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Discussion Starter #1
So, my 86 Quad with 127K miles is new to me and has been the victim of PO neglect. Pretty clear that anything rubber on this car is shot and needs a refresh. So a few questions:

1. Engine mounts - is it worth it to spring for the beefier Spruell mounts or are OEM good enough. Seems like the originals will last quite some time from new before they are gone.

2. Transmission mount - is the original OEM enough? Are the poly inserts or rubber hose inserts needed or recommended. Is the old style solid mount with the mount in the center (heavy duty I've seen it called) the cheapest easiest way to get the most long lived and reliable mount? Seen lots of posts while doing research and I think I like the old mount best.

3. Suspension. Everything I've read points to front first. Any thoughts on the Centerline front and rear suspension packages? Looks pretty inclusive and the cost seems as reasonable as buying all the pieces individually. The rear package they sell looks to be poly. Any thing wrong with poly in the rear and rubber up front? Or am I missing something here?

4. Seals - All my door seals are shot, same with window wipers and such. These seem pretty basic and easy to replace. Anything special to know about this job?

Thanks in advance!
 

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1. I've never had trouble with stock mounts. I've never seen the problem myself.
2. Firmer than stock trans mount is likely to introduce vibration. It's soft on purpose.
Andrew
 

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So, my 86 Quad with 127K miles is new to me and has been the victim of PO neglect. Pretty clear that anything rubber on this car is shot and needs a refresh. So a few questions:

1. Engine mounts - is it worth it to spring for the beefier Spruell mounts or are OEM good enough. Seems like the originals will last quite some time from new before they are gone.

2. Transmission mount - is the original OEM enough? Are the poly inserts or rubber hose inserts needed or recommended. Is the old style solid mount with the mount in the center (heavy duty I've seen it called) the cheapest easiest way to get the most long lived and reliable mount? Seen lots of posts while doing research and I think I like the old mount best.

3. Suspension. Everything I've read points to front first. Any thoughts on the Centerline front and rear suspension packages? Looks pretty inclusive and the cost seems as reasonable as buying all the pieces individually. The rear package they sell looks to be poly. Any thing wrong with poly in the rear and rubber up front? Or am I missing something here?

4. Seals - All my door seals are shot, same with window wipers and such. These seem pretty basic and easy to replace. Anything special to know about this job?

Thanks in advance!
If it's a stock car used for street duty, I don't see much reason to go for uprated mounts. It will make life in the cabin a bit more harsh.

However, if power will be significantly increased or it's going to be used for the track, stiffening up the mounts is a good idea.
 

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I run a vintage Giulia Super, 1600, no issues. Ran a track 2000 GTV for 15 years, again no issues with stock mounts. These were not super-powerful cars, but are/were driven flat out.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Common sense tells me not to mess too much with it. Once changed they should last a while. And in a weekend all can be changed, so stock sounds good. And costs less. Got to save those Alfabucks.

Bob
 

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Alfa intentionally went for very soft mounts, especially on hydraulic clutch cars, which didn't need the power unit held in place as firmly as with metal clutch rods and linkages, hence the reverse judder on 101 and 105 cars. 115 cars don't have it, in my experience.

Andrew
 

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That's a tougher question, depending on how you use the car, what's acceptable to you in ride, handling, etc. And road condition in terms of ride height, bottoming out, tire choices, and the like.

I personally like stock setup and tires for street cars, but I think I'm in the minority. I don't drive hard on the road, so I'm fine with a stock Alfa setup in good condition, with Konis. But a lot of folks want the lower stance and firmer handling you get with sport springs and bigger sway bars. It's not an objective area.

Maybe find a car with known setup to try, see what you think. Lowered Spiders will hit their oil pans and spring pans on bad roads, curbs, dips, no question. And installation isn't always a set-and-go process, sometimes it takes a few tries, in and out, to get the ride height correct and car balanced front to back. I see a fair number of tail-high cars, which really should have the front shimmed up or the rear dropped to be flatter.

Andrew
 

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I agree here with Andrew. My '84 SV is set up totally stock with Konis and I find that the handling in normal use is just about perfect. The car goes where it's pointed and handles like a dream. Hope that's helpful.
 

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Most stock Alfas don't drive as well as they should, just because suspension and steering doesn't get the attention they should (the engine compartment gets most of the attention), and it wears out so incrementally that in daily use it's hard to notice.

I have a pampered 76 Spider, by no means the zenith of Alfa production, but the original owner took it to the dealer and good independent shops and had everything fixed and replaced whenever it needed it. It's a revelation to drive, how smooth, how not-clunky, how everything works fluidly. By far the best 105/115 chassis I've ever owned. Only change from stock I see is Bilstein shocks. Otherwise standard bushings, springs, 185/70-14 tires. It's really eye-opening to see how good these were/are when they drive like new.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I'm not racing it - it's just a road car. Was leaning to a stock setup, so this helps me confirm what i was already thinking. As bad as it is right now, it's still a smile producer for me!��

I just want to get it baselined and discover what it can really be as designed. Let the work begin!

