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Vintre & Nealric,

Nealric, I'll look into some of the items you mentioned in your build. Is there an after-market head gasket for the Spider designed to hold more boost?
The main problem is not the head gasket itself, but the open-deck design that can allow movement of the liners. The liner can shift just a minuscule amount, which is enough to allow combustion gasses to blow out the gasket. Under the stock design, the liners are only secured in place at the bottom. That's the reason for the o-ringed liners. You machine a ring in the top of the liner to accept wire, which sits just proud of the liner and will bite into the gasket when the head is torqued down. Also, most recommend increasing head torque from the factory spec (~70-75ft lbs hot instead of factory 65ft/lb). A more extreme solution to the head gasket issues (used in the bonneville spider making 400+hp) is to have a monosleve liner made (one big liner instead of 4 individual ones). That's a very expensive solution (~$5k) unless you own a CNC machine and have the skills to design it yourself.

That being said, there's a user on Alfabb with a lot of turbo experience- Jim K.- who has recommended an Italian-made head gasket for boosted cars, but I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the company and I can't vouch personally.

EDIT: found it. The company is called Nava: http://www.navalineasport.it/eg/guarnizioni.htm
 

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Here's a solution......give the S4 to your wife and buy a S2 for yourself which will give you all you want. May ultimately be the cheaper option too!!!!
 

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there is the V6 option. contact larry jr APE - he has a pretty complete kit to drop a 3.0L into the car. people who have driven his V6>115 conversions are pretty gaga over them. there probably is a link here somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Nealric, your discussion of the open-deck design has me thinking. Does anyone know the internal engine modifications that (would) make buying an Alfa 75 turbo engine worthwhile? I mean if I'm going to pursue something, I should know if it's worth it. Plus it would be nice to eliminate some options so I can focus my efforts.

I downloaded the Nava catalog but I'm not clear on what I'm buying; what changes/advantages their head-gaskets provide. This gasket looks promising spruellmotorsport.com/head-gasket-copper-clad-2000-alfa-nord-copper-clad-p-5144.html [Sorry, this stupid thing won't let me put in a hot-link until I've made 10 posts! I had to make it not look like a link.] All copper, thicker, and lowers the compression ratio by .5 (IE, 11:1 becomes 10.5:1). My goals are more modest than yours. What are your plans for keeping the pressure in? I don't mind over-building somewhat unless it would mean losing drivability in the "mid-range", that area were people usually drive on the street. I'm not looking for that "last 10% on the track," so to speak. When you said earlier that a turbo gives you low-down (forgive me for misquoting you) torque, I knew we saw eye to eye. That tractability is exactly what I'm after. I'll mention some of my ideas for other people to shoot holes in, in case I am overlooking something. For instance the turbo I'd like to go with is the Garrett GT2554R. It's the smallest dual ball-bearing turbocharger Garrett makes, so considering anything smaller makes no sense as it won't spool any faster. One of the options when ordering this turbo is to have a T3 inlet. That means when I find an Alfa 75 exhaust manifold it will bolt right to it, solving a major part of my plumbing problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
101/105 guy,

Because I am fiscally aware of horrible investments (and good with a wrench) I don't buy new cars. I have a time-tested method for acquiring nice cars with absurdly low mileage on them at or near the bottom of their depreciation-curve.

Fact #1) People who buy rare expensive cars don't buy them as daily drivers, but to show off.
Fact #2) These cars come out only on sunny days & special occasions but otherwise live pampered, protected lives in an owner's garage.
Fact #3) Even though they almost never get used they still massively depreciate every year.
Fact #4) The owner eventually sees the next "great car" they simply must have to be happy.

Saddly the 3-car garage on their house is full. Their detached 4-car garage is also full. One of the cars they were formerly in love with is now unwanted and must leave to make way for their new play-toy. All of these things, these needs of men who don't mind watching their automotive investments lose the majority of their value right in front of their eyes, play into my hands.

Here's a "for instance." Earlier this year I acquired a 2007 Aston Martin Vantage roadster bought, as I like to say, on the "poor man's" purchase program: wait 8 to 12 years for the car to depreciate! It may be 11 years old but it has fewer than 4,000 miles on it and is immaculate. There's a subtle gentlemanly manor about it which makes me feel like putting on a suit instead of a backwards-facing baseball-cap when I drive it, like I'm meeting with a beautiful woman in an evening dress instead of in her bikini. My reasons for buying it have nothing to do with it being the fastest or most technically developed vehicle under Heaven. It's not. I bought it because it is beautiful and unique, a smooth, mature sports car tailor-made to the desires of a refined 55 year old. It's a polished British gentleman compared to the raw & raucous Triumph TR8s I owned as a crass young man. It can accelerate like a stabbed rat, handle like a fly that can't be swatted, and sound like an angry angel. On the street it seems to be loved by all who come across it, perhaps because it doesn't shout a challenge at people like a Ferrari, but instead comes across as a respectful pillar of the community who would never engage in anything uncouth like a street race. Rowing through the 6spd manual is a direct extension of my driving soul, immediately reminding me of the joys of life and making me forget everything that bothered me before pressing the START button. It's expensive therapy I can later recoup my investment from, and far more fun than being analyzed on a couch. It invokes that rare human feeling when one cares too much, that we call love. Parking the car in the garage, you'll touch its flank in a parting silent gesture implying thank you darling. When you drive it on the weekend with the roof down everyone wants to be your pal. It makes other people entirely positive & friendly. It's not ostentatious or obnoxious. You don't look like some rich guy showing off. The pleasure of ownership, the satisfaction, has so many more aspects to it than just the driving. A mere glance at it is a private guilty pleasure, emotionally fulfilling. Your whole journey becomes an event. Other people see you and wave, making you feel famous. I suppose it's like taking an extraordinarily well-groomed dog for a walk. Everybody assumes you must be a really nice guy, and that's OK with me!
 

