Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've always wanted a Spider, but never ended up pulling the trigger--until today.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
Congrats! Have you had a chance to take the top off yet? I'm contemplating one for my 86. I have a line on an almost new one. Storage could be an issue, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So I pulled it off the trailer this morning. I have not had a chance to remove the top. It came with a stop storage stand which was nice.

So some assessment after giving it an Italian tune-up this morning:
* It's hard to start when cold. It coughs a bit while it's trying to wake up...finally after 10-15 seconds it falls into a decent idle. L-Jetronic loveliness. :)
* There is an exhaust leak that I knew about. Frankly, I think it needs a whole new exhaust.
* 2nd gear is a bit dodgy. Seems to shift ok INTO 2nd.....but coming back from 3rd or 4th into second it met with a crunch. What it is with Alfas and 2nd gear? haha. Although neither of my other Alfas have 2nd gear problems.
* The driveline needs a bit of taking care of. The previous owner had replaced either the guibo behind the transmission or the guibo and the bearing. Something is not aligned now because there is a bit of vibration, etc. I knew this buying the car. I could take the driveshaft off and have it balanced, or figure out if there is a center bearing or guibo problem. Either way, this needs to be taken care of.
* The suspension is a bit soft and aged for my tastes. Konis and a set of IAP springs (or whatever the suspension de jour happens to be these days) should do the trick. And maybe new bushings and tie rod ends.

Otherwise, it seems to drive pretty nicely for a 1960s nee 1980s Italian car. A few questions for the gallery here:

* Suggestions for exhaust? I'd like something that might open up a slight bit of power but more importantly, one that makes that Nord sound super sweet.
* Suggestions for suspension? I'm more of the tight and stiff suspensions (I used to have an R-package Miata and loved that-while some complained of those cars being too stiff).
* Any ideas on that driveline?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Also, I hate the fact that the steering wheel is plastic. Did they do a version of this wheel in leather? I know they did for the GTV6 of course. (this Spider is actually my first NON-TRANSAXLE Alfa Romeo..haha.) Does the GTV6 wheel fit on the Spider? Same goes for the plastic shift knob.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
Great buy. The top looks to be in great shape.

Vibration- Have the motor mounts and transmission mount been replaced? The driveline could be affected by those being worn out, I've read. Of course the only way to really sort it out is to remove it and check out the center bearing, ujoints, etc.

Steering wheels can be found from the usual Alfa parts houses. Centerline, international autoparts, vick auto, classic alfa...pick your style.

How old are the hoses under the hood? Replacing the ratty fabric vacuum hoses is a nice weekend project that may help your car's drivability. If the air slide isn't opening on start up, that could be a cause of rough running. Check out the FAQ section for lots of great info- others have been there too and documented what they did to fix their car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Great buy. The top looks to be in great shape.

Vibration- SNIP

Thanks John....good points. I ended up buying the leather wrapped version of the factory wheel. It came on non-airbag S4s.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
The Quad's came with a leather steering wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The Quad's came with a leather steering wheel.
Good to know, thanks. A few months ago I ALMOST got a "not driven in a few years" silver Quad with hardtop for $2220. It was down in California and I hesitated just a day or so--to think it through, and then they sold it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
So I pulled it off the trailer this morning.

* Suggestions for exhaust? I'd like something that might open up a slight bit of power but more importantly, one that makes that Nord sound super sweet.
* Suggestions for suspension? I'm more of the tight and stiff suspensions (I used to have an R-package Miata and loved that-while some complained of those cars being too stiff).
* Any ideas on that driveline?
As far as exhaust, I have no inspection, so I went with manifolds from a 73 spider and the associated down pipe and center section, then a stinger rear piece. Sounds great. They bolt on and use existing hangers, but require an O2 sensor bung welded into the down pipe. It's a good idea to go with a new heated O2 (a search will show you part numbers).

Suspension bits that mine really needed included trailing arm bushings and motor mounts. I replaced all the bushings while at it, and put in IAP red springs, and did all tie rod ends. Initially i used KYB shocks, but switched to Koni's because the KYB's were a little stiff. I also run 16in wheels. Mine has had a vibration in the driveline since i've owned it at around 50 to 55 mph. The rubber bushing in the center support has a 1/4 to 1/2 inch play in mine. I have a shaft rebuild kit, and plan to tackle that this summer.

It handles like a completely different car than when i bought it. The exhaust helped wake up the sound and pep compared to the original plugged cat and big muffler. There are some nice stainless versions with cat converters as options as well.

Nice looking car, have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
While my 86 was in the shop, I had him replace the old rattly and leaking downpipe/cat with a piece that I sourced from Magnaflow. The guy had to cut and re-weld the mount, as it was about an inch off, and he said that was pretty common for him to have to do...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
If you want to feel a tighter chassis, put a chassis stiffener on it. It won't make it a Miata R, but it will definitely improve the feel and steering response. I recommend poly bushings, also, but only on the sway bars, caster links, and trunnion bushing at the axle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
More learning. #1, the front suspension is GONE. haha. Lots of rattling and clunking over ripples. I drove it about 50 miles yesterday I'll check all of that stuff.

#2, looking at the exhaust and while there are some leaks underneath, it looks like it's built on a header of some kind. Pic attached. Looks like a header to a cherry bomb type and then something in the back. I'll know more when I get it up on the rack.

#3, the thing shined up ok. This was just a quick wipe down with spray shine. Also, I can't get over how nice the interior is.

#4, you never know what lurks beneath a factory hardtop that attached to a convertible you buy--but in my case, underneath is a brand new canvas top!
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
nice car

Beautiful car Brian.

Nice interior without the usual cracked dash, and the pristine cloth ragtop (with a tight wrinkle-less rear window) is definitely a plus.

I'm not a big fan of headers - too much heat in the engine compartment for too little performance improvement. You might consider going back to a stock cast exhaust manifold, but either way you've got a real sweet ride there.

Thanks for sharing the great pics too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
And it's 225,000 miles too! haha. My goal is to cross 250,000 miles with a smile on my face.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top