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Well, I put a rover 3.9 aluminum v8 into a 102 spider, 4 DCOE on cross-flow manifold, but the car was already "destroyed". It was so bad it was gifted to me with no engine, trans, dash, had chevy running gear at the 4 corners, already notched for a v8 in a prior life with a hood that had extra louvers and scoops. And rust. Did I mention rust? Lots of new panels, now trunk, gas tank etc. Six years and six figures later, at Concorso this year the judges were very interested in my car...until I opened the hood.
 

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at the end of the day if it makes the owner happy and keeps a smile on their face..swap away, mod away

me personaly i HATE LS swaps as much as 350 swaps..its just the same ole belly button being tosed around....now dont get me wrong..its IMPOSSIBLE to argue with the simplicity, cost, power, and availibility of..well...everything to do it..

im half with you on the alfa soul being the engine..NOT the body...atleast when it comes to the busso, its why my lloyd ended up how it is, however i always give a good nod to the guys doing the flat out unique, when you go looking for trouble of fitting something totaly unexpected, be it engine, trans or full blow chassis/suspension swaps, thats where i truely appreciate a build, id rather see some guy stuff a naughty rotary into a spider than an ls..just for the sheer uniqueness, hell a vw TDI into a gtv would be really cool too
 

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i totally understand why someone would go a different engine route. with less and less alfas on the road and lesser parts cars too, gone are the days when a good running alfa nord engine and tranny can be had for around $1,000 exchange. if you need trim pieces and other bright work, switches, dash, panels, guages, etc for an early car, good luck! depending on who's selling and if available, prices on such items are hardly affordable. i spent close to $3K at APE sometime in 2019 just on trim pieces and suspension parts! i would rather see an alfa being driven around with some other engine in it than see it rot under a tree.
 

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i would rather see an alfa being driven around with some other engine in it than see it rot under a tree.
I would agree with you if engine conversions were cheap and easy. But they're not. I'm skeptical that anyone has ever done an "alien engine" conversion that has cost less money and taken less time than just rebuilding the Alfa engine.

Sure, I understand that it's fun to dream about having a Giulietta with a Chrysler Hemi (or whatever). But the reality is that most of these exercises often get abandoned part way through, and the hacked-up Alfas that result are more likely to end up rotting under a tree than ones where the owner simply rebuilt the engine.
 

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me personaly i HATE LS swaps as much as 350 swaps..its just the same ole belly button being tosed around....now dont get me wrong..its IMPOSSIBLE to argue with the simplicity, cost, power, and availibility of..well...everything to do it..
I hear LS swaps disparaged for being "common," yet 99.9% of the old Alfas I've seen have factory engines.

I bet there are more Callaway Twin Turbo GTV-6s than LS GTV-6s.

I would agree with you if engine conversions were cheap and easy. But they're not. I'm skeptical that anyone has ever done an "alien engine" conversion that has cost less money and taken less time than just rebuilding the Alfa engine.

Sure, I understand that it's fun to dream about having a Giulietta with a Chrysler Hemi (or whatever). But the reality is that most of these exercises often get abandoned part way through, and the hacked-up Alfas that result are more likely to end up rotting under a tree than ones where the owner simply rebuilt the engine.
...and 99.9% of Alfas go to the junkyard with a factory engine in them.

If anything, the handful of crazy dreamers doing LS swaps are intercepting some of the cars that have already been left to rot.

I think most restoration candidates are disappearing for more mundane reasons, like fender benders and rust and labor rates that leave most of these old cars beyond economical repair.
 

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Meh to engine conversions.
disappearing for more mundane reasons
Another mundane reason is ineffective HVAC. It's the rainy season in the PNW, and on my Milano, the air distribution dial is broken, so my windows are always foggy. It wasn't so great even when it was working. The equivalent vintage BMW E30 will have working HVAC. I realize that changing to another makes engine won't fix this tho.
 

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my 2.2 ecotec..was placed in alfa romeo's 159 models and a few other models from 2005 till 2011
 

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I wonder what the modern engine swap was in 2008 that @PSk was so mad about lol

Looks like the SR20 based on some of the comments
 

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I think certain modern swaps have their place, but I want to hear an Italian symphony from an Italian car. Theres not much out there that sounds better
 

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I've purchased two engine modded Alfa's in my life (both in the late 70's). The first was a 57 Spider with a Ford 289 conversion. The Ford axle wasn't cut down so the tires stuck outside of the body (and had a bbq-ish wrought iron front grille). I bought it for $500 because it had a factory #'rd Pinninfarina steel hardtop (gave to my uncle) and sold it on. The next was a 1960 Spider that had a Ford Pinto 4 cyl conversion (?????) for $100. I sold the Pinto parts to re-coupe my money and held onto the chassis for a number of years (the chassis integrity had been destroyed doing the conversion). I eventually sold it to a guy in Florida who wanted to harvest the sheet metal floors to put onto his rusty Sprint Zagato (I don't know how that worked out). Both conversions were done poorly.