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Nealric, your discussion of the open-deck design has me thinking. Does anyone know the internal engine modifications that (would) make buying an Alfa 75 turbo engine worthwhile? I mean if I'm going to pursue something, I should know if it's worth it. Plus it would be nice to eliminate some options so I can focus my efforts.

I downloaded the Nava catalog but I'm not clear on what I'm buying; what changes/advantages their head-gaskets provide. This gasket looks promising spruellmotorsport.com/head-gasket-copper-clad-2000-alfa-nord-copper-clad-p-5144.html [Sorry, this stupid thing won't let me put in a hot-link until I've made 10 posts! I had to make it not look like a link.] All copper, thicker, and lowers the compression ratio by .5 (IE, 11:1 becomes 10.5:1). My goals are more modest than yours. What are your plans for keeping the pressure in? I don't mind over-building somewhat unless it would mean losing drivability in the "mid-range", that area were people usually drive on the street. I'm not looking for that "last 10% on the track," so to speak. When you said earlier that a turbo gives you low-down (forgive me for misquoting you) torque, I knew we saw eye to eye. That tractability is exactly what I'm after. I'll mention some of my ideas for other people to shoot holes in, in case I am overlooking something. For instance the turbo I'd like to go with is the Garrett GT2554R. It's the smallest dual ball-bearing turbocharger Garrett makes, so considering anything smaller makes no sense as it won't spool any faster. One of the options when ordering this turbo is to have a T3 inlet. That means when I find an Alfa 75 exhaust manifold it will bolt right to it, solving a major part of my plumbing problems.
I don't think a copper head gasket is appropriate for your application. The primary advantage of a copper gasket is that they can be reused and do not stick to the block, which is helpful for race engines that are frequently torn apart. For street use, they tend to be leaky and problematic. The Nava head gaskets use steel fire rings, which are used specifically to combat problems relating to liner shift or head lifting during high cylinder pressures. JE makes a similar type of gakset (just not for alfas). Their page has a nice explanation of the advantages: http://www.jeproseal.com/

As for compression ratio: keep in mind that your S4 spider comes with a 10:1 stock compression ratio. Older spiders come with 9:1. That's a bit of an issue. Ideally, you'd want around 8.5:1, although 9:1 would be ok for a mild boost setup. The right way to do it a piston designed for boost. Spruell sells an 8:1 turbo piston, or you can have one custom made. Wes Ingram will have JE do a piston to whatever compression ratio you want. For your application, I think just getting the compression ratio in the right range is probably enough. Again, I doubt my original stock motor setup would have had problems if I had not been primarily using it at trackdays and autocross- doesn't sound like you will be tracking this car.

I'm not sure if the 1.8 has the same exhaust spacing as the 2.0 Nord, so I wouldn't assume the exhaust manifold will bolt up to it. There was a turbo kit for the 2.0 made by a company called Jafco back in the 80s, and there are still a few manifolds floating around in the used market. However, a basic log manifold should be a relatively easy fabrication job. Replacing flanges is not difficult for a good welder. If you are primarily looking for low-end torque, I would consider looking at superchargers instead. Plumbing would be easier as you wouldn't have to worry about fabricating an exhaust system.
 

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101/105 guy,

Because I am fiscally aware of horrible investments (and good with a wrench) I don't buy new cars. I have a time-tested method for acquiring nice cars with absurdly low mileage on them at or near the bottom of their depreciation-curve.

Fact #1) People who buy rare expensive cars don't buy them as daily drivers, but to show off.
Fact #2) These cars come out only on sunny days & special occasions but otherwise live pampered, protected lives in an owner's garage.
Fact #3) Even though they almost never get used they still massively depreciate every year.
Fact #4) The owner eventually sees the next "great car" they simply must have to be happy.

Saddly the 3-car garage on their house is full. Their detached 4-car garage is also full. One of the cars they were formerly in love with is now unwanted and must leave to make way for their new play-toy. All of these things, these needs of men who don't mind watching their automotive investments lose the majority of their value right in front of their eyes, play into my hands.

