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Discussion Starter #1
I'm gettin itchy for an additional spider....can I get opinions on years? I am fairly clear on the series that includes '71 - '74, but am interested in opinions on '75-'82. Is the last of the series the best? The '82? or are there better 'years' in this series of car, thanks, love the shared wisdom around here :)
 

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Well the one thing I know is the '82 is the first year of the Bosch injected cars. So it has a series 2b exterior, more of a series 3 interior, and a series 3 drivetrain.
 

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The 2B Spiders were very "smogged"...
Better to consider the Bosch Spiders 82-89 (S3).
They perform well, no Spica, and if you elominate the restrictive one piece exhaust manifold they "breathe".
Bonus is there are lots of them out there for parts...
Elio
 

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I have an 82 which is a series 2B (sorry Elio) and I picked it for the very reasons mentioned above by sgtpeper. I have all the reliability of the S3's with the look of an S2 (dual pod and I didn't want the rear spoiler). I always wanted an S2 but when I went out into the garage I didn't want to have to worry if it would start or not. I have since swapped the interior gauges to the chrome bezel's (tach, speedo, water, oil and fuel) and the bumpers are stainless. So I'm getting my S2 look with the mechanics of an S3. I have zero regrets about buying the 82.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have an 82 which is a series 2B (sorry Elio) and I picked it for the very reasons mentioned above by sgtpeper. I have all the reliability of the S3's with the look of an S2 (dual pod and I didn't want the rear spoiler). I always wanted an S2 but when I went out into the garage I didn't want to have to worry if it would start or not. I have since swapped the interior gauges to the chrome bezel's (tach, speedo, water, oil and fuel) and the bumpers are stainless. So I'm getting my S2 look with the mechanics of an S3. I have zero regrets about buying the 82.
great Gio, thanks for sharing...thinking an '82 is a GREAT way to go.
 

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De-smogging

The 2B Spiders were very "smogged"...
Better to consider the Bosch Spiders 82-89 (S3).
They perform well, no Spica, and if you elominate the restrictive one piece exhaust manifold they "breathe".
Bonus is there are lots of them out there for parts...
Elio
I just bought a 78 and I have been wondering what to do to the engine to get it "de-smogged". It may already be done. The engine now has dual webers with a euro cold air box on it.

Can you explain the "smogged" specificiations? Does it have to do with lower compression? All my searches come up with the same 9 to 1 of older models. Maybe it's camshaft timing and lift?

Thanks,
Kyle
 

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I just came across some old pictures of my 82 spider that I bought in the fall of 1983 with 10k miles that was on consignment at a local Toyota dealer. Looking back at the pictures it is still a beautiful car and I prefer the look of the '82 to my 84 with it's goofy rear spoiler.

Unfortunately, the car turned out to be a complete POS. Now I'm not trying to put all '82's on trial, its just that particular car tried it's best to bankrupt me! I was right out of college at the time and other than changing oil and plugs, my maintenance ability was limited. I had stuff go wrong with that car every month!

The car had some warranty left with an dealer located about 50 miles away. In the few months prior to the warranty expiring, I had the following done:
1. Head gasket
2. Speedometer quit working on the drive home from the Toyota dealer ( Alfa dealer never fixed before going out of business).
3 Dry rotted top replaced.
After warranty...
Timing chain slipped while driving to work at less that 20 mph. Bent valves.
Car quit on freeway. Turned out the distributor had been installed 180 degrees out at factory and the head turned in order to get car in time. I guess I hit a bump and the head turned back and the car quit.

Car used about a quart of oil every 400 miles.
Not a complete list but I swore I'd never own another Alfa!

Anyway, after a few years, the original owners wife wanted to buy the car back for her husbands 40th birthday. I was quite happy to help her out.
 

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I have an 82 which is a series 2B...
Sorry for the bit of off topic here but I'm a bit confused on the Spider Series numbers.
It's my understanding that the Series 4 started in 1990 and that this new series was based on mechanical differences to the S3 even though the 1990 S4 retained the S3 body. The quote above indicates that, despite the mechanical differences of the 1982 L-Jet cars, the change to the S3 is based on body differences, not mechanical. So the criteria used for which the S2 changed to an S3 contradicts the criteria used for the change from S3 to S4. Is this correct?
 

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I purchased an 82 Spider eight years ago from an elderly Italian gentleman in Toronto. I do not regret my purchase one bit. Unlike Don, my 82 Spider has been outstanding with the failure of the clutch slave after two years of storage the only blemish on the record. Stored every winter, it has never failed to start each spring and has proved to be consistently reliable.

I bought "Lolita" for similar reasons you are considering, body style, interior and electronic fuel injection. The car has proved to be a dream to work on for an amateur mechanic like myself. With great respect to SPICA enthusiasts (and there are many SPICA cars in the Ottawa club that run like an absolute dream), the EFI on the 2B series is simply easier to maintain.

While many have converted the bumpers to chrome, I actually like the integration of the front bumper. The rear is debatable...it a little too obtrusive and isn't as well integrated.

My two cents...
 

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And to confuse the S2-S3 issue further, I believe the S3 interior started mid production 81.
 

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@ Don- sorry to hear about all of your troubles with the 82. Of course maybe some of that was because Toyota probably tried messing with it and for some of the problems they weren't unique to any one year let alone a spider (except for the rotting top). try the 82 again , I think you'll have better luck. Of course I bought my car from a professional Alfa mechanic, so mine has been trouble free.

@papajam-sorry I don't know anything about the S3 and S4 models so I'm not sure what was carried over between series.

@woody-I too was ok with the front bumper but not the rear, but I really liked the look of the SS bumpers and since I'm not a purist i made the jump to the SS and saved a lot of weight the two bumpers were about 90lbs combined.

@radamm-I thought I had seen an 82 with the chrome bezels in the ****pit at one time so I was thinking it was an early model 82. Mine came with the black bezels and the 85mph speedo
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gio, please post photos of your car, I may have seen it in other threads, but current with the bumpers, etc. thanks

ps...you too Woody, thanks
 

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If we are talking about an out of the box S2 that is most reliable...then the 82 model year. But if we are talking about taking an inexpensive Spider and making it yours, personally...and I'm biased owning a 78...I would argue that 75-78 are the ones to get as they retain the old school interior, are easily carbureted and tuned up, are lighter, are cheap to purchase, can be made more reliable than a S3 with an electronic ignition, and readily (a must do if finances are available) swap the bumpers to the early series 2 look. And lets face it, nothing beats the intake roar of a pair of 40s (or 45s) and the exhaust note of a carbureted spider!:D I also own a 92 with fuel injection and although being a great car, it just sounds whimpy in comparison.....even with a stinger on the rear.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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I don't want anyone to think that I'm 'dissin' an 82. I didn't mention many other issues I had with that car, just a few that stranded me...
I just had a lemon, pure and simple! I had always wanted and Alfa and the experience soured me to the point of not wanting another...until this one!
 

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Series 2B

Following up on papajam and radamm's comments above, it appears the 1982 vs 1983 mechanical differences are fairly well documented.

However, cosmetics/interior parts appear to have followed the longstanding English practice when changing model years of using up all the old model year bits in inventory and then switching over to the new model year parts even as the old model year production was winding down. I remember Jaguar in particular was infamous for this.

Thus my 1981 has what appears to be basically a 1982 interior, most notably the console. Probably should not affect your decision as to whether to buy a 1982, but if you do proceed you may come across one with 1982 and/or 1983 interior features if they were changing over in that time period from Series 2B to Series 3.

John
 
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