hard.
With modern "vintage" tires such as the Vreds with some 30% better adhesion, some firming of the suspension enhances handling--on the same roads.
But too firm and too low turns a miracle of handling into that of a contemporary British sportscar. Such as a Healey, MGTF or TR3. All of these I had as Daily Drivers. Also had as DDs 101, 105 and the Alfetta Sports Sedan. With a suspension for the track-days, but not for racing, they were too harsh for back roads.
The best for the latter was my last Super.
Koni Reds set half-firm up front and soft rear. Standard rate, but slightly lower springs at the rear. Dave Rugh recommended 500 # springs at the front also slightly lower. Remove the rear sway bar. A firmer one up front is not needed.
For rough roads, it was the best ever. My first 101 was purchased in 1965.
Hope this is not intrusive.
:) :)
Thanks, this is actually what I am looking for, good advice on suspension. I see kits from centerline alfa, classic alfa, and alfaholics so trying to see what people's experience was with each and what gets you most bang for buck.

Same as you suggested, my default position would be to lower it slightly with modern dampeners and but not go with a track kit (alfaholics has a couple options there). I want to keep it compatible with potentially going to 15in wheels in the future too.
 
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