Here's a "for instance." Earlier this year I acquired a 2007 Aston Martin Vantage roadster bought, as I like to say, on the "poor man's" purchase program: wait 8 to 12 years for the car to depreciate! It may be 11 years old but it has fewer than 4,000 miles on it and is immaculate. There's a subtle gentlemanly manor about it which makes me feel like putting on a suit instead of a backwards-facing baseball-cap when I drive it, like I'm meeting with a beautiful woman in an evening dress instead of in her bikini. My reasons for buying it have nothing to do with it being the fastest or most technically developed vehicle under Heaven. It's not. I bought it because it is beautiful and unique, a smooth, mature sports car tailor-made to the desires of a refined 55 year old. It's a polished British gentleman compared to the raw & raucous Triumph TR8s I owned as a crass young man. It can accelerate like a stabbed rat, handle like a fly that can't be swatted, and sound like an angry angel. On the street it seems to be loved by all who come across it, perhaps because it doesn't shout a challenge at people like a Ferrari, but instead comes across as a respectful pillar of the community who would never engage in anything uncouth like a street race. Rowing through the 6spd manual is a direct extension of my driving soul, immediately reminding me of the joys of life and making me forget everything that bothered me before pressing the START button. It's expensive therapy I can later recoup my investment from, and far more fun than being analyzed on a couch. It invokes that rare human feeling when one cares too much, that we call love. Parking the car in the garage, you'll touch its flank in a parting silent gesture implying thank you darling. When you drive it on the weekend with the roof down everyone wants to be your pal. It makes other people entirely positive & friendly. It's not ostentatious or obnoxious. You don't look like some rich guy showing off. The pleasure of ownership, the satisfaction, has so many more aspects to it than just the driving. A mere glance at it is a private guilty pleasure, emotionally fulfilling. Your whole journey becomes an event. Other people see you and wave, making you feel famous. I suppose it's like taking an extraordinarily well-groomed dog for a walk. Everybody assumes you must be a really nice guy, and that's OK with me!
Well, there you go !
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Nealric, you just exploded my mind... along the lines of finding out Santa Claus doesn't exist. Everything I'd read made me believe the 75 Turbo was a just a sleeved-down Nord; the 2.0 being 84mm x 88.5 mm, the 75 Turbo 80mm x 88.5 mm. You've been in this Alfa game far longer than I, so you saying that brings a grey pall over my happy little land. Are you sure about this?
 

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Nealric, you just exploded my mind... along the lines of finding out Santa Claus doesn't exist. Everything I'd read made me believe the 75 Turbo was a just a sleeved-down Nord; the 2.0 being 84mm x 88.5 mm, the 75 Turbo 80mm x 88.5 mm. You've been in this Alfa game far longer than I, so you saying that brings a grey pall over my happy little land. Are you sure about this?
That's certainly the only significant difference with the 75 (besides lower compression ratio) that I am aware of, but sometimes there are minor differences. For example, the 2 liter twin spark engine is almost identical, but exhaust manifolds aren't cross compatible. That being said, I didn't say they were necessarily different, but just that I wasn't sure if they are or not. I'd at least verify before having something shipped from overseas. Since they were never offered in the U.S., most people around here don't have any hands on experience- myself included.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I'm keeping an open mind about this and as I learn, my thoughts are evolving. It would no doubt be easiest to install nitrous as I described in my initial post. It's what I've done on more than one occasion, what I'm comfortable doing, and would be (probably by far) the least expensive. If other options don't pan out it'll be what I fall-back on. Today I went through "supercharger calculations" to determine what the right blower would be. I prefer twin screw compressors, so the answer for me is either a Sprintex S5-210 or an Eaton TVS R900. It's better to go with a slightly over-sized supercharger (I'll try to make the point, please don't beat me up on my word choice) as being mechanically driven "supercharger lag" is very rarely spoken of. However a small supercharger being wound-out to develop your desired output generates a lot of heat. Better to have a larger supercharger turning at 65% than a small one working its heart out. Further research has me envision the charger integrated directly above a fabricated intake-manifold, keeping plumbing (and thus fabrication work and expense) to a minimum. Also it seems that installing an extra injector or two before or right after the charger will draw the intake temperature down and take the place of an intercooler, as well as providing the extra fuel needed under boost. Check back in a few days when I know more. I might be installing a Pratt & Whitney engine off a 737 by then! :wink2:
 

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Forced induction. Been done before. Shankle and Jafeco both used to have kits for sale in the US. I think Greg Gordon was developing a SC kit awhile back. I started down this road myself with my 92 with collecting the parts, but never could bring myself to start cutting, which will need to be done for a FMIC. Somewhere in my box of tricks, I have a jafeco exhaust manifold, a Garrett super 60, Kelly McCrystal's Autronic ECU, and 8 brand new low compression venolias. Some of the greatest Italian icons in history are turbos....288GTO, F40 come immediately to mind.

Another option would be a NA build which could get you to around 150 or so with a properly ported head, oversized valves and high lift cams, and some exhaust work. See Wes Ingram for the head work.
 

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I always knew if I got one that I would have to add more power to the engine
As others have mentioned, update the suspension and braking first.

Every other forum out there will tell you to walk down to your Chevy dealer and order an LS crate...(HAH!)


Here's a local Alfabb car with a lot of good info on building the stock engine up....Murray Siert and the black spider.....

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-105-115-series-1966-1994/29640-msierts-black-spider-project.html
 
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