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Greetings,

I have just acquired a 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde in nearly perfect condition. I am aware that there are many that do not care for era of car due to the tail and skirts. To me it is special because it is the 1st alfa I drove when I was in the navy in 1988. I wanted that car so bad I almost re-enlisted. However I did not, I came home had 2 kids worked hard. In that time I acquired a few 1977, 79, and 80 Fiat 124 and 2000 spiders. They were fun but not the same.
This car has had one owner, lightly driven, everything works, no leaks, clutch is perfect, interior perfect. It has lived in a garage most of its life on the west coast. No I am taking it to humid and sometimes snowy central Illinois. I am looking for good advice on car covers when it is outside, best cleaning methods of the vinyl and leather to keep them soft, and long lasting, engine oils ( I like Castrol syntec 5/50 but open to change), the best wax, and methods, as well as tricks to keep rust away now that it's in the Midwest.
I do want to Drive it, but I also want it around for my yet unborn grandkids to enjoy. I welcome your comments.
 

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Welcome to the BB, jbloom and congratulations on your acquisition. I had an '86 Spider Quadrifolio for many years. As far as upkeep is concerned, any good quality leather system from Mother's or Meguiars or the like will do. Since it's a spider, you will want to make sure the leather stays moisturized with a good leather conditioning product after cleaning. Waxes have changed a lot over the years, I used to use carnauba wax hand applied for a long time, but the newer liquids work just as well.

Car covers is kind of difficult to pinpoint because we don't know the conditions under which you will be using it. If it's for occasional use under the summer sun, then any lightweight material may work, but there are newer covers for indoor use in a garage and then there are the heavy duty sail cloth types for "all weather". I have preferred the sail cloth/canvas cover here in Southern California.
 

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Sounds like you have a great find! Are you sure you dont want to trade with me for one that leaks slightly, and has all the typical Alfa idiosyncrasies? You might get bored with such a perfectly preserved specimen!! As for oil, I use Valvoline 20w/50 racing oil. Trans and diff oil, Redline 75w/90ns. As far as rustproofing goes, possibly look into Ziebart or the like. For car cover, I might get in trouble for this, I have a Walmart special!! Welcome to the board, you are in great hands here. Lots of very knowledgeable and friendly fellow Alfista's
 

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Glad you joined us :cool: congrats on your Spider! enjoy the site :)
 

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Welcome JB

While it is true that some people look down at Spiders form that era, it is certainly not the case here. I would assume that at least one third of alfabb members own or have owned S3 Spiders. Any Alfa made and designed in Milano is an Alfa.:wink2:

Regarding engine oil, there are several threads on this subject. As a general rule the Alfa DOHC 4 cylinder or "Nord" engine as it is sometimes called needs fairly thick oil by current standards. A very experienced, factory trained in Milano and Maranello, has always recommended 20W50 for summer use and 10W40 for coldish weather (assuming you won't run the car in freezing weather). He does not recommend using 5W anything; he says he has seen problems with valvetrain wear on Alfas that had used it. I haven't seen problems, but I stuck to his advice.

There is a raging debate amongst antique car owners on the disappearance of ZDDP (zinc dithiophosphate - an anti wear additive) from modern oils, for emission controls compatibility. There are claims that the low zinc contents will cause disastrous valve train wear. Personally I haven't heard any reports of oil related disasters on an Alfa 4; the reports I've seen were all for US V8 or British engines, in all case pushrod engines that were fitted wit new high performance cams. The oil makers are now reacting to this need by offering 20W50 oil with enriched ZDDP contents, often branded "motorcycle oil" (Castrol, Kendall) or "Racing oil" (Brad Penn, Valvoline).

Rust protection: all Alfas in the 105 family have a deadly rust trap behind the front wheel wells. When you have time to lift the car and remove the front wheels, notice that there are flat sheetmetal panels behind the wheels. They are fixed to the body by half a dozen sheet metal screws at the inner edge of the panel. Take the panels out for inspection. Water collected by the air intake in front of the windshield is supposed to drain through an opening at the bottom of these panels. But dirt also gets in and clogs the opening; the captured moisture rots the front of the rocker panels, eventually getting inside, making the front jack supports weak and eating the floorpan away. Periodical cleaning and application of an oily/waxy anti rust compound will keep your car in good shape. There are also drains in the well that holds the convertible top that need cleaning; I will let somebody more familiar with Spiders than I am comment on this.
 
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