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850 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Zunige
Hi all, I have a few things which I need to replace on a 1982 Spider which I picked up this week. I don't know a lot about Spiders yet. I am hoping to get some feedback on the following items which need to be replaced:

Exhaust System - I want to replace the entire exhaust from the Header back. I don't know who makes the best OEM style exhaust.

Convertible Top - I see they sell them in the IAP catalog, are there better ways to go? IAP sells Vinyl & Canvas tops, with vinyl being cheaper, is this a good way to go?

Seat Covers - The seats are pretty beat up, is there a good way to go to get these refurbished?

I am planning on doing most of this work myself to keep the cost down. My goal is making a clean driver, which is mechanically sound and not too horrible to look at. The car runs great, other than the loose steering and worn out shocks.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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Dunno about the top or exhaust (though there is a nice SS magnaflow system that bolts up if you've got the dollars)

The seats can be reupholstered easily enough with one of the kits from several vendors.

The seat base foam is available, and the covers come in several colors and materials from vinyl to leather.

Unless you're totally inept, they can be reskinned in a day without even trying hard.
For a long time the only aftermarket option (in the U.S. at least) was the one made by ANSA. On occasion you could also get a Stebro. These two are still around, and of course places like IAP and Centerline may carry other lesser known manufacturers. The stainless steel Magnaflow is the recent addition, and it was the result of work done by Simon, who is one of the founders of this BB. When considering an exhaust, I think it is crucial that you measure the diameter of your stock pipe, and ask about the dimensions of the ones you are considering. A slightly larger diameter exhaust will work very nicely, while a much larger one will not, unless you increase your engine's output. Off the shelf stocks are not going to be too large. so this shouldn't be a problem, but just ask if you are getting stock diameter or a little larger.

There are a lot choices on convertible tops, and a lot of different prices. I favor the fit of the Elektron top (~ 450 for a canvas, and ~250 for a vinyl), but there are plenty of others that look fine (such as Robbins, Topsonline EZ Softop, etc.) and are cheaper, and the IAP tops are also fine tops... (If you are considering Caribou, I would strongly recommend that you do a search on this BB, to understand some of the issues with their business reputation. That said, I have seen their tops and they look fine.) As far as vinyl or canvas, I think that there is nothing wrong with either. However, if I see a Spider that was originally fitted with a canvas top, and it is now fitted with a vinyl one, I perceive the Spider as having been "de-valued", especially since a top is something that will last years and years, and hence the price difference becomes a small factor over time...

As far as seats, there are lots and lots of places that supply the kits for very reasonable prices, as long as you are looking for a pretty standard color... If you are looking for the brown leather that was OEM on some of the '82 - '85 Spider Veloces, then be prepared to spend - brace yourself - $1200 or more to replace these. (Re-originals in the U.S. can get these, or you could contact Alfaholics in the U.K.) Another option would be to have a local upholsterer order the leather in the custom color and make the covers, since the pattern is simple for any good upholsterer to duplicate.

I would also encourage you to search this BB for past threads on the three topics that you are asking about, as there are a lot of threads that cover these in detail.

Best regards,
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