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Hey guys, now that I am back in the Alfa world, I have a million questions. First off, my old 74 Spyder had a panguard. Would not be without it. My restoration project (an 84 Spyder) has no guard. Well, it has more ground clearance (duh), but I am worried. Should I get one? Any thoughts?
OK. I need springs. I did my racing in SCCA. I don't need competition stuff. Whats a good aftermarket spring? Or should I get original?
Brakes? Kevlar? Or original?
Seats are shot. Aftermarket Corbeau et.al. are expensive and many don't fit. Anyone experienced with a good re-upholstery place? Leather? Vinyl? Cloth? (Cloth in an Alfa? My God!)
Thanks all
Keeth Lawrence
84 Spyder restoration project
 

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Pan guards: I have one on both my 72 GTV and my Milano.

On the Milano, the sump does not sit as low, so the guard actually does more to protect the exhaust downpipes, which is fine by me.

I once had a muffler fall off a truck directly in front of me at 75 mph on the freeway in a Spider. There were cars on both side of me so I had no choice but to center punch the thing. Because of the sump guard, I only cracked 1 fin on the sump. Without it, the sump would have surely been smashed, and depending on how quick I could have shut down the motor, I may have toasted it.

Springs - the Centerline Yellow springs are very nice with Koni Reds.

Just my 40 lira.
 

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Keeth,

You have got to put a sump guard on that Spider! I accidentally flew through a deep dip in my Spider and scraped the crap out of the guard. My sump was untouched.
 

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panguards

Get a panguard they have saved my pan from speed bumps and dips a couple of times, especially if you use softer or stock springs. Springs, stiffer springs make the car handle alot better and much more enjoyable to drive. I have used the shankle supersprot and Allen wards springs. The supersprots are nice on the track and great on mountian road but a little hard on the pot holed streets around town. Wards springs I found to be very stiff, the best I have used on the track but to stiff for the spider on the road, it felt like the frame flex with every change in the road. I think these would be better in a gtv if used for around town driveing. As for seats mine have been recovered in vinyl and I am very happy if the results. In an other note on seats the sparco side mount seat rails bolt right on to the stock slider so this way one can have adjustable race or performance seats, but because with these seats one sits higher than in the stock seats I bolt my seat though the floor and frame for track uses. I hope this was some help.
 

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steering wheel hub

I bought a wheel hub though AR Ricambi a few years back. I don't remember what it cost but the wheel I picked up at swap meet for $20 so retail on the hub didn't hurt to much.
 

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Panguards will lower the ground clearance a bit, but do protect. Beware of buying a used one, however. Most on Ebay have been hit and rub against the aluminum oil pan.
 

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There are 2 schools of thought on pan guards; that they prevent more major damage in the event of a panstrike, and that they CAUSE most panstrikes. I'm going to take the one off of my Avorio, and try the latter theory. Obviously, if I hit with no guard, it'll do some serious damage, but I'm going to try it.
 

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The pan guard has saved my car more than once when it would have destroyed the pan and left me by the side of the road or worse. The down side is that a few times a year I have to take the guard off since it's been slammed up against the oil pan and straighten it. Otherwise it vibrates the heck out of the car and loosens things. The way my car is I also had to shim it up a little so that I had a little more clearance and wasn't hitting the pan guard as often. NYC is tough on cars and you're usually so close to the guy in front of you that you cannot see the pot hole that is living only to swallow up your little car.

As for new seats... I am going through a similar dilema myself and bought seat covers (not the cheap ones either - ugh...) but thinking about a good used pair. From the sounds of people I've talked to reupholster them is quite pricey.

Good luck!

Sarah.
 

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I agree with Sarah. The sump guard on my Spider saved my pan several times. When I accidentally flew through a dip the sump guard made the most gawd awful scraping sound. But there was no damage to my pan. I won't drive an Alfa without one.
 

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Interestingly, sump guards are a US-only thing, must say something about the sorry state of our roads. You can look up the origins on the Alfa digest. FWIW I had a sump guard on my '76 Spider and I can remember bottoming (lightly) a couple of times. My '73 GTV doesn't have one and in 30 years and 136,000 miles, it's not hit bottom so to speak.

My .02 Euro,
 

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Lots of opinions about those guards, huh?

I decided not to put one on my '69 Spider 1300 Junior. I have driven her over 50,000 miles without one. Now, the roads here in the Tidewater area of Virginia (I live right on the Atlantic Coast) are in better repair than the roads in the Northeast USA, so maybe I can get away with it a bit more easily. But, I have nevertheless hit the pan a couple of times, and the fins have some tell-tale scars from 34 years of use without having ever been removed.

I believe that my significant driving experience with lowered and/ or 'be-spoilered' cars makes me a bit more careful when approaching steep driveways, curbs, road bumps, etc. Maybe that's why I don't really hit the pan very often.

In any event, most of the folks I know who have a pan guard end up hitting it and bending it pretty regularly, while those who don't, also don't seem to have any problems hitting their pans. I guess that is either attributable to driving styles, the extra inch of pan guard depth, or a combination of both.

I think I'll keep mine the way it is.

Cheers,
 

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My 93 Spider has a pan guard, Red Konis, and a set of "red" sport springs setup by the PO. It sits with 4" of clearance under the guard so I would not go without it. I have never hit it or scraped it. The ride is stiff ... too stiff at times but the Vermont roads are pretty good so I can accept the stiff ride.

The other advantage of the guard is it is a measure of the quality of your motor mounts. If the guard - pan space is too close, you might be in line for a new set of motor mounts. If the guard rubs against the pan and you need to shim it ... replace the mounts (assuming, of course, it is not bent).
 
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