Bob
 

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This puppy's body in good shape? Engine mounts do fail on these cars. There are numerous posts on the subject. A missing fan shroud could indicate a problem. The discussions on springs are endless. Is your car too low? Does it bottom out? The trans mount should probably remain stock. The usual suspects supply all the rubber and trim parts you mentioned.

I strongly suggest you read the tech stickies at the top of the Board and search each subject here in the posts section. There is a wealth of info on all your question.
 

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So, my 86 Quad with 127K miles is new to me and has been the victim of PO neglect. Pretty clear that anything rubber on this car is shot and needs a refresh. So a few questions:

1. Engine mounts - is it worth it to spring for the beefier Spruell mounts or are OEM good enough. Seems like the originals will last quite some time from new before they are gone.

2. Transmission mount - is the original OEM enough? Are the poly inserts or rubber hose inserts needed or recommended. Is the old style solid mount with the mount in the center (heavy duty I've seen it called) the cheapest easiest way to get the most long lived and reliable mount? Seen lots of posts while doing research and I think I like the old mount best.

3. Suspension. Everything I've read points to front first. Any thoughts on the Centerline front and rear suspension packages? Looks pretty inclusive and the cost seems as reasonable as buying all the pieces individually. The rear package they sell looks to be poly. Any thing wrong with poly in the rear and rubber up front? Or am I missing something here?

4. Seals - All my door seals are shot, same with window wipers and such. These seem pretty basic and easy to replace. Anything special to know about this job?

I haven't done the door seals, but will in about six month or so. I seem to recal that Classic Alfa has a pretty complete set for less than $400, so if you are planning on a major rebuild, you might look there.

Thanks in advance!
I think I'm about a year ahead of you in the rebuild process. I used the Spruell engine mounts. Probably unnecessary. I don't have a lot of vibration though, as some people have suggested. Still, I probably wouldn't do them again for the street.

The standard transmission mount is kind of wimpy and the inserts make it too stiff. Old style seems best.

I used the Centerline suspension front, rear, and driveline rebuild kits. I used rubber swaybar mounts in the front, and poly in the rear - had problems with the poly front swaybar mounts. I like the feel of the rubber front swaybar better. I -think- that if I were to rebuild the back end again, I might use rubber swing arm bushings there too. The poly bushings are easy to install, but at the limit in cornering the back end seems to 'snap' loose, rather than drift loose. Might be the tires and not the bushings... Don't know. Don't do that very often anyway. No problems with poly on the T-bar or rear swaybar.
I had a good experience with the Centerline kits.... Some people don't like the FRAP brand components but so far with the few thousands of miles I drive there have been no sign of any problems. The kits were complete and easy to use.
 

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My race Super has IAP yellow springs, they're liveable on the street, harsh but not awful, and stock sway bars. They're not really stiff enough for serious track use, see attached pic, I was surprised how much it leans; it doesn't feel that way. I was dicing with an ITB 2002 in this event, it leaned much less.

I realize it's a Super and we're talking Spider, but the chassis is the same.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, been doing as much research as my time allows on this board. There is a mountain of great info to mine. And I plan to have Vintre's posts for dummies for much of the work.

Common theme seems often that stock works pretty well for most street cars: my goal. Hope I'm wise enough to heed that advice.

Good to hear about the Centerline products. Specifically, what is it that folks don't care for with the FRAP parts? Longevity or performance?

Doubt I will ever intentionally drive my car to the limits - my driving skills probably limit what I can do anyway. I'm no race car driver.
 

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They say FRAP is ________ (rhymes with FRAP). My experience is they don't last very long. You can't always get better pieces nowadays though.

Many opinions possible on all this; what's right for you depends on your use, etc.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, read that elsewhere too. It still doesn't help me understand completely., though it sounds like durability is the issue. Didn't realize that was what Centerline was selling. Wonder if other suppliers offer packages with better components? A few phone calls might tell.
 

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Yes, they wear out quickly. But my experience a lot of aftermarket stuff is like that nowadays all over. VW tie rods, rubber boots cracked before I even installed them, pinch bolts didn't pinch. Alfa 1300 pistons, poor machining, didn't fit around valves. Pattern parts can be all over the map.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess it's a your mileage may vary situation. Guess we are subject to whatever is available then.

Think I read Alfissimo offered some better parts. Worth a look.
 

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Bob, I think I hear what you want to do with this Spider. Enjoy it, drive it but not flat-out, and get the most out of what it does have.

Based on my own '91 Spider, my autocross and road experiences, and the mods I've done, I really recommend you buy and install a chassis stiffener. The car's chassis and suspension will work better and feel better, believe me. It's not a 2 hour job to fit a chassis stiffener, but they do improve the old design.
Next, I suggest poly bushings on the sway bars, F & R. It will slightly increase the roll stiffness, and will feel great with the stiffener in place. Also go with poly on the trunnion pivot at the differential.
Go to 205-55R15 tires for a bit more rubber on the road. Your choice as to brand.
Fit a good quality aftermarket brake pad, like Ferodo or Hawk.
Most of all, make certain the suspension bushings are replaced, with stock rubber if you like. The driveline needs to be in top condition also, like the donut ("guibo"), center bearing and u-joints. And use the old style 105 transmission mount for longer life.

You'll be pleasantly surprised at how good that chassis can feel!
 
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