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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have owned an S1 33 for about 15 years so I have a fair idea about what things go wrong with them. I just recently bought another and was pleased to see the front suspension rails repaired where they crack.

However, upon replacing the header tank, I noticed a crack in the inner guard which I have never seen before. Closer inspection showed a couple of cracks and upon removing the water reservoir on the other side, even more cracks. :confused:

I checked the other car and while not as severe, the cracks were there as well so go out and have a look and see if you have any.

Where to look: remove the water reservoir and look at the drivers side inner guard, near where the steering passes through the inner guard. Look near where the front brace joins the inner guard.

Passengers side, look at the bonnet stay on the inner guard and where the steering passes through the inner guard. In one car, the crack extended about six inches. In the other maybe an inch or so.

Both cars were affected and another one I looked at earlier was also affected. So it appears as if this might be fatigue related and common to this model. These are the worst cracks, but the whole inner guard is fatigued.



Passenger side where the steering passes through the inner guard. Nasty.




Drivers side where the steering passes through the inner guard. Normally obscured by the water reservoir.




Drivers side top opposite the bonnet stay.
 

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I've welded some mild cracks on both side. At the same time I took 2 braces found on the S3 and fitted them in for strength. You crack looks bad. Wish you luck in restoration.
 

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How hard

was it to fit the 2 braces?. I've got some off a series 3 as well but they don't look as if they fit that well onto mine (series 2)
 

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thats some real nasty looking cracking there keith! I have a series 1 sud and it wasnt that badly cracked and my series 2 33 is just starting to crack around the apertures the steering control arms pass through. Are the series 1 33's slightly weaker in these areas? Was the car driven on bad roads?
 

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I welded similar brackets on the front and drilled through the firewall. The cracks are a known fault on the S1 and 2. Thus the braces came in for the S3.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thats some real nasty looking cracking there keith! I have a series 1 sud and it wasnt that badly cracked and my series 2 33 is just starting to crack around the apertures the steering control arms pass through. Are the series 1 33's slightly weaker in these areas? Was the car driven on bad roads?
I've just bought this car which is n 84 build, an early model. The history and overall condition of the car suggests it has not been hammered but I could not say for sure. It has a single carb motor which runs very well but does not encourage really spirited driving.

The front of the lower control arm attach to the end of the subframe which is known to crack above the drive shafts and the inner guard looks like it is a stressed component of the suspension providing triangulation and reinforcement for the front suspension lower subframe to the strut tower. Constant flexing of the subframe would cause stress and cracking over time at both the subframe and inner guard. The cracks originate from the holes for the weather sealing, bonnet brace and a random hole on one car on the inner guard.

On one side a poor accident repair means the inner guard and bumper is not firmly attached to the car which most likely accounts for the extent of the problem there - no reinforcing/support for the end of the subframe or strut tower. On the other side, a big non factory ac unit is installed in the bumper which may partly account for the significant degree of wear owing to the extra weight cantilevering over the end of the subframe.

In any case,the cracks have been like this for a very long time.

The other car is an 85 build and I can verify it has been driven as the manufacturer intended as frequently as possible. :D It has cracks in the same place but they are very minor by comparison. I'll need to get them sorted as well.

This is not the first Alfa to suffer like this, 105 coupes droop at the rear over time and crease the rear guards in worst cases. They will also exhibit cracks in the front suspension. It's just the nature of the lightweight philosophy that contributes to the way Alfas operate.
 

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I've just bought this car which is n 84 build, an early model. The history and overall condition of the car suggests it has not been hammered but I could not say for sure. It has a single carb motor which runs very well but does not encourage really spirited driving.

The front of the lower control arm attach to the end of the subframe which is known to crack above the drive shafts and the inner guard looks like it is a stressed component of the suspension providing triangulation and reinforcement for the front suspension lower subframe to the strut tower. Constant flexing of the subframe would cause stress and cracking over time at both the subframe and inner guard. The cracks originate from the holes for the weather sealing, bonnet brace and a random hole on one car on the inner guard.

On one side a poor accident repair means the inner guard and bumper is not firmly attached to the car which most likely accounts for the extent of the problem there - no reinforcing/support for the end of the subframe or strut tower. On the other side, a big non factory ac unit is installed in the bumper which may partly account for the significant degree of wear owing to the extra weight cantilevering over the end of the subframe.

In any case,the cracks have been like this for a very long time.

The other car is an 85 build and I can verify it has been driven as the manufacturer intended as frequently as possible. :D It has cracks in the same place but they are very minor by comparison. I'll need to get them sorted as well.

This is not the first Alfa to suffer like this, 105 coupes droop at the rear over time and crease the rear guards in worst cases. They will also exhibit cracks in the front suspension. It's just the nature of the lightweight philosophy that contributes to the way Alfas operate.
I 100% agree, i think it is an interesting comparison between your '84 and your '85. I guess the A/C system would add a significant amount of weight to the front end thus stressing it furthur. For my Sud I used some 3mm plates plug welded to the chassis rails on the inside and outside to give them the added strength. And around the steering arm aperture I used some intricately shaped sheet metal also plug welded using some decent current to get a good bond, if it cracks now I will be surprised, but fitting the series 3 33 bars might also be advantageous.

I repaired an insurance write off series 1 33 and had to cut out the drivers side inner fender and replace it, and these cars are made so lightweight when compared to say an Alfetta. They are a remarkably strong car aswell, said repaired car was later spun into an armaco at ~100kmph, passenger side took the force, the roof even distorted but the passenger cabin remained in good shape...all walked away...tough little things thats for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is a happy ending. The car returned from the mechanic all welded up and driving much better.

I am told the whole front of the car was removed, bonnet, guards, lights etc, and the cracking was much more extensive than thought, particularly under the guards but easy enough to repair.

Anyway it drives much better and I am happy enough, no more creaking from the front end and the car now steers and handles like an Alfa should.

So once again, if you have a 33, check it out.
 
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