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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I just purchased a '78 spider. The bones are good, but nearly all the tires were cracked and done for, the upholstery is no good, the cloth top is pretty wrecked, and she has been sitting quite a while. I'll be working on her all through the spring, and I have so many questions which I'll be combing the forum for answers to--how do you fix a small hole in the spare tire area, I assume a fab-shop? I'll look, what kind of exhaust sounds good on a US spider and helps performance, what parts should I retrofit from europe? Where can I get a frame stiffener now?--etc. Slowly working my way through the list!

I've included pics of my starting point, and I can't wait to talk to all of you!

Edit: I'm located in Washington State if there are any other local enthusiasts on here!

Here she is on the flatbed trailer for transport (the license plate holder didn't survive the trip up the ramps with flat tires, unfortunately:
1673145
 

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Should be some fun! I picked a '75 up a couple months ago, and it's been a blast so far.

To your point on the exhaust, I run the stock front and middle components with a stinger straight pipe rear that I think sounds fantastic. That's a cheap part from Centerline.

I also have a bit of rust in the spare tire well that I'll need to fix one day. Not 100% how it's done, but I do know Vicks Auto sells a complete replacement for the metal for that area.

I wouldn't fret about losing your license plate holder - makes the front end look much cleaner :sneaky:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey baby, I hear the Alfas callin'.

I love your username. Thanks for the tips, I'll check those places out and the stinger definitely sounds like a good option. Do you have an upload anywhere of the sound? It's so hard to find any videos even remotely related to spiders on youtube, etc.

Also agreed on the license plate holder. I'm not sad it has to retire.
 

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Hey baby, I hear the Alfas callin'.

I love your username. Thanks for the tips, I'll check those places out and the stinger definitely sounds like a good option. Do you have an upload anywhere of the sound? It's so hard to find any videos even remotely related to spiders on youtube, etc.

Also agreed on the license plate holder. I'm not sad it has to retire.
I think this is a pretty good representation of what mine sounds like
 

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I finished my 78 last year. New spare tire well, fuel tank, inner rockers outer rockers and floor pans, finally paint. I owned one back in 1980 and sold it when the house and kids came. Was great to get back into them, as I was hooked back then.
Everything is really available from Centerline, Vicks, Alfaholics, etc.
 

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My recommendation is to take a little time to research and define your goals. I like my S2 a lot, but did not enjoy the two S3s that I’ve had. My 77 S2 is a late 76 build, no catalytic converter. One owner, low miles, dry climate, dormant for 20 years before I bought it a couple of years ago. So, possibly a similar path to what you’re about to go through, although my interior is actually pretty good, and usable, after a couple of tiny repairs.

My road....

Convert late one-piece exhaust manifold to earlier two-piece. All new exhaust, rear stinger w/o muffler.
Air filter, Spica oil filter, change engine oil/filter, coolant, cap, thermostat, hoses, belt, fan, shroud, engine mounts, spark plugs.
New fuel tank, pump (plus regulator), filters, hoses.
Several fresh bushings in rear suspension. A couple new up front. Rear axle bearings and seals. New giubo.
All new tie rod ends and ball joints.
Rebuild total brake system. New master cyl. Restore calipers. New friction
New clutch master and slave.
New brake and clutch hoses.
Eibach springs
Koni red set on soft
Pirelli CN36 185/70-14
Replace battering rams with early style bumpers
New soft top.

Surprisingly, my 20+year old thermostatic actuator is working fine.

The combination of the above has made the car my daily driver on nice days, which is most days in northern Nevada.

Do not underestimate the big improvement to be had by the chassis and tire upgrades, plus lighter weight. In actuality, my car was essentially returned to very early 115 configuration, before the changes required by the Feds steered them wrong.

Although I have the receipts, I haven’t bothered adding them up. Probably around $6k. Every penny worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
chassis upgrades
Any idea where to find a chassis stiffener? I’ve looked high and low to no avail.


I finished my 78 last year. New spare tire well, fuel tank
Where specifically did you find the tire well? Mine doesn’t need a full replacement but I live in an excessively wet climate so it’s only a matter of time, even if I have no intent on driving or parking it in the rain.
 

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I believe I got it from centerline.
Removal was easy, need to take out battery tray and fuel tank, as welding with the tank there would be scary.
Also when new well went in, had to trim the right rear area.
Looks great when complete.
 
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