I have been reading and learning from this BB weekly for about the last 6 months since I discovered it. Thank you all for your insight, knowledge and mostly your passion for keeping these beautiful little treasures on the road. I have never posted anything on here but feel like I know most of you pretty well by now and this is the first thread I feel i must chime in on. I'll try to be brief..... I never owned an Alfa before but always wanted one. My first car, in high school was a Fiat (Fix It Again Tomorrow) Spider 2000. I loved the car but I had a buddy with a round tail spider that I envied. Fast forward 30 years (to last May) when I was traveling an old country road taking a short cut from Oxford, MS to Tupelo, when I saw an Alfa in some guy's field in front of his house. Long story short, I bought an 88 graduate with 100K miles that had been in his barn for at least 9 years for $850. It did not run but turned over when we put a battery in it. I towed her home, asked the wife for forgiveness and put her up on blocks. I am no mechanic and I usually pay dearly for service on my BMW and the wife's Mercedes every time I grace the doors of the dealerships. I spent the first 2 months tearing the car apart trying to get all the mud dobbers and wasp's nest out of every place you could imagine.
To Date: New fuel pumps, filter, derust tank, re-seal tank, new fuel lines, replaced plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, coil, air intake hose, vacuum lines, brake fluid reservoir and grommets, lower oil pan gasket (twice), R/R radiator, new cap, new coolant reservoir (it did not have one), A/C compressor belt, Silicone intake boots (This made me feel like a mechanic!!), engine mounts, trans mount (thanks to the tip I saw on here and there was a new one in the trunk when I bought the car), R/R manifold (sandblasted and painted), new exhaust (converter, middle resonator, stinger) and hangers, new oxygene sensor, door handles ( 3 hours to replace first one and 30 minutes on the second), AND...many, many more this and that switches, relays, etc. off Ebay.
After reading the L-Jet thesis I found here and following step by step....She purrs like a freaking kitten!!!! New tires arrived today and I will be on the road this weekend!!!
I have spent approximately 100 hours and less than $2K in the last 11 months to get her to this point. I need a new top (will cost me almost what I paid for the car), seats recovered and eventually some door ding work and paint.
For a guy that runs a 70 unit restaurant chain with 3 small children and very little time to spare....this has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I have ever committed myself to. Spring is here and I am about to be on the road. Good thing I got an Alfa for my midlife crisis because working on her is a blast!!!!
Thanks for all your help and keep the good info coming for us "rookies"!!!