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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am working on a Masters Degree in Engineering through Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. I currently own my 6th Alfa, this one a 1979 Spider in need of a total restoration. So, I'm a glutton for punishment, obviously.

The latest course I am taking is Design for System Reliability, Maintainability, and Supportability. For my class project, I am going to try to develop a Reliability Centered Maintenance Program (RCM) for the Alfa Romeo Spider. I am particularly interested in the Series 2 Spiders (1970-1982), but I would be happy to receive data for any model.

An RCM program takes actual data from maintenance actions and is used to build a model that will predict when future maintenance will be expected, or when preventive maintenance should be scheduled.

If you are a record keeper, I would sincerely appreciate a copy of your maintenance logs. These can be in the form of word processor documents, .pdf files scanned or converted, jpeg scans, what have you.

I have data from my own experiences but I have to have a broader cross section of experience for my professor to accept the work. I will make the report available to any forum member who thinks it would be helpful or interesting. My paper is due in on Feb 22, 2008. To be included I need your input by the end of January, or first week of February. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it!
 

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Interesting idea and I have lots of information. The only thing is that I have replaced things before they broke and once something breaks I replace it with something that won't break, so I am not sure if my data is good for you.

Can you give me more details on what you are looking for?

Ed
 

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so far, I have not found anything as "unmaintanable" as on my 77 camaro, it had the motor mounts nuts inside the frame, so you would have to weld new ones on. and even had a more dificult to replace heater blower, you had to cut a hole in the inner fender to get to it. Some say that Alfa's are unreliable, but you have to consider that they havnt been imported to the US since the mid 90's and are getting old. I trust my 74 spider enough to take trips as necessary, and it hasnt let me down for a long time.
cliff
 

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i have a compilation of alfa-digest advice from some of the original minds like wes ingram and pat braden regarding reliability and maintenance. i will send that over to you along with a few other digital assets i have (some recieved from ROADTRIP, who really knows the series2 well)

i have two spider that are over 150k. one is a spica and one is a bosch. ive also driven a FIAT to 300k and have grown up with italian cars all my life. (were immigrants from sicily) and i agree with the previous poster that the key is SCHEDULED replacement of components and not INCIDENTAL. (meaning u dont wait til it breaks, you do it based on a life-span for that part)

in that respect, i have definitely not done it being 'cheap'. (one of the real keys to the legendary unreliability of italian cars. believe it or not, Ferrari owners are some of the cheapest and shrewdest about routine maintenance. maybe because their parts and expendables are insanely priced) when i have a good month, i usually find some 200$ sensor for my bosch spider (always looking for OE bosch parts is key and takes time. not easily done when youre in a rush to replace the part. understand the advantage? when you do things only once they are broken-down, you end up getting the fastest part you can from vendors like IAP or worse and you end up with crappy, unreliable parts. SCHEDULED maintenance means you take your time to find the original manufacturer equipment, usually its very clear to even the naked eye the large quality difference)

lastly, if this at all adds to your summary, i would like to add that one reason an italian person has fewer problems with italian cars is that we DRIVE THE LIVING **** OUT OF THEM. keep the car in a garage and drive it carefully on the weekends and you WILL kill that cars spirit out of sheer boredom. it will become a basket-case unless you commute with it at least a couple times a week. really getting it hot and well-used will actually make it last longer. these cars were built EXPECTING the vehicle to be taken on the autostrassa OFTEN and run hot.

if you can combine thorough usage with thorough rubber, paint and engine maintenance, you can have an alfa romeo spider as reliable as any car out there. i own two Jeeps as well, and my Spiders are an equal , in my mind, when it comes to my reliance to drive over a thousand miles if needed.

good luck on that report there --Guido
 

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have grown up with italian cars all my life. (were immigrants from sicily) and i agree with the previous poster that the key is SCHEDULED replacement of components and not INCIDENTAL.
good luck on that report there --Guido
Good luck at NJIT. not to confuse the matter, but you must consider that most of the replacement parts that will go in a spider will be USED or NOS and therefore will not go the full lifespan that they were designed for. for example, NOS motor mounts may only last 6 years. Other parts may have been improved from aftermarket sources and should last longer that the original parts, for example poly bushings. good luck with your project. I would be interested in the outcome.

Incidentally I'm Sicilian too (ri Paliammu)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all for the response so far.

Alfacliff, my mother-in-law had a 77 Chev. Monza that you had to undo the motor mounts and lift the engine to get to the spark plugs. My wife had the good sense to wreck it for her... problem solved.
Wopjob, you are correct. I will try my best to figure in those factors if I can discern NOS, used, upgraded from OEM, etc.
Guido, you speak the truth. I like to drive my cars three ways: hard, fast, and often.

Once again, if you have data on Alfa maintenance, I can use it. Thanks to all for your support!
 

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..yes, you must drive the crap out of the car at least once a week..i commute to lodi for sacramento . 45 mile drive..and i notice that after a few days of droning down the highway,,she sounds..not good...so when i have clear traffic(none in site) i run her a 5500/6000 rpm in 4 th gear for as long as i can..( my car has great oil pressure and i rebuilt the head with issy performance spring, they say they are good to 8k), and after a few miles of that..she sounds so much better..
 
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