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Regarding head gaskets I run 7-8 PSI boost (older Eaton m-65) with a Rienz gasket on a stock compression 86 2.0L with no problems in 2500 miles. I used an air to air inter-cooler from a 75 turbo because I had it and later added alcohol injection to address pinging. if I were doing it again i would skip the inter-cooler and go with the alcohol only.

TD
Nice setup. I've toyed with the idea of adding water/meth injection to my setup as additional insurance (I assume you aren't using straight meth). Are you using a kit or a homebrew setup for the alcohol?
 

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I used a Devil's Own Kit and run -20 d windshield washer fluid which is 50/50 water methanol. I used four injectors because of the intercooler. in the picture you can see the intercooler, upside down, with the four injectors, the log manifold and the pressure switch.

You can buy a used motor for a couple of hundred dollars and work on it while enjoying the car. It seems easy to rationalize and spend big bucks on racing internals when they don't really seem necessary for low to medium boost applications. My theory is to let the boost make the power not the revs. We will see how it works out but so far so good!
 

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I used a Devil's Own Kit and run -20 d windshield washer fluid which is 50/50 water methanol. I used four injectors because of the intercooler. in the picture you can see the intercooler, upside down, with the four injectors, the log manifold and the pressure switch.

You can buy a used motor for a couple of hundred dollars and work on it while enjoying the car. It seems easy to rationalize and spend big bucks on racing internals when they don't really seem necessary for low to medium boost applications. My theory is to let the boost make the power not the revs. We will see how it works out but so far so good!
4 injectors- the nice fancy way to do things :smile2: On the intercooler, why not just plumb in a front mount intercooler? So much better than a top or side-mounted one. There's space on a spider (less on a GTV).

If you are going to do a motor rebuild on a used motor, I say you might as well O-ring the liners and bump the compression down while you are at it. OP is probably going to have to do something about compression anyways with the motronic pistons. Maybe one could get away with 10:1 with a good intercooler, meth and 5-6psi. I suppose modern cars get away with 10:1 compression with good knock sensors, though most of them with 10:1+ compression are direct injection too.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Trav that's awesome, absolutely awesome. The more I have time to reflect on this, the more I think that for simplicity's sake (and cost!) I'm going to end up with nitrous. I did buy a book about adapting OE blowers from production cars to "projects." It will take me a couple of weeks to read and digest it, and then we'll see. How did you address fueling?

Of course according to this we're all going to die anyway!
I think gas, brake & clutch pedal modulation are skills lost on the young. The biggest thing I worry about though is a vehicle careening out of nowhere. I do know I'm not about to remove my airbag steering wheel!
 

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Discussion Starter #66
I have educated myself and come to a decision. Please let me explain my situation so you can understand why this is the right decision for me, but not for everyone. Firstly you need to understand what my motor-pool consists of so I can explain when and how the Alfa will be used. These are the cars we own:
1) 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce
2) 2014 Volvo XC60 T6
This is the wife's car. Until last year she drove a 2003 Buick Regal GS, the one with the supercharger. It was the Joseph Abboud Edition with a rather fancy (for Buick) two-tone leather interior. She had that car for nine years but it was getting tired and following my life-long mantra of not buying new cars, I came up with a list of probably 100 different vehicles she could choose from that I found interesting enough to involve myself with, making sure to be inclusive of SUVs, sedans, convertibles... the gamut. Everything except unicycles. The newest car on the list was 3 years old and she went down the long list highlighting what appealed to her. Then it became my job to find one. We ended up deciding on her Volvo with a truly beautiful Ocean Race Edition blonde interior with orange accent stitching. Sounds strange but it's really pretty.
3) 2001 Ford SVT Lightning
This is my beater, my daily, my put it up wet and forget it "car." I probably haven't washed it in 3-years! I keep it mechanically sound and reliable but absolutely don't care what it looks like. Want to push a shopping cart into it? Wouldn't be the first time. Sleeps outside since I got the Alfa. No room in the Inn.
4) 2007 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
The garage queen, my princess.
5) 1961 MG MGA FHC
Major mods: Moss Motors supercharger & 5spd kit/air conditioning/Wilwood front brakes/MK1 tail lamps/MK1-MK2 grille

OK, now you know the playing field. The MG with the supercharger is wonderfully tractable with torque anywhere in the rev band. It is not what I would call a powerful car by modern standards, just satisfying. Enough so you are not left wanting. I would like to be able to duplicate that feeling in the Alfa but here's the thing. The MG supercharger was an extremely well developed kit, with hundreds if not thousands of units installed such that improvements were made over many years. All the frustration has been taken out of it, and all you are left to do is enjoy it.

