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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One year ago, my wife and I were in an accident in the Alfa. Getting the repairs sorted was a learning experience in many ways, and we wish to thank all those who helped us aong the way. This week we were talking about how our lives have changed since that night.

Being she is 7 weeks away from the due date with our first child, a lot has changed. We now are settling into the realiztion that a serious lifestyle change is coming... but have a comfortable home after months of hard work. Plus, we have built a single car garage with small shop and carport combo that is currently 80% complete. (I lost my man room. Who would have thought it got 10 times better..?)

Thanks to all who helped get us back on the road.

Don Sanders
 

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For this I think you deserve "honorary Italian" citizenship! I'll work on the details to make it happen...provided your bambino(a) gets a truly Italian sounding name!
Tanti saluti cari ed un forte abraccio!
Buona Pasqua....Ing. Comello

ps: BTW that garage door has lots of headroom...for a towtruck? LoL
 

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Discussion Starter #3
10' by 10' opening. Hoping for a used auto lift in the distant future. Then another Alfa could fit in there. ;)

Sometimes work on boats or back the flatbed in out of the weather.

Current Power:
 

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Don - Many of us have been there (or still are!). As the old saying goes "Life happens while we're making plans." :)

First, I'm glad that you & your wife are OK after the accident, and also CONGRATULATIONS on expecting your first child!

You are wise to realize that your life truly changes - emotionally & in schedule and priority - with the arrival of children. Your life that was once a work/life balance now becomes a work/life/family balance.....or perhaps a work/life/family/Alfa balance? :p

I was restoring vintage mustangs during perhaps the first 10 years of my family life. It was difficult to find the time to make significant progress in a single burst. However, I did not stop (as some friends have). I simply tried (not that it was easy) to adjust my expectations to my time allowance.

If you can keep the Alfa at home this will be a HUGE advantage IMHO. You'll be able to get a wrenching "fix" in whatever short time period you can find - even if it's late at night.

Priorities change as well. I found myself willing to outsource services that normally I'd have done myself. My time with the kids became more valuable.

Your life does significantly change, but in a good way. Having kids must be a good choice, otherwise we'd have stopped doing it by now! ;)

Best of luck - and keep us posted when the little Alfisti arrives.

What's the names short list? Aldo, Enzo, Fangio???? :D Dickson
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Keys

Aah the name game. Yes, we have considered some Italian names. Afterall, I actually do have a Godfather - whom see regularly. We have a list of names by the bedside table that we throw in the car when we leave town and talk about such things. I'm parcial to female Italian names...

Anyways, first real questions:
This car no longer has original keys. I have an ignition key and a trunk key. Both are copies. In the owners manual on page ten, the original keys are written into the book. The ignition key is A-####. The door key is ####. I have two blank keys to make a new set. (I do not have a "trusted locksmith" in my area, as I have never really needed such a service until now. So I don't know one with a lot of experience.)

What is the best way to get a new set of keys?
 

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I've had keys made for our Spider and GTV6 by sending digital photos of the key via email to Keys 4 Classics. I believe if you have the key code they can make new keys from that, too. Although they are in Australia the turn around time was quite quick - I had my new keys in a week or 10 days sent via airmial. They work perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
50 bucks for new keys. Can't beat that!
Thanks again, Eric.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keys work perfectly

$45 total with shipping for two ignition and two steel door keys that work perfectly. Counldn't be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Next is to figure out why the car is running so rich.
DSCN0991.jpg
500 miles ago, the car has been having starting issues. After seeing all 4 plugs like this one, I'm really surprised it runs as well as it does. Won't crank on first try. Cranks on second. Add slight pedal and she comes alive. RPM jumps from 1200 to 3000. Backfires.

Been reading and reading and reading Roadtrip's posts, Wes Ingram, Pat Braden, and the Workshop manual. Time to get a little more serious about finding the source of the problem and learning how to "maintain" an Alfa.

Now have some knowledge... and zero experience. :rolleyes:

Crank pulley on P for TDC - pistons #1 and #4 are up.
Intake:
DSCN0987.jpg
Exhaust:
DSCN0988.jpg

SPICA gap measured at .09" when warm... but that's not right after looked at this zoomed pic and saw the "cutout." Need to get gauge into that cutout. (may need clip off part of the gauge to get it in there.)
DSCN0986.jpg

FYI to all the others lacking experience out there. Take out the spark plugs when rotating for TDC. Much easier.
 

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Next is to figure out why the car is running so rich.
Is the car running too rich OR are you burning oil? Those lumpy, black deposits on the plugs look like oil residue to me.

What type of plugs are you running? You might switch to hotter plugs, and see if that makes the plugs more tolerant of running in an oily environment. Or you could rebuild your engine, but you can buy a lot of oil for what a rebuild would cost.

New plugs may help your starting problem. Or not. Spica cars can be temperamental about starting.

Your cam timing looks OK. It may be a few degrees off (how accurately can you position the engine to the "P" position?), but I doubt that cam timing is your problem.

That photo you posted of the back of your Spica pump, showing the pump gap: couldn't help but notice that the plastic rod end is cracked, and repaired with a tie wrap. New rod ends are cheap - I'd inspect the other three, and replace any that are cracked.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Burning Oil. Correct. After sticking my finger down into the cylinder, it deinitely feels more like oil. Currenlty have a 1,000 miles on the 10W-40 Penzoil. Probably need to reconcider the type of oil. Will change one more time with the 10W-40 I have on stock first though.

Champion RN9YC plugs.

.019 Intake is correct. Mine are .017 .017 .018 .018
.021 Exhaust is correct. .019 .020 .020 .019

To do:
Clean plugs in a media blaster and take it for a fourth gear run at 60mph and recheck the plugs and measurements before making any changes.
Order throttle rod ends.
Replace some 30+ year old vacuum hoses.
Clean engine and undercarriage mo betta.
Borrow a compression tester.

Any suggestions on plugs? Braden recommends Champion N5. Is this a wise choice for the engine in its present condition.
 

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Any suggestions on plugs? Braden recommends Champion N5. Is this a wise choice for the engine in its present condition.
The Braden book is good, but it was written before Commander Perry opened up trade with Japan. Since then, NGK plugs have become the choice of many Alfisti. I use their BP6ES. Lower numbers indicate hotter plugs, so if the BP6ES still get oil fouled, you might try BP5ES.
 

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Yeah, that sure looks like oil fouling. Not to start another oil debate, but most folks around here seem to recommend 15W50 or 20W50. Thicker oil may help if it's leaking by the valve seals.
 
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