-John
 

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Like all mods, engine swaps can be well done and inspired, or poorly done. I agree with the original inspiration to the thread that simply dropping a bog standard Japanese motor in a misguided attempt to "fix" an Alfa is deeply silly. Frankly, I think the era of quick and dirty random junkyard motor conversions is mostly over. There was a time when there were a decent number of mechanically totaled Alfas with good chassis. Even 15 years ago, spiders were just "old cars", not classics, and prices reflected that. Today, with values starting to rise for any clean 105/115 chassis, you aren't going to find many people attempting to swap a random junkyard motor in. Plus, the motors you find in junkyards today are now mostly much more sophisticated (and requiring of a lot of work to get the engine management right).

There is something cool about modern power in a vintage chassis if everything else in the car is built to handle it (not a simple task) and if the modern power doesn't wreck the handling characteristics. I love Homebuilt by Jeff's Ferrari swap along those lines. But as his build diary shows, a swap like that done right is a 1,000+ man hour time investment. You are having to reengineer almost the entire car.

Even though my car is heavily modified, I made the decision to keep all of the key driveline components Alfa rather than making it too much of a franken car, in part because I wanted to avoid building something else entirely wearing an Alfa suit. I also don't have the skills to do something like the Alfararri swap.
 

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Speaking of conversions - have you seen this
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Speaking of conversions - have you seen this
That chassis is worth a lot to the right person, but not the rest of it. Strange that somebody robbed it of it's engine but didn't take the chassis too

Pete
 

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I'm not a fan of the paint either.
 
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Speaking of conversions - have you seen this
I couldn't care less if someone wants to ditch their high-maintenance Ferrari engine for a more powerful, more reliable SBC. Makes perfect sense to me. I like that he kept it a stick.

But like Neil, I think that two-tone paint is pretty silly. Also that ridiculous fuel cell in the trunk, which screams "Even though I built a reliable Ferrari, I never drive it far enough to require bringing luggage".
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
I couldn't care less if someone wants to ditch their high-maintenance Ferrari engine for a more powerful, more reliable SBC. Makes perfect sense to me. I like that he kept it a stick.

But like Neil, I think that two-tone paint is pretty silly. Also that ridiculous fuel cell in the trunk, which screams "Even though I built a reliable Ferrari, I never drive it far enough to require bringing luggage".
That is not what would have happened here. Some rich person would have bought the car for the engine for historic racing or to make a replica, and then flicked on the rest of the car. Sadly happens all the time with this sort of Ferrari
Pete
 

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Ok, when I was a kid in the late ‘60’s a neighborhood eccentric came in to the service station where I worked in an Aston Martin DB4. I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to know what I was looking at but I knew the Chevy stovebolt 6 wasn’t right. But it was cool. Reliability, meh. While doing a lube job on it the the rod end popped off. I wired it up with a coat hanger and sent him on his way. Luckily or was just a couple of blocks. it was on the road with the Chevy 6 and no one knew what the Aston should have sounded like. But there is something about a factory engine.

when I was but a wee lad in the late ‘60’s I dreamt of Porsches, until a friend came home with a ‘69 GTV, (nod to PSk’s original comment. It was like an extension of oneself how it responded. I had worked at the Porsche dealer for a while but then morphed to the local purveyor of exotic Europeam makes; Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Peugeot and Renault. At age 23 I was promoted to senior Alfa tech and manager of the Peugeot Renault Alfa portion of the service department. I was diligent mind you but having a 23 year old as “senior tech” should be telltale. Alfa’s problem, then and now is their dealer network. Spread too thin and poorly trained, with an admixture of pure greed sometimes thrown in. I see some in the earlier comments. While there I bought a ‘72 Spider, drove it today, ( high compression pistons, big valves, ported intake chambers and Dellorto‘s in lieu of the Spica, still a delight but I worked a lot last winter on it for today’s enjoyment). I later bought a ‘71 Spider for my wife, left it bone stock and it is a marvelously sweet docile delight, drove it yesterday. (Managed these drives between snows for winter exercise). We went to the Alfa museum in Milano a few years ago. My wife made the fatal mistake of commenting favorably on the new Giulia. We got home and soon had our ‘17 Giulia TI sport Q4. Drove it yesterday too. We’ve had no issues with the Giulia save one programming recall. I have done all the oil changes personally and keep logs to present to the dealer in case of a warranty issue. We took it on a 4500 mile trouble free trip through New England this past fall. Could not have had more fun in a car over the road. My wife kept her beater Toyota Avalon for winter and grocery use, I use an old Isuzu trooper for the same. The Giulia “could“ do it admirably but we are in a position for it not to have to.

i think Alfa will forever IMO be a niche product. Personally I like it that way and Alfa Must think so too by the way they go to market. My advice is to find a reputable independent shop unless you are inclined to go DIY. They can do most of what you will need at a savings. Sure, this will cut into dealer margins and dealerships will close. And so the cycle continues. I probably won’t be around for the next one but having them has been a lot of fun!

IMO swap manufacturer of engine to the peril of future value, but if not important, enjoy it. But maybe hold onto the original for a future enthusiast.
 

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That chassis is worth a lot to the right person, but not the rest of it. Strange that somebody robbed it of it's engine but didn't take the chassis too

Pete
That engine swap is without doubt the dumbest thing I have ever seen done to a ferrari. There should be some kind of criminal charge for whoever was responsible.
 
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