It is clear that my wife wants to waltz with the Alfa. It's cute and it's an automatic with A/C. What more could a gal want? Power. Where I live you must have it. The Oversea Highway through the Florida Keys is a mainly two-lane road loaded with tourists who don't care that the speed-limit is 55. They are on vacation dammit, and so rules don't apply to them. This isn't a real US highway, it's Disneyland!!! If they want to go 5mph to take a better picture they will. It's totally normal for 20 cars to get backed-up behind a self-absorbed driver such as this. On a two-lane bridge with lots of oncoming traffic you have to take your rare opportunities to pass diligently and seriously. An improperly executed pass could result in you being identified by your dental records. Thus in my reality power must be applied immediately and with all ponies pulling at once. This leaves nitrous as the perfect solution FOR ME. I really don't need the smooth and gradual application of power across the whole rev-range like a supercharger provides. It would be nice, but the cost and frustration to make it happen on my own is too much to bear. Nitrous is simple to achieve with only dash-switches. Arm the system. Flick the remote bottle opener. Press the purge button. Step on the gas. The decision has been made. Thank you all for your input.
 

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The decision has been made. Thank you all for your input.
Glad you have come to a decision that you are happy with.

I hope you share upgrade with us as I am certainly interested in how you will introduce the nitro and how well it works.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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I second Vin, very interested to see how it works for you. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about nitrous and I look forward to the learning results. The Keys must be fun place for an Alfa.
 

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I think the biggest challenge with Nitrous is controlling fuel/spark so it's appropriate when the nitrous is flowing. More sophisticated stand-alone engine management systems can handle this well, but the conversion is more involved than simply installing the nitrous system.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
nealric, it's been about 8 or 9 years since I last paid to have a nitrous system installed in one of my cars, but I remember they used a spark plug one range colder as well as using a narrower gap as it's harder for the spark to travel across that much open space when the pressure inside the combustion chamber is higher or the pressure wave is moving faster or something along those lines. He also installed a higher output coil and something that gave the spark a longer duration.

There are different jet sizes that can be placed inside the nozzles that release the petrol & nitrous, and unlike "more sophisticated stand-alone engine management systems" that have to plot for hundreds of combinations the jets just give you one mechanical (not electronic) setting that provides just one single set amount of extra fuel and oxygen such that they then stick the car on a dyno to make sure the AF ratio is correct. If not they balance the jet sizes until it is. It's all very simplistic compared to adding forced induction. It's a great kick in the pants but it's like comparing an on/off switch to a rheostat. Its simplicity (simplicity = reliability) is also its biggest downside. But once you arm the system you know what you're getting. There's very little "art", finesse or guess-work to setting it up. The biggest variable that could throw things out of whack, atmospheric temperature, is never really a factor where I live. In fact I am against having a bottle-heater because my thermostatic-control failed on me once, the heating-pad simply stayed on until the pop-off disc did its job and blew, and I got to sit there in front of dozens of onlookers in the parking-lot of that little motel at The Tail of The Dragon in North Carolina while all my nitrous slowly released in a loud smokey cloud that seemed to last for minutes.
 

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I don't really mind what you do to your project car (not that my opinion should matter), but whatever you do, please post a lot of pictures of the process. We like pictures. Heck, post up some pictures of your current vehicles. All of them, except for the Volvo, sound interesting.

And another thing, I really enjoyed how you described the feelings, emotions, of owning your Aston Martin. If you similarly praised each one that popped up on Bring A Trailer, you'd likely drive up the final auction price. This is what I've been doing for the Ferrari 348 for the last year or so, generating dozens of "likes," and values since August have been consistently over $50K. Coincidence, or influencer?
 

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Discussion Starter #73
nealric, I agree. In some of my prior reading, in this case about Bosch Motronic ML4.1, it was mentioned that the ignition timing could be altered (ostensibly to take into account fuels with different octane ratings) by connecting a calibrated resistor in the vehicle's wiring loom to one of the ECU pins, the resistance corresponding to the octane rating of the gasoline and hence the timing adjustment required. With no resistor attached the system default was for 98 octane, IIRC. This seems like a simple enough feature to take advantage of, assuming one of the resistors equals some really bad gas!

Since I need to present my requirements to the speed shop in writing (business communications, the nature of a contract... all "that" stuff), I'll slide some black ink across white paper in the next day or two. Because you know the Spider better than I I'm hoping you'll be kind enough to let me know if I've overlooked something obvious. Cheers, happy tidings, and peace on Earth (IE the big 3), Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #74
ADDENDUM: ugh, since we are getting down to the technical details I'm realizing I have to act like an attorney and cannot afford myself the luxury of assuming other people know what I'm thinking, so please excuse my sudden pedantry. Obviously I only want to enable this electronic trickery whilst the nitrous party is raging. In fact because 99.5% of the time the nitrous will just sit in its bottle like a freeloading passenger, a sort of sleeping genie-bottle waiting to be rubbed awake, I don't want to disturb the standard workings of the car until the precise moment that I tap its shoulder and say, "excuse me sir..."
 

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I'm late to the party, but........how did it work out?

ADDENDUM: ugh, since we are getting down to the technical details I'm realizing I have to act like an attorney and cannot afford myself the luxury of assuming other people know what I'm thinking, so please excuse my sudden pedantry. Obviously I only want to enable this electronic trickery whilst the nitrous party is raging. In fact because 99.5% of the time the nitrous will just sit in its bottle like a freeloading passenger, a sort of sleeping genie-bottle waiting to be rubbed awake, I don't want to disturb the standard workings of the car until the precise moment that I tap its shoulder and say, "excuse me sir..."
 
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