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Discussion Starter #1
I'll try to not make this an endless ramble!
Here are the main points:
My engine runs hot (typically 2 notches above 175)
The A/C in my spider doesn't really work very well.
I live in New England, when the hell would I run A/C in my spider anyway?
The second electric fan that only comes on with the A/C never comes on because I never turn on the A/C.

So here's what I'm thinking:
Wire up the second fan to come on with the main fan.
While I'm at it, rip out the A/C compressor and all the related **** under there. One less pulley to turn, some less weight and a little more room to work under the hood.


Opinions, experiences?
 

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When was the last time the radiator was cleaned and rodded? Is the condenser clean and not plugged up with bugs, etc?

I never could "get" whey anyone would want a sport convertible with air conditioning anyway. I GTV6, yes. A Spider, . . . . no.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rodding the radiator is on the list of things to do.

Agreed, I just don't get the A/C in a spider thing. Maybe if we lived in AZ It'd make more sense.
 

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Paradiso,

I don't know if I'd go with the double fan thing or not. If its running hot with the current system then you'll just be masking a problem and you'll still have to deal with it later no matter how many fans you have. ;)

As far as having AC goes...I am glad I have it in my Spider. When I get stuck in weekender traffic in August its nice to have the option instead of baking in the humid heat!

Why Alfa decided the Spider needed power steering, however, is beyond me! My 1980 Veloce steering was great all by itself.

Anyway that's my $.02!
 

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Hey John P:

I would leave the AC in unless you are going to race this baby of yours. I would imagine it would be a big knock on the value of your great ride and a pain in the *** to get it all out and make it look right. Radiator.....thermostat....one or the other must be slacking off its responsibility. My bet on thermostat. Try a new 160 and a new 180 and see if either pleases the guage.

To RB: I sometimes wish I had power steering and a smaller diameter steering wheel. Gets a little exciting trying to manage the wood wheel without power steering going around the cones on SCCA days. I run 215 60 14 Yokos and there is a lot of tread to turn and control. About the same time going around the cones that I wish I had power steering and a smaller wheel, I also find myself wanting a race seat and five point harness to pin me in. But I am happy I don't have the extra weight of either the power steering or the AC. And it gets kind of fun anyway when you loose control and go spinning around scattering cones everywhere.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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rbitzer said:
Why Alfa decided the Spider needed power steering, however, is beyond me!
I believe it was for the same reason that Alfa offered automatic gear boxes in these Spiders, to appeal to female buyers. From what I read (somewhere) it worked.
 

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Let's take John's question from another angle.

Can you replace the serpentine belt with a shorter belt and bypass the compressor all-together?

Loop the crank pulley - power steering pulley - tensioner only?
(IAP sells one for a non-A/C Spider)

I ask as I believe my compressor bearings and mag clutch **** the bed and must be either replaced or bypassed.

Has anyone done this?
 

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Rip it out! It's a spider!

By the way, here in L.A. it's 100 out, and I have no a/c, and drive my car everyday! It freakin' sucks!

Oh, and I'm moving to AZ in 5 days!!! Help!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Rob:
I was thinking the exact same thing about the shorter belt. I'm guessing the "non A/C belt should work just leaves the compressor out of the loop (ouch)

Speaking of belts, did you figure out your squealing problem?

John
 

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New serpentine belt cured the squeal.

I do not believe you can bypass the compressor without changing the idler pulley as the belt will track on its other side across the pully and the stock pulley is not designed for this tracking (no grooves, etc.) Plus I belive the lower radiator hose is in the way.

So ... new all belts and all is quiet.
 

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Let me revise the last post. From a more experienced source, you can install a belt around the crank and p-steering pump and bypass the A/C and Idler pulleys.
Okay John .... you or me? Who's first???
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I emailed Ralph. He bought his belt at an auto parts place. He was going to look at it when he got home and email me the manufacturer and part number.
Hell, If I can get the belt, I'll do it this weekend.
 

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anyone know where to get a 160 degree thermostat?
I put a new IAP one in - I assume it's a 180 and I just get to nervous in stop'n'go traffic...
 

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I wouldn't change the thermostat. A cooler thermostat will probably screw up the fuel injection since the ECU thinks the car is still warming up. If the cooling system won't hold the temp at a normal range with a 180 deg 'stat, then it probably won't hold it with a 160 either.

Alfa's are inherently cool running engines. If it's overheating, there's a problem. Fix the problem.
 

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One thing I can add after investigating a high temp is to check the guage itself. If you just put a new thermostat in you know its going to open at 180. And on its first open after the car being completely cooled down you should see a big drop in temp. And you know the engine is drawing in cool radiator water for sure. And should initially stabilize at 180. If the guage is reading above 180 after the first drop in temp (the thermostat opens for the first time) you know its either the guage or the sending unit.

I took the time to just go through my whole cooling system and it was the guage just reading high. Make sure you bleed correctly and see the thread "radiator caps" for PapaJam's excellent insight, and instructions on proper bleeding.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Please leave the A/C in your spider. The series IV spiders are very nice cars, but they are NOT sports cars. By the time the series IV came out in '91, the emphasis from Alfa was to build a luxury two-seat convertible, mostly for sale to the American market. Barring the removal of about 200 pounds of excess weight, these cars need the power steering and brakes.

If you really want to go fast in a Spider, sell your series IV and do this with the money:

1. Buy either a '69 1750 Roundtail, or a '74-'76 Spider, or even an '82-'88 Spider (for these, get one with as few options as possible - the Graduate model is best).

2. Add a roll bar (available from Autopower or IAP - street version allows the top to go up and down) and a chassis stiffener (from Eriminas or IAP). These will help stiffen the chassis significantly.

3. Then go out and get some Sport springs (IAP, Centerline, AR Ricambi), Koni 'red' shocks (set soft in rear and 1/3 hard in front).

4. Put on a good set of rubber (lots to choose from) in a size that isn't too big (try 205/60-14), or if you want to spend a bit more, get a set of panasport wheels (lots of different suppliers) in a 15 X 7 size and mount them with a set of 205/50-15s.

5. Buy a good quality sport seat from Sparco, Recaro, Kirkey, etc.

6. Add a good grippy steering wheel (keep it large) (Personal, Momo, etc).

7. Modify engine for more power (there are about 1000 different ways to do this, but start with better air flow both in and out).

Now you will have a 'real' sports car...and you'll have a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Geez Alex, don't MAKE me kick yer ***!!!
:D :p
 

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I just KNEW that would get you!;)

Seriously, I believe that unless you plan on racing your series IV spider, it is better to keep the A/C intact. That doesn't mean that you need to use it, however!

The series IV spiders stil command good prices over earlier spiders and if soeone really wants to buy a bare-bones spider, he'll probably buy an earlier model, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree.
And dammit, Duettos and GTVs are looking better and better to me! I'm afraid the ALFA infection is spreading!!
 
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